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Make the most of your outdoor living areas

Outdoor living is a way of life for South Africans, so it makes a lot of sense to dress up your outdoor space for comfort and style.


A comfortable set of outdoor furniture on its own adds a place to sit and relax, but adding accessories turns the space into a true outdoor living room.

Just as you would add a focal point to your interior living space - this works just as well for outdoors too. A tin ceiling tile hangs from the roof beams and adds interest and a dash of privacy. Moss-lined flower boxes along the deck railing overflow with colourful annuals that instantly brighten up the outdoor living space.

Maximise comfort  with a large outdoor sofa that fills the space with plenty of seating for entertaining with friends or settling down for a quiet evening outdoors with family. Choose neutral colours for the cushions and punch up the colour with plump cushions. This allows you to easily swap out the cushions if you decide to change the look later on.

A cotton, coir or seagrass rug is ideal for outdoor spaces and finishes off your outdoor lounge or dining area.

If you don't want to have to bring in accessories at the first sign of inclement weather, have a place to store these outdoors. A coffee table that doubles-up as a storage unit is ideal for packing away cushions and soft furnishings when not in use.

Transform your outdoor area in an extension of your living spaces with a few touches you wouldn't otherwise find outdoors. A stainless steel curtain rod and eyelet curtains will make your outdoor area feel comfortable and homey. Choose fabrics that are acrylic or polyester blend that will add water-resistance and ensure fabrics used outdoors will dry quickly and not attract mould or mildew.

Potted plants, hanging baskets or colourful containers are a must for your outdoor living space. Not only do these add colour, interest and texture to your outdoor living space, they also tie together the theme of indoor-outdoor to create a natural flow.

If you don't have a green thumb fill pots with hardly indigenous plants or succulents.

Dining outdoors is a true South African tradition. We love to spend weekend hosting a braai with family and friends, and an outdoor dining room allows you to sit back and enjoy sunny days and cool drinks on the patio or deck.

Adding a privacy curtain is an inexpensive project that anyone with a bit of DIY savvy can do in a day. You can use copper pipe, galvanised pipe or chrome steel pipe to make a curtain rail for mounting tab-top or eyelet curtains. Or use curtain rings and hooks to mount curtains. You will find the supplies that you need for this project at your local Builders Warehouse. Shop at curtain and fabric stores for an eyelet kit if you want to make your own curtains.

Outdoor furniture can be pricey, so if you can't afford to buy an entire set, mix it up. One or two wicker chairs, a homemade bench and a couple of affordable chairs and you have a wonderfully eclectic mix for your outdoor dining area.

Treat your outdoor living and dining spaces as you would if they were indoors. Accessories make all the difference.