Australian homes are getting smaller. In 2019, it was noted that the average size of free-standing homes in Australia had dropped by 1.3% from the previous year; 228.8 square metres was the new average, a 17 year low. But at the same time, Australians were entertaining at home more than ever, especially outdoors. In our climate, that’s not surprising.
The trend towards smaller homes and more entertaining has driven the growing popularity of outdoor rooms in Australia over the last 12 months. An outdoor room is a great way to efficiently add extra space to a house and it creates a focal point for alfresco entertaining we like to do these days. To accentuate that space, here are a few recommendations by real estate agents and outdoor designers all over Australia.
- Install an outdoor kitchen: Every great outdoor room needs an outdoor kitchen. That certainly seems to be the case in Australia right now. They add a huge degree of functionality, and because of this, they turn external space into a highly liveable outdoor room. As a bonus, in today’s housing market, outdoor kitchens can also add substantial value to a home.
- Furnish with adaptability in mind: When choosing furniture, look for a combination of style and practicality. Stackable chairs and collapsible tables can be removed from a dining area in minutes and free up space if you need to accommodate a large number of guests in your outdoor room. Outdoor lounges are also trendy right now as they encourage people to relax and make the area look more like a room.
- Make it green: Greenery is a welcome touch in any room, be it indoors or outdoors. In our balmy climate, seek out low maintenance and hardy plants e.g. succulents, miniature palms, agaves and yukkas are popular choices because they keep on keeping on.
- Throw some light on the subject: Lighting is important anywhere in the house, and your outdoor room is no exception. Outdoor lighting is very affordable and easy to set up, although professional installation by an electrician will make for more pleasing aesthetics and the ability to control the lights through the flick of a switch rather than by plugging things in. Remember too, that some lighting should set the mood while some should be targeted on cooking and serving areas, so try and get the right mix between ambient and task lighting.
- The art of accessorising: Think of your outdoor room in the same way you would an indoor space and accessorise. Decorate the space with cushions, outdoor rugs and table accessories. Match the colour with the surrounding garden and yard areas, or for enhanced indoor/outdoor flow, with the decor in adjacent indoor rooms.
- Keep them warm: Consider adding outdoor heaters to your outdoor room to keep your family, friends and yourself comfortable well after the sun goes down.
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