BIG IDEAS FOR SMALL SPACE FRESHEN UP THE OUT­DOORS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES + SERVICES -

A TINY bal­cony or court­yard shouldn’t stop you from making the per­fect out­door space.

“It can be quite cosy if you choose your fur­ni­ture well,” says Bev Macken­zie of Petite Re­treat, which spe­cialises in small spa­ces. BE PRAC­TI­CAL: Is the space for en­ter­tain­ing or re­lax­ing? “A lot of peo­ple plan for long al­fresco lunches, but that might be once a year,” Macken­zie says. Know what you do most and make it your fo­cus. SLIM AND STREAM­LINED: “Many bal­conies are long and nar­row, so you need to be care­ful with fur­ni­ture choices,” Macken­zie says. Slim­line fur­ni­ture won’t dom­i­nate a space and open-weave ma­te­ri­als let the light in. PICK YOUR PLANTS: Small spa­ces can have their own mi­cro­cli­mates, so choose plants to suit. Ver­ti­cal gar­dens or hang­ing planters leave space for fur­ni­ture, while flow­er­ing plants and oval pots soften harsh lines. MA­TE­RI­ALS MAT­TER: Out­door fur­ni­ture has to put up with a lot, so se­lect some­thing tough such as alu­minium or out­door-grade stain­less steel. ART OF DIS­GUISE: “Bal­conies of­ten fea­ture a long, solid wall, but you can be clever and dis­guise them,” Macken­zie says. Light­ing and out­door art draw at­ten­tion away from less ap­peal­ing fea­tures, while out­door rugs cover up ugly floors. Try dec­o­rat­ing with the fol­low­ing prod­ucts: MAKE IT POTTY: Pop and Scott Char­lie Brown pots, $120-$340; fentonandfenton.com.au PRETTY IN PINK: Jute pot plant hold­ers are pretty enough to show off, $9.95, ap­ple­green­duck.com. INTO THE BLUE: Slim­line fur­ni­ture in open-weave ma­te­rial like the Varese sofa, $1045, and side ta­ble, $475, petite re­treat.com.au. SPOT THE DIF­FER­ENCE: Wel­come with the “Hello Dotty” door mat, $35, mat­tblatt.com.au. BRIGHT STARS: Amalfi “Pop” mul­ti­coloured lanterns are pretty and prac­ti­cal, $49.95 (set of four), zanui.com.au. OUT­DOOR COM­FORT: We love this palm-print num­ber – $52, bun­ga­low liv­ing.com.au. CHEAP THRILLS: Aca­pulco chairs are a de­sign clas­sic at a frac­tion of the cost, $39, kmart.com.au.

Top of the pots … Pop and Scott Char­lie Brown pots (main pic­ture); jute plant holder (inset); from top right, Varese sofa and side ta­ble, Hello Dotty door mat, Amalfi Pop lanterns, palm-print out­door cush­ion and Aca­pulco chair.

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