Hottest outdoor living designs for 2017


Outdoor areas have evolved massively over the last few years and the trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. What was once a simple space has progressed into an additional living and entertaining area; an essential room that blends the inside and outside world seamlessly together.

With the beginning of the new year only moments away, it doesn’t hurt to stay ahead of the curve. 2017 has some fantastic outdoor design trends to start implementing into your space today. From retro comebacks to colour splashes, and a focus on sustainability, minimalism and low maintenance; any home maker can create the ultimate outdoor area.

Maintenance free decking

No one wants a space that consumes a lot of their time by having to fix things up every few years. Whilst many homeowners do love tending to their outdoor rooms, 2017 brings with it ease and functionality so you have more time to enjoy your oasis. This is where maintenance free composite decking comes in. Decking is one of those essential outdoor features that completely transforms a space. As pretty as it is, it comes with a lot of upkeep and maintenance requirements to keep it looking good.

Timber decking provides a warmth and sense of character to an outdoor room that’s undeniable. But the drawbacks are that they’re prone to termites, mould and planks splitting. They also need regular staining and repainting. Composite decking is huge for 2017 because it offers the same natural appeal of timber decking without the hassle. Utilising a mix of plastic and wood, composite decking is mould and weather resistant with little to no maintenance needed. For green minded homeowners, it’s a sustainable decision too.

LED mood lighting

Lighting has always played a big role in outdoor designs but next year things are getting a little quirkier with lighting placement and styles. LED lighting is one of the top trends in outdoor lighting for 2017 because it’s both practical and affordable. Set the mood in your space by using LEDs along pathways, under trees, around the pool or other focal points.

Image: On Common Ground Landscapes

Image: On Common Ground Landscapes

Pendant lighting and outdoor floor lamps are hot for 2017 too. Whilst pendant lighting has usually dominated the indoor world, contemporary designs like silhouette bowl pendants are taking over outdoor spaces. For floor lamps, think warm metals utilised for task lighting, like outdoor sitting areas and kitchens.

Retro furniture trends

Outdoor furniture has always been a little more courageous than indoor furniture and the new year still plays on this heavily. Retro trends are back in fashion with groovy tried and trusted 60s items making a reappearance. Still combined with modern comfort, swivel chairs, foldable beach chairs and bold coloured sofas will be all the rage in outdoor spaces in 2017.

Image: Axis Mundi

Image: Axis Mundi

One-of-the-kind furniture adds a unique touch, with the use of recycled and upcycled materials on trend for 2017. Look for feature pieces that have been crafted from fish boat wood and other salvaged supplies to add rustic charm. Dress the furniture up with playful patterns and vivid colours using throws, cushions and rugs.

Image: Small Garden Love

Image: Small Garden Love

Working with nature

Playing with organic matter is going to be big for 2017. As the indoor world merges with the outdoors, this look encourages homeowners to work with nature beyond the typical green wall. The trend explores total organic-ness in outdoor spaces without the need to restrict or control. It embraces a more natural and unstructured process, like overgrown plants hanging over rooftop patios to change the outline of already established shapes. Utilising crisp blues and greens with urban concretes, the trend sees lots of overlapping and layering of foliage and textures.

Fire pits vs. fire pit tables

The last few years have seen fire pits edge their way into outdoor living, but the new year will see fire pit tables play a bigger role in outdoor design. As opposed to its smaller companion, fire pit tables are making more of an impact when it comes to outdoor living. They combine practicality with a decorative element and encourage homeowners to relax by the fire, with the comfort and practicality of table space too.

Fire pit tables can also be utilised during the warmer months as a frameless table surface and can be constructed in metal, stone, aluminium and wrought iron to suit any outdoor area.

Image: All Backyard Fun

Image: All Backyard Fun

For more ways to dress up your outdoor area this summer check out these five alfresco design tips, relaxing outdoor reading nook ideas and how to pimp out your pergola on a budget.

Author bio:

This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for NewTechWood Australia – a pioneer in the development and manufacture of outdoor composite wood decking, fencing, wall cladding, screening and more. You can catch Jayde on Google+.

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