Dear Designer; A Landscape Architect’s Advice on Indoor-Outdoor Living


Sarah Hoskin, an established landscape architect for Caledonian Landscapes has been designing dream gardens for over 20 years.

ModularWalls had the chance to pick her brain on how to design the ultimate indoor-outdoor architectural design for your home. Check out her tips below.


Q. What do you enjoy most about designing outdoor spaces?

Sarah: A house is not a home until the garden is constructed!

My joy as a designer is getting to know my clients well enough to create a space which is tailored specifically to them, their lifestyle requirements and the unique characteristics of their site.


Q. What kind of architectural elements could support indoor-outdoor living?

Sarah: Transitional structures that frame and shelter access points between indoor and outdoor spaces, or demarcate the movement from one outdoor room to another, can create a connected flow of space.

The existing style of architecture should also provide inspiration for the ‘hard structures’ (paving, pergolas, fountains, fencing) which are designed into the adjacent outdoor spaces.

For the home in Orange, NSW, for which I used a SlimWall boundary fence, you can see the that all architectural elements in the minimalist Japanese style courtyard garden were kept simple, elegant and muted in colour to complement the modern extension of the original brick cottage.


Q. What’s the biggest challenge when designing a successful indoor-outdoor space?

Sarah: The biggest challenge is usually the budget remaining after the client has completed building their dream home!

A landscape plan, commissioned at the beginning and planned alongside the architectural drawings, is ideal. In one case, boundary and driveway planting with the irrigation systems were installed four years before the builders began construction on the new home, to ensure adequate growing times.

When planned as a whole, the indoor and outdoor spaces can then flow holistically and meet not only practical requirements, but help connect the building with the surrounding landscape.


Q. Do you have any ‘tips’ or secrets for success?

Sarah: Landscape plan! As hard (structural) and soft (organic) materials needed to make a garden can end up costing a fortune without careful attention, a landscape plan maximises valuable growing time and saves money (and marriages!).

Why not plan your ideal outdoor space, with all the materials and plants already chosen for each site, considering things like comfort, scale, style and budget? The construction can be staged over a given time frame, and you can begin each stage as you see fit.


Q. Have you seen a shift in landscaping trends toward indoor-outdoor designs?

Sarah: Over my 20 years in the business, many trends have come and gone, shaped by cultural trends, climate, economics and the internet, where so many products can now be easily viewed, compared and accessed. In the end, landscape designs are still ruled by time frames and budgets, which most often sets the parameters on how limited or expansive a ‘dream garden’ can be.

Newly renovated home utilises high-end aesthetic of SlimWall modular boundary fencing


Find out how you can design a connected architectural aesthetic with our versatile, exquisite wall solutions.

Call us on 1300 556 957, or simply follow the link below.

Purchase your new wall or fence by 20 December 2017, accompanied by a creative outdoor living #hashtag for the chance to WIN the Ultimate Outdoor Lifestyle Pack, valued at $2000!


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