For many of us, the warmer months mean spending time outdoors with friends and family.
Firing up the barbeque, taking a dip in the pool or relaxing in the sun are popular pastimes, and where better to enjoy them than your own backyard?
Double your entertaining space and cement your spot as the ultimate host with these tips on creating an outdoor area that’s both fun and fuss-free.
Use your deck as an extension of the indoor space
If you’re considering adding a deck to your home, unify the new space with an existing entertaining area. Choose decking that complements your indoor flooring, for example one that can be installed low to the ground to meet your living room, to create continuity between the two spaces – even better if it can be sealed in a similar shade.
Bi-fold doors also create a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor, opening up a living room when the sun is shining and closing it off when it’s rainy.
Create an indoor-outdoor flow to take advantage of the warmer weather!
Seek out low-maintenance foliage
Plants brighten up any corner, and picking the most appropriate variety will ensure your space looks looking luscious all summer long. Succulents are a great option for a deck, patio or courtyard as they require very little upkeep and come in an array of shapes and colours.
For a tranquil retreat, look to the versatile and fast-growing bamboo plant – a tall and sturdy stance makes it ideal for creating a privacy wall.
Sit back and relax with fuss-free flooring
With a new entertaining area comes a lot of traffic, so make sure the flooring beneath all of those sandy feet is as hard-wearing as possible. While timber flooring looks good, it can be prone to rotting and splintering, so consider factors such as climate and water exposure before selecting your materials.
If you’re not sure you can commit the time and budget to long-term maintenance of a timber deck, do some research into alternative decking such as fibre cement and choose an option that best suits your lifestyle.
Choose a deck that suits your lifestyle - one that is low maintenance.
Think functional as well as fun
When it comes to summer entertaining, quick and simple is best – for both furniture and food. Fold-up chairs that can be taken inside, an umbrella, awning or shade sail to protect guests from the elements and crates, baskets or shelving to provide adequate storage are all key.
A small, working kitchen is a valuable addition to any outdoor space, saving you time and energy on transporting food and cleaning up. If a sink and bar fridge are not feasible, an island bench will still come in very handy for food prep, serving snacks and socialising.
Get your lighting right after the sun goes down
Effective lighting is one of the easiest ways to set the mood for a long and leisurely evening outdoors. For a festive vibe, string lights are inexpensive and provide the perfect glow, while sconces are clean and contemporary. An uplight at the base of a tree can turn it into a focal point, while stair lights should be a priority to prevent tripping in the dark.
Consider solar options for lights located further from power outlets, and be sure to choose only those designed for outdoor landscaping, even if your entertaining area is semi-covered.
Get the look with HardieDeck, a modern, durable alternative to timber.