When planned well, your outdoor room should be seen as an extension of your home’s existing floorplan.  Advances in furniture construction, screening, outdoor lighting, and heating and cooling mean that your outdoor space can be comfortably used in winter as well as the warmer months.
The following home styling tips should be considered when creating  - or enhancing - your outdoor room:
1. Greenery is good 

Foliage adds a lush freshness to any space and is particularly useful to seamlessly integrate your outdoor space with the garden in which it is set.  Plants or dwarf trees in pots are a great idea, as they can be shifted to suit the movement of the sun or the placement of furniture.  Flowers in hanging pots are also a lovely way of adding colour and movement to the space.  If you have only a small area to work with, you may like to try a vertical garden – herbs grow particularly well this way and are useful as well as ornamental. The Chelsea in Burpengary East, QLD and the Fortitude in Point Cook, VIC show how greenery can be incorporated into an outdoor room with the use of a clever vertical garden. 

Pictured: Chelsea, Burpengary East, QLD

Pictured: Fortitude, Point Cook, VIC

2. Decorative screening 

Screening is a great way to create separate spaces within your outdoor room, such as a conversation circle or dining area.  It is also particularly useful to hide unsightly fences or create privacy from neighbours.  Screening may also be used cleverly as a shade option in the roofing structure.  There is a range of beautiful decorative screening options available on the market now, in a variety of different materials such as bamboo, timber and metal. The Meridian 54 display home in Queensland is a great example of how screening can be used for shade.

 Pictured: Meridian, Hope Island, QLD

3. Comfort is king 

The furniture you use in your outdoor space must be selected for comfort and durability as well as aesthetics if you want to get the most out of your space.  Australian conditions can be harsh, so products must be chosen to withstand the weather conditions, but must also be comfortable, particularly if your intention is to spend a lot of time entertaining outside. If the furniture looks fabulous but is harsh on your body, you simply won’t use the outdoor room.  It also works well to have your outdoor furniture reflect the styling you use in your home’s interior – it helps to make the spaces flow effortlessly. The Bayville in Brighton East, VIC exemplifies this styling.

Pictured: Bayville, Brighton East, VIC
4. Accessories and accents 

An outdoor room, as with any other room in a home, will be used more often if it feels welcoming and relaxing. A big part of making rooms feel that way is in the accessories used to decorate it.  Soft furnishings, art work, plants, lighting and sculptures should all be thoughtfully considered when creating your outdoor room. You may want to consider a theme to tie all the accessories together – nautical, Moroccan, provincial.  Don’t be afraid to add bold accents to your space to make it a truly standout room in your home.

5. Cooking with gas outdoors 

An outdoor kitchen is beneficial for your family as well as the value of your home.  An integrated BBQ and outdoor sink will see you cooking more often outside, which means no more fishy or meaty smells in the kitchen, and it’s a great way to cook for the crowds!  Built in pizza ovens have also become a popular addition to outdoor kitchens and are a great entertaining option.  Being able to cook and eat outdoors maximises your space and makes entertaining for large groups a breeze. The Santorini 28 on display in Werribee, VIC has a fantastic outdoor kitchen. 

If you’re building a new outdoor room or looking to spruce up an existing one, consider the above 5 tips on how to enhance your space. When executed correctly, these styling tips will make your outdoor room much more livable year round, as well as adding massive value to your investment.   For more outdoor room inspiration, take a look at the Metricon outdoor rooms gallery.