Party planning, outdoor home entertaining and firing up the grill are just a few Australia summer favourites. The warm weather comes complete with Christmas and Aussie Day BBQ’s, celebrating the holiday season in style with family and friends, perfect beach mornings and a lot of sunshine to enjoy. Bliss, right?
Nothing beats the smell of an open BBQ reminding us that summer and grill season is finally here. But for outdoor summer entertaining to really take full effect, you need to get your space refreshed and ready for the holidays. From garden maintenance to ensuring your BBQ area is comfortable and inviting, here’s a few outdoor renovation tips to do in the lead up to summer.
1. Lush Landscaping
The summer months are a great time to start upgrading the landscaping and home exterior. From simple garden maintenance like pruning trees and shrubs to upgrading your outdoor landscaping design, turn your space into a private oasis that looks lush, green and colourful.
Start by cutting down dead branches and pruning back shrubs, rose bushes and other plants to promote fresher growth. It’s a good idea to hire a skip bin for the day so you can get rid of tree and lawn cuttings, old outdoor furniture and other debris properly without too much hassle. This way, you can leave it to the professionals to dispose of the waste accordingly.
If you’re thinking about saving time and money (and who doesn’t!), consider a design that incorporates native plants as these won’t require too much watering or fertilizer. You’ll want to install an automatic sprinkler system that’s timed to ensure everything is getting well looked after. Combine creativity and nature together to create a striking effect with structure, colourful foliage and a water feature to get all senses going.
2. Spruce up Your Deck
A deck or patio area is essential for outdoor living – especially in BBQ season. Not only does it create a space to entertain in but a well maintained deck or patio area will do wonders in boosting your home’s appeal come resale time. Use this time to clean up your deck furniture and create a space that is attractive, relaxing, functional and engaging.
If your deck has seen better days, use this pre-summer time for some simple DIY maintenance, a fresh coat of oil or stain if required and a good power wash to make your deck shine. Chose a fresh new colour scheme with your patio or deck furniture to give the space a new look – even vibrant cushions for your chairs, a new rug and a few potted plants can change the dynamics of the space significantly.
3. Freshen up Your Pool
For those lucky enough to have a pool area, you’ll want to get it cleaned and looking good for the festive season. Start the process by bringing your pool up to shape with the right filtration system and chemicals. It can also be a good idea to have a professional test the water before jumping in to ensure your chemicals are balanced and safe.
Revamp you pool space by adding LED in and around your pool to enhance the design and keep it useable at night. Take the time to check your pool fencing for any repairs to ensure it’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional, and switch your décor to freshen up the space. A few colourful pool lounge chairs should do the trick or if you really want to go above and beyond, add a swim up pool bar to create the ultimate summer entertaining dream!
4. Provide Comfort and Adequate Shade
Ample comfort and shade are essential to a great outdoor space, especially under the Australian sun. If you’re planning on doing a lot of entertaining this BBQ season you want to make sure there’s enough seating. A table and chairs is ideal or opt for a few sofas to encourage lounging. If space is limited, wide-rimmed planters can sever as a table or extra seating easily.
Your outdoor space will require a good amount of shade during the day. Whether it’s from a patio or you opt for a large colourful umbrella or shade cloth. Tall potted plants or arched trellis covered with vines can be used to help block some of the sun out too. Include plenty of shade around your pool area as well.
5. Install Outdoor Lighting
Not all parties are guaranteed to end before the sun goes down and the right outdoor lighting has the power to change the atmosphere of your space, plus it acts as an important safety feature at night. Give your outdoor area some evening ambiance by adding the perfect amount of light. You don’t want anything too harsh, instead go for pathway lights, fire pits, soft spotlights or Tiki torches (used with citronella they’ll also ward of the bugs and mosquitoes) to create a relaxing mood.
Be strategic with your lighting placement and use it to accent special trees, water features, swimming pool area or other focal points in your garden. Lighting can be one of the most vital aspects of landscape and hardscape design, yet tends to be overlooked or underdone. Make great lighting a priority this summer.
It doesn’t need to take much to transform your outdoor space into something that is attractive and functional. Planning goes a long way in helping to save money for renovations so the sooner you get started on it, the sooner your backyard can be turned into a stunning retreat perfect for relaxing in or entertaining around the BBQ this summer.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Instant Waste Management – an industry leading rubbish removal solutions to assist you with your ‘getting ready for summer’ clean up. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.