Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

How to live in an outdoor oasis:

Gardening expert, Matt Leacy, gives his five top tips for having a simple, but social, outdoor living room.
By Matt Leacy
Date: February 22 2014
Tags: home, style, living,
Editor Rating:

Back in the day, our kitchens and living rooms were our favourite entertainment hang-out areas but nowadays, families are moving outdoors to cook and enjoy their meals, as well as taking their time to relax and enjoy each other’s company whilst either basking in the daylight sun or staring up at the starry night sky - and regardless of the time of year. 

Here are my five top tips to make a simple and creative low maintenance living room, moving the conversations out in the sunshine and letting them continue to flow as we soak in the natural beauty given to us by Mother Earth. 

1. Determine location, size and layout

Weather conditions are one of the most important factor when deciding the location and design of the outdoor space. Note how much sun or shade the place receives over a yearly period so that furniture decorations are durable according to its environment. Unless you need to draw visitors to a certain part of the garden, like a pool. It is good to make sure that it is easily accessible, preferably an extension of an indoor room, with addition sliding doors or French doors to not only give that extra visual appeal but protect the insides of the house. If there’s a heat wave or a hail storm, coming back indoors is probably the way to go.

After deciding where your outdoor room will be, work out the exact measurements and start planning a rough layout of the area. You won’t be smiling if you buy a gorgeous new outdoor couch only to find you can’t fit where you wanted to when you get it home.

Also at the design stage, consider where power points and plumbing could be located so that lights and water are easily accessible.

2. Sustain your house ‘theme’

Even though your living room will be outdoors, uniformity of your entire home creates a good flow and sense of tranquility. Let the interiors of your house complement its exterior elements for true harmony inside and out. If your house has a simple and elegant touch, choose white or a few pastel colours for a clean resort feel. If your house has a vibrant and exotic vibe, go for the brighter colours for an energetic and lively ambience, continuing the household trend.

3. Be green

Enhance the feeling of wellbeing in your room by adding touches of colour by placing flowers and ornamental plants around the living room. Give life to your new outdoor living room and be rewarded with the smell of fresh fragrant flowers as you leave for school or work every morning. Many flowers are scented but only a handful are strong enough to perfume your outdoor living spaces and these include: and sweet alyssum, gorgeous honey scented white flowers, gardenia, jasmine, frangipani, port wine magnolia and the jaw dropping scent of Daphne. Naturally perfume your outdoors area to please both your eyes and nose.

4. Enclosed patio area

Building enclosed walls around the outdoor living room will shelter it from heat and rain. Walls and ceilings serve to create privacy, define space, control sun, shade and wind and frame views.   A backyard pavilion   makes for the perfect outdoor party, outdoor entertainment and social gatherings. Not only will it protect your tables, chairs, pots and plants, but it would also mean that there would be less maintenance because the walls will protect it from dust and dirt meaning you won’t need to clean every day.

5. Outdoor kitchens

Maximise outdoor cooking in all seasons and weather by installing an outdoor kitchen, for much more than just BBQ’ing.

Follow the trend this summer by going outdoors and creating a communal space for family and friends to enjoy….on special occasions, and every night of the week.

Outdoor kitchens can be a simple extension of indoor spaces with a BBQ, benches and table and chairs….or a more elaborate, fully equipped space with sink, running water, fridge and dishwasher.

An outdoor kitchen space will ensure that everything from the Sunday roast to BBQ’d meats and curries will do little more than tease the neighbours about what’s on the menu that night….leaving the indoors fresh and free from cooking odours that can linger for days.

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