If your ideal lifestyle involves plenty of leisure time spent in the sun (and really, whose ideal lifestyle doesn’t?), then Australia may well be the place for you. Its neighbouring states to the North and West are known for dry, scorching heat; to the Southeast, winter sees Melbournians rugging up for winter and frantically putting on and taking off layers during the rest of the year. Meanwhile, South Australia sits in that sweet spot, with a balmy, Mediterranean climate that barely falters from January right through to December.
It’s no great surprise then that, when it comes to outdoor furniture Brisbane residents turn outdoor living into an artform. Even with this kind of climate, creating the perfect outdoor area requires a little planning – more so, in fact, since indoor spaces are not subject to the elements. We’ve come up with three of our favourite ideas inspired by Adelaide’s sun and sea-infused atmosphere and included a few tips on how to go about creating each.
We know, not everyone is lucky enough to have a pool. But if you happen to live in Adelaide, you are at least lucky enough to live somewhere ideally suited for one. The swimming pool itself will naturally be the centrepiece, and your furniture and other settings will be dictated by their aptitude for water resistance.
This isn’t as limiting as you might expect. You still have a wide array of attractive metal and wooden seating to choose from, and they can be made more comfortable with outdoor cushions specifically designed to withstand water damage. Besides, does anyone really want to sink into a plush armchair right after a dip? We think not.
For your colour palette, we suggest you steer away from the gaudy blues and greens reminiscent of ‘80s family living (think ‘The Castle’ – a classic to be sure, but not one you want to wake up to every day) and instead stick to earthy reds and browns for a Tuscan Villa look.
With more of us living in apartments and townhouses than ever before, those in Australia’s urban centres have been learning how to make do with less. If your only outdoor space is a small balcony or rooftop, you can still create a beautiful and unique space. Outdoor living has never been simpler with this stylish, low-maintenance option. Unless your rooftop is unusually large, you won’t want to have the whole neighbourhood around, but it will be perfect for midday tapas or early evening cocktails as you watch the sun go down.
Nothing fancy is required. A few sturdy folding chairs around a simple table, perhaps a wooden chaise fitted out with thick but resilient cushioning, and you’re pretty much good to go. Again, we suggest an earthy colour palette for this one, with a few low-maintenance potted trees for a touch of nature.
As always when dealing with a limited floorplan, remember to also think vertically. Passionfruit vines will grow much quicker than you might expect and in addition to being visually gorgeous, they will provide you with delicious, versatile fruit.
One of the best things about a warmer climate is the lazy, balmy evenings. Make the most of them with an outdoor room. This is an especially great option if your backyard already features a covered patio – if it doesn’t, perhaps you could even be persuaded to install one. Some of our favourite outdoor rooms feature curtains for increased privacy and weather protection. You can also lay down a rug and experiment with a tough-but-soft outdoor lounge suite to help blur the lines between indoor and outdoor.
Since your outdoor room will be largely protected from rain and sun damage, weather resistance will be less of a concern than it normally would be. Wicker furniture, which has a tendency to fade and bleach in the sun when placed outdoors, might be a good option here. For style and colour palette, you can take your cues from the interior spaces of your home, but with a more casual twist.
An important factor here will of course be the lighting. As with the other settings, the protection provided by a roof covering affords you a greater range of options than you would have in most outdoor areas. You can forgo the outdoor fairy lights you used to drag out for parties in favour of table lamps or even suspended ceiling lights. Some truly extravagant outdoor rooms are built to include a fireplace, but this won’t be realistic for everyone.