Your living room outdoors

Your living room outdoors

Patios are just as much a part of building the perfect home as a spacious kitchen or beautiful bathroom. Properly designed and furnished, they become valuable living spaces that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

Five design tips

1.
The size

A beautiful outdoor space can be created on any area. However, the smaller the available footprint, the trickier the task. Often there are restrictions with regard to floor load, with a standard patio rated at about 300kg per square metre. This should be borne in mind when choosing containers and plants.

2.
The location

It’s not just the wind and sunshine that need to be considered, but also the situation with the neighbours and the view. A south-facing patio gets the sun all day long; if it faces west, it enjoys a warm evening light; and patios that face east are bathed in the early morning sun. The situation with regard to the neighbours is often underestimated, but it is a major factor in the decision whether a privacy screen is needed, although the view also needs to be considered when planning this.

3.
The layout

When planning and designing a patio, the main considerations are the customer’s ideas, the available space and the surroundings. Based on these, I divide the area into different sections and make them distinct from each other. This creates cosy areas for eating and chilling, such as eating spaces, lounges and niches for resting or working, all on one patio.

4.
The choice of plants

Grasses, shrubs and perennials are used to demarcate the different spaces and to shield from prying eyes. Trees serve mainly to provide shade from the sun. Arranged accordingly, the result is striking, all-year-round greenery that can be combined with seasonal flowering plants and herb beds.

5.
The furnishings

Incorporating your interior styling in the exterior furnishings dissolves the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. This applies to the choice of furniture as much as the materials for pots, flooring and accessories. For example, the indoor colour scheme can be continued on the patio in the choice of furniture and weatherproof seat cushions/decorative cushions, or the use of a matching or complementary floor covering can appear to extend the room outdoors.

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