Put a bit of thought into an outdoor space and it’ll be your go-to destination year-round.
As with all things in life, when it comes to decks, patios and courtyards, you get out what you put in, and a well-styled outdoor living area is a gift that keeps on giving. Your ticket to enjoying as much sunshine and fresh air as you can in summer, autumn, winter and spring, it’s here that you can snuggle solo with a cuppa on a comfy couch and slip, slop, slap to gather with family or friends.
It’s long been the lament of the novice decorator that they wouldn’t know where to start when styling such a space, but there’s only one rule you need to remember: keep it simple. Ensure your outdoor area has the longevity you’re aiming for by decking it out in a restrained, refined style, with quality furniture and a classic colour scheme you’ll love for years to come.
This palette champions a selection of Resene blues and whites that subtly convey a seaside theme, bringing you a hint of the beach no matter how far you are from the coast. Get the look at your place by starting with a pale, peaceful wall in complex neutral Resene Triple Merino. Underfoot, the natural woodgrain of the flooring isn’t hidden but enhanced by a chic stain: Resene Tiri, which is available with Resene CoolColour pigment technology – a system that prolongs the life of your colour by reflecting heat and keeps the surface cooler – great to help keep your feet happy over summer.
Against this uncomplicated backdrop, we’ve layered a palette of grey-blue Resene Big Stone and steel-blue Resene Bounty (the screen), pale pewter Resene Half Grey Gull and slate-blue Resene Balderdash (the large ombre planter), near-white Resene Alabaster (the medium-sized pot) and moody sky grey-blue Resene Bluff (the braided pot); these blues all have in common a grey undertone that conveys tranquillity. The finishing touch is a handful of investment pieces – furniture and soft furnishings that will make your outdoor area attractive, comfortable and somewhere you’re drawn to spend time in. Or you could upcycle your existing items or secondhand finds using Resene paints to bring them up to scratch.
Take a closer look at this space and you’ll notice a subtle but effective tool for adding interest and cohesion: horizontal and vertical lines in the wall panelling, screen, pillow and coffee table. Use this visual language in your space, or replicate it with another motif, such as circles. Texture will also up the ante – think natural materials such as timber and cotton, and greenery that will also provide a transitional link to the garden beyond.
More than adding interest, screens are a great way to divide space and create more privacy. Their easy, fold-out design also means moving and storing them is a hassle-free task.
You don’t have to accessorise with colour-coordinated pieces, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Even something as small as glasses or a drinks tray in a complementary colour, like Resene Frozen, will leave you tickled pink – or blue, as the case may be.
Project by Kate Alexander. Images by Bryce Carleton. 2021
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