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Create Your Outdoor Sanctuary

Inspiration

Posted on 15 Jun 2017

It’s Australia’s outdoor room boom – the conversion of thousands of backyard spaces into outdoor areas that extend our overall living space.

Here are some simple tips to help you join the boom and turn your outdoor area into a seamless extension of your home:

Plan

Make a plan

Think about how you want to live in the space – both day and night. Do you want somewhere to relax with a book on a balmy afternoon? Perhaps include a daybed. A place to entertain friends in the evening? An outdoor kitchen and bar might be the ticket. But don’t fill the area with BBQs and couches if you want a space to play during the day.

Outdoor Patio

Create an enclosure

While a patio or built structure might be nice it may not be in your budget. So think about suggestive enclosures like the canopy of a tree, a sunken area or a wall of screening plants or temporary screens over which plants can grow to create a sense of enclosure in your outdoor space.

Patio

Bring the indoors out

Make the outdoor room feel as comfortable and inviting as your indoor rooms. Replicate all the creature comforts inside outside – heating, cooling, lighting, comfortable furniture and the little things like candles, music, art, plump cushions and throws.

Feature wall

Find a focal point

Define the space with form and structure. Try outdoor rugs, screens of steel or wood or pots to help define the space then identify the main feature – a water feature, accent plants or sculptures – and arrange your seats and lounges at the best vantage point within the garden. Create points of interest in the garden and outdoor area with pieces you love (think water feature, wind chimes, a sculpture).

Pot plants

Consider a theme

Make the transition from indoors to out seamless by continuing the interior décor theme into the outdoor room. Whether your home is traditional, contemporary, bohemian, shabby chic, industrial, rustic, ethnic-inspired, art deco, minimalist or retro carry the theme, colours, fabrics, materials and ‘feel’ into the outdoors with furniture and soft furnishings.

Greenery

Let there be green

Plants are important inclusion in any outdoor room. Complement both your decorating style and your soil and climatic conditions with plants in and around the space. The room will feel disconnected to the home and garden if you overlook this injection of green, with the general rule being at least 30% of the area should be plant material. If space is limited consider edible plants, pots and vertical gardens.

Paint brushes

Colour your world

Bring the area alive with colour. Paint the garden furniture, paint pots and planter tubs, create a feature wall, add colourful accessories or use artwork.

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