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When it comes to merging outdoor and indoor living spaces, Europeans can be pretty forward thinking – and not just in the warmest, southern climes, either. With some planning and creativity and a little helpful inspiration from our friends across the ocean, you can have the best of both worlds.

1. Outdoor Entertainment Indoors

Notice the tile floors that look as though they’re equally at home in a living room as outside under a barbecue area? The fireplace flanked by open views on either side will provide warmth to guests snuggling around it, without making the house stuffy.

2. Outdoor Shower

Why drip chlorinated water on your nice floor? After a dip in the pool, take a refreshing shower just a few feet away, before reclining on a lawn chair to soak in some rays. Put in some plants, stones or vines to give the area some character and help it blend in.

3. Outdoor Nook

This beautiful terrace is perfect for brunch by the lakeshore or taking in the sunset by candlelight. It’s a simple set up with a table, folding chairs and some decorative pillows. You don’t have to be looking out on a lake or sea to make this work – if you’ve got any altitude at all, this is a great way to look down on the scenery.

4. A Room With A View

Stone flooring, textured walls and natural wood combine to provide a perfect rustic experience looking out on the best that nature has to offer. Inside, you’ve got a combined kitchen and living area, with fantastic big windows to let in the sun. Here we combine a bit of Europe with a style that’s just as well for northern California.

5. Outdoor Kitchen

Now we’re cooking! Turn your porch into a communal area for cooking and dining. Heaters, overhead lights and ovens turn this space into an at-home chef’s dream kitchen.

6. Party Time

Turn your backyard into a sophisticated space for entertaining. Emphasize the space with beautiful stone and minimal furnishing – no need to clutter it up with as many tables as you can fit. Instead, anticipate people moving about, mingling and enjoying appetizers coming around to the guests. Put the space on a higher level to contrast this oasis with your surroundings.

7. Indoor/Outdoor Vanity

Thanks to that rock wall built to a perfect height, you’ve got natural light flooding into the space while maintaining the privacy you’ll need. The glass wall also helps maintain that illusion of an open space that is actually protected. An imaginative solution leading to a unique oasis of rocks and plants in an outdoor living room.

Do you have a beautiful indoor/outdoor space inspired by a European sense of style? Let us know in the comments!

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.