Transform your outdoor space & live life outside
Enjoy the beautiful weather, get outside! Give your couch a rest and head to the backyard or patio. Spend the day under the blue sky and sun. Outdoor spaces can easily, quickly and inexpensively be transformed into functional living areas. Here’s how!
Decide your key purpose
Consider the primary purpose of your ideal outdoor area. Will it be to host and entertain guests? Practice yoga? Family dinners and gatherings?
Determining the key purpose and function will help you map out the features you will need. These may include: lots of deck/patio space for seating; barbeque size; whether you have an outdoor bar; whether there is sports or lawn equipment that needs to be organized away in a shed. Defining the main purpose of the space will make decisions easier as to what belongs and what doesn’t.
Choose your colours
Colours can really make a space pop. Give neutrals a boost with brightly coloured flowers and pillows. Take inspiration from the blue skies, streaming sunlight and green grass. A splash of yellow, turquoise or lime can add brightness and balance with the natural setting.
An outdoor space is an extension of your indoor living area. Are there colours or patterns inside that would carry nicely outdoors? Creating a nice flow between your interior and exterior spaces will tie everything together and make both indoors and out feel more spacious.
Give it texture
Play up textures when choosing furniture, rugs, cushions and even planters. If the area has a lot of wood from decks and fencing, try to balance it out. Choose metal furniture for a modern, industrial effect. If there is a lot of concrete on your patio, synthetic wicker furniture has substance but feels lighter.
If you can’t find the right style, there are lots of ways to make your own outdoor sofas and seating using palettes or concrete blocks and boards to create the perfect set. Brighten things up with glazed ceramic pots and glass table tops – the smooth surfaces will reflect light back into your space. On the ground, you can paint the deck or look at stamped concrete options. Mixing up textures are a subtle way to make a big impact.
Add stunning features
Take the space to the next level with a focal point such as a fireplace or water feature. Fire features create ambiance by casting soft light and warmth. Wood-burning fires give off that rustic feel. If you are limited with by-laws or have concerns about children, pets, or maintenance, there are many other options available from table-top electric fire features to natural gas fireplaces. Flick a switch and start glowing!
Water features are very popular. If your space is an oasis for mediation and relaxation, the trickling sound of water flowing provides a calming soundtrack. Even with little real estate on the ground, wall or fence-mounted water features with lights or mirrors are beautiful additions. Water features add an element of luxury to any space.
Bring everything together with the finishing touch. Have lots of fun here! Accessories are easy to change-up. Pick a theme, for example nautical or English garden, and infuse your space with complimentary pieces. The use of rugs and outdoor carpets will make you feel right at home. Hang or wrap curtains and fabrics across pergolas or fences to soften the look of fencing, hide stains or provide some shade. Place throw cushions and blankets within arms-length to get cozy and settle in to a good book, conversation or some scrolling.
Lastly, look for lighting that will complement the space. Christmas rope lights come in an array of colour, are versatile and easy to install. Candles, lanterns and outdoor chandeliers are decorative, fun and will light up those long summer nights.
Give your furniture a rest and get outside. Have fun, expand your living area. Blue skies and butterflies or fireworks and fireflies, there is so much to enjoy under the stars and sun. With a little planning and creativity, you will enjoy your outdoor space from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn.