How to Transform Your Outdoor Space for Entertaining

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Make the most of the great outdoors and turn your outdoor space into a retreat. Create the ultimate space for relaxing, entertaining and occupying the kids with these great ideas.

Make a fire pit

What’s not to love about roasting marshmallows by the fire? Enjoy this ultimate family-bonding activity by spending nights by the fire. You’ll be able to enjoy the fire and keep warm – even during the wintertime.

Spruce up your space with a fire pit centrepiece. Buy one ready-made or make your own in a few hours with pavers and concrete. Build a bench around the fire pit piled with cushions for that campfire feel or surround the fire with outdoor deck chairs.

Create a play area

Keep the kids entertained for hours on end with a dedicated play area. A swing set, slide and trampoline are popular ideas to turn your garden into a kid’s paradise. On the creative side, you could set up an outdoor crafts area. Or bring the beach to you in Summer by creating a sandpit alongside a kids paddle pool. Continue the beach feel with a hammock strung between two palm trees.

Plant a vegetable garden

Growing your own edible garden is incredibly rewarding. It’s also a great hobby for the kids and a great way to teach them about sustainability.

Rhubarb, rosemary and tomatoes are amongst the easiest plants to grow. They are great options to start with if you’re not already a gardening guru.

Consider a net to keep the birds from eating your hard-earned produce.

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Install a pool or a spa pool

Take the plunge and add a swimming pool to your house. Not only will it add value to your home, but the number of summer memories will be priceless.

If space is a problem or you’d prefer a place to relax, consider a spa pool. This is a cheaper option compared to the pool, and you could use it year-round, even when it’s sub-zero outside.

Provide comfortable seating

Create a comfortable outdoor area you actually want to spend time in. There are endless options for comfortable seating, including sofas, loungers and dining sets.

If you love to entertain but are pushed for space, consider a colourful set of stacking chairs. This lets you add a pop of colour to your backyard but still have the freedom to store them away easily when needed.

Set up an outdoor kitchen

The outdoor kitchen is an up-and-coming trend perfect for entertainers and socialites.

Clear a patio area for a BBQ and ample bench space for preparation. Set up an outdoor fridge for a mini-bar and even consider a wood-fired pizza oven. Don’t miss out on enjoying the outdoors when you’re cooking. Instead, be in the centre of the action in your outdoor kitchen.

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 Fix large doors

Great indoor-outdoor flow is a must-have for many homeowners. Treat your garden area as an extension of your living area.

The easiest way to create this indoor-outdoor flow is through large doors. Choose from the many options including folding, bi-folding, French, retractable and sliding doors. To completely open up your home to the great outdoors, consider fitting sliding doors on two perpendicular walls.

Put up outdoor lighting

String lights will transform your outdoor space into an enchanted garden. Drive out the darkness with this elegant touch. Hang them near your outdoor dining area for late-night dinner parties or near your lounging area where you can curl up with a blanket and a good book.

Refreshing and updating your outdoor space can be tailored to suit all budgets. It can be as simple and effortless as adding string lights to the patio area or as extravagant as building a poolside slice of paradise. It’s up to you to choose what works best for your home.

Author bio:

Alex Cordier is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand. When she’s not busy writing articles for various blogs, you can find her traveling or reading on the beach. To learn more about her, visit her personal blog.

Ways to Modernize Your Victorian Home 

The best part about older, traditional homes is their character. The aged interior and exterior characteristics often date the rooms and inspire a lovely sense of nostalgia. Victorian homes, especially, are known for their unique features, including complex and decorative interior trims, steep pitch roofing and asymmetrical architectural details. Still, there’s no reason why your Victorian home has to remain fixed in the 1850’s. Instead, there are many simple ways to modernize your old Victorian in a way that brings your rooms into the 21st century. Your new “Modern Victorian” home will look fantastic, emphasizing both the Victorian-era characteristics and some chic, contemporary designs, too.

Bring Your Fireplace into the 21st Century

Fireplaces will either instantly date or modernize a space. Victorian-era fireplaces can make a room feel heavy, dark and extremely traditional, so why not renovate it to make it look a little more contemporary? By installing a wall-hanging model that’s electric or ethanol burning, you can integrate a chic, simple design that will make the space look entirely fresh. Modern fireplaces, even in a room with other Victorian elements, will give the entire ambiance of the space a renewed feel.

Install Modern Light Fixtures 

Another way to showcase the old architecture of your Victorian home in a creative, 21st century style is to install modern lighting. While not all modern light fixtures will fit with Victorian designs, something that is more mid-century modern or Scandinavian modern will do the trick. Remember to mix old with new and new with old. Mixing the styles of lighting and eras will lead to a unique final product that flows together in a contemporary fashion.

Incorporate Cutting-Edge Artwork 

A final idea for modernizing an older home like a Victorian is to incorporate some interesting, engaging, cutting-edge art pieces. Picture this: You have a classic Victorian room that’s square and lined with dark wooden trim, and you add a colorful, abstract painting to the middle of a white wall. The artwork will instantly raise the level of your home’s aesthetic and make it more intriguing, rather than classical or predictably Victorian. Just because the architecture looks one way doesn’t mean that every detail in the interior of your home has to reflect the era.

By installing a wall-mounted fireplace, hanging some modern light fixtures and incorporating cutting-edge artwork, you can revamp your Victorian home and transport its interior design into the 21st century.