Australians love to maximise their outdoor living space. It could be a well-designed balcony, tailored pergola configuration, or enhanced decking.

Whatever the solution, you’ll find most Aussies enjoying their outdoor space for as much of the year as possible.

However, it’s not simple to create an outdoor living space that is appealing. It’s also important to consider that expanding the livable area of a home in the most cost-effective way is a must for every homeowner.

The most popular way to increase living space cost-effectively is to add a pergola and decking to a current living area. When you consider the cost of adding on an internal room, the solution of a very usable outdoor living space has great merit. And the options are endless.

Timber pergolas are perhaps the most popular addition to outdoor living spaces as they can be styled, painted, and stained to suit virtually any home and garden. Timber options and treatments have come a long way. Treated timbers, from pine to hardwoods, will now last for decades in harsh Australian conditions.

Treated pine is a hardy and relatively inexpensive option that can be stained or painted to suit indoor and outdoor decor. Natural hardwoods, such as Merbau and Blackbutt, have a high resistance to wear and splintering making them durable AND attractive.

And the divine Spotted Gum… well! This Australian native is a very attractive hardwood with its colour variations formed by the tree itself. The natural weathering of this Eucalypt appears in variations from pale grey and soft creams through to rich, chocolate browns. For Australian homes you can’t get more authentic than that!

Of course, treated pine and beautiful hardwoods are highly suitable not only for pergolas. These hardwearing woods are also perfect for timber decks. Ideally, decking should be installed to the same level of the home floor to seamlessly increase indoor-outdoor living space. Sliding or bi-fold doors are then installed flush to the indoor floor and the outdoor decking.

This transition means bi-fold and French doors, for example, can be fully opened with furniture able to be flexibly placed. Because there is no lip or step between indoor and outdoor spaces, it becomes a beautiful, back-to-nature room.

In many parts of Australia, an outdoor living space can be used 12-months of the year without additional café blinds, lattice, or awnings. However, increased use can be achieved by protecting the deck from wind and light rain when the seasonal weather is still mild.

Depending on space, outdoor living variously includes cooking, sitting, entertaining, gathering with friends, or reclining with a good book. Speak to your decking installer about the right wood for your lifestyle. There are companies like Thomsons Outdoor Pine who can give advice and tips on what’s suitable to your space and needs so be sure ask them before making any purchase.

Ensure decking is protected around cooking areas. There is nothing worse than trying to get food and oil stains off your beautiful deck. Similarly, putting down an outdoor rug can minimise scuffing and scratches around a dining table. Not only does this protect the deck, it also stylishly delineates the eating area.

Decking beautifully integrates with other garden elements including pools, spas, and water features. Design steps, paths, and pool surrounds in the same wood as the decking to complement lawn, plants, and fencing.

Design Tip:

#DesignTip: When fences are painted in a very dark, almost black, matte paint or stain they will recede into the background. This tricks the eye and blurs the space making the garden appear bigger and plants more lush.

With thanks, Don’t Call Me Penny partnered with Thomsons Outdoor Pine on this article.

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All images kindly provided by Thomsons Outdoor Pine, except the Header image supplied by Pixabay.

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