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Designer advice on styling your dream outdoor living area


When it comes to designing your dream home, the outdoor area is often neglected. While the key focus of many first time builders is to deck out the interior of their homes, outdoor rooms are often under-appreciated in terms of their versatility. If you're feeling a little lost for outdoor room ideas and inspiration, we're here to help you create a beautiful space that reaches its full design potential.

Most of our great home designs include an optional outdoor room, and it is something that many prospective homeowners are realising is a great investment for both their family, and potentially the future value of their home.

One of the main benefits of an outdoor room is that it can be utilised all year round. And, depending on the way you configure your outdoor space, it can double as a living room, dining room and secondary kitchen.

Watch below as Metricon's Design Manager Ricky D'Alesio and Chris Carroll from TLC Interiors chat about the increasing popularity of Australian outdoor living areas and provide some great tips on how to integrate your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Of course, when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor living room, you need to consider your family's lifestyle and how you imagine your family using the space. Do you want to create a large dining space where you can entertain guests, or a more casual arrangement with outdoor sofas and lounge chairs? Or do you want to incorporate both? Also, consider if you want to create a small area for a BBQ, or go all out luxe with an outdoor kitchen complete with sink, fridge, storage and bench space.

"The whole concept of outdoor cooking has grown far beyond a backyard barbecue. Homeowners are hungry for fully-appointed outdoor kitchens with features that add convenience and luxury. They also help to keep an outdoor living space organised and reduce trips back and forth into the house." says Metricon Interior Designer Jacinta Evans.

If your family is on the smaller scale, or your children have left the nest, then you may prefer to create an outdoor room that functions as a retreat space - with a hanging chair, relaxing spa, or even a built-in fireplace or fire pit. A fireplace also serves as a focal point and provides some much-needed warmth, so your outdoor room can be used through the chilly winter nights. And what's more inviting than cosying up with a good book and glass of vino next to an outdoor fireplace!

Once you've decided on the functionality of your outdoor area, think about additional things such as decorative panelling, decking, ceiling fans, screens, and lighting to tie it all together.

Outdoor room ideas

Last but not least - it's time to furnish your outdoor space. The great news is that an outdoor room can now be furnished in much the same way as the other rooms of your home thanks to advancements in all-weather materials, furniture and accessories. This allows your outdoor area to be an extension of your existing living rooms, and to create a cohesive style across the indoor and outdoors.

"You really want to invest in a decent daybed, seating area or dining table that's going to withstand the weather," says Jacinta.

Select outdoor furniture items that complement the style of your home and stick with a consistent color scheme. If you're looking to achieve a beach house vibe opt for white wicker furniture or rustic timber for your dining area, or if you prefer a minimalist style home, choose sleek contemporary pieces using oak, raw concrete and hints of black.

Bring your outdoor room to life with plants, vertical green walls or a water feature, and make use of decorative items such as throw pillows and blankets for a touch a colour.

If you want some further tips, design ideas or inspiration for your outdoor room, check out the fantastic images in our Gallery, sign up to our newsletters or follow us on our social media channels to be kept up to date with the very latest in design trends for your home.

Or, if you've completed your outdoor room and you're looking for a little more outdoor inspiration - your next steps are landscape design and greenery! Visit our latest blogs on landscaping and gardening for our guide to get your garden in tip-top shape. Or visit our outdoor DIY blog and discover how you can create a beautiful outdoor table setting.