Outdoor Living – Tips, Tricks and Latest Design Trends

Whilst Australia Day signifies the end of the holiday season, there’s still another two months of hot weather to enjoy. Part of our national psyche has us love spending time outdoors at home, whether it’s a small balcony or large backyard. This blog is about how to plan your outdoor space and some design ideas whether you are decorating an existing space or designing it from scratch.

Planning

Good design is subjective but I believe the common principles that define it are
1. Beautiful aesthetics (whatever your taste may be)
2. That the space reflects how you want to live in that space
3. Functionality – a practical use of the space
Planning is key to achieving this and answering your own mini brief will help provide a starting point.

Questions to answer are:

How do you envisage using the space? What activities will occur in the space? How often do you entertain & typically for how many?

This will help define how much space you need, who will be using the space, what type of furniture and outdoor equipment. It will get you thinking and prioritizing your needs. It may also determine the look and functionality of the area. Do you garden? Do you want a lounge, an outdoor kitchen etc…

Extended Swimming Pool with Removed Pool Patio

Timder Outdoor Patio and Modern Swimming Pool

Do you want separate zones?

This is a follow on from the above question. This prompts you to consider, the various activities that will happen and where to place them, you may for example have a largely child-centric backyard to suit your current lifestyle but may want to incorporate a little closed off garden nook with a seat just for you or a non-visible vegetable patch.

Luxurious Outdoor Living Furniture

Luxurious Outdoor Rattan Furniture Design from Roberti

How do you want your outdoor area to connect and interface with the indoors spaces?
How does it connect to the kitchen? If you have a pool will they be walking indoors to go to the bathroom? This will help define what goes into your outdoor space, for example if your kitchen has an open-able wall that feeds the outdoor area you may not need an outdoor kitchen

Open Outdoor Living - Walls That Open

What’s my budget?

The reality pill that will provide you with a parameter & scope for what you can afford to do with the space. Consider creating in excel an itemized list of what you would like in the space from very important to less so and attach approx. or real costs, if undertaking a design for a large outdoor area the correct consultants will be able to provide approximate initial costs before engaging their services.

What’s my style?

Create a pinterest board that reflects your aesthetic. Are you bohemian chic, a modernist, traditionalist or all of the above like me?

Green & Relaxing Outdoor Living Area

Ultra Modern Outdoor Landscaping

Hanging lounger in Sun Room

Contemporary Outdoor Living With Plants and Timber

Outdoor Living trends 2014

1. Indoor outdoor spaces
This trend is in for the long haul as it represents all elements of good design.

Outdoor Living Featuring Timber Deck & Bamboo

2. Firepits
Feeds our primal throw back, great for bonding and conversations.

Outdoor Liviving Area with Fire Pit

3. Deck swings and beds
American in origin but what a wonderful idea for both kids and adults.

Hanging lounger in Sun Room

4. Green walls
Taking the form of edible gardens- fantastic for small spaces.
Pot Plant Green Walls

5. Secret gardens
Small private spaces just for you
Secret Garden Reading Nook

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