How To Bring the Outside In (When You Don’t have Floor to Ceiling Windows)

How To Bring the Outside In (When You Don’t have Floor to Ceiling Windows)

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Adrienne Breaux
Jul 2, 2015

Do you ever get annoyed with suggestions of "just bring the outside in" when that advice is coming from someone with floor-to-ceiling windows? Or those corner window walls that slide open, essentially turning a living room into a covered courtyard? Or even folks whose windows overlook stunning natural views? How do you "bring the outside in" when you live in the city and have normal-sized windows? Follow these tips.

Hang plants with long vines

You could have probably guessed that plants would be on this list. The trick to really making it feel like the outside is encroaching on your interiors (in a charming way)? Go for plants with lots of climbing vines — and let them climb their way across elements in your home.

Choose trees

You can't really plant an oak tree in the middle of your living room, but there are more reasonably sized trees that can work in interior spaces, creating an arboreal vibe even if you don't have a glassed-in sun room overlooking a canopy.

(Image credit: sfgirlbybay)

Maximize the sunlight you do have (or fake it if you don't)

Pull out all the tricks when it comes to maximizing light in a dark space. Place those mirrors and reflective surfaces across from windows you do have, but also follow the sun as it travels throughout your space and place a reflective and yellow-colored objects near your pools of sun, making them seem more dramatic. Include framed photos or prints that convey the feeling of looking outside if you're really low on windows.

Fake bigger windows when possible

Don't have those floor to ceiling windows like you want? You might not be able to tear into your wall to expand the actual opening size of your window, but you can increase how big your window appears to be, tricking the eye into thinking you've got more window than you actually have (and maybe even have more light than you think you have). How? Extend your curtain rods and curtains so they span farther beyond the boundaries of your windows' edges.

Open your doors

Depending on the weather, location and safety of your home, this might not be an option. But don't neglect these giant floor-to-ceiling potential openings in your home. If you need screen doors, consider installing so you can enjoy the feeling of the outside more in your interiors.

Upgrade your view

Don't neglect to try and improve the view from what windows you do have — with certain garden additions you could make nature look wild and increase the outside-in feeling you get when in your rooms.

Go for floral and plant-themed patterns

Those bold and fearless in their interiors should choose rugs, upholstery and even wallpaper with large-scale patterns that have big floral or plant motifs.

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