Outdoor Overhaul: Five Ways to Rejuvenate Your Outdoor Area
Australian backyards aren’t what they used to be. They’re perhaps better.
A well-designed outdoor space can add an entirely new “room” to the home, but it’s not just larger backyards having all the decorating fun.
Last year, website Homes to Love spoke to John Yannakis of LJ Hooker in Sydney's Glebe who said, “That a unit with a good-sized balcony or courtyard commands a significant premium. They're a big selling point. There's a development in Glebe where there is a difference of $100,000^ between the price of a unit with a smallish balcony and one with a courtyard."
So with size being no barrier, let’s explore five ways to renew your outdoor area.
1. Blurred Lines
The key to achieving aesthetic continuity between an indoor and outdoor space is to “blur the lines” between the areas. This can be achieved through colour and décor accents but for a stronger statement, consider updating larger areas such as walls.
A cladding product such as Scyon’s Stria™ can be easily applied to garden walls or be used as fencing to create a segue between indoor and outdoor.
It’s best to select a style that echoes your interior, and the cladding can be painted in hues of your larger interior spaces of flooring or walls to visually connect the two areas.
Stria can also be applied in a vertical, horizontal or even angled position so play with the lines already existing in your home.
2. Alfresco Furniture
Traditionally, backyard furniture consisted of an outdoor table and does a clothesline and barbeque count? Well today, outdoor furniture garners as much attention as its interior counterpart.
In larger areas, an outdoor sofa can take your living room outside and offer a space for entertaining guests. Or you might like to spend a summer afternoon on an outdoor day-bed or even a swing seat.
A wooden table will never date but don’t be afraid to explore new concrete and stone tables that are truly wind resistant and can offer lower maintenance when it comes to waterproofing and outdoor wear compared to wood.
In a courtyard or on a balcony, an Acapulco chair with a side table can make for a colorful corner or consider a decorative metal bench seat for two.
Outdoor spaces just don’t feel right without a touch of green.
Trees planted along fences or in large pots can offer both shade and privacy in your outdoor area or for something smaller look to shrubs, floor planters or a raised flower bed.
Vertical gardens have also exploded in recent years and are great for balcony railings or a courtyard fence. There is a host of self-install, self-watering planting kits on the market or you can create your own design with fabric pockets or recycled plastic planters.
And if you still needed a reason as for why you should bring green into your outdoor area. One word: biophilia. It is a theory that explores the connection between human beings and nature. It concludes that being around nature makes us happier, healthier and more productive.
So get to planting.
4. Flooring Finish
Here we lean again on our blurred lines point to see your flooring almost uninterrupted as you move from indoor to outdoor.
Now if you have floorboards or tiles, you can opt for an exterior version of the materials choosing a similar texture and hue to your indoor floors or you can opt for a resort-inspired decking look.
For decking, look to HardieDeck™ which is made from compressed fibre cement boards, but unlike wood is resistant to rotting, splintering, warping and termites. These attributes also make it ideal for installation around a pool and gives it an authentic outdoor look.
A low-maintenance decking option, HardieDeck is perfect for creating the ultimate outdoor entertaining space.
5. Window Wonderful
To finalise the seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, it’s all about the glass areas – windows and doors.
A French door or bi-fold door can create an entirely open feel. Opt for a window/door frame based on other materials in the house, such as aluminum, timber or composite. White frames are popular for both a modern or classic home as they can appear larger and reflect beautifully with sunlight.
This not only gives you a lovely mid-point as you step uninterrupted from the indoors, out, but it also gives the environment a helping hand by efficiently illuminating your home with natural light and cooling with fresh air.
Be sure to keep window furnishings in this area to a minimum to maximise the light filtered indoors.