Us Aussies love to enjoy our outdoor spaces as much as we can! But often during the cooler months these areas sometimes tend to get a little neglected which is so sad. You can create a space outside that can be used all year round.
Just think – big glasses of red wine (maybe mulled wine!), bowls of warming soup, friends, family and fire pits! Plenty of time for a gorgeous BBQ with all your favourite people. All you have to do is make sure they are warm and comfortable.
Whether you have a sprawling back yard or something sized more like a postage stamp with a bit of planning you can have an area that is useful and stylish.
When you are planning your outdoor area there are a couple of things you need to consider. Firstly, the way you like to entertain your friends & family. And then also making the layout to include everything you need to make your entertaining easy and enjoyable.
Have a think about the area you have available and what type of furniture set up would suit you and the area best. Do you like to host formal meals that require a table and chairs? Or do you prefer relaxed BBQ’s that may require a more relaxed type of seating?
Be mindful of the space and don’t try to squeeze a 10 person table into a space that would be much better utilised with a 6 person modular set. You may have to compromise!
If you think you may be short of seating why not have a number of stacking stools stored close by. Perfect for when there are more bottoms than seats! Make sure you buy ones with flat seats so they can double up as small side tables too when needed.
To get the most use out of your outdoor area make sure you prepare for heat and the cooler months too.
You’ll be needing some shade from the sun and this doesn’t have to be a permanent structure. The easiest way is to invest in a good umbrella that can be moved around as the sun moves. Make sure it has a good solid base so it doesn’t blow away with the wind whilst you’re out at work! This has happened to me more times than I care to remember!
If your space and budget allows I also love retractable awnings. They come in all sorts of styles. I once installed one in the small back yard of a house I renovated. It wasn’t cheap but it was such a good investment as it made the back yard like another lounge room for use in rain or shine!
If you want an actual heating option everyone loves a fire pit if your space allows! However these aren’t particularly energy efficient, plus then don’t exactly give off that much heat unless you’re sitting right next to it. An electric heater will be a much better heat source.
These can be mounted on the wall or ceiling of your outdoor area so practical and almost hidden from view!
Ever heard the expression buy cheap buy twice? Well, I truly believe that applies to outdoor furniture. If you want it to last the test of time you need to buy something that can withstand the harsh Aussie weathers.
It also needs to be sturdy enough for you to want to sit on it for any length of time. If it’s not comfortable or soft enough you (or your guests) wont be keen to use it as often as you could.
I live on the 16th floor of an apartment block with a covered balcony. But I had to make sure when I was choosing my set that the set was heavy enough to withstand a bit of wind so I don’t lose it to the neighbours! (I’ve had lots of random items land on my balcony over the years – don’t ask!)