Outdoor Area

With winter coming to an end, start preparing your outdoor area for the entertaining season

With the year quickly passing by, pretty soon the season of outdoor entertaining will be upon us. Now is the time to make sure that, when the better weather arrives, your outdoor decor is at its best. We've prepared a few things you may want to look at to help you prepare your space. 

1. Stylish outdoor furniture

Everyone can appreciate the convenience provided by mass-produced outdoor furniture from IKEA and Kmart. Easy to assemble and available in styles that match nearly everything, furniture from stores like these have long been a staple of many backyards.

For a truly unique look though, turning to custom-built outdoor settings could be the key to finding the look that you are dreaming of. When looking for custom furniture, be sure to do plenty of research and find the product that is right for you. There are many companies that produce high-quality furniture.

While it can be more expensive, you may find that your purchases last longer and you are able to help support businesses based in your community if you source it locally.

Furniture sizing can also play a large role in the general decor of your outdoor area. When using smaller sized pieces, you can maximise the amount of space and retain plenty of standing room.

Alternatively, an outdoor dining set may take up plenty of room but it will allow for the entertaining of guests in a seated and relaxing fashion. There is nothing nicer than enjoying a meal in the evening light while it is still warm.

If you are lucky enough to live in an apartment with an outdoor area or balcony, some items of outdoor furniture can make an ideal area for relaxation. When combined with some plant life and a little lighting, you can really liven up the area.

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2. Pots and plants

Plants are the lifeblood of any garden. From the tallest trees to the smallest shrubs, a good garden will have a balance of greenery that is both pleasing to the eye and manageable in terms of maintenance. 

A current planting trend is the use of smaller plants like succulents or cacti. Succulents are plants that have some parts that are more thickened than most greenery, usually to retain water in arid climates or drier soil conditions. 

In the Australian climate, where rain can be sparse at times, using plants that do not require a great deal of water is not only a sensible option but can also go towards efforts to conserve water.

These plants also come in a great variety of shapes and colours, making it easy to customise your garden to how you want it to be. 

Varying the pots that you plant in is another way to personalise and add style to your outdoor area.

A time-honoured classic, using terracotta pots as a staple in your garden can create a real contrast to the colour of the plants that they hold. Glazed pots also come in a variety of colours that allow you to add a personal touch to your garden.

Living in an apartment can mean you are limited in space and capacity to create and personalise your outdoor decor. However, making the best of the space can be not only stylish but thrifty too.

By hanging pots or buckets on your railing, you can take advantage of space that would otherwise go unused. Buy pots intended for hanging, or simply drill holes into ones made of plastic. Hang them with zip ties or wire so they are secure.

The best thing about these pots is that they can have multiple uses. Whether for planting, gardening tools or even things like insect repellent that you want to keep around, having pots around for means you can take advantage of their many uses.

Ensure that they only hang you pots inward and not on the outside of your balcony though. Hanging them outward is a huge safety hazard and can be against many body corporate rules.

3. Accessories and art

When deciding what you wish your outdoor decor to resemble, it is important to consider how you can complement any furniture you have selected.

Metal wall art, particularly wrought iron with a rusted or fatigued look, is a current look that is very much in style. 

Another creative addition that can add to your outdoor decor is a clock. By adding a clock to your outdoor setting, you are adding something that can help add to the ambience. Wall clocks complement all types of decor and come in all shapes, sizes, colours, features and most can be purchased at a reasonable cost. Therefore, whatever the style for the decor you have chosen there will be a clock to match it.

If you have a garden, the use of ornaments or statues is something that can add a bit of character to it and enhance your decor. From stone birdbaths to small groups of gnomes, statues have the ability to add a different feel to an otherwise empty space.

A fun accessory that can also be incorporated into your outdoor area, if there is space, is a hammock. An excellent tool for relaxation, a hammock is the perfect outdoor fitting to relax into and enjoy a good podcast or get on top of your book club reading. They also are a prime location for a nap if you feel so inclined.

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4. Lighting

When trying to create a comfortable and visually appealing outdoor area, lighting should be considered one of the most important factors.

A good measure you can take that can incorporate other elements of your garden or balcony is the hanging of party lights. Often running on cycles of different patterns, fairy lights are cheap and easy to hang. They also have the added bonus of doubling as a decoration for the Christmas tree.

Hanging lanterns are another lighting tool that can be used to enhance your outdoor decor. An elegant solution to a lighting problem, lanterns come in many different sizes and styles that can match any theme that your decor has taken.

For the ultimate creation of ambience to enhance your decor though, the use of candles is a tried and tested method. This approach has the added benefit of adding not only light, but a scented option too. This gives you the choice of how your outdoor decor looks and smells. 

As with any interaction with fire though, take the appropriate precautions and safety measures to ensure that you don't start any unwanted fires.

5. Stone style

The use of stone blocks and cobble stone in an outdoor setting adds an earthy look and feel to any outdoor decor. They make for excellent paving stones or garden bed liners.

The beauty of using stone is that it is possible to mix and match the styles you want in order to create variation. Alternatively, you can stick with the same, consistent style and create a uniform look. Using stone really allows for the personalisation of the decor of your outdoor setting.

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