What to consider when designing an outdoor area
There are so many things you need to think about before getting started. Some of these are:
- What's my budget?
- What kind of space do I want to create? Is it more of a relaxing, Zen-type space, a functional entertaining area, a kids' playing area, or a mix of different spaces?
- Do I want to be able to cook? Should I consider an outdoor kitchen or an outdoor pizza oven?
- Do I want more of a patio, semi-enclosed or potentially fully enclosed alfresco area?
- Do I need to make sure my outdoor living space is pet or kid friendly?
- Do I want lots of plants, or something that's easy to maintain?
Outdoor design ideas for your backyard
When deciding on an outdoor design for your backyard, it's good to put together a mood board of the elements you'd like to incorporate into your space, as well as the textures and colour palette you want to base your design around.
When thinking about colour palettes for an outdoor living area, consider:
- What flowers you like (and what colours they bloom into)
- Do you want natural textures and colours, or are you wanting something a bit more vibrant?
- What types of timber, concrete or pavers do you like?
Patio and alfresco areas
Depending on the space, your budget, and the atmosphere you want to create, choosing either a patio or alfresco area can have its benefits.
What's the difference between a patio and an alfresco?
There's not a lot of difference between a patio and an alfresco, but the main difference is to do with the roof structure.
An alfresco area is often built into the original plans of your home, as the roof is an extension from the rest of the house. To add on an alfresco area after the house is already built could be a costly and complicated process.
For a patio area, the roof is detached from the main roof of your home. If you're updating your outdoor area, a patio area could be a cheaper process as this structure is separate and can be tailored to what you need.
For either a patio or an alfresco area, you can install outdoor blinds to enclose the space to make it more of an outdoor room rather than a completely open space. This is a great idea if you want to be able to use your outdoor space all year round, no matter the weather!
Creating an outdoor entertaining area on a budget
Creating an outdoor living area doesn't have to be something that breaks the bank! There are plenty of ways you can create a nice space with a small budget.
Ways to keep costs down:
- Wait to buy outdoor furniture at key sale times during the year. Often, stores will have large sales on in June, November, and December. Also keep an eye out for stocktake sales for a bargain!
- Upcycle garden or wood scraps into something nice
- Using natural scraps and pieces that might be left over from something else
- Use a coat of paint to make a difference rather than splurging on pricier elements
Creating an outdoor space for kids
If you have kids, or they're something you're planning, having a safe space for them to play is something to consider. Things like a sandpit help them to have a space they can dig in, be creative, and messy in, without it disrupting your garden.
If you are thinking about getting a trampoline, keep in mind that you'll need to move it around regularly, otherwise it'll create patches in your grass from getting a lot less sun.
A cubby house is also something fun to consider for kids. This is also a great project they can do to decorate it with some pain to let their imaginations run wild!
Pet friendly outdoor spaces
If you need to make your outdoor living area pet friendly, there are a few things you need to consider!
For starters, choosing rattan furniture might look aesthetically nice in your space, but it's also going to look great to bored dogs! Rattan furniture is super easy to be chewed and isn't cheap to replace.
It's also important to note whether you have steps in your backyard. For younger dogs, it isn't so much of a problem, but your more senior dogs might have issues getting around.
Another thing to consider is the type of plants and garden filler you choose. Some fillers like mulch and manure might also be eaten, and some plants are toxic if an animal eats it.
These are some plants which are poisonous to animals:
As there are so many plants that dogs shouldn't encounter, make sure to do your research before buying greenery!
Adding privacy to your outdoor living area
As this is a space that you're likely to be spending a lot of time in, especially in the warmer months, adding privacy is a must-do!
A few ways to keep prying eyes out of your outdoor living area are:
- Hanging screens from your patio
- Planting hedges along your fence line or near your patio area
- Create a vertical garden – this can be decorative with different plants and colours, or why not try creating an edible vertical garden?
- Add a shade cloth
- Planting bamboo
- Using outdoor blinds, awnings, or shutters
Window coverings for your outdoor entertaining area
Choosing the right window coverings for your outdoor living area is a big part of creating the right look and feel of the space.
If you're looking to create a fully enclosed space you can use all year round, Windmaster blinds are the way to go.
Windmaster blinds have been specially designed to withstand windy conditions and are a great option for blocking the rain in winter and reducing the heat in summer.
These blinds go from roof to ground, creating a sealed and enclosed space free from the elements and unwanted insects or mozzies.
Outdoor shutters are an option if you're wanting to create a doorway in your outdoor space, or if you have walls with windows in your area. They are also a sturdy option and give you optimal control of light, temperature regulation and privacy.
Motorised outdoor blinds
Did you know that you can choose to install outdoor motorised blinds? Motorised blinds are a great and convenient option for your outdoor living space as you don't need to go outside to open and close your blinds, perfect for those times it's bucketing down with rain and you want to protect the area!
If you're not sure which window covering is right for your space, check out our blog on choosing the right blinds for your outdoor entertaining area!
Installing DIY outdoor window coverings
Installing DIY outdoor blinds can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but with our handy installation instructions, you'll have all the tools you need.
Head to our website to find our checklist for installing outdoor blinds.
Creating an outdoor kitchen
Depending on your space and budget, you can create some version of an outdoor kitchen or food-serving element within your outdoor living area.
If you have a larger budget and space, why not go completely out, and have a complete outdoor kitchen set up, with sinks, a fridge and a hot plate or the classic Australian barbeque set up? This is a great idea if you like to entertain frequently and need the additional kitchen space.
If you like to entertain every so often and don't have a lot of people over at once, perhaps setting up an outdoor fridge, a pizza oven (if that's your thing), and a barbeque is probably all you need, which will be a fraction of the cost!
Interested in blinds for your outdoor living space? Why not get in touch! You can reach us via Facebook or by calling my Australian customer support team on 1300 699 041. They'll beat any competing in-store or online blinds quote you may have by a huge 10 percent!
You can find all of our shutters, awnings, curtains, and blinds online for the lowest prices, guaranteed. Plus, we deliver Australia-wide from Perth to the east coast and offer free shipping on metro orders over $449. For all other orders, shipping is $27.