Liv­ing out­doors

Soak up the very best of sum­mer in your own back­yard!

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Outdoor Decorating -

out­door re­treats lend them­selves to days in the sun and evenings out un­der the stars. Your re­treat can be big or small — de­fined by a lawn, deck or a court­yard — with ar­eas for re­lax­ing and en­ter­tain­ing. El­e­ments such as a curved path lead­ing to a se­cret nook, a ham­mock or a foun­tain may be all it takes to beckon you out­side for a spot of fresh air. En­joy!

Max­imise the dec­o­ra­tive po­ten­tial

of your out­door space with clever plan­ning. This nar­row wa­ter fea­ture – with three stain­less-steel scup­pers pour­ing wa­ter into the shal­low pond – fits neatly be­tween a raised gar­den bed and path.

Look be­yond flow­ers

to add colour and zest. Along with a vivid mar­ket um­brella and cush­ions, bring your in­door style out­doors with a chic and durable out­door rug. Choose a wa­ter­proof rug made of syn­thetic ma­te­rial and treated to re­sist fad­ing and mildew.

Ter­race your out­door space

cre­atively, zon­ing it into a sep­a­rate din­ing ‘stage’ and seat­ing area with durable deck­ing con­nect­ing the two spa­ces. Con­sider us­ing re­tain­ing walls to el­e­vate your plant­ings to eye level. It’s the per­fect so­lu­tion whether you have a sloped gar­den or not.

Tran­si­tion from deck to gar­den with planter boxes around the perime­ter. On a low-level deck they can act as railings

Preloved ta­bles and chairs evoke a rus­tic, re­laxed vibe, ideal for whiling away the hours over brunch or a bar­be­cue. As the light fades, cre­ate in­ter­est and mood by spark­ing up a dozen or more tea-light lanterns strung from an over­head tree or struc­ture.

Deck out your space

with a trel­lis for flow­er­ing climbers like man­dev­illa vine to grow over and block an un­sightly view. Fill planters in front with or­na­men­tal grasses and colour­ful fo­liage – try coleus. Cushy seat­ing in an or­ange out­door fabric spices up this space while a cobalt-blue pat­terned rug grounds the scheme.

Add colour and drama

to out­door spa­ces and ter­races with pots. Th­ese mini gar­dens can be run along a fence and the pots painted to help them vis­ually re­cede. For struc­ture, plant a small palm or shrub and un­der­plant with vines and ground­cov­ers to cas­cade over the edge. Note the petu­nias and po­tato vine used here.

De­fine a spot

for solo time. A ham­mock is ideal. Lie back and en­joy be­ing rocked to sleep. Free­stand­ing or hung up, you can place it in a shady cor­ner of your deck, gar­den or court­yard.

Heaven is a lazy Sun­day af­ter­noon spent loung­ing on a comfy sofa with your fave mag – BHG, of course!

De­sirous of seam­less

in­door-out­door flow? Piv­ot­ing glass doors that fold away are your an­swer. It’s a reno worth sav­ing for and do­ing. Ex­e­cuted well, it will add value to your home and bring you closer to na­ture.

Pots are an im­por­tant sculp­tural el­e­ment,

but smaller pots can some­times lack the vis­ual im­pact of their taller sib­lings, which put plants at eye level. Just note how this hand­some agave gar­ners the at­ten­tion it so richly de­serves, stand­ing out like the true star it is.

You’ll add a real spark

to your loung­ing area with a fire pit. From small cast-iron triv­ets to large con­crete basins, there is a style to suit ev­ery out­door space. Use it to toast marsh­mal­lows on sticks or to get all cosy on chilly evenings.

If you de­sire de­fined

yet con­nected spa­ces, utilise square or rec­tan­gu­lar planters as ‘part walls’ and make ma­te­rial changes un­der­foot. Here, the pavers (with peb­bles as gap fillers) and the char­coal con­crete planters with colour­ful suc­cu­lents serve to de­lin­eate the sit­ting area from the rest of the gar­den.

Struc­turally sound it may be,

but is your deck look­ing tired? Rein­vig­o­rate it with ei­ther built-in seat­ing or new out­door so­fas large enough for the gang! Add colour to the scene with cush­ions and seat up­hol­stery in party-happy vi­brant or­anges and pur­ples.

Along with a vi­brant blue wall

be­hind it, draw the eye to a fea­ture foun­tain by cre­at­ing a cor­ri­dor-like path­way through dense fo­liage and flow­er­ing shrubs. Alone, or in an en­tic­ing com­bi­na­tion, sim­ply line your path with tall plants and/or raised gar­den beds to cre­ate ‘walls’.

16, 17 Dec­o­rate your out­door zones

as you would in­doors. On a side ta­ble, a pot­ted suc­cu­lent makes a strik­ing vi­gnette when paired with na­ture’s of­fer­ing of a sculp­tural branch. A mo­saic ta­ble with match­ing tea lights and a liv­ing cen­tre­piece will have you feel­ing as if you’re win­ing and din­ing on a Euro­pean sum­mer hol­i­day. Happy days!

Path­ways with a gen­tle curve

are a bit like go­ing on a voy­age of discovery — where will they lead you to next? It could be to a se­cluded din­ing spot, a trick­ling foun­tain, a cosy hide­away, a se­cret gar­den… Ramp up the mys­tery with plants and vines that creep across gar­den walls.

Make use of plants and el­e­ments in vary­ing shades of green to add depth and al­len­com­pass­ing lush­ness

Take your­self off to the Med with an out­door din­ing area de­fined by crazy pav­ing un­der­foot and a shady per­gola, made lush with drap­ing wis­te­ria and clema­tis. Have space? Don’t skimp on size — you don’t want to be out­side and feel­ing all hemmed in.

Up for a new en­ter­tain­ment deck

that will stand the test of time and won’t warp, swell, rot or de­mand any re-paint­ing or re-stain­ing? Hardiedeck com­pressed ce­ment fi­bre boards (seen here with Scyon Stria wall cladding) are your one-stop so­lu­tion. Easy to in­stall with con­cealed screws, the 196mm ex­tra-wide boards will go down quick smart.

Blue and white

is a clas­sic combo and the epit­ome of coastal cool. It can look both re­fined and ca­sual, and is a no-fail pal­ette for your soft fur­nish­ings.

Much-ad­mired coastal homes

in the style of the Hamp­tons can be em­u­lated with a clas­sic weath­er­board fa­cade for your new build or reno. Check Scyon Linea, used here and painted a beau­ti­ful calm­ing grey (Du­lux Span­ish Olive). We’re lov­ing the con­ver­sa­tion pit that sits a few steps away in the gar­den!

Adiron­dack chairs and re­clin­ers in clas­sic white are right at home with laid­back coastal style

A gas strut awning win­dow with an ex­tra-wide servery will have you feel­ing as if you’re on a beach hol­i­day. Pull up a stool, place your or­der and chill as you wait. This was all made pos­si­ble here by a Hardiedeck ex­ten­sion, painted grey. Con­sider it for your place.

24, 27 Make it an easy tran­si­tion

be­tween your up­per and lower ter­races with a set of wide steps (they can also be used as seat­ing). Soften hard side edges with planters filled with a cheer­ful jum­ble of low-main­te­nance peren­ni­als and suc­cu­lents. In this home, patches of black river peb­bles are found be­tween the lime­stone pavers, adding a sense of play­ful­ness.

Soften the hard land­scap­ing

around your pool by eas­ing the segue be­tween it and your gar­den. Here, a raised and tiled gar­den bed rich with plants, and the con­crete wall dis­guised by stained boards, do the trick.

Make room for an out­door bar

with a float­ing wood bench be­low a kitchen win­dow. Great as a food/drinks servery, it will also keep you con­nected to any ac­tiv­i­ties out­side. Like the win­dow? Search the in­ter­net for gas strut awning win­dows.

De­sign an all-play, no-work gar­den with a mix of low­main­te­nance plants and eye-catch­ing ma­te­ri­als

Blues in a tiled table­top, seat pads and/or cush­ions will evoke a re­lax­ing by-the-sea feel­ing, even if your home is sit­u­ated in the desert!

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