Outdoor Living

Outdoor Living


The concept of the ‘outdoor room’ planted itself in Australian backyards last summer and has since taken off faster than bamboo along the back fence. Fuelled by countless TV home renovation shows and a growing interest in landscape architecture and design, Australians opened their arms and back doors to patios, pools and pergolas, creating defined outdoor spaces in which to entertain, dine and unwind.

Creating a room outside makes great sense for both our climate and lifestyle, but its popularity also stems from the modern move toward smaller building lots and the continual search for new ways to make our houses ‘live larger’. Creating the illusion of space has been a driving force behind home design since the mirror walls of the ’80s gave way to the uncluttered aesthetic of contemporary design today. So it’s a natural progression that we’re now applying contemporary design principles to our backyards to turn this often-underused space into carefully designed and differentiated ‘rooms’.

This year the trend is set to continue, with manufacturers getting in on the act, developing more stylish and durable products that enhance the comfort and convenience of backyard entertaining. The result is outdoor living spaces comparable in design and construction to those indoors.Needless to say, furniture plays a major role in creating outdoor rooms and contemporary furnishings are ideal as they tend to not distract from the true focal point, your garden.

Modern shapes in furnishings are easily adaptable to the outdoors as contemporary design is largely based on the relation between organic and constructed forms, so its clean, simple lines are ideally suited to blend with the natural environment.In this season’s contemporary outdoor products, outdoor kitchens are looking beyond the barbecue to a full-service cooking centre. Dining settings are getting larger and simpler, with the traditional wrought-iron two-seater replaced by chic, practical designs in stainless steel, timber and glass that can fit the whole family. And there’s a vast array of comfortable and stylish pieces for lounging by the pool, which offers a new take on the old deck chair.

Careful landscaping will help to clearly define the function of each section in a garden through the use of plants, lighting and paving. A raised lawn amid a sea of natural stone paving, for example, can provide a platform to look out over the wash-lit water feature or sparkling mosaic-tiled pool. More intimate areas for enjoying a quiet morning coffee can be created with a cosy two-seat setting hidden behind a wall of bamboo or large potted ferns. Differentiating spaces for different purposes can make a small yard seem larger.

When designing your outdoor area, carefully plan the style of the setting to complement the existing interior and architecture of your home so the one flows naturally into the other. Position furniture with an eye toward the best view. Contracting a landscape architect or designer can be a good idea but, before you call anyone in, decide what you want out of your new space, how much you’re willing to spend and what problems need to be fixed in the process of building your garden. Otherwise, strike out on your own inspired by the latest furniture designs and ideas shown here and start enjoying the freedom that comes with living au naturel!


Tel: (03) 9416 0909  
        (03) 9416 0909
Website: www.tait.biz

Cavit & Co,
Tel: (02) 9326 9161 
        (02) 9326 9161
Website at www.cavitco.com

Rock ‘n Stone,
Tel: 1300 553 612 
        1300 553 612
Website: www.rocknstone.com.au

Tel: (03) 9650 1366 
        (03) 9650 1366

Rolling Stone Landscapes,
Tel: (02) 9651 5002 
        (02) 9651 5002

Urban Ponds,
Tel: (03) 9588 2797 
        (03) 9588 2797
or    (07) 5476 7662 
        (07) 5476 7662
Website: www.urbanponds.com.au