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.
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
(Project by Glorious Gardens SA)
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 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.
The outdoor kitchen can be almost as hi-tech as the indoor kitchen these days. The old BBQ is still a favourite and can be combined with roasting hoods, wok burners, teppanyaki plates and woodfired pizza ovens. An outdoor fridge and sink are also very handy additions to the kitchen so you don’t have to keep running inside. You may find that you end up cooking more outside – especially during the warmer months – Less dishes to wash !!
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 and outdoor dining space with a comfortable outdoor lounge area will create a multifunctional area. 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 similiar for entertaining with friends or combine pieces to form a daybed to stretch out on, enjoy the suns rays while your better half serves the drinks.
Once you worked out the layout and purpose of your furniture you need to select the type of furniture you will purchase. The options are many and like most things it is worth spending a bit more money to get the best quality you can afford. Not only will it last longer but you’ll enjoy it more and spend less in the long run.
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 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.
Synthetic wicker furniture has been extremely popular over the last 4-5 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 powdercoated alumium. Cheaper furniture generally uses thinner aluminium tube, less welds and is more susceptible to cracking and breaking over time.
Stainless steel is another popular material but can be susceptible to surface rust (tea staining) – especially in areas close to the beach.
Powercoated Aluminium frame furniture with ceramic or laminate tabletops and chairs, sofas and sunlounges made from outdoor fabrics such as batyline or textiline are also becoming popular .
Teak has been popular for decades and is still a great material for outdoor furniture. It develops a grey patina over time unless it is regularly maintained with a teak protective coating. Teak tables look great when combined with synthetic wicker chairs.
TIP – There are many designer pieces of outdoor furniture such as Sataras’ Bliss Chair that can help create a more eclectic mix of furniture. Consider the use of timber stools and feature chairs to add a classy and organic feel to your room.
An outdoor undercover room with protection from the weather will provide you the ability to utilise the space all year round. Outdoor heaters and fireplaces, portable firepits, clear blinds and shade awnings all assist in maximising your enjoyment of your outdoor room.
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.
Satara supplies products to the Australian market that are ideal for creating an indoor/outdoor living lifestyle. We supply a large range of luxury outdoor furniture and accessories, indoor furniture and home storage solutions.