Harmonising Indoor and Outdoor Living

One of the most awe-inspiring places I’ve ever visited is the Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Japan, crafted in the 17th century for the imperial family. I’ve dedicated a journal article to this masterpiece (check it out here). The interiors of the villa are beautifully simple, yet the entire architectural design was orchestrated to capture the essence of the moonlit sky and distant mountains.

Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, the landscaped gardens surrounding the villa were planned to mirror the natural environment. For the Japanese imperial family, true luxury lay in their profound connection to nature – a contrast starkly different from the opulent European palaces of the same era, like the Palace of Versailles.

We can draw invaluable insights from the ingenious methods employed by 17th-century Japanese aristocrats to seamlessly merge indoor and outdoor living spaces, and adapt these principles to our contemporary Western homes.


There’s magic in framing a captivating view. A natural vista beyond windows and glass doors not only enhances the ambiance but also provides a sense of tranquility. Consider using internal doors or partial partitions instead of solid walls to maintain a sense of continuity between spaces.


While an open layout fosters a sense of expansiveness, designated zones for specific activities are equally vital for fostering mental and physical well-being. Establish cozy reading nooks, sheltered outdoor seating areas in your garden, or employ subtle partitions like hanging plants or frosted glass panels to delineate spaces in an open-plan setting.


Irrespective of your home’s size or location, identify your design ethos and infuse it throughout your living spaces. Blur the lines between indoors and outdoors by seamlessly integrating the rooms that lead to your garden. If outdoor space is limited, invigorate your interiors with lush indoor greenery – it’s grounding and transforms any space into a sanctuary.

At our studio, every detail is considered from inception, ensuring that our designs seamlessly harmonise indoor and outdoor living – a philosophy reminiscent of the visionary architect behind the Katsura Imperial Villa, who meticulously planned every aspect with the celestial beauty of a full moon in mind.

The List

The List

Be the first to receive our exclusive offers and tips to turn your house into a serene space when you sign up for our mailing list.