Here comes the sun! So, with it comes plenty of opportunities to spend more time outdoors – and you don’t always need to hit the park or beach to do that. There’s no better time than now to take a look at your own outdoor space at home, plan a bit of a refresh, and transform it into an inviting oasis for the warmer days ahead.
So, whether you’ve got a sprawling backyard on your hands, a cosy balcony, or a charming terrace, we’ve got 8 must-knows to help you take your outdoor space from blah to blissful.
What’s your vision?
To make the most of your outdoor space, the best first step is to assess your needs and get clear on your vision. Think about functionality and what you want out of your outdoor living (within the realm of feasibility, of course!) Is it a space destined for backyard soirees? Does it need to be a tranquil oasis to retreat to at the end of the day? Is its primary purpose a safe, secure spot to entertain kids or pets? Be clear on a key vision for your outdoor space and stick with it. This will provide you with a strong sense of direction and help create a cohesive and comfortable space that achieves everything you want from your outdoor space.
Show off your best assets
Focal points are a crucial principle across every type of design – from interior to fashion to landscape design. Outdoor styling that works well incorporates this principle, and it’s as simple as establishing the best assets or strong points of your outdoor space and anchoring things like seating around these. For example, it could be the stellar view from your living room or a beautifully planted garden to look out on in your backyard, and if there isn’t currently a focal point – you can create one. For entertainers, this could be an outdoor fireplace; if your focus is on tranquillity, it could be a water feature or sculpture.
Beware of Mother Nature
Outdoor spaces are no stranger to the elements, so it’s essential to invest in furniture, fixtures and fittings that are up to the task. While sumptuous sofas and ottomans bring a cosy indoor/outdoor vibe to your space, plan for the long term and choose furniture with removable cushions and weather-resistant framing. And if you plan on using your space year-round, consider options for incorporating shade, heating and protection from rain and wind. For shading, this can range from less permanent outdoor umbrellas or shade sails and awnings to custom-built structures that take outdoor living to the next level – complete with louvre rooves and wired-in heating.
Know your vibe
Whether you call it a vibe, an aesthetic, style, or theme, picking an overall stylistic direction for your outdoor space is vital. This will help establish the overall mood of your space and provides a roadmap for everything from colour palettes to furniture choices and planting styles. One of this season’s biggest trends is maximalism; in an outdoor space, this looks like bright, heavily patterned rugs, mismatched bold cushions, brass and textured tables, and lush, colourfully planted gardens. If maximalism isn’t for you, neutrals are always a popular outdoor choice to embrace the lightness and brightness of warmer days and outdoor living.
Outdoor furniture is generally the predominant feature of an outdoor area, so while considering the function and theme counts, it also pays to be clued up about material choices. Synthetic resin wicker is often the most highly regarded choice ticking the lightweight, modern, highly durable and low maintenance boxes, whereas teak tops the charts for wooden furniture. If a sleek metal look is your preferred aesthetic, go for hardy aluminium or steel, and for something more ornate, choose weather-enduring wrought iron.
Grow and sow
Outdoors and greenery are already synonymous, but take this relationship up a notch with some carefully considered planting that builds on the aesthetic you’re trying to achieve. This can be as simple as some cute colourful planters laden with seasonal florals through to lush tropical plantings to bring a Balinese resort vibe to your outdoor space. Check back in with your overall vision and vibe, and don’t forget to consider how Mother Nature could impact your planting choices too!
For the love of light
A major styling aspect to consider in all outdoor spaces is lighting! And that includes maximising natural light through your focal point and furniture placements as well as the artificial lighting you choose to add. Once again, stick with your function and theme to inform your artificial lighting choices, as this will dictate the style of lighting you choose. The right lighting will also extend the usage of your outdoor space, making it inviting day and night and all summer and winter!
Dabble in DIY
Of course, one of our top tips for any styling or design is to be resourceful, be sustainable and, if you can, do it for yourself! An outdoor space is the perfect canvas to practice your DIY prowess; there’s less pressure for perfection, and given that they can lean into a bohemian style, straight lines and flawless finishes aren’t required. If DIY’s not in your DNA, an eclectic collection of preloved or upcycled furnishings could be just the ticket.
Your outdoor oasis awaits!
There’s nothing quite like a refreshed space ready for the warmer days or, even better, creating one that can be enjoyed all year round. But like art, styling is entirely subjective, so it’s important to stay close to your vision and allow this to inform your choices along the way to creating your dream outdoor oasis.
If restyling your outdoor area isn’t a big enough change, contact your local First National Real Estate office today, and we will help you to find an outdoor space to fall in love with.