Add Value while relaxing in style.
The Outdoor Room is a fundamental part of most new house designs and renovations these days. Do it right and not only can it dramatically change the way you live, relax, enjoy family time and entertain but it can also add significant value to your property. Here are a few tips on designing the Ultimate Outdoor Room.
Image by Satara, featuring the Polaris Sofa, Bedarra Coffee Table, Samera Round Side Tables & our new range of outdoor cushions
Having a plan of what you want to achieve before you start is the most important stage. Things to consider include: - how much space you have available, protection from the weather, which direction the hot afternoon sun shines, your view from inside the house, how the room will link with the indoors, Building/Planning restrictions, location of outdoor kitchen/cooking facilities, ventilation etc. Create an ideas board for inspiration by taking photos of interesting designs and textures, cut-outs from magazines, web articles etc. Pinterest and Instagram are great sources of images for inspiration.
You can spend anything from $1000 to hundreds of thousands on your outdoor room. Your budget will have a big impact on what is possible. A well designed outdoor room can add significantly to the value of your property and also to your ultimate enjoyment of the space. Don’t forget to allow money for good quality furniture and accessories to finish off the space.
Draw a Plan
Draw a scale plan (or have a landscape architect or interior designer draw one for you). On the plan work out spacing, furniture layout, direction of weather and sun. Allow enough space to move around the area. Think about lines of sight and using furniture, plants and pots as features that can be viewed from inside your house. You don’t want your neighbours peering out at you while you’re snoozing on the daybed in your bikinis or speedos so think about creating some privacy. Creating walls and defining boundaries for your outdoor room will give it better definition.
Image by E&S Trading, Featuring Satara Products [the Eden Dining Table & Shell Dining Chairs]
All too often outdoor rooms are designed and built with little thought into how the space will be used and enjoyed. The space you have available and the layout of furniture will have a major impact on your enjoyment of the room. As well as a functional use, your outdoor furniture can become a real feature so consider how it will look from the inside. If you have the room, combining an outdoor dining space with a comfortable outdoor lounge area will create a multi-functional area.
Image by Satara, Featuring The Polaris Sofa Range, Barrel Lounge Chairs, Vespa Rope Armchairs & Esperance Dining Table
If space is limited consider an outdoor sofa area with low tables for more casual dining. Another good option is to utilise your indoor dining area opening out to a more casual outdoor lounge. A large comfy Daybed is not only a magical place to relax but can be used as a key focal piece for your design.
Modular sofas are extremely popular and versatile. They can be setup in an L shape or similar for entertaining with friends or combine pieces to form a daybed to stretch out on, enjoy the sun’s rays while your better half serves the drinks.
Outdoor Furniture Selection
Synthetic wicker furniture has been extremely popular over the last 5-8 years due to its attractive appearance, range of colours and designs and minimal maintenance requirements. Satara’s range of all-weather synthetic weave furniture is available in 10 colours and hundreds of different designs. The synthetic weave is treated with chemicals to stop it fading and cracking in our harsh environment. Frames are made from rust proof powder coated aluminium. Cheaper furniture generally uses thinner aluminium tube, less welds and is more susceptible to cracking and breaking over time.The first thing to consider is whether the furniture will be kept under cover, or sit out in the rain and sun. To get maximum use of your furniture you want it accessible at all times and don’t want to be moving cushions in and out of the rain. If your furniture will sit in the rain you will need to take better care of your cushions. It is worth investing in a top quality outdoor fabric such as sunbrella and quick-dry foam which won’t retain any moisture in the foam. You will also need to regularly clean and dry the cushions to stop mould and mildew growing on dirt that sits in the cushion fabric. If your cushions will get minimal exposure to rain then you probably don’t need to invest the extra money in quick-dry foam.
Image by Boutique Homes - Featuring the Loupe Dining Table, Skal Dining Chairs & Skal Bar Stools
Powder coated Aluminium framed furniture with ceramic or laminate tabletops and chairs, sofas and sunlounges made from open weave outdoor fabrics such as batyline or textiline are also popular.
Outdoor Heating and Protection from the weather
When the cold months of the year roll around, many of us retreat indoors and abandon our outdoor areas until the sunshine returns, but this doesn’t have to be the case. An outdoor undercover room with protection from the weather will provide you with the ability to utilise the space all year round. Outdoor gas heaters, fire pits, electric patio heaters (heat strips), pizza ovens/Braais, clear blinds and shade awnings can all assist in maximising your enjoyment of your outdoor room.
Outdoor gas heaters come in a range of designs and sizes, they’re also easy to move around, making them a great addition to almost any outdoor space. Be sure the outdoor heater is protected from radiating heat onto your ceiling.
Fire pits provide not only warmth but also add a great open fire atmosphere. Fire pits can be portable or a permanent display, depending on your needs and space restrictions. Keep in mind smoke ventilation.
Electric strip heaters are installed on your patio roof or wall, they take up little to no space and have a sleek modern look. They are more expensive than a fire pit or a gas heater, but because they take up very little space, they are an excellent heating option if you are limited on space or if you’d prefer a subtle yet modern look to your outdoor room.
Image by Satara, Featuring the Leah Dining Chairs
Pizza ovens are another great heating options for all the foodies out there (Although the majority of the heat is retained in the oven for efficient cooking). Not only do they provide your outdoor room with radiant warmth but they also give you the option of making delicious food right in the comfort of your outdoor room. Imagine having your friends over on a cold winters night for freshly made wood fired pizzas. The smell alone is worth it. They are quite large so you do need to consider the size of your space, and the location you wish to put it in, as you’ll also have to account for the flue.
To help shield you from heat and sunlight during the summer and retain heat within your outdoor space during the colder months consider outdoor blinds. Blinds will not only keep the heat produced but they can also protect you, your guests and your furniture from the elements, be that rain, wind, harsh sun rays or bugs, making them great all year round. Outdoor Blinds now come in a variety of materials and styles, and there are even options for how they’re raised and lowered. Blinds are more stylish, modern and simple to use than ever before.
Think about places you have travelled to, holidays you’ve enjoyed, and try and add items to your outdoor room that help re-create the same feeling you experienced while away.
- Add Outdoor lanterns and candles to create ambience for night time entertainment, Low voltage garden mood lighting and decorative fire features are also great.
- Small planters and pots with succulents make great table pieces
- Add an organic feel with Timber bowls and stools
- Combine colourful scatter cushions with a solid base colour for the majority of your outdoor cushions. Create continuity with your indoor rooms by using similar colours or bring in colours from the garden or pool in your scatters.
- Consider a water feature – the sound of running water can be very soothing.
- Adding a cluster of pots in different sizes and plants for greenery or a vertical garden with herbs for cooking. There is nothing better than adding freshly picked basil on onto a crisp woodfired pizza straight out of the oven.