Summer is coming! 7 Stylish Outdoor Area Ideas

October 31, 2022

Over the past week, the rain has given many parts of Eastern Australia a long overdue break and allowed some of us to cautiously make plans for some summer outdoor entertaining.

No one does a barbecue quite like us Aussies

And thanks to our (traditionally) temperate climate and relaxed lifestyle, Australia is renowned for its "shrimps on the barbie" approach to summer and its passion for outdoor living and entertaining. 

But how do you achieve the perfect area for an afternoon in the sun or those perfect, languid evenings beneath the stars?  Creating the wow factor in your outdoor area isn't as easy as it looks. Creating a stunning, functioning space is actually somewhat of an art form that is determined by more factors than a good theme. Finalising your design will be determined by your space, the direction of the sun, where you live – on the coast, in a regional town or in the city - and by what type of property you live in, such as a unit or house.

Covid forced us back outside, giving the popularity of alfresco living a resurgence

Home magazines provide us with a wealth of inspiring designs that trigger our creative juices, but to find a theme that works aesthetically and functionally with our individual space, we must research deeper. Not every home lends itself to the latest trend and if you are thinking of selling your property off-market - and styling to sell - you must consider your "flow" first, i.e., the way your indoor space connects with the outside space and the lifestyle your potential buyers will be looking to buy into.

Your property's "flow" is key

It is tempting to go crazy and put your individual stamp on your outdoor space - be that with a vertical garden, bistro nook, workspace or even a pizza oven – but you must consider the space as a whole. Which design will work best in terms of practicality as well as style? Is the area undercover and easily connected to electricity, gas and WIFI? What are your budget and safety considerations? Have you allowed an adequate portion of your budget for landscaping, which can easily become a money pit? 

Stylish outdoor area ideas for summer
Looking for stylish outdoor area ideas? Creating a stunning, functioning space is actually somewhat of an art form that is determined by more factors than a good theme.

But for those of you who have already taken those considerations into account and have recently purchased or who are still hoping to buy or sell in time for the annual summer break over Christmas, we've found 7 stylish outdoor area ideas to inspire you for the next stage, the fun part. 

We've listed them below:

  1. Boho suits any space, large, small, coastal, or urban. The key features of this style are an abundance of greenery, (typically) rattan, bamboo furniture or antique furniture, strings of lights or lanterns hung from trees or rafters and an eclectic range of brightly coloured cushions and rugs. To create a more romantic ambience, pick up a vintage umbrella, create a canopy with curtains or hang a hammock. Vivid colours are one of the elements that separate Boho from coastal styles and you can make a bolder statement with the paint colours you use on your walls and deck. A new trend is to use patterned tiles as a floor covering or paint stencil designs on boards.
  2. Modern/Traditional Coastal  – Head down to the Northern Beaches in Sydney or the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria for the best examples of coastal style. This style is about creating a relaxed vibe with neutral colours and blues that reflect the ocean and sky and light timber and wicker furniture are the go. At one end of the spectrum sits the nautical-themed Hamptons style, while a more modern take is emerging at the other, one that is more pared-back and minimalist. Add texture with cushions, wall décor and natural floor matting.
  3. Mexican/Hacienda – This theme is inspired by Spanish Colonial architecture and works perfectly in courtyards. It was recently shown as the inspiration for Hamish and Zoe Blakes’ backyard in the Vogue Living spread of their new Sydney home. Characteristics of this style include architectural arches and coloured tiles and mosaics embedded in white stucco or bare plaster walls. An abundance of painted or terracotta pottery is another feature along with colourful ottomans and cushions. Add a water fountain, some string lights, potted cacti and a traditional chiminea in which to cook your food to complete the look.
  4. Retro/Vintage – The eclecticism of this style suits first-home buyers who have spaces, or who are trying to live sustainably. There is an immense sense of styling freedom and satisfaction with this look, not to mention the contribution to the planet when you recycle - which also helps with the cost. The design spectrum ranges from ‘70s kitsch – Remember those green and orange floral sun loungers? – to the more modern take of outdoor egg and bistro chairs. “Anything goes” with this style, so mix it up and finish it off by hanging some paper lanterns in the trees and macrame on your walls.
  5. Tropical/Plantation – For a taste of the Bahamas, this style harks back to the colonial homes of the empire and is effortlessly "cool". White walls, luxurious rattan, wicker or dark tropical wooden furniture, potted palms and a daybed covered in crisp white linen help you achieve this look. A ceiling fan will help keep the heat down while you sip on the first of many gin and tonics from your bar cart.
  6. Moroccan – Colourful textiles, kilim rugs, geometric patterns, ottomans, poufs and daybeds (if you have the space) are the basics required for a Moroccan-themed outdoor space. This look is all about colour and texture and patterned tiles on the walls and floors and a forest of hanging greenery subtly lit by glass and metal lanterns will make it a winner.
  7. Mediterranean – Shabby-chic is the keyword here. Think iron, marble, or rustic wooden furniture, hanging baskets of colourful flowers, climbing plants, traditional terracotta pots and rustic planters filled with lavender and herbs. Finish the look with rustic accents such as blue porcelain vases, copper watering cans, antique weathervanes, animal sculptures, and a Provence-style or striped linen cloth thrown casually over your dining table. The new trend for "White Wash Style" is exactly what it says it is - the minimalist’s take on this theme.

According to Interiors Online, “keeping seasonal", i.e., encouraging wildlife visitors to your garden is the latest trend and one that marries nicely with our desire for sustainability, to get back to nature, and the increasing popularity of cottage and wild gardens. They say: “Creating a haven for wildlife means using lots of native plants and ideally, a water feature or bird bath as well as matching planters and a rustic table setting.” 

This highlights another "must" when your design your outdoor area: choose plants that will flourish in Australia's often harsh climate. 

Design an outdoor area that helps you connect with nature

Whatever the size of your space or budget, there will be a decorating style that maximises your space, complements your property, and ultimately, meets your needs, giving you the ultimate stylish outdoor area. And as long as your design helps you maintain your connection with friends and nature, you will have succeeded.

For more advice about how to style your home for sale or how to buy off-market, check out the services we offer at Listing Loop here. To check out our latest off-market property listings, sign up with us today for free or download our app.


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