Australians really know how to enjoy the great outdoors. We build our homes on the coast fringe, in luscious rainforests and mountain ranges, making the most of the surrounding environment. Think big views, cool breezes and evening sunsets, that’s what outdoor living is all about down under. 2015 was a killer in the design stakes, so we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Australian outdoor rooms from 2015.
1. The minimalist space
Outdoor living doesn’t have to be extravagant. Leave the wow factor to nature itself and enjoy a simple, modern deck like this one in Melbourne. The natural timber leads straight onto the lawn, amplifying the space and light.
2. A back garden lawn and deck in one
This backyard in Manly, Sydney, is the ultimate compromise for a small back garden; a deck and lawn in one. The owners have incorporated the lawn around a relaxed sitting area to give a warm, natural texture under foot, reserving the timber decking for an alfresco dining area just out of sight.
3. The secluded courtyard
This secluded courtyard, flanked by tall trees is in a modernist style home in Canberra. The full length windows and doors frame the garden from the inside living area, and the garden offers a sense of privacy for outdoor living.
4. The outdoor living room
This protected space is what it means to bring the indoors out. The pendant lights over the dining area, and the cosy cushions and arm chairs make this space feel warm and welcoming, while making the most of the outdoor breeze and fresh air. The full ceiling is perfect for the Brisbane rains and humidity in summer, but it doesn’t lose its outdoor appeal.
5. The Queenslander
Who doesn’t love an old Queenslander? The white timber details, louvre windows and colourful cushions make this space oh-so welcoming. Not to mention the pool!
6. The extra wide rustic verandah
This ultra wide verandah is a classic in federation country homes, designed to keep the house cool in the hot summer months. This combination of simple bamboo furniture and the red pressed concrete floor make it look cool and inviting for an afternoon nap.
7. The outdoor kitchen
Modern but relaxed, stone and timber are a great combination in an outdoor living area. This space, which combines the living and dining with a built-in outdoor kitchen, is the perfect place to entertain for BBQs and summer dinner parties.
In coastal areas, it’s all about the view. Make the most of it with glass panelling like this deck, so you can enjoy it whether you’re sitting down or standing up. Focus less on furnishings and styling by orienting everything toward the spectacle.
9. At one with nature
Allow your environment to dictate your space. This home in the Brisbane hinterland is set into the landscape so the indoors and outdoors flow seamlessly with the surrounding bush.
10. Seamless indoor-outdoor
Blur the lines between your indoor and outdoor living by levelling the floor and recessing the door tracks. Top hung glass bifold doors work well for this so you can even keep the same floor covering running from the inside out. When the doors are completely opened, the continuation of space gives the illusion of one large living area rather than two.
Kevin Pobjie grew up in Sydney and started working in the home improvements industry over 30 years ago. He is married with two children, one boy and one girl, 24 and 20. Kevin started selling awnings, pergolas and sunrooms using Hunter Douglas and Stramit before he started Wizard Home Improvements in Granville in late 2004. He is now licensed by fair-trading to build awnings.