Ultimate outdoor furniture settings and decorating for summer
The arrival of warmer weather ushers in the chance to prepare for summers at home, whether it’s for gorgeous soul-lifting activities such as alfresco dining with treasured ones or simply relaxing on the comfy lounger in the sun.
During summer we open up our interiors and virtually move the living outdoors. At Amazing Interiors, where our passion is décor, interior design and home staging, we love helping create spaces for our clients that suit their lifestyles and beautifully reflect their vision for the way they wish to live.
Summer lifestyle spaces and how to create a retreat at home
Having time to spend at home over summer is a luxury worth savouring and we believe the ultimate ambience for any home happens when something so special is created, you simply can’t tear yourself away. This is what we call resort living.
To define your personal summer resort, identify what takes you to your happy place. For example, if swimming is the essence of summer for you and installing a pool before Christmas hasn’t made Santa’s List, how about a quality ‘pop up’ which start at around $250, until you can afford the real thing.
If you think an ‘instant’ pool will clash with your existing décor, some lush planting will soften the look and with your own pool at home, there’s simply nowhere else you’ll want to be.
This is really important: comfort should underpin every buying decision you make. After all, you want to spend many happy hours relaxing without a care in the world and for this noble pastime, you must be truly comfortable.
How to plan your outdoor living spaces
In terms of utilising your outdoor space, consider practicality and find a spot outside you’re likely to use frequently. Then think about the type of outdoor living environment you would like, how you’ll use the space, and how you entertain. Is your style semi-formal alfresco dining, more of a ‘lounger by the pool’ vibe, or is a casual BBQ setting more the goal?
Whether you’re planning a completely new outdoor living concept or refreshing an existing one, it’s vital to plan. That means getting out the tape measure because before you buy anything you need to know your furniture is going to fit the space you have as well as suit your needs.
Draw the dimensions of your outdoor living area on a large sheet of paper and list every element you wish to include in the space – an outdoor dining suite, outdoor lounge suite, outdoor side tables, a BBQ etc. Then cut them to scale and position them on the plan. A note on outdoor dining chairs: allocate enough space by pulling them out a metre from the table.
Consider what you’ll need in the evenings too, such as lighting, heating and awning options, especially if they come with bases, because these dimensions will need to go on the plan as well. If this sounds a little technical, and you’d like some inspiration too, get in touch.
What to consider when buying outdoor furniture
When purchasing furniture for outdoor living it is important that it’s robust, light to move and requires minimal maintenance.
Summers can be harsh on outdoor settings so ensure any purchases are made from quality materials, including stainless steel screws and brackets.
For ultimate relaxation, you’ll want furniture that caters for every mood and purpose, from outdoor dining suites, to lay-out-flat sun loungers, and for those in-between moods, a lounge suite with generous proportions.
Think about your style of dining too, whether it’s at the table, sharing platters around the lounger, or keeping the kids grounded with colourful, portable bean bags plus trays and side tables nearby.
If French Country is your interior style, outdoor wicker furniture will blend beautifully. Or if your look is modern and sleek, you’ll want to continue this outside with polished concrete and designer style polypropylene furniture.
Adding shade, texture and interest to outdoor living spaces
Tried and true décor advice: consider furnishing and decorating your outdoor spaces as you do internal rooms because they really do share the same elements. With the floor plan and furniture sorted, it’s time to focus on what’s happening above the space in terms of shade, lighting and heating, as well as finishing touches.
Shade options include pergolas, awnings, sails and umbrellas. All have their advantages and selection simply depends on your needs and preferences. Similarly, with lighting and heating; think about your requirements and the ambience that fits your theme.
For your outdoor soft furnishings, there are fantastic all-weather fabrics and inners available with UV, fade and rain-resistant features, which means cushions and squabs really can last the distance. Adding zips to squab and cushion covers makes cleaning so much easier, and it’s good practice to bring your soft furnishings inside when you go away.
Then for the exterior finishing touches, think beautiful outdoor rugs, throw rugs, exterior art, water features and planting. Keep your interior décor in mind too because a smooth visual flow between the two zones ensures a soothing, sophisticated ambience.
Create a retreat indoors too
In our enthusiasm to live outside during summer, let’s not neglect our interior schemes. We’ll want to retreat there too and enjoy the shaded sanctuary of cooler spaces. The warmer temperatures generally inspire us to make changes inside, such as flipping or changing cushions from textured heavier fabrics for summery ones such as cottons and linens. Removing throw rugs from inside the home and placing them outside for the cooler summer evenings adds to the excitement of the changing seasons as well. Enjoy!
The images above are available in the Mauritius Collection from Warwick. The fabric is available through Amazing Interiors, contact us for more information.
What Renee’s loving right now
Oversized luxury rugs that have personality and timeless appeal. There’s no particular style I prefer, I like them all. Traditional worn Persians, soft luxurious viscose, beautiful pure wool, to textural sisal, and even a thick Moroccan Beni Ourain. These rugs are often handmade by artisans, using ancient techniques and quality fibres. Luxury rugs might be pricier but think of them as art for your floor. If you love and look after them, you’ll have them for a lifetime.
Rugs aren’t just for indoors, we’re seeing an amazing range of quality outdoor rugs coming through and you wouldn’t know the difference. Unlike previous outdoor rugs which can have a hard, plastic-like texture, these rugs seem made for indoor use. So, if you are jazzing up your outdoor space ready for the summer months, consider adding some softness under foot with a gorgeous outdoor rug. Your bare feet will love you for it.