Our top tips for stylish outdoor living in 2020 (and beyond)
There’s nothing Australians love more than having a couple of friends around for a few cold drinks and a good yarn. And when the weather is fine, our favourite place to settle in for the afternoon is always the outdoor spaces of the home.
Spending time outdoors helps us unwind and reconnect with ourselves and our loved ones, away from the clutter and chaos of our everyday routines. Not to mention the host of health benefits associated with spending time in the fresh air and sunshine.
So whether you have a backyard, courtyard or balcony to play with, creating a gorgeous outdoor area is one of the simplest ways to elevate your home, and your lifestyle.
1. Don’t be afraid to have fun
Your outdoor space is the perfect opportunity to play with patterns and colours that you might shy away from in the rest of your home. Add a pop of colour or print with throw cushions and blankets, plant pots and table settings. These items are inexpensive and available in hundreds of varieties to suit every style and personality, and they can easily be swapped out with changing seasons or tastes!
2. Keep it comfy
When it comes to choosing your outdoor furniture, it’s important to keep a practical head. Think about how you’re going to be using the space most often and find pieces that will work for you and your lifestyle.
If you know you’re always hosting dinners for family and friends, make sure that you choose a table that’s high enough for everyone to sit and eat comfortably. On the flipside, if you favour drinks and board games over sit down meals, a low table and flexible seating might be the way to go.
At the end of the day, you want to make sure that your outdoor furniture is actually going to get used, so keep it comfy.
3. Welcome to the jungle
Indoor plants have become a home design staple over the last few years, but let’s not forget that the outdoors have always been, and will always be, the domain of the green. Depending on your choice of variety, plants are an easy way to set the tone of your outdoor space.
Palm varieties can help to establish an Island or coastal theme, while ferns and bamboo create a lush jungle feel. A tall bird of paradise works towards a clean Hamptons style.
Climbing varieties and vertical gardens are great options for those working with smaller outdoor courtyards or balconies. By disguising some of the exterior fences or walls of the home with greenery, you create the illusion of a larger and more tranquil space, especially important for those living in inner-city areas
4. Natural textures
Natural materials and textures are a huge trend for 2020. And while a full rattan furniture set might not be your vibe, there are subtle ways you can make this trend work for you. Try swapping a traditional planter for a woven basket or store extra cushions and blankets in a wooden box. Or, opt for canvas cushions and chunky knit throws for those cooler evenings.
5. Throw some shade
It’s possible to have too much of a good thing, sun included. To ensure that your outdoor space is usable at every time of day, it’s important to incorporate a shaded area to protect your guests and prevent excessive squinting in group photos.
If your outdoor area isn’t shaded by existing trees or a fixed overhead structure like a pergola, there are loads of great options to choose from. Umbrellas are an easy, portable option to provide shade over your outdoor table or provide pockets of relief from the sun. For a more permanent solution, retractable awnings are a great choice for wide-reaching shade when you need it, but won’t clutter your space when not in use.
For more Live Proud stories, have a read through our latest edition of the Live Proud magazine below.