We have a wild love affair with the great outdoors — not in the ‘pitching a tent in the middle of nowhere’ kind of way, more in the ‘should we take this wine and cheese platter into the backyard?’ kind of way. With summer just around the corner, it’s time to tart up our backyards and balconies just in time for lazy long lunches, beaut barbies, and plonking poolside.
We love a seamless outdoor area that blends with the rest of the home. Are we inside or outside? Who knows.
To make sure we hit the mark to create the perfect outdoor space, we chatted to the stylists over at Matt Blatt to pick their brains on all things wicker (and more).
Tips from a Matt Blatt stylist (aka interior design wizard)…
Bring in hints of nature
There’s just something about nature-inspired materials — wicker, fabric, cane, jute — which scream summer. Whether you opt for a lounge chair, love seat, sofa, rug or side table, there’s something about the organic shade and touchable texture of natural fibres that take any setting from tired to tropical in an instant.
To achieve a gorgeous outdoor room, mix investment outdoor pieces with flamboyant accents to inject personality and a playful vibe into your outdoor room, patio, cabana or balcony. Add seasonal style in a small (budget) way with pops of colour, whether with cushions, bright stools, multi-coloured chairs, side tables or decorative accessories such as jars, candles, quirky animals or cool coffee table trays and bowls.
It’s incredible how quickly a splash of greenery in your outdoor living space — real or fake — will bring the zone to life and add a tropical vibe. With hanging pots, cool cacti, and faux figs on the market, there are tonnes of options to spruce up your space with the green stuff.
Think of your balcony, courtyard or patio as an extension of the adjacent room rather than as an afterthought or add-on. If it stems from the bedroom, add a hammock or sun lounger and side table for Sunday morning coffee and papers –whereas an area off the kitchen/living area might be more suited to a sofa combo, coffee table or dining setting for sunny brunches, lazy lunches and pre-dinner drinks with your posse.
Break it up
If you can, split your courtyard or patio into two distinct areas to create mini zones. Try a love seat or sofa combo in one spot, and either a full-sized dining setting (space permitting) or a pair of dining chairs with a side table in another — one zone for lounging, the other for a weekend cuppa with the papers.
Be realistic about how you’ll use your space. If you’re likely to regularly host lunch or dinner for a large group, you’ll need a sizeable dining table so you’re not all balancing your burgers on your laps. If you’re more the ‘cocktails and canapes’ type, then a coffee table, side tables and a scattering of dining chairs, stools and lounge chairs will do the job without taking up the space of a larger dining table.
Don’t make the mistake of falling in love with an indoor timber table and chairs and just dragging them outside once the weather warms up. They’ll be cracked, faded and looking forlorn well before the summer’s out. Fortunately, there’s a whole host of low-maintenance pieces specifically made to withstand the Australian climate.
The best part is that whether it’s for lazy Sunday lunches or warm-weather brunches, end-of-the-day drinks or pool party hi-jinx, Matt Blatt has a brand new extensive outdoor range that will have you covered! Head into their storeroom and get shopping — their amazing stylists are always on hand to help you make the right decision for your space.
To check out the full range from Matt Blatt…
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