Bringing the Outside In | Our Great Room Renovation … per Britt

Vine_Center_Gold

So this is often where you will find me writing.  This section of bringing the outside into your home…this is where I thrive.  I don’t have the green thumb that my Resident Gardener has, but I sure love the aesthetics of nature and enjoy finding ways to make them a part of our home.  Often times I get crafty with elements I find outside and other times I simply just bring greenery and cut flowers inside.  Either way, bringing the outside in does my heart good.  I hope I can share some creative ways I do this with you along the way that will encourage you to do the same.

One of the initial ways we brought the outside in at our house was in the decisions we made when we renovated our 1960s ranch house about seven years ago.  One of those decisions was with the addition of a great room….we wanted it to have lots of windows to turn what was previously a dark and cold, small family room into a large room filled with natural light where we could entertain and also enjoy seeing beyond our walls to the landscape outside.

After we moved back in, several people asked about what kind of window treatments we were going to put in and how we would make them work due to some of the logistics of the window placement.  As with most decisions we make, it was a purposeful one and I knew my answer….”We aren’t putting window treatments on those windows.”  We knew we didn’t need privacy back there and we didn’t want curtains getting in the way of letting light in or to close us off  from or hinder our view  of our yard.  “Are you sure?”  “I’m not sure how that’s going to look” “You need window treatments” .  We heard resistance from some but we knew what we wanted and we stuck to our guns.  As our yard began to flourish in the years following the renovation,  we’ve been even more grateful for not hindering the view.  The openness of the windows draws us into our yard even when we are inside and reminds us there is life to be lived out there.  There is a constant invitation to go outside and play and a reminder that there is lots to enjoy out back…..and if it’s a pretty day we accept that invitation and head on out.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you HAVE to have window treatments…if it’s purposeful not to have them, embrace that decision and be confident in it!

So just to clarify we aren’t opposed to curtains/window treatments….we definitely have them in our home, in areas where we need privacy…as well as in rooms where the windows need some life brought to them.  But where we had beautiful floor to ceiling windows that were inviting us outside, we just couldn’t bear to steal any of that beauty away.

We did frame the French doors in the great room with curtains to help soften things a bit and in a way that complement the outside.  We chose to use burlap….six years ago before it had become so chic.  Pretty cool how popular this natural fiber has become and how freely it is being used in so many different applications.   Burlap is a unique natural fiber…it  is rough and durable, it has a nostalgic reference, it has a warmth and charm to it (and it’s fairly inexpensive too).   It complimented what we saw outside and helped continue that feel into our home.  We use burlap quite a bit and are experimenting with more and more uses for it.  No doubt you will likely be seeing more burlap ideas on this blog in the months to come.

Are there any places you could let more natural light in your home?
Do you have any cool burlap uses? 
Do share!

Thanks all,
Britt initial

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