Extending indoor living areas outside

Enhance your lifestyle and extend the useable space of your home by creating an outdoor entertaining area that is an extension of your indoor entertaining area (extending indoors, out) Not only will it feel like you have more useable space to hold events at home but you will have increased the value of your home.

One of the main features buyers look for in a home is an attractive outdoor area – the bigger the better – preferably with an easy connection to the living room and kitchen.

Depending on the lie of the land and aesthetic concerns of your home, you could build a deck, lay a concrete slab or define an entertaining area with paving. The choice of finishes is endless. Timber can be oiled, painted or stained. Pavers come in concrete, clay or natural materials such as sandstone. There are some fabulous new concrete pavers on the market that mimic natural finishes and these days as long as it is covered or sealed some indoor tiles are also an option.

To be truly functional, an outdoor area should be covered so that it can be used in all weather and throughout the year. Here again, there’sOutdoor Living plenty of choice – metal or polycarbonate roofing, sails and awnings in fixed or retractable styles. You may also decide to enclose the area with shutters, screens or doors, this way, for the hotter climate areas your indoor air conditioning can be of benefit.

To make the whole package work well, it pays to install a wide opening between the indoor and outdoor living zones. This is both a functional and a visual element, blending the two rooms into one large living space with a common aesthetic. What you can do depends on the structure of the house and how much you’re prepared to spend. If there is an existing window, the job should be relatively easy since the opening will already be supported. The options are french, bifold, sliding or stacking doors, in timber or aluminium. For some examples of styling perhaps visit some display homes close by.

If you live in a unit, you may be limited to courtyard styling. For cover, you may like to try a cantilever umbrella or a shade sail, small bbq area with seating. Whatever you achieve, improving the indoor-outdoor interaction in your home will add value to the property.

For ideas on styling contact Andersens

Getting your garden ready for Spring entertaining

Sometimes all it takes is a bit of sunshine to give us a bit more energy and bring us outdoors. But you may find as you venture outside, you will notice that the weather has also had a great impact on your garden. Not only is the garden over grown and budding with new growth, winter has left its mark leaving you with broken and dead branches, bare patches in the lawn, and a bit of clean up all round that needs to take place. I bet you thinking, you really don’t know where to start, let alone have the time!

So, with a little motivation and hard work on your part and some helpful tips and ideas on our part, your yard will soon be ready for entertaining and enjoying this beautiful weather.

Here are some tips to get you started:

The lawn

Gardening

Usually after the harsh Winter weather, you will find your lawn not only is in desperate need of some attention but it is

covered in dead leaves, dry patches, covered with clover or weeds  and really not enjoyable for the kids to play on. So, to prepare your lawn for Spring and Summer here is what we recommend:

  • Rake all the dead leaves and dead grass to encourage new growth
  • Re-seed or re-turf areas that are bare
  • Apply lawn food, or slow release fertiliser and keep people off until it has taken off with some new growth.
  • Mow the lawn once the new grass is established, but be sure not to trim it too short as with the warmer weather it may burn

Adding a little colour to your outdoor area

Here are some great ideas on how to add a splash of colour to your outdoor area:

  • Flowers- If you want to add a splash of colour to your garden for Spring, we suggest you plant flowering spring annuals for an instant lift, but if you want to plan ahead to make it easier next year, look into bulbs that will flower in particular seasons.
  • Furniture- Add a bright feature chair, feature pot or ornaments. Update your wall hangings, outdoor cushions or for a more dynamic approach re-tile with feature tiles.
  • Artwork- Cast iron, sealed canvas art, mirrors, hanging planter baskets and chimes all make the area feel finished and decorated.

Prune & Weed

A job nobody really wants to do but essential for new growth. Prune back all your hedges & bushes, remove any dead palms or branches, clip those flowers, remove all the weeds from pebbled areas and those pesky spots. As tedious as it can be, weeds in your garden beds can spread and take over.

Vegetable Garden

Spring is a great time to start a vegie garden, and these days you can turn them into a real feature. Whether it is planting a new garden or just a few feature herb pots, you can create a tasteful feature for your outdoor area.

Clean and Mend

With the warmer weather meaning you will be spending more time outdoors, relaxing and entertaining it is important to make your entertaining area clean and safe for guests. Here are some must do’s:

  • Check outdoor furniture and outdoor sitting areas; wooden furniture may need to be repainted or re-oiled. Nuts and bolts should be checked and tightened.
  • Clean the pool and test the water, it may have been a long time since you went for a swim so again, make sure it is safe and clean for guests and family.
  • Clean the barbecue and replenish gas bottles, especially important if you are the host.
  • Paving and other hard surfaces may benefit from a vigorous sweep or hose to remove accumulated leaves and dirt.

Renovate or Upgrade

 

If you really want to create a comfortable outdoor space for entertaining, consider all the options. Look at paving or tiling an outdoor area for a purpose built sitting area, perhaps put in that decking around the pool you have always wanted. Look at pathways in and out of the house, shade such as outdoor blinds, shutters to make the space useable throughout the day. Lastly think of lighting, can you see the bbq area at night while you are cooking, can you see the kids in the pool when they go for a night swim and so on.

If you need some advice on outdoor flooring, contact Andersens for a free measure and quote on 1300 116 726 or contact us via email to arrange a time.

Create an outdoor oasis on a budget

Homeowners are increasingly extending their living spaces outside the walls of their homes. From fancy patios and decked-out outdoor kitchens these are the kind of additions many homeowners dream of. Those with unlimited budgets can enjoy just about any look they desire, but many homeowners may not have the money to go all the way with their outdoor living spaces – but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to create budget-friendly spaces that are functional, fun and eye catching.

Here are some ideas:

Decking

Decks and patios are popular gathering spots outside a home, and homeowners have numerous inexpensive options at their disposal when choosing patio materials. And those who can do their own labour when installing a patio can save a substantial amount of money. Decking is a project that can transform an outdoor area. Instead of using higher-priced composite or resin decks, homeowners can go with standard wood, which may need to be stained, varnished or oiled periodically and need a little more TLC but will save you close to half the cost. Look at the size required for your space as scaling back the size of the deck means less materials to buy and less labour involved.

 

Paving & concrete

The cost of patio blocks depends on the material and style. Poured concrete patios will cost less than placed blocks or stones because concrete is less labour-intensive. For those who desire the look of patio blocks without the cost, stamped concrete can mimic the look for less. Paving can be slightly less expensive then decking, and can create a beautiful looking area if paired with some nice stones.

 

Furniture

Homeowners may not need to replace patio furniture, even if chairs and tables have seen better days. A can of spray paint can cover up any rusted areas or spots where paint has peeled off due to exposure to the elements. Another inexpensive way to refresh your back yard on a budget is by updating cushions. Purchasing a coordinating umbrella can also liven your area.

 

Garden beds and planter boxes can really finish off an area. Defining edges of planting borders and refreshing the landscape may be all that is needed to improve the yard. This can easily be achieved with inexpensive mulch, a few new plants and a general yard clean up. Use a pressure washer to clean stains off patios, driveways, walls etc and create a like-new appearance.

Though not all homeowners can afford to create the backyard of their dreams, with a little thought and some sweat and hard work, homeowners can still create an outdoor oasis.

If you need help with decking, paving or other outdoor flooring options, contact your local Andersens flooring specialist on 1800 016 016 or visit our website 

5 quick makeover tips for your home!

Knowing that some of you might be looking to do a few quick changes around the house to help spruce things up for the Summer, we thought we would share some quick and inexpensive makeover tips for your home!

  • Window fabulous. Help balance out a room by using curtains to help warm and soften the hues from timber or tiled floors, while using blinds to help open up and freshen up those carpeted areas.

 

  • Artwork magic. Create a feature artwork for your bare walls. Whether it be getting one of your favourite pictures blown up or buying a fabulous new print. Be as crazy or classic as the space allows.

 

  • Get back to nature. Brighten and liven up your dullest and emptiest corner by bringing in some indoor plants. Adding a bit of natural colour is always a good way to instantly freshen a room.

 

  • Then there was light. Lighting is important. Experiment with the lights around your home. Either something as simple as buying a new kind of lightbulb, or buying new lamps or overhead lights to help create some “mood” and “atmosphere”.

 

  • Outside inside. Get to work opening up your home by creating an outdoor living space. Whether it’s a small courtyard, or large yard, make use of ALL your space.

 

That now brings us to the end of our 5 quick makeover tips for your home! To find some great specials for floor coverings and blinds, be sure to check out our latest catalogue or visit our website at www.andersens.com.au.