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Ever since the early settlers Aussies have enjoyed the great outdoors.  In colonial days houses were built with a beautiful wrap around verandah as an addition to the home to soak up the beauty and serenity of the great outdoors. 

The trend these days has gone so much further with stunning outdoor living areas and outdoor rooms being an extension of the home with inside and out blending in harmony.  The trend is  to create a wonderful living and entertaining area for friends and family to share or that peaceful, tranquil retreat for some solitude from our busy lifestyle, an idyllic spot to recoup and enjoy leisure time. 

Creating an outdoor room is a perfect way to maximize the potential of your home, an asset that will add value not only financially but also to your lifestyle.

There are a myriad of good products now on the market from outdoor kitchens, pizza ovens, fire pits, quality outdoor furniture and accessories, shade cloth and awnings, pavers, pergolas etc., the choice is extensive so you can spend as much or as little as you like to create the environment you want depending on your budget and spacial constraints.

Once you have your outdoor space sorted with furniture and the necessities the big question is – how to decorate it to create the finishing touches?

Gone are the days of a few director’s chairs with a garden gnome and small concrete ornaments to adorn your garden.  Now the choice is amazing, but it can also be daunting to know where to start.

You have already decorated inside your home so it only makes sense to make your outdoor living area an extension of your inside living space.   Redecorate with art and accessories by choosing shades, colours and patterns you have already used and love e.g. florals, patterns, stripes or bold colours and layer it through from tablecloths, cushions, artworks, pots and plant colours.  Tie in colour schemes with other accessories such as ceramic lanterns, bowls or repainting old existing furniture or an old wall. 

Introducing  art as a feature can make a great talking point for your special area.   There are a multitude of art forms that could help you create that special look.

A tired old wall or fence could be made into a feature by painting it a colour to tie in with your internal colour scheme or equally a bold colour to stand out from the other walls nearby.  Add some beautiful artworks, perhaps a weatherproof outdoor canvas which are now available,  some tile art, one or two pieces or a feature panel, metal art or mosaics.  These can all help to create a fabulous look.

Screening can be an art form in itself now.  If privacy is an issue in your backyard adding a screen can solve two problems -  privacy and decorating.  Laser cut metal screening offers privacy along with beautiful decorative designs for that special feature.  Designing your own screening with timber can also be effective and you can dress it up by painting, staining, laying timbers diagonally or with a curved or uneven edging.  Some artwork would also look great.

Garden sculptures, statues and urns all make for a stunning feature that will add style and beauty to your outdoor area.  Pots of all shapes, sizes, styles and colours, ceramic or terracotta,  or the more interesting recycled containers such as an old enamel kettle or old wheelbarrow also add whimsy and charm to your special space.

An old art form but  a good one is topiary,  for those with plenty of patience and a good pair of secateurs.

Water features and fountains also add a beautiful dimension to your garden and it is very relaxing and soothing  listening to the running water.  Again there are many choices to suit all budgets.

Much of the fun in creating a beautiful space is sometimes adding something that you have created yourself,  a special piece that means something to you.  If you are not a creative person but love art and artifacts in the garden then recycling could be for you.  For example an old mirror you didn’t want to throw out can be reused in the garden.  Repaint the frame to match your decor and place on the fence or wall.   It will not only add another dimension to your garden but will also make a small space look bigger.  Some old metal containers and watering cans would make a nice collection of planters.  An old louvre door can be painted and used as a screen,  maybe some artwork on it.  A visit to a second hand shop or junk yard can stir the imagination for many interesting additions to your garden and outdoor area and make for a great talking point.

Creating the space you want is personal.  Whether you want to entertain family and friends frequently or just have a quiet hideaway for downtime with all the products available on the market now it is easy to turn your balcony, courtyard or backyard into a comfortable outdoor retreat to relax and enjoy.

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