07 Oct Spring, the prequel to summer living
The clocks have gone forward an hour here in Sydney, the sun is heating up and we are all enjoying picnics to our heart’s content now spring has sprung! Spring is the prequel to the beautiful summers we experience here in Australia, and it’s our favourite time of year. Whether you’re a lover of the fabulous jacaranda trees that line the streets with purple flowers in springtime, or you’re hitting the beaches for those first fresh swims in the ocean, spring really is a magical time.
Outdoor living is something that can’t be avoided in the warmer months. From those that like to absorb some vitamin D in the sunshine, others that like to sit in the shade reading a book with a lovely sea breeze, it’s important to consider how you want to spend your time in summer, and more importantly, where you want to spend it. Today’s blog is going to explore ways that you can design stunning outdoor spaces that suit your outdoor lifestyle.
Designing outdoor spaces differs from indoors, as we have the elements to contend with… consider the use of materials for your outdoor space, and there are many wonderful options to choose from. Whether you prefer using timber in the form of decking or structurally, or natural stone or even concrete. These materials will hold up against the harsh Australian sun all year round (although timber will require more TLC and maintenance than stone or concrete).
When selecting the materials you want to feature in your outdoor space, first consider the materials that are already in use throughout the outside of your home. You want to ensure that anything you create outside is going to work well with the existing materials of your home.
And it’s not just the outside materials to consider. When designing your outdoor space, create a continuation of design by using the same flooring inside on your outside patio or terrace. Natural stone works really well for this. Sliding or bi-fold doors between the spaces can create a beautiful continuity which means your design flows from inside to out effortlessly.
Staying sun safe
Of course, not all of us like to sit directly in the sunshine, especially on those particularly hot Sydney days. This is why you should always consider the ways in which you can shade your family from the sun. There are many popular ways to do this in your outdoor space.
Of course, we have the traditional umbrella, which is perfect as this can go up and down as you wish, and be styled to suit the size of your space and decor. For those of you that would prefer something a little more discreet, retractable awnings can be a useful addition to an outdoor space, allowing you to control where and when you introduce shade to your space. A pergola with a retractable awning is always a winner in an outdoor setting in my opinion.
Fabrics that work well outdoors
Our skin isn’t the only thing that will sustain damage through overexposure to sunlight; sadly your outdoor fabrics will succumb to the sun at some stage and fade. Rain can also take its toll on fabrics if they are positioned somewhere unavoidable for rainfall. But not all is lost.
100% solution dyed-acrylic fabrics can actually repel sun damage, dust and water. Like everything, they will fade over time with exposure to such harsh elements, but in general, you should get a good few years out of them compared to other materials.
So this blog is about spring, the prequel to summer. We do get those beautiful warm spring days, but spring evenings can still be quite chilly (and even some summer evenings!). Plus, as we have such mild weather in the winter months, outdoor living in Sydney is generally a year-round tradition, not just for spring and summer. Considering ways to keep you and your family warm out there in the cooler times of day or year is important. A feature like underfloor heating isn’t exclusively used inside of the home, but can be used outside too…
A fireplace may be a traditional indoor feature but can be just as effective as not only a source of heat outdoors but as a unique element in your space. Firepits have gained in popularity in recent years too, and just like the fireplace, you can use gas if log fires are not allowed in your locality. And while we are talking about gas, there are of course stand-alone gas heaters, which can be useful as they can be introduced when they are needed, and stored away when they are not. Or if you prefer a more permanent heating structure, there are also ceiling-mounted heaters that can be subtly incorporated into outdoor seating spaces.
I hope I have given you some inspiration for spring this year. If you are considering redesigning your space, showcasing your style outdoors as well as indoors, then please reach out to us and see if this is something we can help you with.