Every interior sitting space and activity area offers the opportunity to connect to and participate in a particular aspect of the surrounding landscape, whether it be a view of a beautiful tree, a long vista to a standing stone at the far corner of the property, or a glimpse thorough a tiny window to a courtyard garden.
Credit: Grey Crawford Every interior sitting space and activity area offers the opportunity to connect to and participate in a particular aspect of the surrounding landscape, whether it be a view of a beautiful tree, a long vista to a standing stone at the far corner of the property, or a glimpse thorough a tiny window to a courtyard garden.

What do we mean by the landscape of home? It's not only the gardens, but also the views and vistas, and the walkways and thresholds that let you feel at home on your land. Of course, your house is part of this landscape, too. How do you decide when to use these elements? You begin by realizing that designing your landscape is not so different from designing your house.

We typically discuss landscaping as though it were something completely separate from the house. If you look at most garden design, you'll be hard-pressed to find much connection between the inside and out. There might be a screened porch, a terrace, or a deck that provides a gesture at a transition between inside and out. But there's often nothing else.

Every site has a vantage: either a prospect — a view from a high position, as on a mountain; or a refuge — a protected setting such as under a canopy of trees. Like the artistry required in designing a welcoming entrance, there's an artistry required in the design of the interconnections between interior and exterior places. There's much potential to enhance the experience of everyday living when you consider the outdoors as a design element of the indoor space, and vice versa.

When inside and outside are designed as one, the results can inspire you on a daily basis, feeding your spirit and allowing you to truly delight in the natural world without having to go outside to do so.

Credit: Grey Crawford

Adapted with permission from Outside the Not So Big House by Julie Moir Messervy and Sarah Susanka, published by The Taunton Press (2006).

The approach to your property sets the tone for the experience of entering the house. Here, a gravel driveway brings visitors to a garden court before they cross the threshold.
Credit: Grey Crawford The approach to your property sets the tone for the experience of entering the house. Here, a gravel driveway brings visitors to a garden court before they cross the threshold.