With summer just around the corner, it’s time to get your outdoor space prepped for entertaining, relaxing and family fun. However, with so many options on the market, from stylish decking and trendy outdoor furniture to lighting, plants and cushions it can be difficult to know what to focus on to get the best results for your budget. Australia’s leading woodcare brand, Cabot’s, has partnered with local design movers and shakers to provide nine top tips on how to transform your outdoor space.
Award-winning landscape designer, Daniel Tyrrell’s top tips:
1. Create a destination. Aim to create a space that invites people outdoors. You can use seating with outdoor cushions that introduce colour. Or arrange a collection of pots with a mix of your favourite plants, such as herbs, succulents and bulbs, which encourage your interaction. The pots could be linked to other features, for example, by painting a couple to echo an existing colour in the garden.
2. Lighten up. Garden lighting can make a huge difference to the way a garden feels after the sun goes down and will directly affect how you use your outdoor space. Bright light is good for everyday functions like getting that forgotten washing from the line, but it often destroys the mood and creates washed out foregrounds and dark gardens. But not enough lighting is just as bad. Choose good quality well-planned garden lighting to extend the life of your garden and provide another room for entertaining.
3. Know when to be brave. Show restraint in all things colour, features and furniture. What this means is be brave with your colour palette but commit to a few over many. Features are only that if they are rare, so again be bold and commit to one or two.
Sydney-based interior designer, Karenza Jewell’s top tips:
1. Zone your space. Have areas for larger entertaining, quieter winter sun spots for reading, and shady areas for hot summer days. Use different materials to zone these areas. Decking is also the perfect way to zone spaces, especially with the introduction of stain colour and even floor direction and elevation.
2. Play with textures and colours. Outdoor spaces are meant for texture, from real stone to rendered paint effects. And you can focus on any area with the simple use of colour or texture. Outdoor fabrics are better than ever, with strong colours and patterns as well as natural soft textures. You don’t need to install colourful plants, especially if you have gone for an easy maintenance garden. Just drop in some colourful fabric finishes on your outdoor seating. On a budget? Use bright sun umbrellas, outdoor rugs and lanterns. Look to colour for timber surfaces too, especially your deck, pergolas and screens. No longer does wood decking have to be a typical wood colour! Play with the stone finishes and timber colours now available. You can easily complement or contrast the architectural colours of your home or natural colours in your landscape.
3. Go sculptural with furniture. We are seeing outdoor furniture that is far more exciting than internal – from daybeds that are like islands to sculpted wire chairs to pebble knitted loungers. Clever uses of materials mean unusual materials are seen outdoors, not just in! You can add a superb sculptural piece of furniture and your garden becomes a gallery.
Renovator and blogger, Michelle Johnston’s top tips:
1. Embrace the power of paint. You should never underestimate the power of paint, you can use paint to revamp your home’s exterior brickwork or render, or paint the front door with a statement colour. Renters can get creative by painting old furniture or pots for plants to inject some colour in the garden. The bolder, the brighter, the better!2. Add greenery. Plants in feature pots or a vertical garden will add life to the space. If you’re on a budget, ask friends and family for cuttings and grow your own plants. Succulents are one of the easiest plants to propagate, they thrive in pots and come in many varieties, colours and sizes – just avoid the prickly ones as they can be difficult to work with!
3. Create layer upon layer. Bringing the indoors out is about making your outdoor space feel inviting and comfortable. One easy way to achieve this is to add texture in layers. Soft furnishings, like outdoor rugs and cushions, are a great way to make your space comfortable.