Summer Indoor-Outdoor Living

It’s finally the time of year when indoor-outdoor living becomes a part of our daily routines, blurring the usual boundary between the inside and the outside in the best possible way. Good design can extend to outdoor areas and expand living spaces, creating a seamless transition between a home and the landscape in which it sits.

According to Harrison Design architects William H. Harrison, Matthew Korn and John Albanese, indoor-outdoor living spaces and their transitions are important considerations when creating or remodeling a home. One design change can have a great impact on the way you experience everyday life at home.

From Left: John Albanese, AIA; Matthew Korn, AIA; William H. Harrison; AIA

The architects offer their thoughts on creating a flow between indoor and outdoor rooms:

What makes a great indoor-outdoor space?

Matthew Korn:

“An effective transition that makes two separate spaces feel like one cohesive area. A quality transition creates an experience for the user. This experience isn’t obvious, but rather a subconscious reaction to the space; a subtle feeling that helps define the design by seamlessly marrying the two spaces.”

John Albanese:

“You want something to draw your attention from the inside to the outside. Sometimes, a well-placed window or the physical design of the structure can direct your focus to certain features that help integrate the design and its landscape.”

Seamless transition between inside living space to outside sitting area

Tricks to make the most of your outdoor living space?

John Albanese:

“A method I’ve found effective in integrating an outdoor space into an interior design is to utilize materials that complement both spaces. We can continue a building material, such as a stone floor or wood beams, from the inside to the outside to help create an unnoticeable transition.”

William H. Harrison:

“Having a good reason to go outside is as important as anything in creating a functional outdoor living space. A pool, a barbecue, a seating area or an appealing garden; these are great features to consider when designing that ensure outdoor spaces are actually in use.”

Pool and seating areas make this both a practical and usable outside space

What other factors should be considered?

Matthew Korn:

“Human scale plays an important role in all great spaces. Large or small, these transitional spaces should be fully integrated into the overall design and scaled to fit.”

John Albanese:

“Considering the landscape is a massive part of making the most of a design. By taking advantage of a site’s natural features and views, we can create a site-specific design that fits perfectly in its surroundings.”

Between the abundant windows and outdoor living space, this design makes the most of the site’s incredible views


The name Harrison Design is synonymous with high-end residential architecture in Atlanta, Georgia, where founder William H. (Bill) Harrison opened his first office in 1991.

In the last 25 years, the firm’s reach has expanded to include multiple locations on both coasts, stretching all the way to China. Along the way, the firm has built a reputation for its comprehensive architectural design services, close-knit office culture, and a tradition of mentorship and service.

Harrison Design’s ability to work together as an integrated team enables the firm to serve its clients effectively, while bringing regional expertise (“a local touch”) to every project.

“When you hire Harrison Design, you’re not hiring an architect but an architectural firm,” says John Albanese, one of Harrison Design principals working on projects in New York, Long Island, and the Hamptons. The firm had been designing luxury residential projects in the Tri-State area for years before it became apparent that it needed to establish a permanent local presence in 2011.

West Paces Ferry Residence by Harrison Design (Atlanta)
Hamptons Residence by Harrison Design (New York)

“Opening an office on the North Shore of Long Island was a logical step,” says Bill Harrison. “Since its inception, our firm has been sought after by clients who share our appreciation of architecture that is founded on traditional methods and materials, and our goal of designing buildings that look and feel timeless. Because of the region’s rich and diverse architectural legacy, there’s a great appreciation of quality architecture and craftsmanship.”

“We are affiliated with the best local engineers, landscape architects, builders, craftspeople, interior designers, and AV specialists.” says Matthew Korn who heads up Harrison Design’s New York office. A native New Yorker, Korn has been practicing on Long Island for over 20 years before joining the Harrison Design team.

Whether a rustic Adirondack-style lake house, a dreamy English Country retreat, an elegant Georgian townhouse, or an informed, sensitive renovation, there’s an element of freshness in Harrison Design’s work that bridges traditional with progressive. Above all, personal service and consideration of every client’s needs are what keeps people coming back for their next project.

“Giving clients a voice in the design process is a key component of what Harrison Design offers,” adds Bill Harrison. “We work with our clients to create a work of art that is an investment and that also expresses their personality.”

Lake Norman Residence by Harrison Design (North Carolina)
Paces End Manor by Harrison Design (Atlanta)

“In Harrison Design’s work, one sees the return to the authentic: highly evolved, demanding of craftsmanship, engaging not only in European traditions, but also the vernacular buildings of the pioneering rural settlement of the West, and as well, our newest tradition, the modern.” wrote architect Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk in her preface to the firm’s recent monograph.

Bill Harrison adds, “In order to create something unique, you need to process and absorb a great deal of information. You need to draw from the past and yet engage the possibilities of the future.”

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