Monday, February 29, 2016

Our Outdoor Space - Plants, Festoon Lighting + Outdoor Furniture

As summer comes to an end I thought I would show you the space where we spent most of our days and entertained when family and friends came over.

Just before summer started we decided to put a bit of effort into our indoor space and give it a bit of a spruce up for the warmer months ahead.  We were influenced by restaurants The Grounds and Coogee Pavilion with their cool and inviting outdoor spaces. To get the same feel we knew we needed plants (lots of them) and festoon lighting.

We have had our outdoor furniture for about 5 years now (maybe more!) and although it was an investment at the time it has really paid for itself with it's comfort and durability. It is the Bubble Club range from Kartell and is made from a molded plastic and is easily cleaned and can handle being out in all the elements. The only thing missing from the range was a large coffee table so Simon made our one himself. We love the size of the table as there is plenty of room for platters and drinks when entertaining.
We've loved the look of festoon lighting for years but had never found the right set at the right price. We decided to create our own festoon lighting and bought the bulbs, festoon lamp holders and black heavy duty garden lighting cable from Bunnings. This was great as we could space it out to our own specifications and get the correct length needed for the space.  It was attached to the roof by stainless steel hooks at either end, which allowed the cable to drape as we zig zagged it across the under side of the roof. We terminated it to a switch inside the house which was a little technical so best to get an electrician in to do this. The number of bulbs makes the light output very bright so we installed a commercial grade dimmer to control the lighting depending on the time of night and occasion.

Next step was to fill the space with plants but still keep it practical. We wanted to still be able to move around the area easily and there still be free space for the boys to play and the dog to roam.

For the roof we decided on a mixture of hanging plants which we purchased from a local nursery. We knew we wanted different greens, a variety of textures and plants that would spill over their pots and create a lush feel. We made sure we spoke to someone at the nursery and described their position and how much sun each plant would get as we wanted to make sure we got the right ones. All hanging pots and chains were from Bunnings. We made sure they had an enclosed drainage system so they wouldn't spill over once they were watered. The pots were hung from the roof using stainless steel eyelets, making sure they went directly into the timber batons in the roof to ensure they could hold the weight of the pots. They can get quite heavy once the soil and the plants are in. We also wanted them sturdy so they wouldn't get blown down in heavy wind. 6 months on and we haven't had any problems with them.

On the ground we grouped different pots of palms and succulents and placed a pot of ivy on the bench as we wanted it to drape down to the ground. We rotated the ivy weekly to get an even growth.
All the black pots were a Bunnings find. So great to be able to get everything in one place!

The outdoor mat is marine carpet also from Bunnings. We chose this material as it is hardy, can handle the rain or a quick hose down and we also could choose the size we needed.

We water the plants every second day in summer and will stretch it out to once a week once it cools down. All of the plants are flourishing and looking so healthy. It is our own tropical oasis!

I purchased the outdoor cushions from Target. The material is great and handles the weather well.
The whole outdoor area is hosed down weekly and everything is built to handle the water and be wiped down. It's very low maintenance which is what we were after. Also as our grass is artificial we really have no other garden that has to be taken care of!

We have really loved having this space as an extra room and it was great to give it a refresh and make it an inviting place to relax and hang out with family and friends.

Do you have an outdoor space at home you love? Or are you ready to do a bit of a refresh?
I'd love to hear your plans!


  1. Love your outdoor space! We have one too and like you put a lot of money, time and effort into creating it. We spend most of the year outside, we love eating as a family out there (sometimes Hubby even falls asleep out on the couch after a long day!). It also means that the kids tend to play outside more than inside which is always a great thing!

    1. Yes it's been a great summer, I hope the lovely weather continues! xx

  2. What a gorgeous space Simone! We have a great deck we built onto the back of our home to extend our living area and its fab. The only thing is that we are quite elevated on a hill and I find it gets quite dusty. I am forever having to wipe the outdoor furniture down before we wit out there and it drives me nuts! Forever hosing and cleaning. I am getting rid of our bif timber table and opting for something long and narrow with bench seats to give more space. Love your hanging plants and space you have created here xx

    1. Thanks Ashlea, I love to give it a hose off before entertaining out there. I don't think you can ever really stop the dust or leaves from trees etc. Yes loving the plants, they've really made a difference x

  3. I love your back yard. It just looks like a lot of fun and good times. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thanks Heidi, yes we all love to spend time out there. Something for all of us x


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