How to Create the Perfect Outdoor Space

The great outdoors is ingrained in the Australian lifestyle. Whether it be a friendly cricket game, leisurely Sunday BBQ or dinner party, some of the finest gatherings of family and friends take place in the great Australian backyard or verandah. Whether you own a humble balcony or backyard filled with luscious greenery, the fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces has never been more prevalent.

In the Summer season, when the days are longer, the sound of a sizzling BBQ is the soundtrack and the warm air is filled with the scent of sunscreen and mosquito repellent, the outdoors are simply begging to be enjoyed. Basking in the great outdoors has taken on a whole new meaning and redefined how homeowners approach the design and decoration of their homes, with outdoor spaces now being reconfigured as an extension of the interior. The key challenge is to design outdoor spaces that are functional, durable, comfortable and align seamlessly with your surrounding environment.

Irrespective of the frequency in which you utilise your outdoor space, a well designed outdoor space that complements and supplements the interior design scheme of your home will not only add value to your home, but also enhance your everyday living. Gone are the days when plastic furniture and wooden deck chairs sufficed as an outdoor setting. Homeowners now seek to enjoy the outdoors with the same level of comfort and style as they would the interior of their home.

In order to harmoniously unify interior and exterior spaces and create a suitable environment for both entertaining and relaxing, there are few important considerations that must be made. To improve the functionality of your outdoor space, consider choosing a suitable overhead cover, such as roofing, sails or awnings in either fixed or retractable styles, to ensure that the space can be enjoyed all year round; rain, hail or shine.

For those of you with a beautiful balcony or verandah, the use of either french, bi-fold, sliding or stacking doors will help to merge the living areas and expand the space available. The inclusion of such wide openings is both functional, particularly when it comes to entertaining, but also visually appealing, allowing natural light and uninterrupted views of the great outdoors to flood the home.

When it comes to outdoor furnishings, don't just limit yourself to a table and chairs. From day beds and sofas, to lounge chairs and bean bags, there is no limit to what you can do with your outdoor space. Whilst functionality and visual appeal are deemed paramount, the durability and practicality of outdoor furniture are also important considerations. Choose lightweight pieces made with high quality, weatherproof fabrics that are low maintenance and can withstand environmental damage. If space is limited in your outdoor area, then select pieces that are multipurpose such as benches that contain internal storage space.

Similar to that of the interior of your home, strategically arrange your furniture to subdivide your outdoor space and create zones that are designated for dining and relaxation respectively. Decorative pieces such as sculptures, vases, cushions, water features and fireplaces are the crucial elements that will inject a sense of style and personality, and ultimately enhance the visual appeal of your space. Establishing traffic patterns is also important. Creating clearly defined paths, through the use of paved walkways or shrubbery, will ensure that traffic flows effortlessly throughout your outdoor space.

If a complete overhaul is not attainable, then perhaps try some simple and affordable, yet effective updates. Replacing decorative pillows, table cloths, vases and small sculptures are just a few small changes that are relatively inexpensive, but can still transform the look and feel of your outdoor space.