Our homes are a haven away from the stress of hectic lifestyle, and the current trend of designing interiors to reflect our personality while creating a quiet place to relax is flowing out to our backyards. Outdoor living has become an extension of our homes, creating functional spaces that are furnished and styled to flow from the inside to out.
It's fantastic to see that alfresco areas are being treated with the same importance as our interiors. Technology has helped this too, with the advancement of materials used for outdoor furniture and accessories. Choosing the right materials in your furniture choices will mean they will last.
Using materials, colours and furniture that reflect the inside interior of your home will link the two spaces, creating a larger, more harmonious home.
Making the most of your entire property makes good sense. Whether you have a small area or large yard, don’t buy any furniture or even start to build until you look at your lifestyle and what functions you want the space to perform.
A single level leading from the inside to the out has the best effect, and if the flooring flows through, the space will look and feel larger. This isn’t always possible, so large outdoor rugs are an excellent way to cover ugly flooring and define a cosy nook or create another room. Dash and Albert have some beautiful rugs that are for indoor or outdoor use. They are Ultra Violet (UV) treated, mould and mildew resistant, scrubbable, bleachable and not at all high maintenance. These rugs are a perfect complement to any indoor or outdoor living space. Choose a colour and style that takes its cue from your indoor interior.
Consider how you want to use your space before choosing furniture. Don’t overcrowd the area as traffic needs to flow through comfortably. If the area opens from the dining room and isn’t very large, use the outdoor space available by adding a comfortable sofa and coffee table to sit around and relax to evoke conversation and relaxed entertaining.
The dining table is close to the outdoor area so open up the space to make the dining area feel like part of the outdoor addition. And, if space allows, a small bar table near the cooking area can be used to add another dimension to your capacity to entertain. Larger areas opening from the living room can be like adding another two or three rooms.
Grouping pots and the placement of screens can help make the area feel homely and not just one vast space. Cushions and throws will add to the ambience and contribute to link the inside and out. Less is best, so use large pieces that sit well in the areas without overcrowding and make the most of the area.
Quality outdoor furniture will last for many years and technology has enabled sofas for the outdoors to be as comfortable as our inside interiors. Premium grade teaks, powder coated quality aluminium and quality polypropylenes that when used outside won't perish or fade are all great choices.
Choose fabrics that are weather proof or resistant, UV resistant and won’t perish when placed outdoors (even without cover) and dry foams that don’t hold moisture and won’t create mould and mildew. Outdoor cushions, when chosen well, will be easy maintenance and add to a homely finished feel.
Cushions can be made with UV fabrics perfect for the outdoors and most fabric companies have beautiful colours and patterns that, when made up, will last for many seasons and when washed, will always look fresh. Recover the ordinary chair pads if you want to create a unique look that helps to tie the inside and out together.
Even the smallest of spaces can be utilised, so ask for expert advice on how to best use your space to be a functional addition to your home.