Are you suffering from the holiday blues?
Ongoing travel restrictions make it difficult, if not impossible to plan a vacation. Needless to say, one might wonder whether it’s even worth the hassle. So instead of longing for faraway places, imagine having your very own luxury outdoor sanctuary that give you that holiday feeling.
The desire for beautiful outdoor living spaces has been growing over the last few years. Throw in a global pandemic and lockdowns across the globe, I think it’s fair to say that this desire has only gotten stronger. When designing a luxury outdoor space, you’ll want to create zones much like inside your home.
Just like in interior design it’s important to consider how you’d like to feel and function in your (outdoor) space.
What do you enjoy most? Outdoor dining? Entertaining friends and family? Reading a book in a cozy place in the shade or maybe a romantic tête-à-tète with your significant other?
As our societies and priorities change and evolve, so does the way we live. In recent years, outdoor living has become increasingly important and with that outdoor furniture increasingly sophisticated and versatile. In some cases, luxury outdoor furniture is almost interchangeable with indoor furniture allowing your outdoor spaces to become an extension of your home. The vast choice of outdoor furniture types and styles provide endless possibilities when designing a luxury outdoor living space. When designing spaces, indoor or outdoor, I go by the following rule:
‘The more beautiful the surroundings, the more simplistic the furniture should be.’
I truly believe that nature is the best designer of all, which is why I prefer to complement rather than compete with the natural surroundings.
In this article I’ll share some ideas about different zones you might want to consider to add a touch of magic to your outdoor living space.
When selecting tables and chairs there are a few things to consider. Think about whether you’d want your dining area to be in a covered area or under the open sky or maybe both? Dining tables come in many sizes, styles and materials. Do you like to entertain, if yes, how often and for how many? You might want to consider one large or an extendable dining table or alternatively one for entertaining and a smaller round table for more intimate moments.
Outdoor lounge furniture has become increasingly popular and consequently very versatile. There’s a wide variety of sofas, daybeds, side tables, outdoor rugs and outdoor lighting as well as accessories that will bring that luxury outdoor feeling to your home. Additionally, technological advances have made luxury outdoor furniture more weather resistant than ever. Having said this, you may still need to store items away during inclement weather and during the winter months. It is therefore also important to consider size and weight, as well as storage options. When sourcing outdoor lounge furniture for my clients, I always seek out the highest possible quality to ensure longevity. Water and mould resistance are particularly important factors when sourcing outdoor upholstery.
This is another area that has recently seen a lot of growth, both in demand and supply. From fully equipped luxury outdoor kitchens, to outdoor dining tables with integrated BBQs to fire pits, there’s something for every taste, space and budget. Similar to your outdoor dining needs, think about your most desirable functions of outdoor cooking. Do you prefer something formal or rather casual? How often and how many people will be using your outdoor cooking facilities? Do you love or loathe the smell of BBQ smoke?
Outdoor Relax & Fun
Do you have a big, strong tree in your garden? Why not hang up a swing? There are so many beautiful options out there that are sure to create lifelong memories… On the other hand, adding a couple of loungers or a daybed are a sure way to evoke that holiday feeling in you.
Daybeds have been common in luxury hotels around the world for years. They are sure to make a statement in your garden and easily bring that holiday feeling to your back yard.
Have you always dreamed of owning your own sauna, but don’t really have the room for it inside your house? For the ultimate outdoor luxury experience place a sauna in your garden. This could either be a secluded section of your garden or a place with a view. Having a path lead up to your outdoor sauna can help create that physical and mental distance to every day life and grant you some moments of peace and serenity (without having to leave your house). Modular standalone outdoor saunas as shown in the rendering below are reasonably quick and easy to install and a great alternative to custom-built saunas. They come in many styles and materials depending on the look you are after.
Luxury Outdoor Furniture Styles, Materials & Accessories
Luxury Outdoor Furniture Styles
What’s the style of your home? When designing outdoor spaces for my clients, I recommend maintaining a similar overall style. This way your indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly merge together. Depending on the style of your home and the type of outdoor space, you could, however, also choose a slightly different colour scheme than the one you’ve used inside of your home. I like to refer to this approach as balancing harmony and contrast.
Luxury Outdoor Furniture Materials
The best type of material strongly depends on your geographic location, whether your furniture is placed in a protected area or exposed to the weather and of course of the desired style. As mentioned earlier, taking into consideration the ease of storage is also important when selecting the right outdoor furniture.
Wood remains one of the most popular choices for (luxury) outdoor furniture. It’s a warm material that’s both elegant and casual. Mixing materials is another great way to create a ‘homely’ outdoor space. For example powder coated aluminium is a very popular choice in contemporary outdoor design. It is easy to maintain and very durable. Nowadays there’s also a wide range of outdoor fabrics in many different colour ways and patterns. Adding a few fun decorative cushions in the lounge area can really make a big difference. Also, sofas and armchairs feature a variety of woven backrests adding a sophisticated look to the piece.
Eco Friendly Materials
Demand for sustainable products in the home industry continues to grow, encouraging manufacturers to look at new materials. Outdoor rugs and fabrics made of recycled PET bottles are just one example. Reclaimed woods, such as reclaimed teak, are another popular choice. In some cases the weathered look is part of the design in others the wood is brought back to its original glory.
Outdoor Accessories & Outdoor Lighting
The famous quote by Mies Van der Rohe ‘Less is More’ definitely applies to achieving a luxurious outdoor space, because the focus should lie on the landscaping and possibly views. After all it’s the natural surroundings that create that sense of peace within us.
A few tall slim ceramic pots or planters, strategically placed are always a good choice to create a sophisticated ambiance. When used sparingly, also statues, figures and sculptures, can be a great addition. Figures in particular can be a way to bring a certain theme to your outdoor space. Ceramic bowls, pots and vases are a great way to decorate your outdoor dining table.
Last but not least there’s lighting. Except for entrances and pathways, most outdoor lighting is decorative only. However, it does have a huge impact on the overall look and feel, especially on those, oh, so wonderful long summer nights…
Lighting in the form of floor lamps, table lamps and lanterns are an absolute must, if you are looking to bring a touch of magic to your outdoor space.
Spotlights highlighting certain plants are also a great way to add interest as are any lights near water, whether it’s a pool or a pond.
Hopefully this post has inspired you to turn your garden or terrace into a luxurious outdoor sanctuary. I’d be curious to know which zone appeals to you most and why?
If you are ready to transform your space, here are two ways I can help you create the outdoor lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of:
Just need a nudge in the right direction or help deciding on a couple of items? Then an Interior Design Consultation will help you accomplish your goals.
If however, you wish you had a magic wand, then a turnkey solution in the form of Full Service Interior Design is the way to go.
Either way, book your complimentary Discovery Call today and tell me more about your outdoor living dreams.
Transform your space. Transform your life.
P.S. As for the landscaping, I work with some very talented landscape designers, allowing me to provide you with the full service.
Photography: Courtesy of Kettal, Tribu, Roda and Küng