Whether you have a large garden or cosy balcony, creating an outdoor space is a wonderful way to extend your home’s liveable space, to spend time with friends and family.
There are plenty of things you can do to turn the area you have into a space you want to use, but it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.
Follow this simple list to transform your outdoor space into the perfect place for entertaining and relaxing.
Depending on the layout of your property, this may already be decided. But if you have a larger garden, you have more of a say of where you would like to create your outdoor living space. Choose a level area if possible, with some privacy, though you can create this yourself if need be.
So that you can make use of your space year-round, you’ll want to make sure you have shade to protect you from the summer sun. Outdoor umbrellas, a large shady tree or a pergola are good options if you don’t have a covered patio area.
For winter warmth, consider options such as a mushroom heater, fire pit or even a fire table which incorporates a mini fireplace as its centrepiece.
For your outdoor living space to be truly comfortable, you’ll need seating options! Choose your furniture to suit the size of your space. This could be chairs, benches, stools, outdoor sofas or even a daybed, or a combination; mixing and matching pieces is on trend.Placing your furniture around an outdoor coffee table or fire pit helps to define a conversation area.
Choose a durable material that will ensure your furniture remains in good condition. From metals such as stainless steel, wrought iron or aluminium; to timber (teak, pine, eucalyptus and cedar), plastic or synthetic resin (wicker); fabrics like cotton canvas; to acrylic material.
Al fresco dining is one of Australia’s lifestyle advantages, and is likely to be one of the main functions of your outdoor space. A barbecue is the most common outdoor cooking facility, but you may also want a wood-fire pizza ovens or fire pit, and fully-equipped outdoor kitchens are also popular in luxury homes.
Most importantly, add somewhere to sit and eat your culinary creations! One long table to accommodate guests is ideal, and again, don’t forget shelter such as an umbrella or retractable shade cloth.
While your guests relax as the sun goes down, it’s essential that you have good lighting to continue entertaining into the evening. With the right lighting, you can create the perfect atmosphere in your outdoor space.
Electric lights (such as down lights) can be installed into the patio ceiling or onto walls, as well as LED lighting into decks and along paths. However, lighting options extend far beyond this with options such as strings of fairy lights, candles, tiki torches and as mentioned above, fire places.
Depending on whether you want to create a peaceful oasis, or a buzzing entertainment area will help you choose a colour palette. For calm ambience, soft and muted colours are preferred, whereas for a party vibe, you may want to go with a bolder palette with bright pops of colour.
You may want a theme for your outdoor decor, to establish mood. You’ll want to ensure that if you do have a theme for your outdoor space, that it complements the design of the rest of your home.
As with interior rooms and spaces, it’s important to have a focal point to begin the design of your area. This may be a water feature such as a pond or fountain, a large piece of wall art or striking piece of furniture, or even a large potted plant. From there, you can build the rest of your area’s design features around this central gathering spot.
It is an outdoor space after all! You can add nature in creative ways. Beyond garden beds and potted plants, you can grow a vine along a trellis, brighten a wall with small potted plants on wall brackets, or if you’re feeling daring, a vertical garden, which can be a focal point in itself.
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