Category Archives: Outdoor Entertaining

Resort style luxury in your own backyard

Make your backyard feel like a luxury resort!

Resort style luxury in your own backyard. Australians are renowned for living and loving the outdoor lifestyle. From the time we take our first steps we are introduced by our parents to the great outdoors. It has long been a tradition and a dream of couples and families to have a house with a pool or live near the beach. Just look at the amount of us that live within an hour of the coast and you get the drift.

Another long held tradition is to have some outdoor furniture to be able to fully enjoy the tranquillity and socialising that comes with the outdoor living lifestyle.

 


Not too far back, we had to content ourselves with a limited choice of what we could buy to dress up the outdoor area of our homes. Choices were quite limited and backyards were full of either a one size timber rectangular table with matching chairs or a small round table with hard back aluminium framed chairs if you hard a courtyard or smaller space to sit outside.

 


Choice was then introduced by way of wicker and canvas sofas and chairs. While it was an improvement to the timber and pre moulded outdoor settings, style, colour and material choice was still limited. In other words, it was basic.

We first noticed the real change in sophistication, choice, style and range about three years ago when we went to live on the stunning Sunshine Coast in Queensland. We were fortunate enough to live in a house on a canal as a backdrop and the pool area was a feature along with a patio that gave us enough space to decide it was time to upgrade our own outdoor setting – yes, the timber rectangular version – that had been a loyal servant but was getting on in years. It was time to turn our backyard into a luxury resort style chill zone!

Making the decision to upgrade your outdoor furniture into a resort luxury style area!

Once we made the decision to buy and upgrade our outdoor living furniture, our online search revealed a plethora of options, prices and styles. Yes, things had certainly changed and improved since we were last in the market.

Through word of mouth feedback and a chat with some manufacturers and retail outlets, it quickly became apparent that quality was the most important consideration given the furniture effectively ‘lived’ outside 24/7. Sounds simple in theory and it was our major consideration however, when there are options aplenty in any market, there are many who are happy to claim their product and service is the best.

 


The quality consideration becomes more apparent when, despite the fact the outdoor furniture setting would be housed under a wide awning and protected from the elements, we know how severe and harsh our wether can be in this country.

Weighing all this up – quality, choice, range, service and price – our three months of detailed research both online, face to face and via word of mouth recommendations revealed we would be best served getting our outdoor furniture for Queensland from a Melbourne based retailer. We are happy to report it was a great decision.

 

 

Outdoor Living Direct and its proprietor John Strahan simply provided five star service and a range that gave us the opportunity to create our own little slice of luxury resort living that we still remember fondly. To this day we add little bits and pieces to complement our original setting and wherever we are located, it becomes a luxury feature of our house and entertaining area.

Our original outdoor setting is still the hero of the backyard and has grown with little additions of cushions, ornaments and plant colour. What has been noticeable is the furniture just has not weathered or aged a bit. And that is a point of difference for Outdoor Living Direct. All their furniture is built to suit Australian conditions. Having been through several south east Queensland storms and the tail of a cyclone, we can guarantee it came through with flying colours. It is certainly made of sturdy stuff.

 


John was proud to explain his philosophy of operating this success business that has been the go to brand for several well known television programs in Australia.

“We believe in our products. We understand that furnishing an outdoor area is about more than just acquiring objects: it’s about enjoying the good life outdoors. It’s about making the most of great weather and the best of company. We do our bit to make this experience all that it can be by specialising in high quality items that offer the finest in comfort, style, durability and convenience.

This means we stock products we’d like to have in our own backyards. In fact, many of us on the Outdoor Living Direct team have bought items from our range for our own backyards, as have our friends and family.”
And what about those TV programs that have called on John and his team to showcase outdoor living areas under the critical gaze of well known stylists and designers?

Our products have appeared on TV programs such as The Block, Better Homes and Gardens, and The Living Room. 2011’s winners of The Block, Polly and Waz, purchased a black Kakadu Premium Pod Chair, and 2011 contestants Josh and Jenna bought a black San Martin lounge setting. In 2014 our brown/mushroom Kakadu Premium Pod Chair appeared in Darren and Dee’s winning room on The Block Glasshouse, and our three piece Killara balcony setting in black/black appeared on Channel 10’s The Living Room.

 

 

Our seven piece Tinamba modular lounge has also featured on an episode of Better Homes and Gardens: the show’s presenter Tara Dennis was so impressed with our Tinamba modular lounge set she bought one for herself! Most recently our scatter cushions and bench cushion appeared in Karlie and Will’s outdoor terrace on The Block 2016. Karlie and Will were fortunate enough to win The Block 2016 and it was a pleasure working with them both throughout the series.

Having created our own little piece of luxury resort living in several homes and locations, we can attest to the brilliant product and accessories range, the peace, tranquillity and classiness that it has added to our outdoor space. And it appears the designs and desire to create a beautiful outdoor space are continuing to evolve.

The outdoor room

A trend that’s showing no sign of slowing down is the creation of a permanent outdoor living space that extends and flows on from the rest of the home. Outdoor rooms are a wonderful way of extending your living space and with a bit of planning and design you can instantly turn your garden or deck into a luxurious outdoor living space.

John gave Luxuriaus his tips for creating a luxury outdoor room.

“Creating this outdoor space need not be hard. We have a few a few tips to help create an area that flows on from the inside of your home creating a dynamic unity between the two.
Firstly a little planning will go a long way. Considerations to make note of:

  • How much space do you have and where is it situated in relation to your home?
  • Where will the area start and finish is relation to your home?
  • Are there any structural elements needed or already existing which will affect your design?
  • What is the purpose of your outdoor space? What do you intend to do within the space?
  • What will the area look like?
  • What aspects from the inside of your home do you intend to recreate?

Space

Consider how much space you have to work with and if need be create different zones within the area. If you plan to build a deck or a pool consider their location in comparison to your house and the rest of your outdoor space. It’s also important to work out at this stage what other structures you would like included within the design such as walls, steps, decking, concrete, grass, blinds, sheds, plants or water features.

As well as thinking about the structures you would like to include also consider any existing structures that may impact your design.

Purpose

Importantly, ask yourself ‘what will this area be used for? Is your intention to create a relaxing outdoor oasis to sit back and unwind or do you intend to use the space for entertaining family and friends or maybe it could be both. Whatever the purpose may be consider all aspects and use this time to plan and design wisely.”

How to create an on trend outdoor area at your home

How to create an on trend outdoor area at your home – A trend that’s showing no sign of slowing down is the creation of a permanent outdoor living space that extends and flows on from the rest of the home. Outdoor rooms are a wonderful way of extending your living space and with a bit of planning and design you can instantly turn your garden or deck into a luxurious outdoor living space. The outdoor area of a home has come a long way. Rather than simply being a place to hang your laundry or an area to plant a few plants, outdoor rooms are now being embraced by home owners and are becoming a natural extension of the home. By doing this you are essentially creating another living area within the home which is only going to help you financially down the track if you ever decide to sell.


Image via Pinterest

Creating this outdoor space need not be hard. Below are a few tips to help you create an area that flows on from the inside of your home creating a dynamic unity between the two.

Firstly a little planning will go a long way. Considerations to make note of:

  • How much space do you have and where is it situated in relation to your home?
  • Where will the area start and finish is relation to your home?
  • Are there any structural elements needed or already existing which will affect your design?
  • What is the purpose of your outdoor space? What do you intend to do within the space?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is your time frame?
  • What will the area look like?
  • What aspects from the inside of your home do you intend to recreate?
  • Who will be using the area

Space

Consider how much space you have to work with and if need be create different zones within the area. If you plan to build a deck or a pool consider their location in comparison to your house and the rest of your outdoor space. It’s also important to work out at this stage what other structures you would like included within the design such as walls, steps, decking, concrete, grass, blinds, sheds, plants or water features.

As well as thinking about the structures you would like to include also consider any existing structures that may effect your design.

Purpose

Next ask yourself ‘what will this area be used for? Is your intention to create a relaxing outdoor oasis to sit back and unwind or do you intend to use the space for entertaining family and friends or maybe it could be both. Whatever the purpose may be consider all aspects and use this time to plan and design wisely.


Image via Pinterest

Budget

The next step is to consider your budget and the materials in which you will use to create this space. Ask yourself how much money do I have to work with? Create a list of what you intend to do within the space and factor in all of these costings. Sticking to a budget is important and will ensure your project runs smoothly and effortlessly. Researching various materials and methods at this stage can be quite handy in determining what will work and what won’t in terms of your budget.

Time frame

Depending on the size of the project, you may want to carry out certain projects in phases to suit your budget and time frame. Or you may be working toward a certain date in which you need the space complete. Whatever the reason planning your time wisely is essential in creating a stress free project.

Style

Style is another important consideration. What will your area look like? What colours will you use? Will you continue your internal house colours outside creating a natural flow from the inside out? What is your personal style? What do you like and dislike? What kind of furniture will you use to fill the space? Asking yourself these questions will determine the look and feel of your space and will help to make important design and style decisions throughout the project.

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Image via Pinterest

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Also ask yourself who will be using the area? Adults, kids, both?


Image via Pinterest

Will it be a space for entertaining? Will it be a space for relaxing? And will there be different zones for the adults and the kids? If kids will be using the space it’s important to consider safety factors at this point of the planning stage. If you intend to install a pool for example ensure you adhere to the safety guidelines when it comes to fencing. If your plan is to build a deck ensure you have adequate railing and all safety guidelines are met.

How to make the most of a small outdoor area

How to make the most of a small outdoor area – Small outdoor spaces can sometimes be a challenge to design and decorate. Too many colours and patterns can feel busy and too much furniture can feel chaotic. Choosing the right furniture, décor, colours and patterns can all help to create the illusion of more space. Whether you’re designing a small terrace balcony, an apartment patio or a city living rooftop, all have the ability to look larger than what they truly are with these few handy tips. With the help of these few tips and tricks we hope you too can create an outdoor space that 1. Looks larger than what it truly is and 2. One that reflects your personality and you can enjoy for many years to come.

Space:

Firstly consider the space you have to work with. Have a walk around and access your outdoor area. As you walk around and design your space consider any existing structures such as doors, walls or garden beds as they will play a part in how your space will look.

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Image via Pinterest

Furniture:

Furniture that folds or stacks tends to work quite well in smaller spaces such as apartments or town houses where space may be limited. Multi-functional outdoor furniture pieces are also a smart idea, for example a cushion box can double as a bench seat. Outdoor Living Direct have a variety of small balcony pieces ideal for areas where space may be limited.

Choose a focal point:

Avoid cluttering a small space with too many pieces of furniture/décor/accessories and instead start with a focal point that will be the main point of attention. Build around this focal point, adding in necessary accessories where needed. These added extras shouldn’t compete with the focal point, instead enhance the overall look of your space. Too much clutter can feel like the space is closing in on you so less is more when it comes to styling a smaller outdoor area.

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Image via Pinterest

Vertical lines:

Vertical lines also help to give the impression of more space. Tall pieces of art, slender trees or vertical gardens are all great inclusions. If floor space is limited why not take advantage of the wall space and hang some shelves for extra storage.

Colours and patterns:

Avoid dark colours and busy patterns as they can confine a space and create the unwanted feeling of closure. Instead opt for lighter colours and subtle patterns that will create a bright and airy feel.

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Image via Pinterest

Lighting:

A small outdoor area with poor lighting will feel claustrophobic. Instead, choose lights that will bounce off the walls and visually make the space larger. Candles are another low maintenance lighting option for smaller spaces. They don’t take up a lot of room, yet they produce beautiful mood lighting for any occasion. A mirror is another great trick. It will reflect natural light and create the illusion of a deeper space.

When it comes to designing and decorating a small space it’s all about tricking the eye into believing that the space is much larger than how it actually appears. Applying these few tips and tricks will help you to create the illusion of more space and make the most of your outdoor area.