One of the great things about the Kiwi summer is that we get to enjoy our homes at their best. No wonder that entertaining friends and family in the backyard is a treasured Kiwi tradition. 

So, would you like to make the most of these long, warm days in the comfort of your own home? Here are some expert* tips for you.

Comfort and practicality

Experts are unanimous: A well-designed outdoor living area is one that promotes relaxation without compromising on practicality. 

Make sure there are comfortable places to sit scattered around, like outdoor lounge furniture, hammocks and benches. Identify the areas that are more exposed to sunlight or wind, and plan your space accordingly; for example, depending on the layout of the property, you may choose to create separate ‘zones’ using fences for wind protection and pergolas for shade.

Storage

According to experts, there are two main reasons for incorporating storage in your outdoor living area. 

Firstly, if you have soft furnishings like cushions, throws and outdoor rugs, keep them in a dry place will likely make them last for longer. Secondly, it can help maintain your outdoor area uncluttered and organised – just what you need to make the most of this space.

Indoor-outdoor connection

Creating an indoor-outdoor flow is a great way to turn your outdoor living area into an extension of the living room, basically creating an extra room to your house.

To ensure the two spaces blend seamlessly, try keeping a consistent colour scheme or pattern. For extra effect, landscape designer Erin Farrow suggests using the same floor level and adding a sort of ceiling on the outdoor space, like a pergola or shade sail. 

Lighting

Balmy nights are a perfect time to enjoy your outdoor space. Whether it’s candles, lanterns, string lights or energy-efficient LED bulbs, lighting can enhance the ‘cosy factor’ and make your deck as welcoming at night as it is during daytime. 

Sometimes, a well-placed solar light is all you need. They are usually affordable and can be placed almost anywhere, with no wiring required.

A touch of green

Not only do plants create a beautiful space and help purify the air, but they can be used to add some privacy without detracting from your design. 

If you’re looking at creating a more sustainable lifestyle, you can also consider planting a vertical garden on a wall, or starting a compost heap at the bottom of your garden. 

Don’t have much space? Even if your outdoor area is quite small, you can still grow veggies and herbs into pots, and create a compact edible garden with your choice of beetroot, aubergine, peas, and tomatoes.

Outdoor play

Have young children? Your outdoor space can give an opportunity to connect with nature, play and get creative. From slides and swings through to sandpits and outdoor bean bags, you can turn your garden into a playground for the whole family to enjoy. 

Engaging all the senses

Aesthetics matter, but for a more immersive experience, make sure that all the senses are engaged. Depending on your budget, an outdoor audio system or even a quality portable Bluetooth speaker could be a great addition. Alternatively, for a more natural touch, you can install a water fountain. 

As for perfumes, flowers and plants can offer a variety of fragrances. For example, jasmines have a distinctive fragrance during the warmer months, while wintersweet and daphne grow strongly-scented flowers in late winter.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.