Hi Donna and all,
I really enjoyed reading your latest article, lots of really nice ideas not only to connect to the garden but also to your first step container 'garden room' being your patio or verandah or balcony or stoep (whichever you have or where)
Regarding your point number 5 I have a friend who breeds Shih Tzu dogs and because they are miniature and small dogs anyway, she uses a white picket fence idea as a door stop in each of the rooms of sections of her house and bathroom etc.
She has them at the bottom of the doors of selected rooms as a sort of a gate to keep her dogs 'contained' as it were. The dogs are happy as they can see out and are not left out of the house happenings and she can separate whomever she needs to easily (younger puppies from older ones, those for sale and ready to be homed and so on).
Of course the dogs don't get out but, like a ship, us humans just step over the 'gate'
She has decorated one with purple pansies and another with daisies painted on a lime green background and I say it really looks fresh and fun and a really nice and easy feature.
If a person does not breed dogs and is a busy Mom doing housework, maybe it is an idea to keep baby contained in a big crawl-around playpen where he/she can see Mom but Mom can get on with the job as it were in the next room.
Anyway, say cheers