Thursday, 19 December 2013 02:38

The Changing of the Seasons

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The Changing of the Seasons

Transforming your backyard into a year-long liveable outdoor space can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’re dealing with a limited space or just don’t know where to start. Whether you have a small space or expansive backyard, Bojana Lazarevska provides you with tips for creating an inviting and weather-proof outdoor area all year-round.

No matter the size of the yard, it’s important that it be enjoyable for you and your guests during all seasons. The materials for the furniture, where it is laid out and what is the main focal point are all important in adding beauty to your outdoor space. It is important to remember that the changing of the seasons may have some impact on your outdoor furniture, so choose wisely!

SITTING PRETTY

Comfortable seats that can accommodate family and friends are the key to making your outdoor space inviting and relaxing. Generally, there are four types of patio furniture: wicker, resin, metal or wood. When choosing outdoor furniture, it’s important to pay attention to what types of material will best survive in the elements: some
may be more resistant to wind or rain, while others will last longer in sunshine or intense heat.

In summer, as the days become longer and the weather heats up, more and more time will be spent outdoors soaking up the sun’s rays and hosting summer barbecues. Wood will give your outdoor furniture the most natural appearance and doesn’t hold the heat like plastic or metal do, so it’s perfect for those hot days. Wood is also very durable, but treating it with oils is a must, as it will improve the appearance and act as a shield from the elements, increasing its lifespan significantly.

Wicker will give your outdoor furniture a cosy or rustic look and is durable, but lightweight, and those made from synthetics have increased weather durability and resistance. Weatherresistant wicker can be hosed off and is designed to last outdoors during all seasons.

When it comes to metals, wrought iron is a popular choice as it is weighty, so it will withstand high winds and looks great, however, it does require some maintenance – regular painting is recommended to keep it rust-proof. Iron also has a tendency to heat up when left out in the sun, so it’s best to remain under shade during the summer season. Aluminium is another popular choice as it will not fade or rust, especially if it’s been powder-coated. It requires less maintenance and is lighter and easier to move if you’re a fan of frequently changing things up (or want to keep moving your furniture in and out of the shade).

An outdoor lounge, or couch, is perfect for creating that indoor living room feel outside. It will add to the cosiness of your outdoor living space and is great for relaxing with friends and family. An outdoor lounge gives you the option of facing the main feature, whether that is an outdoor fireplace, a TV, or an elaborate outdoor kitchen.

LET’S GET COOKING

Outdoor kitchens are a must as they are perfect for creating a tranquil outdoor dining experience. Cooking outdoors will also give you the opportunity to entertain your family and friends while doing so, but with an added bonus of less cleaning up! Choosing an outdoor kitchen is as simple as looking at how much space is available in your yard and what kind of cooking you enjoy doing. For the simple cook and those with limited space, a barbecue may be all you need to entertain your guests. More elaborate kitchens, on the other hand, are an entertainer’s dream and the options are endless. You could have an L-shaped kitchen with a dining counter, for guests to sit at, or a kitchen island as a main feature.

Once again it’s important to choose resilient materials for your outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchen benches can come in a range of beautiful and durable materials – granite, stainless steel and stone will be the most hard-wearing and look great. Lighting is also very important, as it not only helps to create mood, but it will also ensure that you can see what you’re cooking at night-time (very important!).

MAKING A SPLASH

Pools are a great addition to every outdoor living space as they are not only excellent during the warmer seasons, but make great entertainment areas for guests. However, to make things more accessible year-round, it’s a good idea to invest in a spa that can be used during colder months as well.

A spa gives you the ultimate feeling of relaxation, can be used during all seasons and adds a touch of class to every outdoor living space.

A pool and spa combination creates the perfect backyard refuge, but it’s important to be mindful of space when creating yours. An outdoor kitchen and dining area leading into the pool area will work wonderfully, as will a pool in the middle of the outdoor area acting as the centrepiece.

Adding palm trees and lush vegetation around your pool and spa will create a tropical feel, giving you an illusion of being on a holiday, but also screening you from neighbouring houses.

A range of materials is available for your pool and spa: natural stone will provide a luxurious feel and is long-lasting; stamped concrete offers a variety of patterns and stain colours; and travertine is a high-end choice for pool patios, stays cool underfoot and withstands freezing temperatures, so is a great choice for ensuring year-round comfort.

PERFECTLY ACCESSORISED

Now that you have your outdoor furniture sorted, add some flair and personal touches using accessories. Outdoor rugs and brightly-coloured cushions will help to tie in your outdoor area with your indoors and add comfort. Just make sure you choose a rug that is resistant to mould and is easy to clean, and keep in mind that it might work best for an area that is under cover.

When shopping for cushions, choose ones that are made of water-proof and fade-resistant fabrics. Pillows and cushions with removable covers are convenient accessories and you can change the covers easily to match the seasons!

By choosing hardy, weather-proof fabrics and materials, providing adequate shade/wind protection and having ample space to relax, your outdoor area can be a haven and entertainment hub all year long – not just when the sun is shining.

 

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