5 Tips for an Enjoyable Outdoor Space
As Australians, with the summer season upon us, all we can think about is enjoying a BBQ outdoors in between dips in the pool surrounded by family and friends. If you live down under, now is the perfect time to prep your outdoor space for those long hot nights spent with loved ones. However, no matter the season or where you live in the world, finding ways to make it easy to enjoy your outdoor space year-round, we believe, is vital for a successful design. So, instead of purely focusing entirely on the layout of outdoor space, think about how it will function as a place to enjoy with all your loved ones. No matter how big or small your outdoor space, you can always add elements to make for a functioning, enjoyable space! Read on below to find out our top five tips to create an easy to enjoy outdoor space…
1. Plan Your Space Carefully
Looking at each zone in your outdoor space is an important first step. You’ll need to consider how to maximize each space so that the zones are planned out well in advance. The backyard at The Barefoot Bay Villa wasn’t a huge space and we still managed to add in a dining table for 14 people, a large pool, BBQ zone, lawn, and a huge garden. We excavated the back of the block to sink half of the backyard and create that crucial indoor/outdoor connection to the living, dining, and kitchen inside. The raised pool keeps kids at eye level when swimming which makes parents feel comfortable and at ease while still being able to enjoy themselves. If you have the luxury of a bigger block, try to think of the outdoor space as a series of cohesive zones that all tie together. Of course, the garden and grass area are always a large focus for any outdoor space, however, don’t underestimate the importance of pavers throughout the space. They help to define a space and add vital flooring for enjoying your outdoor zone.
2. Exterior Lighting
No one wants to sit in a dark backyard at night! Integrate lighting on the exterior walls and in your garden to create ambiance. There’s nothing more that can bring the right atmosphere to a party than lighting. We used wall lighting from Brightgreen at The Barefoot Bay Villa, and it has given the most intimate ambiance when they are lit at night. Consider how your friends and family will utilise the space, where they will sit and converse, where the BBQ will be situated, or places that will get considerable dark as these are the zones where you’ll want to focus on lighting.
3. Consider the Weather
With an outdoor seating zone, you’ll want to consider any weather that you may encounter while entertaining outside. This includes the cool weather which can make guests uncomfortable if they’re sitting for long periods of time. A great option for this is to use heaters that you can hang from a roof structure or a pergola. An electric strip heater, like the one we used from IXL at The Barefoot Bay Villa, is stylish and will provide a gentle warmth at the flick of a switch. Pergolas are also a great option for both cool and warm weather. When it gets sunny or rainy, a pergola protects you and lets you enjoy the area with almost any type of weather condition.
4. Give Your BBQ Proper Consideration
When it comes to enjoying your outdoor space, you simply can’t underestimate the value of a great BBQ. For our project, the Barefoot Bay Villa, we needed a BBQ that could cater up to fourteen people and fit back beautifully with the surroundings. In order to make this happen, we relied on our go-to BBQ which is always Weber. We planned where it was placed on the exterior wall so that it didn’t interfere with the dining space and wouldn’t be in the way for kids running back and forth. Plus, the location meant no smoke inside!
5. Comfortable Seating
For outdoor spaces, you’ll want to make sure that the seating is comfortable and laid out in a way that is suitable for conversation. For example, at our Ayana House project, we created an outdoor patio entertaining area with a leafy garden space that’s complete with a green wall and built-in BBQ zone. All of this was designed to fit into an incredibly compact space. However, making a seating zone that had comfort in mind was crucial for this space. So, we created custom bench seating that connected to the BBQ zone in order to maximise the space provided.
Another illustration of creating comfortable seating is the integrated bench seats on the exterior of The Barefoot Bay Villa that make accommodating up to fourteen people for lunch a breeze. The exterior walls of the home would normally be kept as empty space but now they are the perfect space to sit back and enjoy the Byron Bay sunshine.