Thereâ€™s so much more to outdoor living space design than many realise.
If you follow these tips, youâ€™ll have an outdoor area that is ideal for summer entertaining in no time.
1. Divide and conquer
To create a sense of intimacy in a large, open outdoor space, consider dividing it into zones for different purposes.
Depending on how much space you have at your disposal, some key zones to create might include an area for preparing food, one for eating and one suited to conversation.
Get creative with your furnishings and layout to effectively zone off each area.
2. Flexible furnishings
Having outdoor furniture that can be easily moved and adjusted depending on the size of the crowd in the space will be a bonus during summer barbecues.
Consider your headcount and whether itâ€™s necessary to provide a seat for every guest. For smaller gatherings, take into account whether your guests are family or friends and whether they would mind cosying up on a sofa together, or if they would need more personal space.
Also make sure you have surfaces where guests can rest plates and glasses. Flexible tables that can be rolled out on demand are a good idea – especially if you can provide them at a height that will suit the seating type. If you have an eclectic mix of furniture styles you can easily refresh them with your favourite Resene colour to bring them into your outdoor spaceâ€™s colour palette.
3. Screen time
Placing a lattice or two in your yard can help you carve out your zones and also create visual interest. These open frameworks made from wood or metal that often feature a crisscross, diamond-shaped pattern are lightweight and affordable, so they can be used temporarily for an event if necessary.
You can even attach two or more framed lattices together using hinges and Resene paint or wood stain to create a folding screen divider that can separate spaces within a larger outdoor space. Use coordinating Resene paint colours to ensure the divider will complement your home.
4. Aesthetic agility
Now itâ€™s time to get down to the details. Apply interior design principles to your outdoor space, and think of ways to create repetition through colours or textures.
The types of gatherings you plan to host will determine how much you want to invest in your decor – expensive decorative items might be able to withstand a civilised cocktail party, but not a rowdy teenage event or a kids birthday party! Also be sure to take into account how your decor will withstand changing weather.
Colour goes a long way in making a space look inviting. Play with colour through your furniture and accessories, as well as with paint. Use paint on decorative accents to create a cohesive outdoor space – you can use Resene Colour Match online or visit your local Resene ColorShop to find the closest colour or an ideal accent hue to go with your existing decor. Most Resene testpots are made with Resene Lumbersider, which is designed to be durable for outdoor use without the need for a clear coat.
5. Squeaky clean
If you have a pool or live close to the beach, an outdoor shower is a highly useful addition to your outdoor area. It will allow guests to rinse off without having to take sandy or dirty feet inside, or when youâ€™re not entertaining itâ€™s helpful for rinsing muddy dogs or grubby gardening equipment.
And it doesnâ€™t have to be an eye-sore – get creative to make the shower work with the space. Paint or stain it with your favourite Resene colours, either in a solid colour or an attractive pattern, or Resene FX Faux Rust Effect can help you achieve a rustic effect.
If you need help choosing colours for your decorating project, use the free Ask a Resene service,Â www.resene.co.nz/colourexpertÂ and visit your Resene ColorShop.