Using Windows and Doors to Blend Indoor and Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

I’m an outdoorsy guy. I always have been and always will be. So when I was designing my house it was really important for me to create a strong indoor/outdoor connection.  I knew from the beginning that a lot of large windows would be a key factor in the design.

Throughout the house we made sure to include large windows everywhere we could. The bedrooms all have multiple windows, and in most cases, they’re floor-to-ceiling. In the great room, which is two stories high, we were able to accommodate three sets of French doors, plus large windows above each in order to get the maximum amount of natural light possible. Those were easy decisions.

But the pool area was a bit different. Living in Canada means that outdoor pools are only good for a few months of the year, so when designing my new home I decided to include an indoor pool. We had some space available at the back of the house, and given how much we love to swim together as a family, it was an easy decision. But it always feels like there’s something a little unnatural about swimming indoors, and I decided that if I was going to have an indoor pool, it needed to feel like an outdoor pool as much as possible.

I thought about mimicking the French doors in the great room, and I considered sliding glass doors, but somehow neither one felt quite right in the space.

We had already used Pollard windows throughout the rest of
the house, and they had given us some great advice, so we went to them and
asked what they recommended.

Their recommendation, and what we ultimately went with, was a multi-panel, folding door system. When closed they look like floor-to-ceiling windows, but when open, they completely retract, leaving a wide, open space. In the summer we can open them up and basically be outside, while in the winter we can keep them closed but still enjoy all the natural light.

What do you think – did we make the right decision? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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