Small or large, an outdoor space is a sanctuary worth celebrating. Here’s how personalise your slice of paradise. Whether it’s a petite balcony or a sprawling backyard, your outdoor space should be seen as part of your home, with decorations and furniture to match.
Small space. A patio or balcony shouldn’t be overlooked; it can easily be transformed into a cute breakfast nook, an entertaining space or a quiet escape. The basic layout can include a small café-style table and matching chairs plus lots of plants. In a small space, be sure to think vertical, with climbers, hanging pots and balcony boxes for pattern and texture. “Pops of colour work really well – add bright over sized pots or a cute coloured chair for real impact. Feeling frivolous? A tongue-in-cheek doormat will always make you smile,” suggests stylist and author Jason Grant.
Medium sized space. The great Australian backyard is never complete without a barbecue, but add in an outdoor dining table, chairs and a few cushions and suddenly it’s a party! With medium sized areas, the key is to keep the table setting simple – bench seats are an excellent idea, and add embellishments through cushions, outdoor floor rugs and table settings.
Large space. An utter luxury, an expansive backyard still needs careful planning to make the most of the space. The key to clever outdoor know-how is to create nooks and intimacy and to echo the sense of comfort that’s inside the home. Create a ‘comfort zone’ with modular outdoor lounges and coffee tables and separate ‘eating zone’ complete with dining table and chairs. “Keep your outdoor dining table looking fresh with a small collection of potted herbs as a centrepiece,” says Jason Grant, stylist and author. Decoration shouldn’t stop at your backdoor, add a little personality to your outdoors for extra style points.
STYLE TIP: “You want an outdoor space that transitions from morning brunches, midday barbecues and then into evening gatherings. The best way to do this is to have soft cushions, rugs and recliners at the ready and slowly add or take away as the day requires,” Jason Grant, stylist and author.
STEP TWO: Make it pretty
1. Pots and plants. There’s no better way to add instant greenery and interest to the yard than a collection of pots boasting lush greenery. The trick to this is scale. Opt for one or two bigger pots and then echo the style in smaller versions. Add a bit of colour into your pots too and mix up the patterns for an eye-catching and eclectic look.
2. Accessorise. Lanterns, outdoor rugs and torches – accessories belong in the garden just as much as the home. Simply done, these clever extras transform a humble backyard into an entertainment area.
3. Pick a theme. Keep a cohesive look throughout your backyard – it could be poolside chic, sophisticated soiree or whimsical – and work from there with a colour palette, tables and chairs, plus accessories.
4. Teak is an excellent choice for tables and chairs – it’s durable and weathers the harsh Australian sun well. You don’t have to oil the wood, instead let it ‘grey’ naturally with exposure to the elements. Keep oil and dirt at bay with a hose down and a quick wash with gentle detergent and water.
5. Woven outdoor furniture is hardy and comfortable. Keep it looking good with a soft bristle brush and a cloth. After the rain, tip chairs and tables to avoid the accumulation of pooled water.
6. Keep your cushions and rugs in a tightly sealed box and bring them out as you need.