An outdoor room, like decking or a patio, can be the perfect way for you to spend this spring and summer in Sydney. It’s looking like it’s going to be a warm spring, and an even warmer summer, so why not make the most of your timber decking or patio and enjoy the gentle breezes that make life so wonderful? But if you’re really going to enjoy your time spent on your patio or outdoor decking, you need to make it a space you want to spend time in. Here’s 10 tips that’ll see you never wanting to leave that outdoor space again:
1. Know What You Want to Use Your Decking For
When you know how you want to use your outdoor room, whether it’s decking or a patio, then you can plan to make it as beautiful and comfortable as possible. If you plan to make it an extension of your pool space, then leave plenty of room for deck chairs, and don’t have anything that can’t withstand a heavy drenching. However, if you just want a lounging space, you can afford to be a bit more intimate and soft with your designs and furnishings.
2. Make Your Patio Child- and Pet-Friendly
When you plan your outdoor room you might not have kids or pets, but that doesn’t mean in the future you won’t, or you won’t have big family and friend gatherings with kids of all ages, and a few dogs. The more people who can enjoy your outdoor space, the better it’ll be.
3. Break Your Outdoor Room Down Into Easy to Plan Chunks
If you plan on having a large outdoor room, or one that has multiple purposes, e.g. a lounge area and an outdoor kitchen, it’s important to plan them separately, but still keeping the other area in mind. You’ll find the job is far more approachable if you break it into easy to manage chunks, so spend one weekend planning the living space, and another on the kitchen, and the weekend after merging them together.
4. Recycle As Much As You Can of What You Already Have On Your Patio
Building that perfect patio or deck can be an expensive task, so it’s important that you can save where you can. Look at what you already have in terms of space and furnishings? Can any of it be reused or repurposed? What about giving those chairs and tables a new coat of paint? Would that corner make an excellent outdoor kitchen with the simple addition of a stone back wall?
5. Keep the Theme Going On Your Decking
The best outdoor rooms are ones that blend seamlessly with the rest of the home. If your home already has a theme, e.g. modern chic, keep that going out onto your deck. Plan your designs and furnishings with that theme always in mind.
6. Match Colours From Inside to Your Outdoor Room
Like keeping the theme of your home going out into your outdoor room as mentioned above, it’s important that you keep the colours flowing too. If you’ve used red to highlight or accent parts of your home, do so in your outdoor room with red cushions or even a rug. If you keep the colours close, your outdoor room won’t seem like an addition, instead it’ll seem like it’s always been there.
7. Don’t Forget About Screening and Shading Your Outdoor Room
The thing about the outdoors is that the weather always changes. If you want to use your outdoor room every day, you’ll need to have it ready for any sort of weather. Screens can make excellent space dividers, while also giving you some shade from the sun, and even having a small amount of space covered by a roof will let you enjoy your outdoor room even when it’s pouring.
8. Find Where Your Sight Line is On Your Decking
If you’re going to use centrepieces, or you want something to be the first thing everyone sees when they enter your outdoor room, you need to think about the sight lines. Where’s the first place people will be able to see the space from? Where’s the eye naturally drawn to? Can you do anything to enhance this line of sight, for instance, creating a walkway or lines of plants to direct the eye where you want it to go?
9. Plan Your Outdoor Room’s Kitchen Space
Very few outdoor rooms won’t have a kitchen of some description these days. An outdoor kitchen can be anything from a little barbeque to benches, a sink, and a wood stove. To know what you need in your kitchen space, think about what you plan to do in the space? Are you happy to just serve nibbles, or do you want to be able to cook steaks or pizzas without having to go in and out of your house?
10. Do Research of Other Decks and Patios
If you want an outdoor room that appeals to you, you need to do your research. Search magazines, and the internet, and watch home and garden renovation shows, and make notes of what you do and don’t like. Once you’ve got a list of what you like and what you want to avoid, you can start piecing your ideal outdoor room from it.
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.