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Outdoor Education

ByWaverly Atkinson

Furniture can make or break an outdoor space. Maximise your living areas and create a space for entertaining and relaxing all year round.

Are you the entertainer who loves a kitted out courtyard? Perhaps you prefer to lounge quietly by the pool or in the garden? Or you want the right mix of fun for the kids, and a spot to enjoy a sundowner with friends. Whatever your outdoor style, the furniture you choose plays a big role in how usable the space is.

Start by defining the primary use for your outdoor area – for example family barbecues, drinks with friends, kids play or using it for hobbies. Then work out how many people you would like to seat and if you need to add dining into the scope. Then, based on how large an area you have to work with, draw a simple floor plan and start populating it with the useful furniture (as opposed to the more decorative items, we’ll get to those shortly). If there’s any equipment you’d like to include like a barbecue, fire pit or pizza oven, add those in too.

Now to the really fun part. Decide on your colour scheme. A neutral palette will always have longevity and help your staging if you ever decide to sell. But you can add personality by choosing a highlight colour or theme such as a coastal Hamptons feels, a Balinese vibe or perhaps even a “green’ sustainable style.

Once you’ve played around with the furniture and the style you’re keen on, start shopping. The final step is to add the finishing touches like outdoor lighting and cushions, floor mats, and smaller items like ice buckets, artwork and extra plants.

A well designed and decked out outdoor space can even add value to your home. If you’re thinking of selling, a refresh of your outdoor area with new furniture helps a buyer visualise how the space can be used for fun and relaxation.

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