After losing their outdoor furniture in a fire, these homeowners looked for a fresh start for their new eclectic outdoor space
Following a fire, an empty patio and no outdoor furniture was the starting point for this inviting outdoor project by Marylou Sobel, principal of Marylou Sobel Interior Design. She was asked to refurnish the outdoor patio with a dining area and build an outdoor kitchen/barbecue for these Eastern Suburbs homeowners, who envisaged a complete outdoor entertaining experience.
“They wanted a dining space for at least 12 people as well as a comfortable seating area for family
and entertaining,” says Marylou. “They wanted it to be luxurious and elegant, but relaxed too, and they requested outdoor furniture that emulated indoor furniture — including a rug. Tragically, they lost all their previous furniture in a fire so I started from scratch. This was a true clean slate. I wanted to create a very comfortable and luxurious environment with a relaxed feel, one that could stand the test of time and look as though it always belonged there.”“Marylou also designed the barbecue area and selected all the finishes, including the eye-catching tiled splashback behind the barbecue, which adds a design element to the space”
Designed by Marylou and constructed by Mirtillo Constructions, the outdoor room now exudes a classic feel and the selection of furnishings brings an eclectic and contemporary element to the space.
“I had generous spaces to work with,” says the designer. Marylou not only designed the entire outdoor area, but also selected all the furniture including the luxurious Paola Lenti ottoman, cushions and daybed, which is covered with botanic-inspired fabric. “The homeowners asked for outside colours to be used, with hints of purple. I chose white, green, purple and tones of orange so it would fit into the outside elements and work with the existing plants.”
Finding outdoor furniture which offers the same level of comfort one might find indoors can be a challenge, but here, Marylou has injected comfort into the space with Minotti outdoor furniture and the Paola Lenti ottoman — pieces which are far from standard outdoor furniture in terms of function, comfort and aesthetics. Incorporating this furniture into the design played a part in Marylou’s inspiration.
“My inspiration came from the garden, the lush greenery and the desire to use the Minotti outdoor sofas, which look like indoor furniture, and the Paola Lenti ottoman,” says Marylou. “They are luxurious pieces of furniture and very comfortable.”
Marylou also designed the barbecue area and selected all the finishes, including the eye-catching tiled splashback behind the barbecue, which adds a design element to the space. Positioned conveniently close to the barbecue is the wonderful bespoke aged-oak timber dining table and eight dining chairs — pieces that exude natural sophistication.
The existing concrete-type floor tiles on the patio were a problem and needed to be replaced. However, as they cover a vast space and were used around the entire property, including on a few balconies, the homeowners did not want to change them everywhere. So Marylou had the tiles professionally cleaned and selected an outdoor rug for the sitting area to partially cover them and to inject some cosiness.
With a barbecue and clearly defined dining and relaxation area, the revamped space is now a delight for the family every day. And Marylou is impressed with the fruits of her labour. “I love the whole space, the way it flows and the way the furniture — although quite eclectic — makes it so interesting,” she says. “I especially love the Minotti furniture. This project is special because it’s not the norm to have such a comprehensively furnished outdoor patio that emulates an indoor room. It sets it apart from most patio spaces so I believe it deserves a special mention.”
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Photography by Maree Homer
Originally from Outdoor Rooms magazine 29