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Putting the great back into outdoors

From the Resene decorating blog

As soon as the sun comes out, or the weather warms up we take a peek out the window to check the state of the backyard – or balcony, or whatever outdoor area you feel a sudden urge to spend time in.

It may be in a need of a little attention, but turning your outdoors area into a useful, attractive place need not mean weekend after weekend of backbreaking work. A few simple fixes can have it looking fresh and appealing in no time, whether you’re after bold kerb appeal, a fun play space, a chic entertaining area or all of the above.

Paint your pots to add accent colours to your garden

Paint your pots to add accent colours to any garden. Go for greens in (from left) Resene Citron (two pots), Resene Hideaway, Resene Quarter Titania and Resene ASAP. Styling by Claudia Kozub; image by Melanie Jenkins.

A vibrant and colourful outdoor area

Vibrant colours pop out against a smoky blue wall in Resene Safehaven. The hook rack is Resene Lazy River, and the pots are (from left) Resene Poppy, Resene Lazy River, Resene Daredevil, Resene Party Zone, Resene Pink Ribbon and Resene Poppy. Styling by Claudia Kozub; image by Melanie Jenkins.

First things first

Take a good look around your outdoor space for anything that can be improved with a spot of quick maintenance. Does the driveway or the house need water blasting? Does the fence or deck need re-staining, does the hedge need trimming and the garden weeding? Clean up any areas of mildew or moss, fix any loose boards or tilting fence posts and trim back any overgrown plants.

Wash your home's exterior with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash, and try Resene Moss & Mould Killer on your paths and decks. Beware of using a water-blaster on your deck as it can fur the grains in the timber.

A short amount of time spend tidying up will make everything look better and give you a blank, clean canvas with which to start.

Bright and bold painted plant pots

Paint your pots to add accent colours to any garden. Go bright and bold with (from left) Resene Poppy, Resene Pink Ribbon, Resene Daredevil, Resene Lazy River, Resene Party Zone and Resene Poppy. Styling by Claudia Kozub; image by Melanie Jenkins.

Just add plants

Plants immediately make any outdoor area more pleasant to be in, they add shade, fragrance, colour, and in some cases food. Even if you don’t fancy yourself as a gardener opt for easy-care varieties such as succulents or hardy shrubs. If you’re short on space, choose plants in pots that you can move around and keep small.

A vege garden is a good place to start, especially if you want to get the kids involved, or you love to cook. There’s no need to keep veges confined to a square box in one corner of the garden. Tuck them in anywhere you have the right growing conditions. Grow beans and peas up pergola posts, dot planters of blueberries or mixed varieties of lettuce around the yard, let the tomatoes stretch out along the back fence, create small border hedges with thyme and rosemary and dot bright chillies in sunny spots all over the garden. It’s a fun treat for you and visitors to your garden to discover something edible and tasty somewhere unexpected.

A textured outdoor area

Create texture in the garden

Create texture in the garden and a tropical getaway with a wall finished in Resene Resitex tinted to Resene Tana, and Resene Sandtex tinted to Resene Merino. The dark wall is Resene Karaka and the deck is Resene Walk-on in Resene Sea Fog. Add a side table in Resene Campground and pots in Resene Quarter Titania, Resene Citron, Resene ASAP and Resene Hideaway. Styling by Claudia Kozub; images by Melanie Jenkins.

Herbs and small fruiting plants like strawberries are a good, easy-care choice when space is limited too. Try staining an old wooden palette with a Resene Colorwood shade of your choice or painting it in the Resene colour of your choice, and turn it into a wall planter with the simple addition of a few extra bits of wood. Lean it or attach it against a fence or wall and fill it with mint, thyme, parsley, strawberries and anything else you cook with, or just like the smell of. Alternatively try painting some old enamel or metal colanders, line them with sacking, attach some chain or rope for hanging, and fill with strawberries.

Keep an eye out for other items you could upcycle into planters or growing frames – wooden ladders, old basins, even tyres can all be transformed with some creative painting and planting.

Refresh standard planter pots by painting the outsides in either a plain colour or design a pattern. Resene testpots are filled with Resene Lumbersider paint, which is a tough exterior paint, so it’s perfect for smaller outdoor projects like this. Seal any porous pots, like those made of terracotta, with Resene Terracotta Sealer so that moisture doesn’t leach and affect your paint job.

A fold-down outdoor barbecue storage table

Make a fold-down outdoor barbecue storage table

Make a fold-down outdoor barbecue storage table and finish it in Resene Woodsman Whitewash, with accents in Resene Seachange and Resene Half Dusted Blue. Made by Andy Fraser; images by Bryce Carleton.

For the grown-ups

There are two key trends in contemporary garden design. The first is the rise of the outdoor office, and the second is the growing popularity of outdoor baths and showers. Both are excellent ways to maximise your use of your garden in all season.

When it comes to the outdoor office space there are a few key things to consider. It should be a warm and inviting place to go, so you actually use it, without becoming stifling hot in winter. Have plenty of windows for natural light and easy temperature adjustment, and blinds to avoid that dreaded screen glare.

An outdoor office is like a grown-up play hut – you can go a little wild in the decoration so it’s a place that you want to spend time in. Find a key piece such as a throw, a rug, cushion, lamp or piece of art for the room and base your decoration around that. Opt for painted geometric designs on the walls, or murals instead of block colours, and go bold with your colour choices, and remember that blush pink, such as Resene Sakura, is a calming colour, and that yellow is the colour of imagination and creativity – try Resene Wild Thing for a strong yellow, or Resene Moonbeam for a softer shade.

A decadent outdoor day bed

A decadent over-size day bed, painted in Resene Alabaster, is the perfect place to relax. Add colourful accessories, like a pot painted in Resene Glorious. The dining chairs are stained in Resene Woodsman Smokey Ash and Resene Woodsman Limed Ash with geometric patterns in Resene Tasman and Resene Dali. The deck is in Resene Woodsman Limed Oak. Styling by Greer Clayton; image by Larnie Nicolson.

Alternatively pick a style different to the way your home interior is design. Try the cool neutrals and blues of Hamptons style in Resene Remember Me and Resene Half Duck Egg Blue. Experiment with layers of different shades of one colour, such on-trend greens in Resene Aura and Resene Green Smoke. Or embrace your surrounds with botanical themed prints, murals or wallpaper.

A backyard bathing area, whether it’s purely practical or sumptuous and spa-like, is a great way to make the most of your outdoor area. Keep an eye out for an old enamel bath and repaint the exterior for either a bold shot of colour such as Resene Thumbs Up or opt for something that will disappear into its surrounds such as Resene Nourish. Those surrounds can be anything you like, from a painted and repurposed Japanese style screen, to simply lots and lots of plants. Make sure there’s a spot to hang your towel and keep your clothes dry and create a paved path back to the house.

Some quick outdoors makeover ideas:

For the kids

The perfect play hut is living the dream for a lot of kids. Whether it’s essentially a small box with a door, or an elaborate treehouse with a slide or a door, it’s all about creating a space for imaginative play and escape. Get your kids involved in the design and let them choose the colours.

Think about painting a mural on at least one wall inside or out, or cover it in bright flowers and rainbows. Inside give the kids at least one wall they can paint themselves however they want to, and make use of products such as Resene Blackboard Paint so they have a devoted space to draw on the walls!

Other fun ideas for kids in the garden:

Kerb appeal

If your front door is visible from the street, a simple, on-trend way to add some oomph is with a bright front door. A warm red such as Resene Pohutukawa is a classic choice and will nicely complement neutral or dark coloured home exteriors, as well as leafy green plant-life. But you could also experiment with a bright apple green such as Resene Half Limerick, or bold gold such as Resene Twisted Sister. Think about painting other small items in your outdoor space, such as pots, pavers, the mailbox or even the front gate, the same colour for added impact.

Plant flowers in the same or similar shade, or opt for flowers in bold pinks and reds near the door or other painted areas for dramatic contrast.

If you have a good-sized front garden, having a clear path from the street entrance to your front door is not only adds appeal but makes life much easier for your visitors. Paving stones can be a good way to quickly create a path where there isn’t one. To amp up their personality and make them look a bit more exotic try painting them with a stencilled pattern.

An outdoor dining space with classic good looks

Classic good looks with a table stencilled in triangles with Resene Waterborne Woodsman Limed Gum, Resene Waterborne Woodsman Limed Ash, Resene Colorwood Whitewash, Resene Spark metallic, Resene Gold Dust metallic. The rear wall is ombred with Resene Sambuca into Resene Papier Mache into Resene Martini. Styling by Greer Clayton; image by Larnie Nicolson.

Upcycle an old outdoor dining table

Upcycle an old outdoor dining table with a simple masked pattern in Resene Woodsman Limed Ash and Resene Woodsman Greywash. The chair is in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Smokey Ash stain, Resene Martini and Resene Galliano. Styling by Greer Clayton; image by Larnie Nicolson.

A festive note

The American custom for heavily decorated home exteriors and gardens at Christmas is getting bigger here every year.

If you want to join in the festive fun without breaking the bank in terms of lighting and your next power bill here a few simple ideas.

Resene Remember Me

Resene Aura

Resene Shabby Chic

Resene Sorbet

Resene Nourish

Resene Thumbs Up

Resene Twisted Sister

Resene Party Zone

Resene Lazy River

Resene Safehaven

Resene Pink Ribbon

November 01, 2018

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