How lucky are we in Australia to be able to actually use an outdoor area for almost year around living? Particularly in Queensland - our outdoor entertaining area is used just as much as indoors! Durable yet comfortable, a place that offers shelter from and a connection to the natural world: a good outdoor room has to be all of these things. Get the balance right and you’ll gain extra living space that has an easy relaxed feel. We have always considered the outdoor spaces as an extension of our home, just another room to be decorated – but you can afford to let your imagination run wild – it just seems “right” to have a little decadence in your outdoor living space!
Once you've decided exactly how you will use your outdoor space and selected furniture you must determine the colour scheme. To make your outdoor room seem like an extension of your home and aesthetically connected to the house use the same primary colours you’ve used in the interior, but vary the intensity of colours by using brighter more dominant shades.
Why not add curtains for extra drama and luxury? Curtains look fantastic in outdoor settings when done properly, and they do not need much fabric if used as an accessory to “frame” a vista – teamed with tiebacks they look fabulous.
Finally, you should accessorise your outdoor room. Using your colour scheme as a guide, choose cushions, upholstery, table ware to provide colourful accents – team with potted plants to add more colour or use the soothing greens of backdrop planting to create a very calming feel.
Outdoor surfaces tend to be hard and inflexible. To make your outdoor space cosier, fabrics can be used to add colour and comfort.
Outdoor fabrics are now available in a variety of colours and patterns designed to withstand sun and rain. These fabrics are especially good choices for making pillows or cushions for your outdoor furniture.
When selecting outdoor cushion inserts ensure you have specialised outdoor foam that can dry out – it needs to be porous so that water can drain through quickly so that mildew does not grow on the inserts and come through to the fabric.
How often have you opened a glossy magazine and sighed with envy at the to die for outdoor spaces and the way they are decorated – think Bali huts, gazebos with floaty white sheers, brightly coloured splashes of colour in cushions? You don’t need a private tropical island or an infinity swimming pool to get the look – just some imagination and help from us!
By Coleen Radford
For more information go to www.springcrest.net.au