Get more from your deck, terrace or balcony throughout the year with our top tips for creating practical and inviting outdoor spaces.
Spring is the perfect time for heading outdoors to enjoy longer, warmer days. But with the right features and styling, you can relax and entertain outdoors all year round and add value to your home. Here are three outdoor renovating options to suit your budget.
Bargain – create comfort zones
Even with just a few hundred dollars you can add enough shade and furnishings to bring comfort and style to the humblest balcony or deck. These modest additions are ideal if you only have a smaller space to work with outside an apartment.
- Use a rectangular planter to split your courtyard with a green screen, creating two separate zones.
- Team a smaller round table with two or three folding chairs for a bistro-style breakfast spot.
- Add a hammock or a couple of sun loungers on the other side of the screen.
- Use water- and UV-resistant cushions and rugs to add colour and texture.
- An oversized sun umbrella will shade you while sipping a coffee or lounging with some magazines.
- Consider a fire pit or patio heater and low-cost solar lighting to cosy up your outdoor room for nighttime and winter.
Spend – your own outdoor room
Building a permanent shaded area and extra landscaping can create a really comfortable and peaceful retreat. Adding a well-planned and maintained covered area can also be a good investment in the resale value of your home.
- Look at options for creating more shelter from the sun and wind – an awning or simple pergola with some climbing plants may be enough.
- Go further with a retractable shade or louvered sides to stay in control of light and airflow throughout the day and as the seasons change.
- Plan the landscaping and planting around your backyard retreat to maximise privacy and create a beautiful outlook for you and your guests.
- Up lights recessed into walls are great ways to soften your outdoor space or add a feature pendant lamp to dress up your dining zone.
Splurge – 100% al fresco
A fully featured outdoor kitchen is the holy grail of homeowners who love enjoying food, wine and friends. If you’ve got the budget to make it happen, it’s sure to be a great selling point for future buyers who take their entertaining seriously.
- If your kitchen is in the right spot, adding a serving area can be a great way to use your indoor kitchen as if it were outdoors. With a built-in bar and some stools, you can create a very stylish and convenient casual dining zone.
- Go the full hog and build a complete outdoor kitchen with a sink, fridge, and built-in gas barbie.
- Don’t forget the task lighting you’ll need to cook outdoors like a pro.
- For a really deluxe approach, include a wood-burning stove for making pizza, smoked meats and more. It can also double as a fireplace to add to the comfort and atmosphere during winter.
What improvements are you planning for your outdoor space this spring? Tell us about your ideas in the comments below.