November 3, 2020
Image credit: Landart Landscapes
With summer being around the corner, we will be spending more and more time outdoors. You’ve perfected the design of your interiors but you’re wondering what to do with your outdoor space?
What are some of the things to consider when trying to create an alfresco area that looks stunning but also has great functionality? Here are our top 11 tips on how to design the outdoor area that ticks all the boxes.
1. Pick a Theme
When choosing the design pieces for your outdoor space, it’s useful to know what kind of theme you’re aiming to create. Whether that’s a clean modern look, a sandy beachy vibe, or a historic traditional style, picking a theme helps to create a flowing space and adds a lot of character.
2. Choose a Colour Palette
Closely connected to picking a theme, choosing the underlying colours will help to create an aesthetic that will give your area a more sophisticated look.
Whether you want to stick to warm and sandy notes with a beachy theme or want to have more dominant colours striking a balance and providing a modern look, keep your colour palette in mind when choosing the main design pieces, materials as well as decorative items.
The design specialists on Decoist explain that the natural colours of the outdoors have a powerful effect on your patio or garden. “While the deep, crisp greens create a visually soothing and cooling effect, using the combination of light and dark shades in symmetry can have a dramatic effect.”
3. Connect the Outdoor with the Indoor Space
Keeping the design of your interior in mind when creating the outdoor space is a good way of connecting the two. An outdoor space that’s an essential part of your home can be connected to the interior by a similar theme, and materials used. The connection makes the alfresco space more of an extension of the indoors rather than a different project altogether.
4. Play with Natural Materials
Using natural materials is a great way of connecting the outdoor and indoor space. Utilizing the materials such as natural stone, wood, timber, exposed bricks or greenery helps to create a more organic feel and makes you feel like you’re in nature.
Experts from Outdoor Furniture say that teak is an excellent choice for outdoor projects when you want the beauty of the wood to speak loudly. “Teak is one of the best timber for construction. It is incredibly strong, durable, weatherproof and has outstanding resistance to decay and rot.”
5. Get Creative with the Lighting
The outdoor area opens a lot of exciting options in terms of lighting which can transform the space. Utilizing items such as lanterns, candles, tiki torches, solar lights, or even fairy lights, fire or LED floor lighting can illuminate areas that you want to showcase or put in focus.
6. Choose a Focal Point of the Space
Trying to fill in and decorate a lot of empty space outside can be a little overwhelming. One of the solid starting points is choosing a focal point of the space. Whether this is the entertaining area, an extravagant pool or spacious seating space, the focal point will help to determine the elements around it too.
If you have enough available space, you can choose multiple focal points for different parts of your outdoor area, which sections it out for different purposes. You want to have an entertaining barbeque area just outside of your living room but also a quiet chill out space in the back? Why not?
7. Make It Suitable for All Seasons
While summer is the time when we tend to utilise the outdoors the most, it is a shame to forget about it as soon as the colder months come around.
In order to prevent that from happening, you can think about different ways of making your space usable in every kind of weather. Some of the key components to keep in mind could be to have a shaded area for hot summer days, a covered area for when it gets rainy and a sheltered space featuring strip heaters for when it gets colder.
8. Make It Functional
When selecting the materials, it’s important to make sure they’re functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. When choosing from natural stone, whether you prefer limestone or travertine, it is crucial to select a finish that will ensure the surface will not be slippery when wet, such as our alfresco range.
Image credit: Landart Landscapes
9. Choose the Appropriate Seating
A lot of people choose the seating area as the main focal point of their space. Depending on whether you want to use it for having your morning coffee, valuable family time or parties and guest entertainment will determine the kind of seating that’s suitable for you.
10. Think About the Pool
When mentioning designing the outdoor area, many people think it’s all about the pool. We’ve said enough to demonstrate that there’s way more to it than just a pool, but having one is still a great addition to your alfresco area, especially in summer months.
Keeping in mind the theme and colour palette you’ve chosen for your space can be crucial when choosing the type of material you use for your pool coping.
And when it comes to pools themselves, there is a wide variety of styles to choose from, depending on how much of a dominant feature you want the pool to be. Don’t feel like a pool is your thing? Having an outdoor shower instead of a pool is a feature that is becoming more and more popular.
The landscape designers from Secret Gardens say that while an outdoor shower is a simple addition to the garden design, it can be both practical and an unexpected joy: “Some properties cry out for an outdoor shower, usually driven by proximity to a body of water. Seaside homes need a place to rinse off the sand after a beach trip but you don’t need to be one of the lucky few with a waterfront home to find an outdoor shower both refreshing and enjoyable.”
11. Keep It Minimalistic
When starting such an exciting project as designing your outdoor area, it can be easy to get carried away. But it’s crucial to remember that sometimes less is more and not trying to make everything you like part of your alfresco area, especially if you only have limited space available. The minimalistic design makes your feature pieces and colours stand out more.
Do you need some help with designing your outdoor space? Explore our alfresco range or call us on 02 9666 9222 to chat with one of our stone specialists.
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