Where we often go wrong is focusing all our attention on furnishing the inside of our homes, forgetting to utilise the often-neglected outdoor areas. However, outdoor zones such as balconies, courtyards, gardens or decks can be used as an extension of the inside living spaces, and with our weather, it would be crazy not to make use of these pockets of potential! Now we’re no garden wiz, but we do know a thing or two about styling up a place to make it work for you! We’ve broken down the key things to focus on to maximise the value that your space can achieve.
First things first, you need furniture. Of course, this depends on whether you have a balcony apartment or a full backyard to work with, but there are always options. Now before you make any purchases, keep in mind how the furniture will take weathering – if unsure, do your research prior or ask the salesperson at the store. They should be able to tell you the ins and outs of the pieces you’re considering.
If you’re an entertainer and love having people over, like we do, stackable outdoor furniture is a must! It helps if your space is multifunctional, so when they’re not needed, they can be stored away – we’re talking pod sets, stackable chairs and even fold-up dining tables.
It’s a known fact that everyone loves a little downtime, crashing on the lounge after a long day at work, so why not have the option to do that outside as well? Outdoor lounges encourage relaxing and may be more useful than a dining setting overall, depending on your lifestyle and how you intend on using your space. If you have a pool a sun lounger or daybed is a must to make your backyard feel like you’re in a Bali villa, and if you have a small balcony, a simple café setting with a small table will create another functional space in your home. If you’re tight for space, consider a thin bar-height table so you can tuck stools underneath when they’re not in use.
Now that you’ve got your furniture, the key to a great alfresco space is finding the balance between functionality and style. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by finding a visual element to connect the outdoors and indoors. This could be anything from a building material, an accent colour to the style of your furniture. If you have blue accent colours inside, then take that colour to the outdoor cushions. To help create a sense of cohesion and consistency, you can also bring the outdoors in to help tie the two zones. Beautiful indoor plants such as Fiddle Leaf or Ficus are dramatic and will set the tone for greenery or landscaping outside.
Totally not essential, but if you’re looking to invest a little more in your space, an outdoor kitchen is a fantastic addition! When you think of your family coming together during the summertime, an outdoor kitchen will mean you can make the most of the good weather. It adds more function to the zone and makes entertaining easy-breezy. If you don’t want to spend your life savings on a custom outdoor kitchen, you can find decent freestanding units or even just include a nice-looking BBQ stand alone.If budget allows, try to tie in the design to flow from your indoor kitchen, whether it’s keeping the same cabinetry, using the same benchtop material or even incorporating the same pendant lighting can create a connection, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Another great trick to link the two areas is with the addition of a servery window or big bi-fold doors so there are circulation and flow.
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12 Mar, 2019
Home kitchen bathroom commercial design