We tend to neglect decorating and using our outdoor spaces properly. So why not invest in updating this space to spend lazy summer hours outside

WORDS: SARAH MARJORIBANKS – PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

Long, warm days mean we’re going to be spending far more time outdoors over the coming months. Whether you want to give your patio a quick makeover, or invest in the outdoor space of your dreams, we’ve got you covered with these design ideas.

Complement your garden

“Outdoor spaces are an extension of both your home and garden, and need to reflect that,” says Kizzie Stenslunde from Wolfe & Hare. She recommends looking at the styling of your garden to see what you can bring into the outdoor living space. Predominantly greenery and flowers? Then go for fabrics in a range of soft greens and naturals for the furniture, such as Hertex’s outdoor velvet and their Nature’s Valley botanicals range. “Throw in pops of colour with bright floral cushions and use a mix of bamboo, wood and glass for tables and decor to create a seamless transition from indoors to out,” she says. If your garden is more patio, go for a modern look with wrought-iron furniture mixed with marble or glass-top tables, soft grey furnishings with accents of green, and concrete pots with oversized plants.

Shut it out

A stylish and functional way to enclose a patio is with shutters, protecting the outdoor furniture within and allowing insulation from the heat and cold. Customisable shutters – such as Plantation Shutters – are a great investment for your home, adding value and giving you an unlimited colour choice to create your ideal aesthetic.

Sleeping beauty

If there’s one piece of furniture that naturally triggers our urge to lounge and nap, it’s the daybed. “This slightly raised daybed on a patio overlooking Hout Bay beach is the ultimate statement of outdoor style and luxury,” says Hanno de Swardt of Onnah Design. “The patio, previously seldom used and enjoyed, is now revived and has become a popular area for sunbathing, reading, enjoying the beautiful views, or just simply pondering.”  

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Take a dip

A room that’s just dedicated to outdoor living and spending time in and around the pool is heaven sent during the warmer months. The whole family gets to enjoy the space, which can take on a multitude of functions depending on your needs. “The pool pavilion should have a strong visual and physical link with the actual pool and ideally be a covered space to protect one from the elements while still enjoying the outdoors,” says Hanno. In this example (left), a cosy braai area links the main house and the pool pavilion.

Framing the view

“The pergola is a lovely element one can use to define a specific area, in this instance a table for two, overlooking the Sunset Links Golf Course (below right),” says Hanno. While the pergola can be free-standing, partially or fully-covered, and can be made from many different materials, Hanno suggests taking into account the intended function of the pergola, the space it requires, the orientation towards the sun, and the views before jumping straight in.

Sitting pretty

There’s something quite nostalgic about the new addition to the Kettal Design Studio’s range of outdoor furniture (above). The new Net club armchair is a stylish addition to any stoep. The chairs are made with woven weather-resistant cords and aluminium tubing for a light, handcrafted look, while the seat and the backrest are fabric. They’re easily stackable, and available in a variety of colours.

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Smart solutions

Investing in streamlining your home’s entertainment systems quickly, adds value to one’s property, but if you think technology is just for indoors, think again. Homemation – suppliers of audio-visual, home automation and home theatre products – can curate an efficient and convenient system that will allow you to place music outside.

Get the look

Small changes can make a big difference! If your outdoor space is screaming for a makeover, Ruzaan Schlechter from OYA Change Catalyst suggests these decorating tips to get you started.

Furniture selection
Pick furniture that suits the area. Smaller spaces will be more functional with L-shaped couches whereas with larger areas you can play around with hanging chairs, sofas and occasional chairs.

Bring the green
Plants, plants, plants! Nothing is more relaxing than sitting outside being surrounded by greenery. Use pot plants and glass hanging vases for a modern finish.

Lighting
Large free-standing lanterns are amazing for ambience on those hot summer evenings.

Clutter free
If you have a pool, create an area for pool toys, towels and sunblock. That way it’s all kept neatly together and ensures a more functional space. You can upcycle an old cupboard for this. 

Finishing touches
Complete the look with an outdoor rug – it ties the space together.

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