Creating indoor outdoor flow



Indoor outdoor living options such as decks, terraces and barbecue areas are an important part of today’s modern kiwi lifestyle.

In this article, the team at Style Plus Renovations North Shore Auckland explores indoor outdoor living design options and how this style can be incorporated in your renovation or new build:

  • Indoor Outdoor Styling.
  • Bring The Kitchen Outside!
  • Outdoor Lighting.
  • Outdoor Fireplaces & Fire Pits.

As the long summer days approach us, now is the time to think of subtle design changes you will make to your home’s indoor outdoor flow. Ultimately the plan would be to invite the outside in and tie the inside to your outdoor living spaces.

indoor outdoor flow


For any renovation creating a truly functional and relaxing space for outdoor living that marries up with the indoor space requires careful planning.

As for designing an indoor space, you will need to consider architectural style, colour harmony, traffic flow, space requirements and comfort.

Additionally, outdoor space has its own special challenges, such as providing privacy and creating shelter from the sun and wind.

For example, your kitchen, which is likely to be the hub of your home, and outside on the other side of a ranch slider is your deck. Aim to connect the two spaces (indoor outdoor) by echoing design elements on both sides of the line.

Try to match the floor.


There are a few options to choose from when you are considering how you open up to the outside. Sliding doors, stacking doors and traditional french doors are all good options to choose from.

  • Sliding/stacking doors, you can take full advantage of your outdoor surroundings.
  • Bifold doors allow you to open up an entire space to provide a seamless flow between your home and the outside environment.
  • The French door is a classic look. With glass panelling and a double-door design, they offer a picture book view of the outdoor area.



Level entry where the external surface is the same height as the internal floor surface. It provides a feeling of the floor level extending to the outdoors.

If the external surface is created with a concrete slab a channel drain is required at door thresholds.

Timber-slatted decks can be installed at the same inside floor level to provide that level entry access. However, you must have a gap of at least 6-12 mm between your wall cladding and the deck to allow for drainage and prevent water pooling

A building consent is not required for decks where it is not possible to fall more than 1.5 metres. However, a safety barrier is required under Building Code clause F4 – Safety from falling – where there is a fall of 1 metre or more.

indoor outdoor flow
Fairview - Bi-fold doors provides that indoor outdoor flow


When you plan your outdoor area think about the elements – sun, wind and rain,

During the summer the outdoor area will require shade from the sun and rain/wind during the winter months. Shade against the midday sun can be achieved by pergolas, retractable awnings, shade sails and adjustable louvres.

An east-facing deck can provide a sunny morning outdoor area. And will provide shade later in the day.

The wind direction for Auckland is predominantly from the southwest. This is typical for winter and spring. However, in summer the winds from the northeast are typical.

Keeping this in mind as the wind does not always come from a single direction, creating a number of outdoor spaces will provide shelter under different wind conditions.

Also planting trees and shrubs in conjunction with fencing or screens to provide shelter from wind is an option to provide a windbreak. And privacy!


The kitchen has always been the family gathering place. Outdoor kitchens have become popular over the years, allowing cooks to create elaborate party feasts with the same ease as indoors.

An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill, table and chairs or as elaborate as a fully outfitted kitchen complete with built-in appliances, refrigeration, water and plenty of communal seating.

There are a variety of products easily sourced on the market such as outdoor fridges, ovens, and rotisseries that can create an outdoor kitchen space.

Tip: Although a simple and straightforward outdoor kitchen can be set up by a homeowner however if you are thinking of designing a generous and stylish outdoor kitchen it is best left to a professional design build a company like Style Plus Renovations– specialists in creating indoor outdoor flow – working closely with you to achieve your dream.

outdoor living


Designing your outdoor lighting always starts by considering how you intend to use the outdoor space. Do you like to entertain and need good lighting on pathways, patios and decks?

Lighting is a crucial element of indoor life and it is just as important outside. Using the correct outdoor lighting will make your outdoor space as inviting as your living room.

There are three main ways you can aim lights to get a particular result in the outdoor area:

• Downlighting creates diffuse, gentle light by aiming lights downward, usually from a tree.

• Uplighting is all about the drama of bold shadows and strong effects. By aiming the lights upwards into a tree or onto an architectural feature, you emphasise the contrast of dark shadows with bright light.

• Crosslighting is when you eliminate shadows by lighting a focal point from both sides.

Tip: ambient vs. spotlighting – ambient lighting creates atmosphere by gently lighting over a large area, while spotlighting draws strong attention to a particular feature.

outdoor living
indoor outdoor flow
Indoor Outdoor Flow


A fireplace indoors radiates cosiness and encourages friends and family to gather around and cuddle up close. The same thing happens with an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

A fire feature turns an outdoor space into a gathering place. It offers warmth, light and the hypnotizing allure of crackling wood and dancing flames.

Tip: Any type of outdoor fireplace, including masonry and brick open fires, fire pits and heat recirculating open fires (metal fireboxes with open fronts) can be installed outdoors in the Auckland region without building consent.

However, resource consent may be required even though building consent is not. If you choose not to engage with a professional company, please make sure you seek guidance from your local council planners before you fit your outdoor fire.

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Do you love where you live, but want to add indoor outdoor living flow to your current home?

Now that summer is upon us we want to be outside making the most of the good weather. Many of the older homes do not have the same style of indoor outdoor flow as the modern designed homes.

However, you can redesign your living space to have that indoor outdoor flow and enjoy your summer entertaining.

For example, this might involve revamping your current deck area, installing bi-fold doors to give easier access or simply creating a more useable patio area with some nice features.

Many homeowners now choose a specialist renovation company like Style Plus Renovations to take your renovation from concept to completion giving you what you want, within your budget and backed by our work guarantee.

If you are considering creating that indoor outdoor flow and would like to discuss your requirements further use the Contact Us form below. We will then get in touch with you to discuss your project. 

If you are looking for more inspiration, check out our article on decks

Also, checkout out Pinterest pins for indoor outdoor ideas.



As an Auckland North Shore family-owned and run business, Style Plus Renovations cares about what we do and we take the time to fully understand your renovation needs. We are also proud to receive some exceptional compliments from our Auckland clients.

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Tel us about your renovation project and we’ll call you back for a no-obligation chat about your ideas.

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We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your project and get you started on your renovation journey.

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