Summer has finally arrived here in the southern hemisphere and with it comes lots of time entertaining. Australians love to spend afternoons and evenings outside with friends and loved ones, soaking up sunshine and fresh air. To make the most of these summer occasions, you need to have a relaxing outdoor space designed for entertaining.
It’s not just about throwing an outdoor dining setting by the back door, though that will work in an emergency. The options for your backyard are limited only by the imagination, but there are some things to think about when planning your outdoor escape. Your backyard oasis doesn’t need to break the bank and be ridiculously elaborate, but it does need to suit your needs and flow with the style of your house. Good planning is essential. Have plans drawn up and make sure that you are covered with anything that needs council approval before you start to ensure there aren’t costly setbacks later on.
Timber decks can be a perfect starting point for your entertaining area and they are versatile enough to be designed for any purpose.
- Poolside decking to offer a relaxing area to lay back and keep an eye on the kids, read a book or chat in between dips.
- Patio decking could be the base for your pergola, the entertaining area with comfortable outdoor furniture, and a quiet reading nook – the lists are endless.
Be sure to factor comfort into your planning. If you intend to spend long hours outside relaxing or entertaining, you want to make sure that the furniture you choose will offer the comfort you need to accommodate that. Lots of outdoor furniture is made from materials that aren’t known for comfort. So be sure to consider materials when choosing outdoor furniture.
Shade and Weather protection are essential elements, especially in an Australian summer. An effective covered area can protect us from scorching heat, especially with Christmas forecasts in the 40s. It will also allow for outside entertaining in the rain, because we all know that summer storms are quite common in our part of the world.
A beautiful timber pergola can be custom built to your specification, and there’s always the option to add cafe blinds or something similar to enclose for a complete outside room.
Outdoor Lighting is also an important feature to consider. With the days getting hotter, there is not a lot that beats sitting outside as the breeze picks up and dusk settles in. It is much more convenient and comfortable to spend evenings outside when the lighting is good. It also offers many more options for how to spend those evenings as there’s only so much you can do at an outside table in the dark.
Lighting has come a long way in recent years, and the options can be quite cost efficient and aesthetically pleasing. Candles are a beautiful addition, but they aren’t always practical depending on the weather. Solar lights come in all shapes and sizes, and if placed strategically around your outdoor area will offer ample and ambient light. If you have a solid weatherproof structure, hardwired lights will offer the perfect environment for all of your activities. Try to avoid bright, glaring and fluorescent lighting in your outdoor areas which can ruin the ambience you have worked so hard to create.
With an extremely hot summer upon us, take note of some of these tips to start working on a relaxing outdoor space where you and your family can gather together.
This post was in collaboration with Thomsons Outdoor Pine.