Monthly Archives: April 2015

Considering the design and layout of your outdoor area

Considering the design and layout of your outdoor area – When the time comes to start thinking about the design and layout of your outdoor area considerations must be made to ensure the end product is one that you’re not only happy with, but one that reflects your style and one that you could see you and your family enjoying for many years to come. A well designed outdoor area should flow freely from the outdoors in. Design elements such as colours, textures and patterns should be considered as well as the types of materials to be used. All of these components allows the homeowner to build and design a functional, appealing outdoor area that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Planning is the key

Creating an outdoor living area conceptually requires thought and time. To begin, it’s always a good idea to sketch any ideas you may have and list some key points in which you would like to include in the design.  Remember to include any existing paths, flower beds, fences, garden beds, deck areas etc. Add characteristics you want to achieve and then think of dividing the project into several phases. This initial planning phase will ensure the rest of the project runs smoothly and hassle free.

Once you have an idea of what you would like, a great starting point would be to consult a landscape designer. With their expert advice, they’ll be sure to guide you in the right direction and give you tips and ideas you may have not thought about.

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Source: http://www.greenleaflandscapeaz.com/images/img1.jpg

Another great resource is Google and landscape design books. Searching through these resources may help you develop ideas you may have not yet considered. Also speaking with relatives and friends who have re-designed or designed their outdoor areas from scratch is another useful tool. Gaining insight into other people’s ideas will ultimately help you develop an area you will be happy to use for many years to come.

Consider your space

An important point when it comes to designing your outdoor area is to consider the space in which you have to play with. There are many factors that will determine how your area will look. Have a walk around and access the space. Make note of what you’d like to keep and what you’d like to remove. You may also have existing elements you’d like to keep such as a shed, deck or path, so consider these when designing and planning your space. Considering the amount of sun and shade your area will receive is also important as is considering the view. For effective results design an area that will make the most of any view you may have. Having adequate drainage and safely built decks and pergolas will also ensure the end result is of the highest standard.

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Source: http://p-fst1.pixstatic.com/53a8aa4c697ab044db010543/_w.540_s.fit_/19305993_photo_1.jpg

Materials that reflect your style

Choosing materials is important when it comes to designing your outdoor area, as they will define the overall look and feel of your space. Choose materials that you can not only afford but that work well together to create an effective, long lasting outdoor area. At this stage, it’s also important to consider the inside of your home and your personal style. By doing this you’re outdoor area will flow nicely from the indoor area and in effect create a unified look and feel.

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Source: http://growingwell.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/entertainment-area-folio2-large.jpg

Less is more when it comes to colour

Colour is a powerful tool in creating a visually pleasing design. As is with your material choices, your colour choices should reflect your personal style. An idea would be to take note of your colour choices inside the home and reflect this same look and feel outside. By doing this you create a free flowing space from the indoors to the outdoors.

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Source: http://www.theblockshop.com.au/images/products/Apt_6_R2_MK_Courtyard_EA_31_copy.jpg

Too many colours can create a busy space that fills cluttered and uneasy. Less is more when it comes to choosing colours. Unifying the visual design of an outdoor area can be achieved with the use of one colour. This colour will become the feature of your space. You can then choose to support this colour by using a couple of complementary colours. Just remember the simpler the better. Don’t over-do the colour. Two or three colours is usually ideal and if you stick to this rule we guarantee you’ll create a space that’s both visually pleasing and one that you’ll want to show off for many years to come.

Decorating your space

Decorating your outdoor area need not be a hassle. You may have items such as old pot plants or bird baths laying around your home that just need a bit of a makeover. Rather than heading out and buying new pots or a new bird bath, why not get creative and update what you already have. There’s nothing a bit of DIY and a coat of paint can’t fix! Scatter cushions are also a great way of adding a splash of colour to any space. Not only are they comfortable and add a homely feel, they can also be purchased in an array of styles, colours and patterns. Another alternative is to visit local op shops where you may find that perfect piece to help decorate your area. Pinterest, Instagram, design books and Google are also great resources when it comes to finding ideas and tips to decorate your space. At the end of the day you want to create and decorate a space that you and your family will enjoy and one that reflects your personal style. The options are endless when it comes to decorating. Just have fun, be creative and be you!

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Source: http://busydoor.co/images/2012/07/Exciting-Outdoor-Living-Area-Design-Ideas.jpg

Plant choices

When it comes to choosing plants and flowers for your space, considering the environment and climate conditions in which you live is very important. For example if you live in northern Australia where the temperature can get extremely hot, consider plants that are going to survive the warmer weather and vice versa if you live down south where the temperatures are cooler in comparison, consider plants that prefer the colder climate.

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Source: http://bestgarden.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/backyard-small-modern-outdoor-living-with-sunken-lounge-hedges-and-exposed-stone-wall-with-fireplace-oven-black-fabrick-sofa-and-small-garden-plants-ideas.jpg

At the end of the day, the world is your oyster when it comes to designing your outdoor area. With these few considerations and tips you’re sure to create a space that will be enjoyed for many years to come. The biggest tip we can give is have fun when planning, choosing and designing your outdoor space. Take the time to explore different options and let your creative juices flow.

Landscaping and designing your pool area

Landscaping and designing your pool area. Before we know it the warmer months will be upon us again and pool season will be in its prime. If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, you know the pleasures it can provide. The cooler months, is a great opportunity to review your space in terms of landscaping and design. Below are a few tips and considerations to help you along the way.

Creating shade

Shade clothes or a large umbrella are a great idea in ensuring your pool is well covered during the warmer months. The Australian sun can get extremely hot during the summer period so ensuring your pool is covered adequately is very important. There are many colours and designs available, especially with outdoor umbrellas so choosing a design to match your existing area need not be a hassle. Here at Outdoor Living Direct we have large cantilever umbrellas which are sure to look great poolside and provide protection to your area this season. Check out this link for our full range of umbrellas: http://www.outdoorlivingdirect.com.au/umbrellas.html

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Source: http://www.localsearch.com.au/sys/ld/68/CLIENTS/Rockhampton/25449/25449_1630187_WEB.jpeg

The cooler months also provide a great opportunity to ensure your shade choices are clean and ready for the summer season. Pressure hoses are great in removing stains/mould/mildew etc.

Adding plants

For some pool areas, the landscape around the pool may seem boring or unfinished. Adding plants to your pool area will help to create a space that feels and looks like a sanctuary. Local markets sell all sorts of plants at reasonably low prices. Adding mulch or pebbles in-between the plants will also help to improve a dull looking space.

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Source: http://www.poandpo.com/s0713/natural_pools_6v.jpg

Another way to improve the look of your pool area is to add bright coloured pots filled with colourful plants. Pots can be picked up from home hardware stores at reasonably cheap prices. Another alternative is to create your own. Simply purchase a plain terracotta pot from your local home hardware store and paint it using different colours and patterns. This a cheap and inexpensive way of adding a personal touch to your outdoor area. Plus we promise you’ll have lots of fun along the way!

Positioning of your furniture

The positioning of your furniture including any lounges, pots, candles, tables etc is important as this helps to create the overall look and feel of your space. Just like you would arrange furniture indoors, take a moment to review the positions of your outdoor furniture.

Fencing

When it comes to pool safety a fence around your pool is a must! Most communities these days require pool fences complete with a lock and high enough that small children can’t reach. There are many design choices on the market when it comes to pool fencing, so there is sure to be a style to match your existing outdoor home decor and colour palette.

Revamp your existing furnishes

Did you know that changing a small detail in your pool area can make a big difference? For example you may decorate your outdoor furniture with some cheerfully bright scatter cushions. Changing your outdoor cushions with a new style can create a whole new look and feel you never thought imaginable. Look for inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram or Google. There are many different patterns, textures and colours out there, you just have to find the one that works best for you. Or if you’re handy with a sewing machine, why not whip up some new cushion covers and place them over the top of your current covers. That way when you get tired of one, you have options to choose between. A simple DIY project which shouldn’t take too long and the outcome is sure to please.

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Source: http://uniquehomedecor.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Wood-Deck-Flooring-and-Chaise-Lounges-with-Cushions-near-Square-Pool-and-Outdoor-Bed-inside-Wooden-Gazebo-in-Tropical-patio-Design-Ideas.jpg

At the end of the day the choices you make for your pool area should reflect your personal style. These are just a few tips to help you along the way, but have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment. Your outdoor area should be one that you will enjoy for many years to come, so take the time and enjoy what you’re doing.

Spruce up Your Patio with Some New Additions

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Image source: http://sensine.com/handsome-outdoor-kitchen-design-with-fashionable-outdoor-kitchen-appliances-and-pavers-plus-fireplace/wonderful-outdoor-kitchen-featured-wide-chimney-as-well-as-lots-of-pillars-kits-lowes-exquisite-outdoor-furniture-and-grann-grass-patio-design-for-outdoor-kitchen-decor-overlooking-with/

Sunny, warm days are arriving along with the spring, which means your patio will again be the place where you will spend most of your free time. In the outdoor living area, you can relax and spend lazy afternoons, organize a dinner for friends, or throw a party. After a long and cold winter, what your patio needs is a refreshment. There are some great things you may consider in order to get ideas, and start the project.

Some options are more affordable than others, but you will definitely find something that works for you. Most importantly, the outdoor living area will look stunning.

Decking

Before you do anything else, consider decking. It is one of the most popular features of the modern age, and will improve the entire patio a lot. Moreover, maybe one day, you will want to sell your house, and decking will automatically increase its value. That means decking is not only a beautiful feature, it is also an excellent investment.

Furniture

Check the condition of the outdoor furniture you already have. If its condition is good, leave it. If not, you may want to consider some changes. If possible, you can refresh the look of the furniture base with paint, and if the base is okay, you can replace only the cushions on the chair. However, if the pieces are too old, maybe it is time to shop a little. Shopping does not always mean the purchase of an expensive furniture collection. You can check out the ads, and garage sales, and find something that looks good. Add some improvements yourself, and you will gather all the pieces you need. This is also an excellent time to change the entire outdoor style of the area.

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Image source: https://www.outdoorlights.com/inspiration/

Storage furniture – if you don’t have enough space in your garage for all the things you keep outside, or if the garage is too far away from your patio, you can choose furniture pieces which are storage units at the same time, such as sofas or tables. You can put some of the things inside without moving them to the garage.

Fireplace or fire pit

A fireplace or fire pit is an excellent addition to any patio. Everything around will be much cozier, and you will be able to spend the evenings outside, no matter if the weather is not warm. You can gather around with friends, family and neighbors, and simply enjoy. There are many outstanding options, and both, fireplaces and fire pits come in different sizes and shapes, which means you will easily find something which will be a perfect match with the entire patio style.

Fountain or other water feature

With the sound of water, each time you are relaxing outside, you will have the impression like you are on vacation. Fountains, the same as fireplaces and fire pits, are available in different shapes, sizes and colors. They are considered as the perfect addition for the patio area. On the other hand, if your budget does not allow you a fountain, you can do a little research, and if you enjoy DIY projects, you can create a water wall yourself.

Outdoor kitchen and dining area

An outdoor kitchen is a magnificent solution, especially if you enjoy cooking. What can be better than cooking outside? It does not have to be huge, and you can add several appliances which are the most significant. If an outdoor kitchen is too much for you, you can get a garden BBQ. With a dining table, and several chairs, your patio will become an excellent place for dinner parties.

Decorating

One of the best ways to spruce up your patio, which is also the most affordable one is outdoor decorating. With so many possibilities, your patio will be fun and charming. Here are some ideas you can consider:

  • Curtains – this option is among the perfect ones, if you can hang them somewhere. If you can, choose natural colors. Curtains will add a touch of the Mediterranean, and a bit more privacy. At the same time, they will boost the look of the entire area.
  • Decorative lighting – there are wall lamps, torches, lanterns, and many other options to choose from. If you have the budget, you can add luxury lighting, and if possible, place it above the focal point of the patio. With soft light around, your patio will be more sophisticated and fancy, and also romantic when the night falls.
  • Flower pots and flowers –with flowers, and some nicely designed flower pots, the patio will look wonderful, and cheerful. Add as many flowers as possible. All colors and sizes you choose to place will fit perfectly with all the other things.
  • Cushions – cushions are not only for decorating, they also provide supreme comfort, which is why you should place them on furniture pieces, such as dining chairs, benches or sofas.
  • Umbrella – it will protect you from the sun, which is very important, but if you choose some nice color which will fit with the rest of the furniture and decorative pieces, it will look excellent.
  • Sculptures – in the home & garden centers, you can find some wonderful sculptures, specially designed for the outdoor They are an excellent addition, and they are affordable as well.
  • Rug – lately, rugs on patios have become a very popular option. Choose the color, size and style you like, and place it outside. The feeling you will get is cozy and comfortable.
  • Rocks – large or small rocks around the patio area are simple, and superb at the same time.

If you want to spruce up your patio, consider all the suggestions. You will easily choose something that fits into your budget, and your desires as well. Make sure to use all your creativity and ideas, to make entire area fun and comfortable. After you are done with the project, once again, spring and summer will be your favorites, because you will spend all your free time outside, enjoying all new additions and beautiful surroundings.

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