Maximising Outdoor Spaces

Those of us who are lucky enough to live in paradise, spend most of our time outside. However, when it comes to decorating our homes, we give most of our attention—and our budget—to the inside rooms and spaces.

There is no better time to invest in these areas than Christmas and New Year when lights, colours, and entertaining all come together. Regardless of how large or small your space is and whether it’s your goal to use it for relaxation, dining, or welcoming friends, with a bit of creativity and the right frame of mind, you can achieve your goals without too much time, effort, or expense.

Firstly, give some thought to how you want your outdoor space to look and its primary purpose. Whether your outdoor area is vast or compact, think of the space as just another room in your home.

Once you have made that decision, you can start decorating and purchasing key pieces of furniture and accessories that make you feel comfortable and relaxed. There are some fantastic DIY websites—Pinterest for one—to get decorating inspiration.

Here are some simple ideas to help you make the most of your outside space, whether it be a garden, yard, or patio.

Colour:Be adventurous with your colour scheme—go bright and bold. Stay clear of neutrals; choose hues inspired by nature. You live in the Caribbean and colour is everywhere around you. Reds evoke passion and love—Poinsettias are perfect at this time of year. Orange brings joy and happiness. Green promotes harmony and a sense of freshness. Blue will calm you and mirror the colour of the warm Caribbean Sea.

Protection:If your outdoor area is not covered, think of adding an old sail or even building a simple wooden pergola that provides shade, character, and a frame for climbing plants. It can have the effect of creating an indoor-outdoor transition and give valuable protection from the harsh afternoon sun.

Furniture:Add sofas, side tables, low tables, and single garden chairs. If the primary purpose for your space is dining, you can decorate your table with potted herbs as well as candles. If your outdoor space is covered, a rustic wooden dining table adds functionality and design. Mixing new modern furniture with recycled and antique pieces of different styles, is a simple trick to give your space an eclectic feel.

Accessorise: Now comes the fun part—accessorising. Add large beautiful and comfortable cushions to your outdoor sofas, not forgetting you can also add smaller versions to your dining and garden chairs to make that hard, waterproof garden furniture more attractive and comfortable.

Bean bags can work in individual spaces, and kids love them. How about mixing large, medium, and small terracotta pots? If you would like to grow a small citrus tree, start a herb garden, or add lots of colour from flowering shrubs, plants will make your space organic, fresh, scented, and potentially productive. Raised planting boxes are simple to make and easier to maintain in small spaces.

Lighting:Lighting is very important and can add warmth and ambiance. For your outdoor space, your lighting should be functional, but create a cosy, fun atmosphere where you want to spend time. Bright, harsh light lacks the ability to create a mood.

Place floor standing candles in large glass vases and hang lanterns from various branches of a tree. String paper lanterns over covered seating areas to create a party atmosphere. Be creative by using mason jars with tea light candles on ledges and terracotta sconces on walls. When entertaining outside, use Tiki torches burning citronella oil to protect against unwelcome bugs and to line pathways for a dramatic effect.  Add some twinkling Christmas lights to veranda poles and across decking; perfect for the holidays, you might want to forget to take them down.

Whatever your budget and taste, make your outdoor space your own personal style, but most importantly, have fun!

Smiths Gore

Smiths Gore

Smiths Gore is one of the preeminent real estate advisers in the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. Contributing authors include Kate Henderson, Morgana Tilling, Bernadette George, and Lucienne Smith
Smiths Gore

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