Stop dreaming and start creating! Read on for tips and tricks that will help you build an outdoor living area that will meet all of your needs.
An outdoor living area is essential for any Australian home. Not only will it add instant value to your property, but it also happens to provide the perfect setting for lazy morning brunches, weekend BBQs and nights of entertaining with family and friends.
Creating that ideal outdoor space is easier than you might think. Here’s how to get started.
Make a plan
As with renovating any space, establishing a plan of action is essential in creating the perfect outdoor area. There are a few essentials that you must account for in your design. You should make sure that your outdoor area is:
- easily accessible from the indoors
- shaded and offers shelter
Next up, consider how you and your family want to use the space, and incorporate elements that will help you make the most of it. For example, if you’re thinking along the lines of weekend entertaining and BBQs, you may want to create a seamless transition from your living areas, with a built-in BBQ or outdoor kitchen.
It’s all about creating a space that meets your needs while providing a relaxing environment for the entire family.
Choose a palette
If you were thinking paint and fabric swatches were just for interiors, you thought wrong! Choosing a colour palette for your outdoor area is an essential part of creating a cohesive, well-thought-out space. This also solidifies your overall plan, helping to ensure you stay on budget and on time.
From the decking materials through to the shades, consider each colour and how they all work together. When making your decisions, think about the type of environment you want to create. If your outdoor living area’s primary purpose is to relax, you’ll want to choose softer tones that promote calm and rest. If you’re looking to create an entertainment space, bolder colour choices will work best.
Add some shade
One of the main purposes of the outdoor living area is to provide respite from the summer sun. Make sure you incorporate shelter or shades that meet this requirement.
Luckily, there are many options to choose from, which makes it easy to customise the space to your budget. If you’re looking to save a few bucks, shade cloths or umbrellas are a great option. You can even get retractable options to create some flexibility and versatility.
If your pockets are a bit deeper, you might want to consider an extension off your home to provide full shelter complete with ceiling fans for those extra warm weekends.
Don’t forget the warmth
It’s also worth considering how you can utilise the space through the cooler months. Adding some heating elements will help you create a year-round space that you can use no matter what the weather is like.
Again, there are plenty of options to choose from here. Think along the lines of patio heaters, or go bold with a fireplace, pit or bowl! The latter also helps to create a focal point for your outdoor area that you can base your design around.
Create plenty of seating
When you’re planning out your space, just remember not to skimp on the seating. You’re going to want plenty of comfy options for your family and guests without overcrowding the space.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing your seating. Benches, chairs, sofas — there are plenty of options. Even better, they’re all weatherproof and multi-purpose. Mix and match to create different layouts. You’ll just want to make sure that all of your pieces work together to create a cohesive (and comfortable) end result.
Go for multipurpose
The best outdoor living areas are those that offer flexibility. Your goal should be to create a space that will easily accommodate living, cooking, relaxing, eating and entertaining.
It may seem difficult to strike the perfect balance in your design, but with a few savvy choices, you can easily create a versatile space. Start off by choosing dual-purpose furniture pieces. For example, get benches that provide extra storage or settings that you can lounge in and eat at.
Liven and lighten things up
Finally, add some finishing touches that will literally liven and lighten up the area. Bring in some plants for a fresh feel that will breathe life into your outdoor space. Even better, consider low maintenance, native options that will be easy to take care of.
Next, consider your lighting options. From modern recessed lighting to mood-setting fairy lights, your options are endless here. Just make sure you choose one or two that will allow you to utilise your outdoor living area well into the evenings for maximum enjoyment.