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Decorative concrete has long been used as a foundation for outdoor rooms and entertaining areas, so what makes it such a useful material to work with?
Outdoor rooms are more than just a balcony or patio. They work as an extension of your home, with the function of the indoors, in an outdoor environment.
A well-designed outdoor room should be useable all year-round, and may even replace the original kitchen or dining room as the new heart of your home.
It’s important to give consideration to the layout of the space and who will use it when deciding on the materials you use. Beyond the floor, decorative concrete is a versatile solution for creating multiple elements of any outdoor space.
To help you plan, we have compiled some expert tips for designing your dream outdoor room.
Position is Everything
One ‘must have’ for every outdoor room is the perfect position. Ideally, the space should get enough morning sun to keep it warm in winter, while having adequate shade in hot weather, and shelter from wind and rain.
Weatherproofing outdoor entertaining areas will ensure year-round use of your outdoor room, making it feel like a part of your home, rather than the backyard. Decorative concrete also gives you the flexibility to create an outdoor room of any shape or size.
Outdoor flooring doesn’t have to be a plain concrete slab. Outdoor rooms lend themselves to an endless array of flooring options, including honed concrete, exposed aggregate, and coloured concrete.
Extending concrete floors from inside the home creates indoor-outdoor living flow, while providing a low maintenance and durable flooring solution.
Concrete floors also offer the added benefits of thermal mass, maintaining heat in the cooler months and dispersing it during hot weather.
Just like flooring, concrete benches are easy to clean and maintain, making decorative concrete an ideal material to use for a range of outdoor living features.
Polished concrete is increasingly being used to craft outdoor kitchens, dining tables and barbecue areas, providing fixed furniture with a seamless, high-quality finish.
Windows should be given careful consideration beyond the views they provide. Outdoor rooms also require both adequate ventilation and shelter, and windows should add to the overall functionality of the space. Depending on factors including your room size, orientation and climate, you will need to decide whether to use glass windows, sliding doors, transparent bistro blinds or an alternative solution.
The colours and textures used in your outdoor room can be a continuation of your home’s interior, or a complementary and contrasting design. Geostone decorative concrete is available in a range of colours and natural stone selections, offering a solution to suit every colour scheme. Combining decorative concrete and aggregate with other natural materials will create a contemporary space with timeless appeal.
Plants, pots and furniture can be used to further enhance the design of your outdoor room. Other decor items including mirrors, sculptures and artworks are also an opportunity to showcase your unique personality and style. And don’t be afraid to blend functionality and fashion – decorative concrete is a perfect construction material for feature walls.
You might choose to use your outdoor room as a dining room or reading room with low-tech needs. But homeowners are increasingly choosing to install large-screen televisions, projectors and sound systems in their outdoor room for the ultimate in entertaining spaces. Give consideration to the final layout before installing electrical appliances.
Bringing the outdoors in is taken to a whole new level in an outdoor room. From a few pops of colour to a vertical garden, or a complete greenhouse vibe, embracing nature is an easy way to liven up a room and add depth and character. Consider sunlight exposure, watering needs and ventilation, and discuss your plant selection with a local nursery or horticulturist to ensure your indoor garden thrives.
Most outdoor rooms are designed to take advantage of natural daylight, but additional lighting is needed for entertaining at night. The options are endless from downlights to pendant lighting, solar lights for an eco-friendly option, or dimmable mood lighting to really enhance the ambience.
Designing your dream outdoor room should be an enjoyable and creative experience. The end result should be a reflection of your personality and lifestyle, and an inviting space to rest, relax and entertain friends and family.
For more design inspiration and information on using decorative concrete in your home, visit the Geostone blog archive.
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