It’s not too late to make your outdoor are more liveable and inviting. For ideas on exactly how to create a functionable and instagram-worthy space, we chatted with ultra-sleek interior designer Lauren Beattie, from LO Design Studio in Canberra (lodesignstudio.com). We also asked her where she shops for must-have furnishings… nothing like some insider tips!

Her first peice of advice? Know your purpose. “Do you want your outside space for big dinner party entertaining, drinks with friends, or a comfy breakfast or reading spot? Knowing what you want will dictate the type of furniture you need, as well as the feeling you wish to create.”

Ahead, Lauren’s 5 rules for successful outdoor decorating, plus some images to add to your “dream outdoor space” folder. Happy summer!

5 INGREDIENTS FOR A WINNING OUTDOOR AREA


LUSH GREENERY
“Potted plants are perfect for smaller spaces or small or balconies,” says Lauren, “but they’re also good for breaking up a larger space to create more intimate spaces within.”

COMFY SEATING
“If you are lucky enough to have space for an outdoor lounge area, furnish it like you would furnish your interior. These days there are some really great options available, and you can easily find outdoor lounges that wouldn’t look out of place in your lounge room,” says Lauren. Same goes for rugs, throws and cushions – choosing furnishings to suit your interior style is the way to go.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
While everyone loves a bargain, shopping for outdoor furniture isn’t the time to go cheap. “When you consider the elements your outdoor pieces are exposed to throughout the seasons, a good-quality product is always going to weather much better than a cheaper alternative,” she says.

GOOD LIGHTING & SHADE
“Good shade is essential if you plan on using your outdoor area during to day,” says Lauren. “If you aren’t fortunate to already have beautiful, shady, mature trees or a shade structure, have a look into an outdoor umbrella, Basil Bangs do a really fun range.” And those balmy evenings? Lauren suggests using a soft touch: solar garden lights or overhead string lights.

MULTI-USE ITEMS
“If you are limited to a small space, like a balcony or courtyard, look for multi-functional pieces, such as side tables that can double up as additional seating,” says Lauren. “Also, using plant stands to elevate greenery will give you the opportunity to fit more plants in without taking up valuable floor space.”

SHOP IT NOW


Lauren’s must-see list to find cool outdoor furnishings…

Images via Homes To Love + House Magazine + Interiors Addict + Made By Tait + My Domaine + The Cool Hunter