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9 Outdoor Living Ideas For Summer 2020

December 2020

Looking for some inspiration for your outdoor living areas this summer? Here are some of our favourite outdoor living project ideas to add to your home.

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Looking to create a more liveable, interesting outdoor living environment this summer? With warmer weather on the way, there’s no better time to start thinking about upgrading your outdoor living space.

Whether you’re looking to make some DIY home improvements or bring in the professionals to make some additions to your outdoor space, there are plenty of ways to elevate your outdoor area for the warmer months ahead.

We’ve pulled together nine of our favourite outdoor living ideas from some of ourenergy efficient homes.

Nine ideas for updating your outdoor living space this summer

If you’re planning to spend more time outdoors hosting summer barbeques, dining alfresco, or even just relaxing in the backyard, you might be thinking about some outdoor living projects to make your outdoor area more stylish or functional.

From larger projects that require some time and planning, to simple (yet effective) changes that you can make in a weekend – here is a roundup of outdoor living ideas you can try this summer.

1. Seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living

Modern living calls for seamless integration between indoor and outdoor living. One of the simplest (and most effective) ways to achieve this is by adding sliding or bi-fold doors that open up onto your deck. This creates a feeling of openness between these two spaces.

At our Sandy Point sustainable home project, sliding doors connect the open plan living and dining area to the deck area plus we added sliding doors from the bedrooms onto the decked walkway.

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The expansive windows and sliding doors paired with sliding timber shutters create a sense of being “at one” with nature both inside and outside the home.

2. Use furniture to create zones

When designing an outdoor entertaining area for your home, it's important to consider the different ways the space will be used and what furniture is required. Furniture placement can be used to create zones in outdoor living areas.

This might look like adding a table and chairs near the barbeque to create a cooking and dining environment, with armchairs placed elsewhere on the deck or patio to create a zone for relaxation and conversation.

Fixing a hanging chair to the verandah or pergola is a simple (and affordable) way to add stylish and unique seating to your outdoor living area. They’re simple to set up, add a distinct look to your space while providing a comfortable spot to sit and socialise outdoors.

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We included an outdoor hanging chair from Byron Bay Hanging Chairs at our ‘Heyley’ project. Featured here hanging over the deck, this kind of addition can create a beautiful spot to sit and relax in the summer months.

3. Add some life to your deck with a vertical garden

A lush vertical garden is an eye-catching addition to any outdoor area – and often becomes a talking point for guests and visitors. Vertical gardens can be connected to an irrigation system with a timer, making them low maintenance.'

We often use vertical gardens to add some extra style to our clients’ outdoor rooms or decks. Plus greenery is proven to be beneficial for your mental health, and it is beautiful to look at while sitting with friends outside during the summer.

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We included a green living wall in the outdoor decking room of our ‘Eco Balanced 1’ project.

4. Create more space with expansive decking

Adding in decking is a tried-and-true way to expand the floor plan of your home and give you a relaxing space to sit and enjoy the summer weather. If you've only got a small outdoor area, adding in a deck to your home can create the illusion of more space (especially if you connect indoor and outdoor living spaces).

When adding a deck to your house, it’s important to consider the materials you’re using – whether the timber is sustainable, and compliments the indoor flooring to blend the spaces together.

We typically use locally sourced silvertop ash for our decks – it looks great and is a naturally renewable resource. You should also ensure that the direction of timber decking is the same as any indoor floorboards to seamlessly transition between the two areas.

Our three-bedroom modular display home ‘Ecological 3’ features a wraparound deck which allows one to walk the entire length of the house either indoors or outdoors. The deck also extends the indoor living space to create a more open, airy ambience to the entire home.

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The decking at the South Golden Beach project runs along the exterior of the home, joining interior and exterior spaces seamlessly.

5. Add shade and texture with a pergola

A pergola can be a freestanding structure on the exterior of your home, or an extension of the home over your decking. Traditionally pergolas incorporate the greenery of the garden, often with the intention of supporting vines. This is why many pergolas are uncovered, and can grow deciduous foliage that provides shade and shelter from the sun.

Adding a pergola is a great way to create shade for your outdoor living areas, and an opportunity to incorporate your garden into the outdoor living spaces of your home.

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We added a pergola to this Sandy Point prefab home – creating shade, structure and texture to the exterior of the house.

6. Get cosy with an outdoor fire pit

Fire pits not only look great, but add a focal point for your outdoor seating area. They serve the functional purpose of providing warmth on cooler nights and create an area to gather with friends and family.

Building a fire pit is a great DIY summer project for outdoor gatherings. They add a beautiful ambience to your outdoor space whether you’re entertaining or not.

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A fire pit provides an additional outdoor entertaining area at our Ecoliv display home, ’Eco Balanced 1’.

7. Add a designated cooking zone to your outdoor area with a built-in BBQ

There is arguably no more important addition to an outdoor entertaining space than a barbeque. If you don’t already have one at your home, this is a quintessentially Australian outdoor living must-have for anyone looking to create a functional outdoor space for social gatherings.

To create an outdoor kitchen opt for either a standalone barbeque or a built-in one. Combine this with a designated area for food preparation and position it near the dining area for a truly al fresco dining experience during the warmer months.

8. Add in a plunge pool

If you have enough space on the exterior of your home, a plunge pool could be the best addition you’ve made to your home yet. A pre-built concrete plunge pool from Plungie is a simple, cost-effective and space-savvy way to add a pool for your outdoor entertaining area.

Plunge pools are a great option if you don’t have a lot of space, and they’re much quicker to install. While a typical pool might take 16 weeks to build, Plungie plunge pools can be delivered and installed in just two weeks.

Plus you get the added advantage of being able to enjoy a dip in the pool in the summer, while having an additional outdoor space to entertain guests.

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A plunge pool at our sustainable home project in San Remo.

9. Use nature as inspiration with a native Australian garden

There’s nothing like a native Australian garden to make the exterior of your home more beautiful and calming, and native Australian plants are equipped to withstand harsh Australian climate conditions.

It doesn’t have to be extravagant or complex — simply planting some water saving indigenous Grevilleas or Safari Sunsets around the entrance to your home or in your backyard can create a more welcoming, lush environment for your outdoor space.

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A native Australian garden is a lush addition to any home, and can withstand the summer heat.

Sustainable outdoor living

There are so many ways you can update your outdoor living spaces for the summer months – these are just a few of our favourites. At Ecoliv, we’re passionate about building sustainable modular homes constructed with natural and renewable materials which are environmentally responsible and respond to the Australian landscape.

Our custom home designs are made with Australian outdoor lifestyles in mind – whether you’re adding an outdoor modular studio to your home, or building a new house.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you Live the Dream Naturally.