Basic to Brilliant: 9 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Space
When was the last time you enjoyed the great outdoor space from the comfort of your own home? Last summer for some quality family time? Last autumn for a warm cuppa before a workday?
Our balconies, roofs and gardens are an extension of our living space – yet they’re so often overlooked.
Great news, though! Winter is the perfect time to spruce up your outdoor space to get you prepped for spring and summer. Besides, as we accelerate through 2021, the importance of transforming our homes into safe havens in which to relax and recharge has never been more important.
Read on for some open-air design tips straight from the property experts.
1. Add greenery
This one’s obvious – but hear us out. If you’ve got a garden full of trees and plants, try something new by growing a vegetable patch. Short on space? Cultivate a vertical garden instead. Herbs and microgreens are low maintenance and practical if you’re working with a limited area.
If you’d rather add colour, research flowers that will blossom in your area once spring rolls around. Some beginner-friendly options are freesias, sweet peas and wild lavender.
2. Throw in a theme
Visualise the atmosphere you’d love to sit out in. Do you prefer a bright and open area? Then go with neutral colours coupled with modern furnishings. Is a warm, cosy space for the evening more to your taste? If so, opt for earthy tones and darker colours.
Consider your location as well. If your home is by the sea, a nautical theme would be a fitting choice. Alternatively, a village core property could optimise local stonework and wrought iron railings for a look that honours the traditional aesthetic.
3. Pick a patio set
Picture this: a lounge area perfect for afternoon tea, game nights and reading sessions. It’s easy to set up. All you need is a patio set that includes a low table and comfy chairs or sofas.
This type of furniture comes in different materials – metal, wood, plastic, wicker, glass and so on. Go with a material that fits in or contrasts nicely with the theme you’ve chosen. Don’t forget to select comfortable seating. Metal chairs might create a unique look, but they’re not comfortable to sit on for a long time.
Pro tip: you’ll find great sales on patio sets throughout the winter months, so now’s the time to bag a deal.
4. String up lights
Who doesn’t love a subtly lit, outdoor space to enjoy on mild evenings? Assess the areas that need lighting and experiment with different designs. Fixed bulbs create a soft glow, as will up/down styles that emit light both ways.
Consider string lights with filaments to create a rustic, cheerful vibe, but avoid bright, white light as it can be quite harsh on the eyes at night.
Above all, think safety first. Make sure all lights are plugged into outdoor electrical sockets out of direct rainfall. For a sleek look with no wiring to worry about, install solar lights that take advantage of Malta’s year-round sunshine.
5. Set up a screen
Consider breaking up your outdoor space. Strategically placed screens or outdoor curtains can separate a functional section, like tool storage, from a lounge area.
Plus, a screen can also be a decorative element if you pick a unique material, colour or pattern. Ideally, go for a separator that can be easily removed so you can revert to full floor space whenever needed.
6. Cover and decorate
A/C units, gas cylinders and electrical boxes: all unsightly, yet all necessary and permanent fixtures. But what if you didn’t have to see them every time you headed outside for some air?
Hire a professional to create bespoke covers made of slatted wood or metal to keep all functional elements covered with features that are more pleasing to the eye.
7. Create shade and shelter
To protect your plants (and your heads!) set up sheltered areas for the hot summer months and rainy winter spells. You can create shelter using trees if you’ve got a garden. Or install an awning if you’re working with a smaller space.
Pro tip: factor in sun direction to make the most out of natural shade that comes and goes throughout the day. Then, place your seating in these cooler areas well out of direct sunlight and rain.
Have fun with a feature or two. After all, this is what will make your outdoor space your own. Channel a tropical vibe with a hanging chair or hammock. Or put up a bird feeder that doubles as an ornament. Flowerpots coupled with wind chimes appeal to the senses, while repurposed crates can be turned into a mini library. Your options are truly endless.
9. Change with the season
Who doesn’t love entertaining friends and family in summer? Clear out a corner and invest in a barbecue set. There are tons of gas and electrical options available that cater for different spaces.
Fast forward six months and that same corner can accommodate a Christmas tree instead. The point is, with some savvy thought you’ll be able to enjoy your alfresco space regardless of the season.
Looking for the right property with the perfect outdoors? From apartments with large balconies and penthouses with full roof access, to houses with traditional gardens, RE/MAX Malta can help