Outdoor Living - The Home Journal

TIPS

Outdoor Living

Melissa Richmond
Monday 24 March 2014
Melissa Richmond tells us how to make the most of that verandah, courtyard or alfresco area with some hints and tips about furniture, plants and accessories.

Whether it’s a verandah, a courtyard or an alfresco area, the majority of homes nowadays all have a designated space for outdoor living, but we don’t always use this space as often as we should. This might be because we just haven’t gotten around to having a proper look at the space to see what it needs, or it could just be because it’s dull and not as comfortable as we’d like. Instead of neglecting this space, set aside some time, spruce-up the outdoor living room and start enjoying the outdoors!

Outdoor spaces should be considered to be an extra room: a place to eat family meals and entertain, to read your favourite magazine or book, or even just to have your morning ‘cuppa’ and look at the paper. There are so many options to maximise your outdoor space and get in touch with nature, that instead of just having the same old table and chairs it’s easy to turn your outdoor living room into a tropical oasis or a stylish space. .

Furniture
No matter how big or small your space is; there is sure to be outdoor furniture that matches your requirements. If you have a cosy outdoor space; a cute hanging love seat and matching coffee table, or a vintage wrought iron table with a couple of matching chairs are compact enough to allow you to still sit outside and enjoy the garden. If you have a larger space; you can source a nice, big outdoor lounge suite (upholstered in waterproof fabric) for casual entertaining, or you could get a long outdoor table with some comfortable and stylish bench seats that can be tucked away under the table when you’re not using them. There are so many options for outdoor furniture nowadays that the only thing you really need to remember is to measure the size of your space before you go shopping

Accessories
If you really want to spruce up your space and make it stylish, you can always accessorise! Most stores that sell outdoor furniture also sell outdoor accessories. You can be sure to make a statement with a few waterproof scatter cushions or some candles on your tables. You could also purchase some colourful place mats and dinner settings for your alfresco dining experience. If you feel like there is too much blank space on the walls outside; then this could be a perfect opportunity to display some outdoor artwork, sculptures or decorative features. For the colder nights; a warm and inviting fire pit or fireplace is the perfect addition to an outdoor space.

Plants
You can never be surrounded by too much greenery! Vertical wall gardens are an interesting and fantastic way to add greenery to your space and will fill in any perceived blank spaces on your walls. Another way to add some greenery into your space is by adding some pot plants. Pot plants are a great opportunity to add bold colours, in small doses, to your space and they can also add some interesting materials to your area such as concrete, stone and plastic. Smaller plants like succulents are also wonderful to display on outdoor dining or coffee tables and they will also give your space a splash of colour. Remember to consider the kinds of weather that the area receives when choosing plants for your space.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the square when you create and personalise an outdoor space. Be sure to use these tips as inspiration to get cracking on creating the relaxed and inviting outdoor living space that you’ve always wanted.

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