by Muffet Billiard-Leake, Muffet & Louisa; and Margot Wilson, Dig This Sidney –
Summer is here – most of us want to open the doors and move our living and entertaining to the patio, garden, deck or even roof top. Transforming our outside space to a comfortable and welcoming extra room without walls can be a challenge, but it’s easier if you keep in mind the space you have and what you plan to do in your garden room.
Do you have space for entertaining, family meals and a quiet haven for yourself? If you do then you are in luck: you have room for comfy furniture, an outside kitchen and a calm corner with a chaise or even a hammock, as well as plants and flowers. If space is a challenge, think about smaller-scale patio furniture and vertical planting; many plants do well on walls and trellises. There are many great local stores that would love to help you choose the perfect outdoor items for the ambiance you want to create.
Guests and family should feel as welcome outside as they would inside your home. Victoria’s own DODEKA makes innovative and lasting outside furniture that is fully customizable. Seating areas can be installed with heaters for chilly evenings, dining tables come in several sizes and coffee tables can be designed to do double duty as storage units for cushions when they are not in use. Cushions can be customized to suit your décor. Choose the comfy furniture you need, but don’t forget that you might like to eat too!
If this space is to be for grand feasts or casual family meals, this will be your outside kitchen. You need your barbecue, table and chairs, but the cook wants to be with everyone else, not running inside every time they need an ingredient or tool. Create a small kitchen outside around your cooking area, whether it be a grand barbecue or small fire pit. If budget and space allow, build your dream al fresco kitchen, or find some excellent and easy DIY ideas online for perfect but inexpensive solutions. Easy-to-clean coated tablecloths and placemats in fun patterns will bring back memories of holidays in warmer climes.
Don’t forget lighting – no one wants to eat in the dark and though our summer days are long, outside lighting adds romance and sophistication. Use the sun to power solar lights and lanterns, and if you have access to electric power, strings of small bulbs or fairy lights bring magic to your space. Real candles will need protection from the wind in hurricanes or lanterns, but their battery-run sisters make great windproof alternates. Summer is here; enjoy it to the full!
Visit www.muffetandlouisa.com and www.digthis.com for more great ideas on how to create the ultimate outdoor living space!