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A new outdoor area can come with a substantial price tag, that’s why these industry professionals are sharing their best tips on how to make a big difference, for the best value.

Outdoor living renovation industry professionals

Di Henshall
Director & Owner
Di Henshall Interior Design

Lisa Mackee (Carvey)
Business Owner
Urban Abode Building Design

Naomi Findlay
Renovation & Design Expert
Naomi Findlay

We asked them:

I want my outdoor area to feel spacious and welcoming, where do I start?

Lisa Mackee (Carvey)

Outdoor spaces that connect to the indoor living area or kitchen will always be used more. Large sliding or bi-folding doors will create an indoor/outdoor feel and your outdoor space will feel like an extension of your living space.

Naomi Findlay

People often forget to think of their outdoor area in the same way as their indoor spaces! You can have beautiful outdoor furniture, lighting, heating, greenery, art plus a beautiful view with landscaping. Just make sure you weather-proof everything.

Di Henshall

Lighting and plants are the key ingredients to a beautiful outdoor setting. There are many flameless outdoor candles and battery-operated lamps that can be used on tables and in votives at night.

Potted plants in varying colours and heights can be clustered to add colour and a dramatic flair. Succulent plants are a great option for a low maintenance plant as they don’t require much watering.

How do I choose a colour scheme or materials that I know I'll still love in 10 years’ time?

Naomi Findlay

I always recommend choosing a neutral colour scheme and adding accessories in your favourite bright colours. These can be easily swapped as trends change over time.

Think about using natural materials that can survive the elements, especially in our hot Aussie summers. Quality timbers and stone are always great options and can be used for your furniture, decks or styling.

Di Henshall

There is one colour that never goes out of style – white!

White on white is a dramatic, yet soothing colour that works equally well with other neutrals or coupled with colours.

You can use white furnishings, cushions and accessories that can be changed to shift the mood in any room.

Lisa Mackee (Carvey)

Choose something you like now, that will also stand the test of time. Look at the style of your home and then use a website or application (Houzz or Pinterest) to see what works best.

You’ll want to get an idea of the types of colour schemes that will work best in your home. When making a decision, keep in mind whether you’re looking to modernise your home or keep a traditional look.

I really want these changes to increase the value of my home, but I want to be savvy. What can I do that will make a difference, but won't cost a fortune?

Di Henshall

Painting in a neutral tone or plain white will freshen up a house immediately. You won’t need to resort to purchasing new furnishings and it is relatively fast and inexpensive.

There are many wallpapers that are cost effective and can transform a space within a day. Look at which walls will add the most impact and seek out papers that are in vogue.

I would recommend a vinyl version of grass-weaves that won’t date like other motifs or patterns.

Lisa Mackee (Carvey)

Try to keep structural changes to a minimum and work with what you have as much as possible. This could mean working in with existing roof shapes etc.

Start by consulting a Building Designer so you can work out everything you want to do ‘on paper’ before starting construction.

This will ensure that you, your builder and tradespeople will all be on the same page. That way you should be able to avoid any unexpected expenses and know what the finished product will look like before commencing construction.

Naomi Findlay

The great part about updating your outdoor area is that you don’t necessarily need tradespeople to undertake the work. You can DIY things like a deck installation, landscaping, and any painting for a more cost-effective approach.

The value comes from an additional entertaining space that needs little to no maintenance year-round. Make sure that you consider this when you start to update your outdoor area.

It also helps to connect your outdoor space to your indoors. Create a flow from your living or dining areas into the outdoor space - this can be achieved through connecting sliding doors or an open living floorplan.

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