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Updated: Jun 1, 2022

With a well-designed outdoor space, you are not only adding monetary value to your home but you are also enhancing your family's quality of life, a place where you can gather as a family.

When we are going through the design process of a renovation or a new build we think about the outdoor space being an extension of the home so we always take this into careful consideration.

A great outdoor space is designed by first thinking about how you entertain and what you and your family enjoy doing outside.

When we are custom-designing an outdoor space for a client there are key factors that we take into consideration:

Creating atmosphere

So how do you design the perfect outdoor entertaining area that not only looks beautiful but is also practical and flows with the rest of the house?

Keep reading...

Layout & Floor plan

So let me start with the layout, in my opinion, this is critical, as it can either make or break your space. When an outdoor area is disjointed or too far away from certain elements of the main home, it simply won't work.

It will start to feel like a chore, and you won't use it since it isn't convenient.

Thinking about firstly where your indoor kitchen is relative to the outdoor space, is it close and do you have easy access? If you’re entertaining you will want easy access to fridges, sinks and food.

Adding an outdoor kitchen will be useful even if your indoor kitchen is nearby as it gives the outdoor space its own function it's not just the backyard, but an extension of your home, another living room.

Having adequate space and room for tables and chairs and lounge suites will make a huge difference when designing this space.

We’ve all been in an outdoor space when it doesn’t have enough room around furniture and doorways, and everyone has to get up and move around to let someone in or out.

Not ideal.

Purpose of the space

How do you and your family want to use this outdoor space? Does everyone enjoy swimming and would love a pool, do you love to have friends and family over and want to be able to entertain comfortably?

The idea of asking how you want to use the space is to get an idea of what the space will be used for, so we can then start to map out the different zones.

The different zones might be the outdoor kitchen and dining area and then there may be a lounge area where you migrate after you've eaten to relax. The back yard and play equipment could be another zone and then your pool and games room could be another area.

I like the idea of a games room or pool room being off the outdoor area I think it adds another dimension to your living spaces and also being able to watch the game while you’re floating in the pool or relaxing on the outdoor lounge sounds kind of nice, doesn’t it?

Creating atmosphere

Creating atmosphere through colour and light is a great way to add mood and ambience to the outdoor area but getting these two elements wrong can really break the space.

Have you ever noticed that when you see a colour combination you like you are immediately drawn to it? In my opinion, your home also behaves the same way, so choose the colours based on what lights you up and what colours naturally appeal to you.

When you discuss your lighting plan with your builder and designer they will be able to give you insight into the kind of lighting that is needed to enhance the space.

Downlights, pool lighting and garden lighting are all needed to really bring your space to life.

"We've all been under fluorescent lighting before it is unflattering and very harsh."

My suggestion is a few downlights and maybe some floor lighting that will highlight the garden or an arrangement of beautiful pots you might have.

Using dimmers will allow you to control the amount of light in the space and lastly, if you can, take into consideration ceiling fans when creating the lighting plan.

I can't stress enough the importance of a ceiling fan for an outdoor space in sunny Queensland!

Privacy is important

Finally, privacy, who can see into your space? Are neighbours able to look into your space from their homes, can people who are walking past look in? I suggest you put yourself in the position of someone walking past your home and think about what they can see.

It will really hinder how comfortable you feel in your home if it feels like people can see in at any given time. Custom fencing specifically designed for your place will eliminate this issue and solve any security or safety concerns you might have.

We have worked on many outdoor spaces over the years, and I've learned a lot from the mistakes we've made and ways we can do it better in the future.

These are just a few ideas for you to think about and my opinion on what I think makes a great space.

The primary objective is for the space to be the appropriate size so that it is comfortably in balance with both the house and the yard. What furniture you decide to use will also impact the balance of the space.

"Ultimately the decision will come down to space, budget and what you would like the space to do for you."

If all of this seems a little overwhelming or confusing you can contact us to have a chat about your space. We offer both building and interior design services that will help you decide on a cohesive design for your place and would be happy to help!


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