We live in a paradise in Southwest Florida and among our many pleasures of living here is the ability to bring in the outdoors of home.

How many of us have longed for – and many have remodeled specifically for – a home in which the glorious sub-tropical environment of Southwest Florida becomes part of our indoor living space? (Okay, at least “roofed” living space.)

How many of us would like a living room or family room or kitchen which blends so naturally into the lanai or backyard or pool deck or, maybe, if we’re lucky the magnificent view of the Gulf of Mexico or one of our wonderful bays or inlets (or woods or wetlands).

And except for those very few days of the year – the heat and no wind of August, say, or the cold of last weekend – we really can live both inside and outside all year long.

At the Henning Group we’ve completed quite a few remodeling projects the goal of which was to bring in the outdoors. It’s a very pleasant way to live in these latitudes.

Kate Burt of the Houzz editorial staff in the U.K., wrote recently about nine different ways to bring in the outdoors beyond the obvious sliding or folding glass doors. We’d like to share her ideas with you. (And, by the way, we’re on Houzz, too. Come find us!)

Bring in the outdoorsHer ideas:

1. Supersize the windows. Maximizing light is often a big factor in the decision to open up the back of the house with wall-to-wall doors.

2. Go deep. Rather than extending the glass doors across the entire back wall of (a) contemporary addition…use just three panels. (One wall could) feature a large window with a deep sill for a pleasant perch (especially for the resident feline).

3. Be repetitive. With…three sets of…pretty double doors open, you’d definitely be letting the outdoors in. (You could) also feature a skylight running left to right across the back of the room, bringing even more light into the space.

4. Employ paint. One decorative benefit of choosing a more traditional exit into your garden is that wood will be an option —meaning you can paint it!

5. Focus on the view. Who says thin-framed bifolds are the only way to highlight the view of your garden from indoors Choosing white for walls and doors makes them almost disappear — but not quite, which also adds character to the space.

6. Consider metal frames. For a hit of character, think about steel door and window frames.

7. Free up wall space. Restricting floor-to-ceiling doors to just one section of the back of your home also offers another opportunity: to use part of the wall for cabinetry. If you enjoy washing the dishes while gazing out the window, the benefits of this layout are obvious. It’s also a valuable consideration if you’re short on space — a whole wall of potential kitchen, for most of us, is a lot to give up.

8. Build in a dining nook. Traditional-style doors to your outdoor space can help you build (such) a feature.

9. Streamline your separation. French doors (on a) double living room (could) have a partner pair of doors…in the kitchen-dining room (or some other space).

Read Burt’s entire piece on Houzz: