Our Top 8 Balcony Styling Tips

At Outdoor Living Direct we have something for everyone. Regardless of how much space you have at home, outdoor furniture was made to be enjoyed by everyone for any area! Often people who live in small apartment buildings feel like they can’t enjoy outdoor furniture in comparison to someone who has a spacious outdoor decked area. This is by far not the case. Whether you live in an apartment, high rise, flat, cottage, single story, double story or a mansion the choice is yours when it comes to outdoor furniture. Outdoor Living Direct offer modern, well designed, affordable settings, so depending on the size of your outdoor area we have something for everyone. In this article we will focus on balconies and list our top balcony styling tips. When designing your balcony think of it as an extension of your indoor area. You want to be able to freely move from one space to the next with comfort and ease.

With the help of these few tips below we’ll turn your dated balcony space into an exotic paradise that will be the envy of all your family and friends.

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1. Consider your space

Firstly consider the space you have to work with. Have a walk around and access your balcony area. As you walk around and design your space consider any existing structures such as doors, walls, floors or garden beds as they will play a part in how your space will look. If you plan on accessorizing your area with furniture, pots and plants consider where these will go in relation to existing structures.

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2. A place to sit

If you plan on sitting outside and enjoying your space with family and friends balcony furniture is a must. Choose light weight furniture that can be easily maneuvered depending on the occasion. Furniture that folds or stacks tends to work quite well in smaller spaces such as apartments or town houses. Multi-functional outdoor furniture pieces are also a smart idea, for example a cushion box that doubles as a bench seat. Outdoor Living Direct have a variety of balcony sets available in a varying colours, shapes, sizes and materials.

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3. Colour palette

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. Less is more when it comes to choosing a colour palette. The more colours you have, the busier your balcony will feel. Fresh, white fabrics alongside crisp, green plants are always a nice choice and will make your space appear larger than it actually is.

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4. Plants

If gardening is not your strong point, yet you’d still like to enjoy a garden feel, why not opt for low maintenance plants such as succulents and creepers to decorate your space. Both of these plant choices are easy to maintain and will guarantee you optimal balcony enjoyment. Another idea would be to create pot clusters. Using pots and plants with varying heights will create a stylish, layered focal point. Hanging pots and vertical gardens are another great idea as they take up very little space and will add a touch of greenery to any balcony area. Or why not opt for a shelving unit to display your pots, plants and other favourite accessories.

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5. Choose a focal point

Avoid cluttering your balcony 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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6. Vertical lines

Vertical lines also help to give the impression of more space. Tall pieces of art, hanging chairs, 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.

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7. Privacy

Don’t want your neighbours peeking over the fence as you enjoy your balcony area, then try using outdoor decorative screens or bamboo screens with creeping vine plants intertwined. Both of these will not only provide adequate privacy they will also look great in any balcony space.

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8. Lighting

A balcony with poor lighting will feel claustrophobic. Instead, choose lights that will bounce off the walls and visually make the space larger. Candles and fairy lights 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.

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When it comes to designing and decorating a balcony 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.

6 Tips for Choosing Patio Furniture

Outdoor patios make the perfect spot to enjoy all year long. Check out the following tips for choosing the best patio furniture to fill your space. Thoughtful planning and consideration will ensure that your patio outdoor living area is inviting and enjoyed for many years to come.

1. How do you want to use your space?

Begin by thinking about how much space you have to play with and how you want to use this space. Have a walk around and access your patio area. As you walk around and design your space consider any existing structures such as pools, plants, garden beds, decking, fences or sheds. These structures will determine how and where your furniture will sit. Also ask yourself a few questions – Would you like your patio to serve as a dining area? Would you like it to be a peaceful lounge nook? Would you like to host a dinner party there? Answering these questions will determine how the area will be set up and the type of furniture you will need to fit the space accordingly.

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2. What size furniture do you require?

Furniture that folds or stacks tend to work quite well in smaller patio spaces. These space saving options are ideal for apartments and town houses where space may be limited. In comparison, furniture with rounded edges and numerous parts such as modular lounges or dining sets are better suited to larger areas.

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3. Try before you buy

Try before you buy so you’re guaranteed the exact piece that’s right for you. Comfortable patio furniture will be used regularly as opposed to patio furniture that may look good, but lacks in comfort. Feeling the fabric, taking a seat and seeing the furniture in person is often the best alternative.

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4. Consider maintenance

To guarantee optimal enjoyment of your patio area, choose furniture that is low in maintenance and easy to care for. Most timber, rattan and aluminium furniture can sit outside all year long, with little to no maintenance making these types of materials a top choice. Outdoor Living Direct also specialise in water proof, outdoor covers. A permanent solution that will keep your furniture looking fresh all year long.

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5. Colour choices

Selecting colours for your patio area ultimately comes down to personal taste, however it’s also important to consider the colours already existent in your space. Consider your paver colours, plants, existing furniture and house materials such as bricks/stone/decking as all of these will play a part in determining what type of furniture colours will work best. Outdoor Living Direct offers lounges, dining sets, balcony sets and hanging chairs in a variety of colours. Another idea when choosing colours is to consider the colour palette inside your home. A nice idea could be to continue this palette outside, creating a consistent flow on effect.

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6. Environment considerations

The environment in which you live should also determine what type of patio furniture to choose. If you live in an area prone to strong winds avoid lightweight furniture that could potentially blow away. It’s also important to consider the amount of sun and shade your area will receive.

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How To Maintain Your Outdoor Bean Bag

How to maintain your outdoor bean bag – Outdoor bean bags are not only stylish and extremely comfortable, they’re also very easy to clean and maintain and require minimal maintenance making them a top choice for many people. Unlike other outdoor furniture that requires regular upkeep, outdoor bean bags are made to withstand varying weather, moisture and changing temperature, hence maintaining them is a breeze. A little preventative maintenance and light cleaning is all they need. Here are our top six tips to maintaining a bean bag:

Maintenance, cleaning and care tips for standard outdoor bean bags:

1. When you’re not using your bean bag outside, we recommend bringing it indoors. Storing it inside will protect it from the elements and keep it looking fresh and new. You’ll also find it will look great inside your home and fill a kids room, games room or lounge area perfectly.

2. Whilst our bean bags are water proof, continual exposure to excessive moisture can lead to mould and mildew growth that will leave your bean bag looking worse for wear. If you live in humid conditions or if your bean bag is exposed to continual weather we recommend storing it in a dry place to avoid this happening. Also be sure that all surfaces of your bean bag are completely dry before storing it away.

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3. Although our bean bags are made with a fade resistant material, continuous exposure to the sun will cause fading. Again we recommend keeping it covered or storing in a dry space to ensure this doesn’t happen.

4. Our bean bags are not a flotation device and have not been designed for pool use. They can be sat on with wet bathers however as mentioned above when storing it after use ensure the area is completely dry to avoid mould and mildew build up.

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5. If your bean bag happens to get dirty simply use a clean, damp cloth along with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt, food spills or marks. Avoid products containing bleach and after cleaning the base of your bean bag ensure the surface is dry before placing it back on the floor.

6. When filling your bean bag with beans ensure you’re inside, in an area that is free from any wind or breeze. Always fill with two people as filling on your own can be difficult. To fill, get one person to hold the bean bag whilst the other pours the beans via a funnel into the bag. When you have finished filling the bag with the required amount of beans, remove the funnel and close the zipper. Beans can be purchased from either Kmart, Target or Big W.

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Shop Outdoor Living Direct’s entire range of bean bags online today or visit one of our two Melbourne showrooms – 337 Warrigal Road Cheltenham and Shop 4, 283 Old Geelong Road Hoppers Crossing.