With summer on the horizon it’s time to open the doors wide and welcome the outside in.
Seamlessly flowing indoor/outdoor living has become de rigueur in most new home builds and renovations because, let’s face it, we love the relaxed feeling of outdoor living. Plus spaces that connect indoors and out can make a home feel and look lighter and more expansive. Indeed, for many, indoor/outdoor design allows us to enjoy outdoor living all year around.
“I couldn’t tell you exactly when this shift happened,” says interior designer Karen Fergusson (karenfergusson.co.nz). “I think it was in the 70s, but things are definitely changing. For example, outdoor furniture is becoming more and more sophisticated. The outdoor sofas available can be very similar to indoors, and the fabrics and foam used stand the test of time.”
Add the longevity of framework’s used, outdoor heating and technology for music and widescreen televisions and outdoor living becomes functional as well as beautiful. Decks and patios are still the norm, but we’re also seeing the emergence of full-service kitchens, fireplaces and entertainment areas.
Designed well, an outdoor living space can be spectacular. It’s an area where Pinterest comes into its own as it’s overflowing with inspiration. If your wish list includes all of the bells and whistles it will be an investment, but for those of us on more limited budgets there are still plenty of affordable options for living life alfresco. Creating an outdoor space to love is within reach of everyone.
6 Trends For Outdoor Living
Creating An Outdoor ‘Room’
Making use of walls, outdoor blinds, opening roofs, gazebos and structural hedges creates privacy as well as a ‘room’ with a specific purpose such as alfresco dining or soaking in the hot tub.
Using The Same Flooring
Carrying flooring such as tiles, wood or sisal (sisal.co.nz) can unify the indoors and outdoors and create a flow-on effect. Or, if you prefer the look of rugs, there are some great, affordable outdoor rugs widely available.
Walls of glass doors such as bifolds and stacking panels that open right up help blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors.
We no longer have only the traditional BBQ option available to us; the outdoor kitchen can come complete with gas hobs, rotisserie tools, pizza ovens, fridges, gas mains connection as well as a kitchen sink.
Functional, solar powered and LED lighting along with Wi-Fi and TV connectivity are all gearing themselves up for the outdoors. You can even easily create your own movie theatre.
Whether it’s a fire pit, a chimenea, a built-in traditional brick or natural gas fireplace, this warming hub adds an inviting ambience that warms up cooler evenings.
A vertical garden creates a stunning visual display, but it can also be as practical as it is aesthetically pleasing. Rather than choosing plants based only on their aesthetic appeal, planting herbs and vegetables can give this outdoor feature a dual purpose.
Strategically placed lighting can make your outdoors sparkle in the dark. Whether it’s professionally fitted spotlights and decorative LED’s, being imaginative with strings of fairly lights (they look amazing wound around the branches or the trunks of your trees), or a multitude of candles, lighting can add the wow factor.
Words: Jenna Moore