Al fresco living is a hugely popular lifestyle choice in Australia, with outdoor rooms providing extra space for entertaining, family meals and everyday activities.
Furnishing an outdoor room extension is now getting to be right up there in terms of style considerations too – ye olde timber picnic setting probably isn’t going to cut it any more! The range of options has exploded, so here are a few of the 2016 trends to incorporate into your outdoor space if you want to be right up to the minute.
Wicker or rattan
This is huge at the moment – in natural and synthetic materials, traditional and modern styles, and neutral or bright colours. It is hardwearing, easy to style, and comfortable, so it’s no surprise that it’s never really been off trend – but you’ll find a much more extensive range of options now than you might have done a few years ago.
Gone is the awkward trip out through the laundry to the add-on deck or patio. People are demanding – and the designers are offering – indoor living spaces that transition smoothly into outdoor living areas. Big bi-fold or sliding doors, complementary or identical flooring – everything is geared to minimise the shift from being inside to being outside. That has impacted outdoor furniture designs too, and you’ll find a far greater range of soft furnishings now with waterproof fabrics to ensure durability. Dropping formality and opting for casual styles also helps to maintain the sense of flow.
Look for furniture that’s made of multiple materials – think wood and resin, wood and iron, stainless steel and teak. While simple single material pieces have a timeless and classic style, if you want to be really up-to-date, pieces that utilise contrast are on the edge right now.
The old gas barbecue may no longer be quite enough if you want a standout cooking experience. The ultimate trendy installation might be a wood-fired oven, but there is a range of other options. Consider a fire pit with wooden benches around it for a rustic entertaining option. If actual fire isn’t really your thing, you can’t go past a fitted outdoor kitchen. It can either be fully built in, or you can buy individual components.
Forget having everything matching. Blending old and new, rustic and modern, quirky and classic is a fun way to create something completely unique to your home. Depending on your outdoor roofing options, you may be able to extend that to lighting, incorporating junk shop or country market finds to create ambiance.
Whether you’re a lover of classic style or you’re madly Bohemian, think about your outdoor spaces the same way as you would the interior of your home. Try and create defined spaces – whether it’s via the placement of furniture, plants or even an outdoor rug. Above all, have fun with it – it’s summer, time to play and enjoy time with family and friends.