Check out these tips to create a stylish outdoor area you will want to use all year round.
This post has been written in collaboration with Australian Outdoor Living
One of my favourite times of the year is towards the end of August when (in QLD) we experience bright sunny days with mild cool temperatures. If you came up to the Gold Coast for the Problogger Conference on the weekend you would have LOVED the weather. It’s the perfect weather to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine.
When Jacob and I were looking for a new house to purchase, we were hoping to buy a place with an alfresco area: an outdoor area where we could entertain our friends and future family. Over the years we have added an array of furniture to create a stylish and livable outdoor area. The girls love driving their cars outside and I enjoy relaxing on the lounge, watching the girls play. Having an outdoor area adds extra space for our family to live in. Eventually we would like to get some blinds to close in the area and I’d love a shed to house all the outdoor toys.
To make our outdoor area work for our family, there are some key items that can make it a room that can be used all year round. Here are my tips on how to create a stylish, livable outdoor area.
1. Make sure your outdoor area has a roof
Some outdoor areas have sails and some have open trusses. To ensure you can make the most of your outdoor space, ensure you have a roof that can keep the area waterproof. In our first home, the outdoor area had trusses and a mesh covering which was hopeless to use when it rained. Jacob and my dad installed some corrugated roof sheeting to keep our area waterproof. You will need to check with your local council and get approval to add an extra roof if you wish to extend your outdoor area.
2. Ensure adequate storm water drainage from said roof
When you extend the roof, make sure you get adequate storm water drainage installed. A gutter will need to be installed on the edge of the roof and a downpipe or two to drain away the water. A flooded outdoor area is no fun to entertain in.
3. Get outdoor blinds
Have outdoor blinds installed so the outdoor area can become a new room. Outdoor blinds can block out noise and sun and they can add privacy when entertaining friends and family. Blinds can also block out the wet or cooler temperatures to make it an ideal area to spend outdoors. View Australian Outdoor Living’s range of outdoor blinds if you’re looking to add privacy to your outdoor area.
4. Let there be light
Ensure there is light – both electric and natural. We have downlights in our outdoor area so everyone can see each other when outside at night. Skylights are an economic way to allow light in during the day.
5. Consider temperature control
Install a ceiling fan that can circulate during the warmer months, and an outdoor heater for the cooler months.
6. Style with furniture to sit on and relax
This is pretty obvious! If you are going to spend a good amount of time in your outdoor area, make sure you have furniture that is comfortable for you and your guests. A table and chairs setting is ideal for meals and a chaise lounge and coffee table can be great for relaxing with drinks and a cheese platter. Make sure your furniture is specifically for outdoor use.
7. Decorate the area with plants that can live in the shade
Candelabras that hold citronella candles will keep the mozzies away. When choosing your cushions, make sure they are ideal for outdoor use and UV sun resistant. This ensures they won’t fade if left in the sun and they won’t go mouldy if they get damp.
8. Don’t forget the floors
Decorate the floors with outdoor rugs. This can protect the outdoor flooring and add colour to the area.
9. Allow adequate storage
In an ideal world, storage like an outdoor shed or furniture that acts like a chest, is great for keeping bikes and sports equipment protected from the weather. We currently leave all the outdoor toys in a segregated area under the roof of our outdoor area. I look forward to the day we can have an area to store it all so it’s not an eyesore during the day.
10. Install a BBQ and/or outdoor kitchen
You can’t entertain outside if you don’t have a bbq. These days, it’s common to have an outdoor kitchen and bar area so that all food and drinks are within arm’s reach.
Do you have a stylish outdoor area? Do you like to entertain outdoors during the warmer months? What is essential in your livable outdoor area?
This post has been written in accordance to my Disclosure Policy.