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Are you planning a new outdoor living area or renovating an existing one? There are many things to consider but careful planning will enable you to create spaces which suit your lifestyle and your home.

Spaces are defined by function and depending on the size of your property or your family you may wish to have numerous spaces to cater for various types of activities. In a more compact property, some clever planning will allow for a multi-use space to be created, one that combines dining, living, entertaining, relaxing, and playing. There are several design elements that will help to form these spaces, including raised planters and walls, louvres and pergolas, paving and garden beds.

Once the outdoor area has been defined the details can be established – you could simply add a space for a relocatable barbecue or you could build a permanent outdoor kitchen with a BBQ bench, fridge, sink, storage, and pizza oven. Then comes the lighting, speakers, and heaters for a bit of luxury, or an outdoor fire for the ultimate all-year-round lifestyle – maybe you could get on trend and add a fire pit. There are endless options, but should you choose any of these make sure you allow for power, gas, and water in the planning phase.

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In recent years the selection of outdoor furniture and accessories has grown and become more readily available; there is more opportunity to set the theme or style you wish to achieve as well as creating a functional space. The addition of furniture such as comfortable sofas, lounging chairs with coffee tables, casual beanbags, contemporary bench seats, formal dining tables, or bar leaners and stools all help define your space and can be selected to suit your particular lifestyle.

Then comes the fun part, adding accessories. They can be functional but also add a sense of style and character to a space; carrying through materials, colours, or patterns used in your interior decoration creates a connection with the exterior.
The ultimate indoor-outdoor flow can be achieved with the use of outdoor rugs, pots (with or without plants) cushions, throws, sculptures, artwork, et cetera. These simple additions extend your living spaces and create the feeling of an extra room.