Outdoor style


Words by Cal Stewart

‘Styling’ seems to be a bit of a buzzword at the moment – it’s all about how you ‘style’ your home, or rooms, if you’re a contestant on The Block. Do you have a personal decorating style? Do you like to follow the trends and change things around or just like to do things once and then live with it?
I have to admit that I like to change things around a bit, which is often just a case
of using the same accessories in another room for a bit of a different look. I pore over home decor magazines and rummage around online looking for inspiration – and for things that I can actually afford.
There are just so many options available for decorating our homes, and now there’s also a huge range for decorating your outdoor living spaces.
As Australians, we do like to spend a bit of time living outdoors, but haven’t our yards and gardens come a long way since the ’70s? … although, ’70s style is very fashionable at the moment.
As a nation, we seem to have really embraced outdoor living or alfresco areas, and these areas are now both important and integrated parts of our homes.
I love getting a glimpse of all the beautiful homes and outdoor areas in the glossy magazines – they always look amazing – but we need to remember they are set-up to look great for the photos. It’s important, especially with your outdoor areas, to choose items that are easy to look after.
It’s no good going to all that effort to have an outdoor entertaining area if you end up spending all of your time cleaning it or can’t use it because it’s too hot and sunny, or gets hammered by the wind.
Before you embark on decorating your outdoor area, take some time to think about how and when you will use the space. Will you need sun protection or shade? Think about the times of the day when you will be using it most – will an umbrella give you the protection you need or would a retractable awning work better?
Does it get really windy? This can be a tricky problem to solve – we all know umbrellas and awnings aren’t great in the wind – perhaps you need to look for more solid screening or you can plant densely to help provide some protection. Of course, this doesn’t always work if you have a view to enjoy.
Investing in quality fabrics for outdoors means that they will last. Fabrics that are designed for outdoor use will be more resistant to fading and mildew so are easier to care for too. Most can simply be hosed down – and now there are lots of great outdoor fabrics available at really affordable prices, so you can add some instant colour with cushions.
Whatever size your yard is, or even if you only have a small balcony area, styling these areas nicely makes the space so much more enjoyable to use. With the range of options available today, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do so.
So, decorating or ‘styling’ your home should also extend outdoors. Stick with a similar style to indoors for a more cohesive feel, but you can really have some fun while creating a space that you enjoy relaxing in, because it’s really all about what works best for you and your lifestyle.


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