Having a yard attached to your home is a luxury that many people underappreciate. Often, this is simply because they aren’t using their outdoor space to its full potential. However, adding an outdoor area where you can eat, relax, and enjoy the Australian climate doesn’t have to be a difficult or expensive undertaking. Here are some simple design tips to get you started.
In order to design the right outdoor space, you need to know what it is that you are trying to achieve. For every decision that you make when you are setting up your outdoor area, you will be presented with a range of options to choose from. This applies to everything from choosing the right materials to put underfoot, to deciding on what kind of lights you will buy. The range of choices available to you reflects the wide range of outdoor spaces that you might want to create.
Most people creating an outdoor space will be creating some kind of dining area; there is nothing more Australian than a barbie with your mates. Creating such a space means that you need to ensure that it is properly sheltered from the wind and the rain, and that is outfitted with all of the necessary furniture. If you want to be able to cook outside as well as eat, then you will need to leave additional space for this, and you will need to make sure that your design eliminates or minimises any fire hazards.
The furniture that you choose to use with your patio will obviously have a big impact on how the space can be used and how it feels for you and your guests. For example, if you want to create an outdoor area where you and your family can share a barbecue on special occasions, then you will want to go for furniture that is suitable for dining. That means furniture that is reasonably easy to clean and suitable for people to sit on or at while they eat.
Contrast this with a patio that is mainly designed for you and your partner to relax and read a book in the evenings. In this case, you may well prefer more comfortable furniture that you can melt into during the warm summer evenings. However, this furniture isn’t going to be well-suited to sitting and eating on.
As well as choosing the right furniture, you will also want to carefully consider the fixtures that you choose. For example, you can dramatically enhance both the security and the privacy of your outdoor area by adding outdoor roller shutters or blinds. Roller Smart sells roller shutters, outdoor blinds, and a range of other fixtures that can augment your outdoor experience.
Choosing the right lighting for your outdoor area is one of the most fun parts of the design process. When it comes to lighting, there is an almost endless procession of options for you to choose from. This is another decision where you should be guided by the primary purpose of your outdoor area. However, because lighting is relatively inexpensive, you can easily provide lighting options for different scenarios. For example, you could combine a relatively bright and powerful main light with auxiliary lights such as fairy lights. That means that you can control the amount of light outside, depending on the situation.
It is always helpful if you can actually see lights in action before you purchase them. Ordering online might save you some money, but it is worth taking a trip to your local gardening store to see what some of your options look like in the flesh.
When you are looking at lighting options, remember to consider the different bulbs that are available. LED lights are now quite common, whereas they were once a rarity. LEDs can produce a bright but soft light that many people prefer to traditional incandescent bulbs.
There are three main types of lighting, and they all have their own uses – ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Ambient lights are the kind of lights that infuse the surrounding area with light and include most of the primary lighting options. Task lights are lights used to illuminate pathways and help people find their way around, and also include security lighting. Finally, accent lighting includes smaller LEDs and landscape lighting.
Many people overlook the importance of sound when they are creating an outdoor space. This might mean adding speakers so that you can broadcast music and other sounds from your smartphone, or it might mean locating your outdoor area facing the ocean, artificial water features, or other sources of ambient nature sounds. The sounds you hear are just as important as what you see.
With just a little bit of work and enthusiasm, any homeowner can create their own outdoor space suitable for entertaining and relaxing. If you think carefully about what you want beforehand and take the time to research your options, you won’t have to pay over the odds to augment your yard.