February 23, 2017

We should treat our outdoor spaces the same as our indoor spaces in terms of creating different spaces and functional dynamics, says Matt Leacy.

“The same way that you have a kitchen area, a casual lounge area and a playroom indoors, you can create equivalent areas outdoors that serve the same purposes and help you unlock the potential of your space,” he says.

“The outdoor kitchen, in particular, is a feature that is increasingly becoming an expectation rather than a want for homebuyers and homeowners alike.

“An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as some cupboard space and a barbecue with a nice servery. If you wanted to do a bit more, you could look at installing a breakfast bar with some stools around it to make it more social and to create a casual space for breakfast, a cup of tea and reading the paper. Add to that a more formal dining area with seating and lounge space and you have the makings of the perfect outdoor living and entertaining space.

“It depends on the size and layout of your outdoor space. If you’ve got a small courtyard, then you might consider an outdoor kitchen and bench top with stools for dining so you don’t have to clog up the space with a dining table as well as a server.

If you have a bigger space, you could have a full-blown kitchen with a sink, fridge, wok burner and cupboard space.”

If you don’t have a lot of natural shade outdoors, there are a number of options to ensure that you can safely and comfortably stay outside throughout the summer months, Matt says.

“For a short-term option, you can look at purchasing a large market umbrella, which is great next to pools and on patios.

“If you want to be able to entertain larger groups, you can look at more substantial options, which may cost a bit more up front, but can have sustained use and potentially add value to your property in the long run.

“Retractable awnings, canopies, cabanas, pergolas and outdoor pavilions, for instance, all offer sun protection and privacy, but at the same time bring style, character and general value-add to your outdoor space.”

Matt Leacy is the creative director of Landart Landscapes.

Live outside the box at Watagan Park

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