GET COMFY OUT­SIDE

James Tre­ble shows us how to cre­ate a cosy out­door liv­ing space.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

1 SET UP IN THE SHADE

For hot sum­mer days, un­der­cover ar­eas are, of course, im­por­tant. If you don’t have an ex­ist­ing per­gola, large um­brel­las can pro­vide valu­able shade as well as add sum­mer colour to your space. Another great op­tion is a re­tractable awning mounted to the fas­cia of your home. Open it for those sum­mer bar­be­cues, and wind it back in if the weather turns or in win­ter when you want the sun to shine in though your win­dows.

To find the right space, con­sider where the sun moves around your yard dur­ing the day. If you have an ex­ist­ing deck or paved area, sim­ply add fur­ni­ture for an in­stant out­door liv­ing space. Many fur­ni­ture de­signs are so light­weight and easy to move, you can place them un­der that large shad­ing tree to let you re­ally be out­side and away from the house.

2 ADD PER­SON­AL­ITY WITH CUSH­IONS, RUGS & AC­CES­SORIES Colour and pat­tern will en­gage your guests and make you feel bright and happy, to match the great weather. One of the eas­i­est ways to do this is with cush­ions and throws – they work the same as in­doors, but you can be more bold with pat­tern and colour. Look for punchy flo­ral de­signs in trop­i­cal shades, like pink, yel­low and or­ange, or bal­ance this with calm­ing and cool blues and tealy greens. Stripes add a coastal feel to any space, and a throw not only adds tex­ture, it may also be use­ful if a cool breeze ar­rives! Out­door rugs, made from hard-wear­ing fab­rics and ma­te­ri­als, can be left out­side, as well as get wet or soaked in sun­light with­out fad­ing. They work well on a lawn as well as a flat tiled or paved area. Can­dle­sticks or hur­ri­cane lamps cre­ate a hol­i­day mood while pro­vid­ing prac­ti­cal light­ing on sum­mer nights. Large coloured pots for your plants, or smaller ones with suc­cu­lents for the ta­ble, will en­hance that in­door/out­door feel. Coloured glasses, ta­ble run­ners, and serv­ing plates can all add to the scheme.

3 GO SMALL, THINK BIG

Small ta­ble set­tings, de­signed to fit on small bal­conies and ter­races, en­able you to still catch those af­ter­noon rays. The ben­e­fits of light­weight fold-up seat­ing is that you can eas­ily store it away on the colder days but re­mem­ber, if you have to get them in and out ev­ery time you need them, you’ll prob­a­bly find you use them less! You can also go over­sized and make the best use of what valu­able space you have: one large day bed along the width of a bal­cony can pro­vide deep seat­ing for three or more

peo­ple. Fill­ing the day bed or out­door sofa with plump cush­ions adds lots of per­son­al­ity as well as be­ing prac­ti­cal. Small stools or side ta­bles give you some­where to place your cof­fee cup or glass of wine. Of course, one of the best ways to re­lax on a bal­cony or ter­race is with a ham­mock. They are so easy to roll up and hang to one side or store away in a cup­board, but they are also so comfy and invit­ing, no mat­ter if it’s for one, two or a gath­er­ing. Al­ways check the weight al­lowance and en­sure the ham­mock is con­nected to string bolts or posts.

4 USE THE BEST MA­TE­RI­ALS

For me, it’s all about cane and wicker, but be prac­ti­cal, as cane can be dam­aged if ex­posed to the el­e­ments. Hard­wear­ing, light and easy-to-move alu­minium-framed fur­ni­ture has a mod­ern sleek aes­thetic. Clas­sic teak is hard­wear­ing and ages to nice, soft weath­ered grey. Al­though usu­ally heav­ier, teak is also hard wear­ing and great for fam­ily gath­er­ings where it gets a work­out. Clas­sic wrought-iron frames are el­e­gant and can raise the en­ter­tain­ing bar. Glass blends in with the leafy sur­rounds, but it also shows dust so con­sider if it’s right for you. Ce­ramic stools add pat­tern and colour, and dou­ble up as ex­tra seat­ing or side ta­bles. Ce­ramic is hard wear­ing, easy to clean and prac­ti­cal to leave out­side.

Weigh to go Light­weight pieces in wire or wicker can be moved around eas­ily.

Gar­den style Add cush­ions and colour in the same way you would inside.

Rug up Add an out­door rug to zone your “room” and pro­tect your feet from the sum­mer heat.

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