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Backyard as a bonus space

From the Resene colour inspiration – latest looks gallery

With real estate at a record high, making the most of every square centimetre of your home and property has never been more important.

Our subtropical climate affords us many more days of pleasant weather than cooler parts of the world. That means that with the right Resene paint and wood stain finishes, d├ęcor and details, you can turn your outdoor patio into another room for you to enjoy. Some simple additions – shelter from the elements, comfy seating, mood lighting, a bit of greenery and a place to rest your refreshments – are all it takes to transform an ordinary outdoor space into an open-air living room that will add value and comfort to your home year-round.

Create a outside sitting area

Mood board

Mood board

Create a backyard sitting area

Mood board: Background in Resene Half Tapa with Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Half Atmosphere with A4 drawdown paint swatches in (from left to right) Resene Alamo, Resene Wild West, Resene Half Bokara Grey, Resene Half Tapa, Resene Half Atmosphere and Resene Half Blanc, tealight holder in Resene Half Bokara Grey and bud vase in Resene Wild West. Patio: Wall, floor and planter box in Resene Half Tapa with weathered concrete effect painted in Resene FX Paint Effects Medium coloured with Resene Half Atmosphere, round plinth table in Resene Half Blanc, tray and small bud vase in Resene Wild West, geometric tealight holder in Resene Half Bokara Grey, low wide plant pot in Resene Half Bokara Grey (bottom) with feathered top in Resene Half Blanc, smaller plant pot in Resene Half Bokara Grey (bottom) with feathered top in Resene Alamo, bowl (with popcorn) in Resene Alamo, game box in Resene Half Blanc, nought game pieces in Resene Alamo and cross game pieces in Resene Wild West.

Getting a Mediterranean vibe both inside and out is an incredibly desirable trend at the moment. If you’re not lucky enough to have concrete or stucco features surrounding your patio, you can get a similar look on smooth surfaces by first painting the surface in two coats of Resene Lumbersider tinted to a hue that resembles the material you’re going for. In the case of concrete, Resene Half Tapa makes a great base. Next, use a paintbrush to apply soft, criss-crossing strokes of Resene FX Paint Effects medium coloured with a testpot of Resene Half Atmosphere. Immediately use a clean, dry rag to buff each freshly painted section as you go to soften and blend it. The key to getting a realistic look is to build up a number of thin layers. And if there is anywhere that you feel you’ve been too heavy handed, you can always reel it back in by ragging on a couple of dabs of your base colour.

If your patio is small, taking the same paint effect across all the major surfaces – the wall, patio surface and planters – can help make the space feel bigger than if each of these surfaces were broken up by a different colour.

Outdoor patio

Create and outside patio space with paint and decor

Accessories: Umbrella, umbrella stand, outdoor rug and mirror from Briscoes, grasses and garden lights from Mitre 10, chair, bottle and glasses from 10 Curated, outdoor floor cushions from Freedom, speaker from Allium, faux plant from Adairs, watering can and black lantern from H&M Home, shoes from Gathered & Co, sunglasses from Cotton On.

Once you’ve established a strong base, how you transform it into an inviting outdoor room starts with creating a sense of enclosure. Often, your home's exterior walls or even a row of potted plants will do the trick – and, ideally, some overhead protection. Taking your deck from dull to dramatic can be as simple as integrating colours, materials, furnishings and plantings that smooth the transition from indoors to out and add personality. For each accent colour you want to incorporate, try to use it in at least three items to create a cohesive screen.

Even a small patio can become a verdant oasis with potted plants. Low-water options require little care, and their pots are one of the most flexible canvases for carrying across your colour scheme. Try painting the bottom two thirds of three pots in the same colour, such as strong neutral like Resene Half Bokara Grey. Then choose a different accent colour to paint the top third of each pot, such as Resene Half Blanc, Resene Alamo and Resene Wild West.

Since most Resene testpots are made with Resene Lumbersider, you generally don’t need a clear coat to protect your painted pots, but if you want to adjust the gloss level of the finish you can use Resene Concrete Clear. Make sure that the painted surfaces won’t be sitting in standing water. If you choose to decorate your pots with vibrant reds or violets, which can be more prone to UV damage, it’s a smart idea to topcoat these hues with Resene Clearcoat UVS to keep them protected and looking their best for years to come.

Strings of battery-operated LED festoon lighting or candle lanterns hung from hooks or placed on tables or railings can lend a subtle night-time glow and amp up the mood. They're also easy to move where you need them if you have to configure your setup to accommodate larger or smaller groups – and, as an added benefit, require no wiring.

As a finishing touch, you can reflect light and create the illusion of a window into another room with a wall-hung mirror. If you can’t find one in a style, shape or size that suits, you can make your own by fitting a cast-off, reclaimed or salvaged divided-light window backed with a new sheet of mirror glass. If you plan to repaint the window first, be sure to remove any old, loose or flaking paint, fill any holes, sand it down and wipe all surfaces of the window with a clean dry cloth to remove any dust before priming with a coat of Resene Quick Dry. Once it has dried, apply two coats of Resene Lumbersider tinted to the Resene colour of your choice and allow it to dry and cure fully before attaching your mirror.

Styling by Melle van Sambeek. Photography byryce Carleton. 2021

Colour inspiration - latest looks gallery

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.