With an increase in urban living, and Australians building houses on smaller blocks, space in outdoor living areas is becoming a premium. By utilising the space available effectively, a well-designed outdoor area, even the smallest courtyard, rooftop or balcony can be a functional space for everyday living and easily transformed to the ultimate sanctuary to entertain and unwind.

Here, Natasha D’Cruz, Home Living Category Manager, AMES Australasia shares smart ideas to maximise your outdoor space.

Stylish storage

Laundering products can take up a lot of space, particularly when drying clothes outdoors. A clever way to save space is to use a retractable clothesline which can be hidden when not in use. Take style and functionality to the next level with the innovative Hills Planter Retracting Clothesline (RRP $129). The unique patented design disguises the clothesline as a planter when not in use and has 15 litres of pot capacity with an in-built self-watering tray.

The Hills Planter Retracting Clothesline is the perfect addition to a modern courtyard or balcony and its multi-purpose use means your outdoor area can be transformed into an entertaining space quickly when guests are coming over.

Clever seating

An outdoor space should be a comfortable environment for you to relax, so seating is important. Multi-functional pieces are essential in small areas. Consider using storage boxes which can double as benches, stools or tables. Larger throw pillows made from waterproof fabric also works as floor cushions. To free up valuable floor space, install a bold or patterned hammock to add a pop of colour to the area. Alternatively, built-in bench seating around the perimeter of the area would be an ideal solution for a tight spot. Add in a table to create the perfect dining area.

Introduce a focal point

Focal points can divert the focus from a small balcony and make it feel more spacious and create visual interest. Focal points can be a striking piece of furniture, a unique piece of wall art or a small sculpture. Once the focal point has been chosen, build and place the remaining furniture and design features around it. This will serve as a central gathering spot to relax and connect with family and friends.

Light up

Outdoor lighting is another way to enhance your outdoor area and give the appearance of spaciousness. For a patio or balcony, the ideal options to utilise are string lights, solar spotlights or LED candles. LEDs consume less energy than halogen bulbs and are nearly maintenance-free, so you won’t need to change bulbs. These lighting options can be hung from latticework or installed around the perimeter of a deck to take up minimal space. Subtle lighting creates a peaceful ambience for entertaining and dining, but also provides additional security for the home.

Hills Indoor Planter Retracting Clothesline is available at Bunnings Warehouse stores nationwide. To find out more about Hills, visit www.hillshome.com.au.

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