The Art of Outdoor Living

Nature is a popular and visually appealing interior decorating theme, and the term “bringing the outside in” is often used within magazine articles when describing using natural features like plants and rocks inside—but what about “bringing the inside out”?

Any good estate agent will now tell you that today your garden is not only viewed as an extension of your property by potential buyers but as another room in your house. Gone are the days of plastic folding chairs and tables, today’s modern gardens feature sofas and chairs, bars and dedicated outdoor dining tables and areas.

One of the most popular ways to create an outdoor haven is by zoning your space, creating designated areas for dining, entertaining and of course family fun. This is exactly what you would do in your home to create a feeling of comfort so why not replicate it outside?

Here we show you how:

Let it flow

Throw open your patio doors and let the colour schemes of your house diffuse out to your garden furniture, cushions and tablecloths. This will create a unified design, as opposed to a home-versus-garden situation.

Continue the same colour scheme from outdoor furnishings into the flowers in your pots and containers so everything blends effortlessly together.

Just as you would create spaces that flow on from one another within your house, extending this flow to the outdoor areas of your property can increase the sense of space, maximise their use and functionality, and even add extra value to your home.

Create Zones:

Just like in a living room, your furniture needs to be structured this will not only provide places for friends and family members to sit, but will also create a focal point. When planning your furniture layout examine traffic flow around fire pits, planters and fountains. Look closely at wind and sun patterns throughout the day. It doesn’t do any good to put a seating group where you’re going to bake in the sun likewise it also doesn’t make sense to orient furniture toward a poor view. And almost nothing kills the comfort of an outdoor space faster than an uncomfortable wind.

The secret to achieving a great space lies in creating a number and a variety of ways to sit that suit different moods and activities. Groups of chairs that look at one another will promote great conversation, a large table beautifully dressed for dining will become the focal point for dining and a single chair or chaise located in a quiet spot will become a cosy haven where you can relax with a good book or glass of wine.

Light It Up:

For evening entertaining that will really impress, invest in beautifully designed lighting to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your space.

Use a combination of up-lights as well as lights installed on outdoor structures to illuminate your seating areas effectively.

Garden lighting, festoon lighting and fairy lights can also add some wow factor to your outdoor area.

Don’t be afraid to use soft furnishing:

You’ll find you want to spend more time in your backyard if it is beautifully furnished. Make sure you choose furnishings that suit the space. If you anticipate using your outdoor area for long family meals than a robust dining setting / free standing counter with stools would be ideal, whereas lounge suites or hammocks are perfect for those who want to just relax and let the world go by.

Make sure you include decorative elements to dress the space and add personality. Carpets, throw pillows for furniture, and other design touches will create a welcoming feel.

Create an ambiance:

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have enough space for a swimming pool so set the soundtrack to your outdoor room with the tranquil tune of a water feature. A trickling urn is an easy way to create a calm atmosphere in any garden retreat

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