Outdoor Living

by Creative Style Interiors

Today in Australia as well as many other parts of the modern world, we realise how important time spent outdoors is. Lots of us are working long hours inside under artificial light, so creating ideal outdoor spaces for our homes is essential for rest and relaxation – as well as getting some vitamin D!

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It used to be that a lot of lawn, some plants and a garden seat were enough. It then progressed to creating an outdoor dining space that had very little connection to indoors.

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Now we love the flow between inside and out that we create with bifold and al fresco stacking doors. This is enhanced by using the same flooring materials inside and out. Of course, those used externally have a different finish or treatment to increase longevity in the elements and decrease slippage. For example, spotted gum solid timber can be used as decking boards outside and as floorboards inside, while many floor tiles come with both an interior and exterior option.

Any space large enough can have multiple functions – think outdoor kitchen together with outdoor dining and living. Add to this the design and decorating elements we use inside  and you’ll create a fantastic outdoor room! Some of these are:


Furniture

Having moved on from the tubular PVC chair frames and plastic banana lounges of the past, outdoor furniture has become as stylish and varied as the furniture available for indoors.

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Choose a fabulous dining setting to suit your home’s décor. Both heavy and streamlined timber tables are very popular, especially in Teak or Jarrah, and are available in most any size, shape or finish you could imagine. Chairs can either match the table, or make a statement with aluminium, polypropylene or timber chairs in a fabulous colour or finish.

Alfresco Stacker Doors

If you have the space in your outdoor area, it’s great to include a living area with sofa-style furniture. You can mostly find suitable sofas in timber, weatherproof synthetic wicker or lightweight aluminium with seats upholstered in exterior grade fabric, or in mesh. Don’t forget to include a coffee table in your outdoor sofa setting.

Tip: Like a regular living room setting, the coffee table should coordinate with the rest of the furniture.

Fireplace/fire pit

Why should your outdoor room only be used in summer? To make your alfresco area winter friendly, choose a heating option such as a fireplace, fire pit or electric or gas heater. The warmth and ambience an open flame creates will have you and your guests feeling snug even on the coldest evening.

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Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor cooking isn’t just about the barbecue anymore! We all know about the ‘great Aussie BBQ’ where the men are outside grilling while the women are inside preparing salads and sides. Many people opt for an outdoor kitchen because it keeps the action to one area. A good outdoor kitchen will include a quality barbecue, a sink, plenty of bench space as well as storage, and a suitable fridge.

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Tip: If your alfresco area is regularly used for entertaining guests, you may like to include a bar in your outdoor kitchen. You’ll need appropriate storage for alcohol and chilled drinks, and a few of your favourite bar tending tools such as a cocktail shaker.

Accessories & Soft Furnishings

Just as you would include decorative accessories in your interior spaces to add personality and style, you can also add many of these same elements to an outdoor room. Who doesn’t love scatter cushions, a rug, outdoor art and of course an umbrella?

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TIP: Not all fabrics are created equal! Don’t buy a regular rug for outdoor use; make sure any fabrics you have outdoors are suitable for exposure to the elements. If not, you’ll be throwing them away rather quickly when they become mouldy, faded and smelly.

Lighting

With long evenings spent in your outdoor area, you’ll need adequate lighting to set the mood and ensure you’re eating food and not an errant bug that wandered onto your plate. Gone are the days of attaching a single flood lamp to the corner of your house that blinded everyone in its path. Outdoor lighting comes in various forms including fairy lights, candles, lanterns, downlights and pendant lights, depending on your needs.

TIP: Smaller lights such as candles and fairy lights are great for creating ambience.

 

If you decide you need some professional help and advice in choosing the perfect decor for your outdoor room,  feel free to call Jenny on 0416 190 792 or email jenny@creativestyle.com.au.

 

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