INTERIOR DECORATORS ARE BEING CHALLENGED THIS SUMMER, WITH THE ‘OUTDOOR ROOM’ NOW AT THE HELM OF HOME DESIGN TRENDS.
Better Homes and Gardens expert and Adbri Masonry ambassador Jason Hodges, says televisions shows are partly to thank for the shifting trend toward outdoor living.
“Today, home owners have access to a wealth of inspiration like never before – from lifestyle TV shows, magazines, bloggers and social media,” he said.
“They have higher expectations of what they want from their outdoor space, and are becoming more concerned about the sustainable nature of the products being used.”
Making better use of limited outdoor space
“As land lots are reducing in size, homeowners are looking for ways to maximise their living space on what is now a smaller block”, says Hodges.
“Historically, we have put the biggest possible house that would fit on the block; but now, we are seeing a trend where homeowners are extending their liveable areas through the creation of clever outdoor rooms which show off their personality and style, and allow the family to take advantage of our wonderful year-round sunny Australian climate.”
What are Jason’s suggestions for creating a beautiful outdoor space?
Experiment with colour and texture
Contrasting colour and texture will add dimension and character to your space. Contrast is the best way to highlight a feature product or area.
Clever use of small-space features
Due to the decreasing amount of outdoor space available to inner city home owners, these spaces are required to be multifunctional. They will have increasingly mobile features such as layered plants and potted fruit trees, and furniture such as benches, pillows and cushions to occupy all available space.
Want a pool but don’t have the space? Try a plunge pool. Even for those where space is not at a premium, many homeowners simply prefer the ease of maintenance that comes with a plunge pool, as well as the reduction in installation and running costs.
Building furniture into outdoor spaces
Why build a simple retaining wall when it could be a bench seat, a retaining wall and an edible veggie patch all in one? Building of furniture into the outdoor space is cost effective, innovative, allows for increased versatility and another way of maximising space.
Outdoor lighting not only adds another aesthetic to built spaces, but it also enables these spaces to be used day and night. Gaining popularity is soft mood lighting created by small discreet LED or solar lights hidden under or above ground, spotlighting outdoor features such as benches and sculptures; with an increased use of self-sustaining solar lights to reduce carbon foot print.
Simple focal points
Simple focal points balance lines of contrast and de-clutter ‘busy’ outdoor spaces. These focal points may include outdoor objects such as stone vases, sculptures and water features.
Fire pits are a focal gathering point in the yard and can be used year round. Build fire pits out of concrete blocks – they stack together without mortar or glue so there are no issues with fumes. Concrete blocks are available in a variety of colours, notably charcoal which will reduce visible soot marks on the blocks.
Urban edible gardens
A trend toward urban edible gardening and farming is on the rise. Home grown, free of chemicals and fresh from the garden to the dinner plate. The result of which will be an increase in defined garden plots and planter boxes.