10 outdoor decoration trends of 2017

If your outdoor area is looking a little tired or you simply want to spruce it up, you may be in need of some inspiration.

Let’s take a look at ten of the most popular trends set to dominate outdoor decoration in 2017!

 

1. Indoor-outdoor connected design

Blur the lines between the indoors and outdoors. Outdoor living areas will no longer be used only for the occasional BBQ or afternoon drink on the patio; instead, tthem them more as an extension or continuation of the house itself.

  • Consider a covered outdoor area. Installing a permanent or temporary roofing solution helps the indoors flow seamlessly into the outdoors, creating an outdoor ‘room’ of sorts. Provide protection from the elements and add an extra level of comfort with awnings (retractable ones are a handy choice), pergolas, shade cloths or covered courtyards.
  • Branch out with your furniture choices. You don’t have to stick to steel and glass outdoor settings. New fabrics made from durable, waterproof and fade-resistant acrylic fibres, make it able to create a real outdoor ‘living room’.
  • Bring traditional indoor elements outside. Things you might only expect to see in an indoor living room – such as fireplaces, artwork, ceiling fans, decorative lamps, even entertainment systems – can all find a place in your outdoor area.

 

2. Sustainability

More and more people are trying to do their part when it comes to sustainability, and in 2017 this has really extended into design. When it comes to your home, focus on sustainability by:

  • Reducing waste and energy/water consumption
  • Using less materials (or using more recycled materials)
  • Encouraging the growth of native plants
  • Lessening your home’s negative environmental impact as much as possible
  • Introduce permaculture concepts to your gardening and landscaping practices

 

3. Outdoor kitchens

Most outdoor living areas have a BBQ, but the idea of an outdoor kitchen is transporting the whole cooking experience outside.

We’re talking fridges, sinks, cabinets and storage spaces, cooktops as well as barbeques, proper lighting, and plenty of bench space. Elements such as pizza ovens and fire pits are incredible for outdoor entertaining, and if you really want to think outside the box, add ice-makers, drinks stations, or even a poolside kitchen with a swim-up bar counter.

4. Mismatched pieces

The bohemian feel is still very much on trend in 2017. Spontaneity and uniqueness are key here, but pieces must also work well together to avoid clashing and crowding. Try one of the following for stylish mismatching:

  • Pairing modern items with complementary vintage pieces
  • Mixing and matching items inspired by (or collected from) different countries and cultures
  • Experimenting with different patterns and textures that play off one another
  • Introducing one or two elements that contrast with the overall style as feature pieces
  • Creating your own colour palette

 

5. Natural & rustic materials

Outdoor décor has always work well with a touch of nature.

For furniture, explore rustic materials such as wood, wicker, rattan and bamboo, with raw or woven textures such as canvas or cotton for the softer items. For hard structures, stone also works beautifully with many other aesthetics. Simply ensure that all natural products are weather-proofed to withstand our harsh Australian conditions.

 

6. Upcycled and repurposed items

For many keen outdoor decorators, 2017 will be the year of upcycling, repurposing and revamping. As well as being environmentally friendly, this trend allows you to create a truly unique and original outdoor living area.

Take household items that would otherwise be discarded and turn them into pieces of outdoor furniture, planters and other decorative elements. For a bigger adventure, try searching op shops, garage sales, secondhand furniture stores or even the local tip for salvageable items.

Wooden pallets and old wooden doors are easy to acquire and transform into tables, chairs, outdoor sofas and other pieces of furniture.

 

7. Colour blocking

It’s not all about neutrals this year — colour blocking uses solid, discrete blocks of colour to create a statement focal point to your space. Consider:

  • A feature wall —  can be used to frame potted plants, offset by a contrasting artwork or to serve as a bright backdrop
  • Brightly coloured furniture — particularly effective if the rest of your outdoor area’s colour palette is quite muted
  • An outdoor rug — a sturdy, durable rug in a great colour can really brighten up an outdoor area in a subtle, easy way

 

8. Trellises

The humble trellis is a great outdoor décor aspect to consider in 2017. Made from wood or metal and existing in a number of different styles, a trellis can serve both functional and aesthetic purposes in your outdoor area, such as:

  • Privacy — screen your outdoor area from neighbouring houses or the street.
  • Transition point or entryway marker — use in transition between areas of your outdoor space or as an archway at the entry to welcome guests.
  • Decoration — ornate metal trellises can be left unadorned to create a piece of garden art and can serve as a great decorative feature
  • Planter — flowering vines and other greenery help trellises become a gorgeous, living feature of your outdoor area. Climbing plants such as wisteria, clematis, honeysuckle, morning glory, bougainvillea or ivy are perfect.

 

9. Water features

Once confined to more formal gardens, water features are now making a splash in all kinds of outdoor areas; and for good reason.

The ambient sound of running water transforms any outdoor space into a calm, tranquil environment, and the sight of a gracefully flowing fountain or a vertical ‘water wall’ brings life to the whole area. Some popular styles include:

  • Fountains — the most common and versatile of water features, such as vases, columns, dishes, rock fountains, or traditional garden-style fountains
  • Rock waterfalls — the natural look and sound of a flowing rock waterfall is gorgeous, but can be quite expensive
  • Water ‘walls’ — this style transforms an entire wall into a cascading flow of water
  • Ponds — often the central focus of an outdoor area and can contain water plants, fish and even smaller fountains within them

 

10. Bronze and gold accents

Copper and rose gold have been big trends in home décor in recent years, especially with the rise of the industrial look. In 2017, however, bronze and gold accents have been chosen to add a touch of class and elegance to the area and create a connected indoor-outdoor aesthetic flow.

Incorporate bronze and gold accents through light fixtures, furniture, decorative pots, water features and outdoor art pieces. Remember, less is more when it comes to incorporating metallics; pair with natural materials to create a subtle, striking effect and avoid looking tacky or overdone.

Written by Claire Bradshaw

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