How to Cre­ate Your Home Re­treat – Out­door En­ter­tain­ing Ideas

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Property Guide - - NEWS - Writ­ten by | in Buy­ing

Aus­tralia’s en­vi­able cli­mate and love of out­door liv­ing makes cre­at­ing the ul­ti­mate re­treat a top pri­or­ity for many home­own­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Houzz, one in two Aus­tralian home­own­ers use their out­door space for en­ter­tain­ing. Per­son­al­i­sa­tion and a quest to im­prove pri­vacy are the top mo­ti­va­tors to ren­o­vate.

Aussie home­own­ers crave spa­ces that are com­fort­able, fit for en­ter­tain­ing, func­tional and low-main­te­nance. To cater ac­cord­ingly, they must serve as ad­di­tional rooms, cre­at­ing a haven per­fect for re­lax­ing and liv­ing in.

Out­door liv­ing is favourable to al­most ev­ery­one, es­pe­cially in Aus­tralia. If you want to make the most of your space, but the win­ter blues are damp­en­ing your cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion, here are some out­door en­ter­tain­ing area ideas to siz­zle things up.

Blur the Line Be­tween In­doors/Out­doors

Liv­ing spa­ces that en­com­pass out­door/ in­door ar­eas cre­ate a seam­less flow be­tween both worlds.

Start by draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from your cur­rent in­te­rior de­sign. To re­in­force the feel in one liv­ing space, con­tinue the colour scheme, fur­ni­ture styles, in­te­rior floors or ar­chi­tec­tural de­tails out­side. For ex­am­ple, paint­ing or up­grad­ing your fur­ni­ture to re­flect in­side can link the two spa­ces.

Smooth tran­si­tions may also be achieved through bi-fold doors and struc­tural el­e­ments. Houzz’s re­port shows a ma­jor­ity of home­own­ers (86%) in­tro­duced a deck or pa­tio space to their back­yards. Con­nect the liv­ing room to the cov­ered pa­tio via win­dows or glass/re­tractable doors. This will es­tab­lish an open flow and make it eas­ier for you to use the space for gath­er­ings, en­ter­tain­ing or ev­ery­day use.

‘Zone’ Your Gar­den

In­stalling a pa­tio/per­gola can also help to cre­ate a separate en­ter­tain­ing zone within your gar­den.

These zones are ef­fec­tive for max­imis­ing space and plan­ning out how it’ll be used. Con­sider what sec­tors you’ll need, for ex­am­ple an en­ter­tain­ing area, a space for the kids, gar­den­ing zone and a chill-out area.

Use dif­fer­ent tex­tures, fur­ni­ture, rugs and care­fully crafted path­ways to sub­di­vide the space. Cre­at­ing lev­els can fur­ther break up and de­fine sec­tions.

Fea­ture Light­ing

Light­ing can also play a part in cre­at­ing great out­door liv­ing spa­ces. Apart from the safety as­pect, ex­per­i­ment­ing with light­ing can change the am­bi­ence of se­lected ar­eas while also serv­ing a prac­ti­cal pur­pose.

Strate­gi­cally scat­ter so­lar lights through­out gar­den beds and grass ar­eas to draw the eye to fo­cal points. Fairy­lights in trees and Tiki torches cre­ate a warm and invit­ing en­vi­ron­ment, while Citronella can­dles will help keep bugs at bay.

For din­ing and lounge zones, use soft LED light­ing so food and drinks are well lit. Any deck­ing or stair ar­eas are best with walk­way light­ing to guide guests safely.

Make it Us­able All Year Round

If your back­yard is only func­tion­able in the sum­mer months, it’s time for a change.

Out­door spa­ces have evolved into mul­ti­sea­son ac­tiv­ity ar­eas. Af­ter all, they are an ex­ten­sion of our liv­ing spa­ces.

Up­grad­ing or in­stalling a pa­tio can com­pletely trans­form a back­yard.

To make the cooler months more com­fort­able for liv­ing and en­ter­tain­ing, in­stall weather re­sis­tant blinds to the struc­ture, which can turn an open-plan space into an ad­di­tional liv­ing room. Pa­tio roofs may also be made re­tractable to have more con­trol over the space.

Adding ac­ces­sories such as a fire pit, hang­ing plants, warm light­ing cosy fur­ni­ture and blan­kets add a sense of com­fort too.

BonusTip: If you don’t want to re­strict your views, choose clear blinds for your pa­tio. Durable is im­por­tant, be­cause they’ll get a beat­ing from the el­e­ments, along with high-qual­ity zips, heavy rods, tracks and a storm-lock­ing sys­tem.

Style Your Deck with In­te­rior De­sign in Mind

Decks are an­other pop­u­lar out­door struc­ture for pro­vid­ing an in­stant en­ter­tain­ing area while max­imis­ing your out­door space.

Fit out the deck with plenty of light­ing, en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem and out­door kitchen or BBQ area. In­vest in high­qual­ity, low-main­te­nance deck­ing ma­te­ri­als, such as com­pos­ite deck­ing, which elim­i­nates up­keep and nasty prob­lems like ter­mites.

Both pa­tios and decks can add a fo­cal point to your out­door space.


This ar­ti­cle is writ­ten by Jayde Fer­gu­son, who rec­om­mends Great Aussie Pa­tios – Perth’s lead­ing pa­tio builders with a cost­ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion for any out­door space. You can catch her on Google+.

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