Spring has sprung

We often focus our attention on furnishing the inside of our homes, forgetting to utilise the often-neglected outdoor areas. However, outdoor zones such as balconies, courtyards, gardens or decks can be used as an extension of the inside living spaces, with these outdoor styling tips and Australia’s lovely weather in spring, it would be crazy not to make use of your outdoor areas.

Alfresco zones add so much value to your house or apartment, the trick is to find the balance between function and style and ensure the area complements the interior scheme of your home to achieve flow. Below are my top five outdoor styling tips for creating the perfect outdoor room.

Outdoor entertaining

An outdoor kitchen is a fantastic addition as it adds more function to the zone. If you don’t have the budget for a custom outdoor kitchen, you can find decent freestanding units or just include a nice-looking barbecue stand-alone. Outdoor kitchens with wine fridges and sinks feel top end and will add value if you sell your home. If budget allows, try to tie the design to flow from your indoor kitchen, whether it’s the cabinetry, the benchtop material or even the pendant lighting. Also look to connect the two zones with the addition of a servery window or big bifold doors so there is good circulation.


This will depend on the size of your outdoor space. Stackable outdoor furniture is great if you need a multifunctional space as items can be stored. Think pod sets or stacking chairs and fold-up dining tables. Outdoor lounges are very popular as they encourage relaxing. If you have a pool, a sun lounger or daybed is a must to create a resort style feel, and if you have a small balcony, a simple cafe setting with a small table will make the space useable. Also, if you are tight for space, consider a thin bar-height table where the stools stack under for balconies.


For our Australian weather, hardy low-maintenance plants are great, such as succulents, agaves or yuccas. You don’t have to have real plants to have the look either — consider high-quality Astro turf instead of grass or a fake green wall. They look fab if you’re time poor but want the lush look. Grouping nice pots with big plants at different heights is an easy way to create a visual focal point. Tropical plants such as palms are a big trend now — select greenery that creates a resort-style feel. It’s about the placement and grouping — the right mix will give your garden or patio a well-landscaped look.


When it comes to lighting in your outdoor space, think votives with candles that project nice shadows, lanterns, or add some solar fairy lights. Twinkling ambient lighting will always make a space look pretty and it doesn’t have to break the bank. If you are thinking of renovating, consider how to best highlight your outdoor area with a mix of dramatic, ambient and task lighting. Also think about uplights to highlight feature plants — this can look magical at night.


You can create a beautiful outdoor room by adding a pop of colour. Incorporate soft dressings such as cushions or outdoor rugs. Outdoor rugs are much cheaper than re-sanding a deck or putting in new outdoor pavers, but will give you an instant uplift if your space is tired. Outdoor cushions are an easy and cheap way to inject pattern and interest. Go bold with your accent colour or pattern. Try to select colour tones that are showcased in the interior of your home so there is flow and connection between outside and in. Nice table accessories will also jazz up your outside area and have your outdoor zone ready for summer gatherings.

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