With open floor plans prevalent in today’s homes, interior design that connects elements of décor is essential to creating a space that feels comfortable and whole. And just as design choices help interior rooms relate seamlessly, the best designs also flow naturally from indoor to outdoor spaces.

Look Outside
From wall paint, upholstery fabric and art, color is often the primary source of inspiration for a design. One way to create a connection from inside to outside is to look at your home’s surroundings just as interior designer Kate Jackson did in designing the Perspective New England beach house.

Jackson saw the sandy beach just steps outside the back door and created a similar look inside with calming neutral colors in the living room upholstery and rug. Sunbrella Posh Parchment, a tonal white on white herringbone weave covers the sofas, while the Sunbrella Renaissance area rug in Papyrus mimics the beach in color and texture.

Tell a colorful story
Most people collect objects throughout their lives that tell a story of their experiences and personality. Whether it’s a carved figurine from Costa Rica or a basket from the South Carolina Low Country, don’t be afraid to include these items in your design. They tell a story and can add an element of color to accessorize the space.

Another good way to find accessories is to shop in antique stores in your area. In the beach house, Kate’s uses antique store finds such as books bound in rust-color leather, brass fixtures and small paintings to tell a colorful nautical story on the bookshelves. And these colors echo the blues and oranges that Kate used on decorative pillows in the living room décor and on a sectional outside on the porch.

Form and furniture
Select similar furniture shapes to create harmony between rooms. If your living room is very modern, but your kitchen is very traditional, they will feel disconnected. Select furniture styles that speak a common language, like Kate did in the beach house where she curated furniture that has simple, clean lines.

Sunbrella fabrics make it easy to create flow throughout an open floor plan because they are made from a common color palette of yarns. Kate’s dining room design includes subtle navy piping on the dining chairs that speaks to the blues used in the living room and on the porch. She chose decorative pillows in a variety of patterns in orange that also extend into the backyard.

Nothing makes a room come to life more than plants, which also provide a layer of color and texture. Patterns naturally occur in nature and designers often look to nature for inspiration, whether it’s for a fabric pattern, paint color or furniture shape. Plants can help you repeat patterns you’ve selected in your fabrics and accessories, if you pay close attention to leaf shapes and vein patterns.

From stripes and swirls to ikat and geometric shapes, because these patterns emanate from nature, adding plants to your home décor is natural way to give any room a cohesive feeling.

Creating a design that naturally flows from one room to the next will enhance the way you use your home, whether you’re simply relaxing on a summer weekend or entertaining guests during an outdoor dinner party.