“Many renovators mistakenly separate a home’s interior and exterior design,” Mike said. “During warmer months, family time and entertaining often occurs outside to make the best use of pools, barbeques and views. The four most popular outdoor styles are inspired by Bali, the Orient, Africa and Europe.”
“Bali-inspired home design is one of the most common in Australia due to its proximity and our shared lifestyle views on relaxation and comfort,” Mike said. “To achieve an outdoor to match a Bali- styled home consider floor colours in shades similar to a forest floor or beach. A Bali garden is often linked with pathways, bridges and stairs so the choice of tile or paver will be one of the most important.”
Mike said empty spaces were suitable for feature walls or water features and provided an instant talking point. He suggested the natural and chaotic look of Amber’s new Deco Block series available in various colours including sandstone, leura and mimosa, while his preference for a tile is Atlas Trust Gold.
“The oriental influence in Australian culture is growing,” Mike said. “The bright colours and delicate shapes associated with China are becoming more prevalent in homes. When we think of the Orient, we think of dragon statues, red and gold trim and wooden structures, but it’s easy to forget the materials they use underfoot. The oriental look is ancient yet sophisticated and natural stone is excellent for this reason, but it isn’t the only option.
“River pebble pavers are great and they have been picked up on a new wave of styling with their warm and intricate patterns. They look great alongside the red and gold of oriental ornaments and colour schemes while slate tiles are a wonderful option that is being singled out again by designers.”
“African inspired homes bring nature into the living space using earthy tones coupled with a primitive feel,” Mike said. “Outside, bare earth may seem like a good idea, but it isn’t practical.
“A design theme appearing in African-inspired outdoor areas includes the use of a fire pit. This is a simple, yet effective, way to create a primitive living space instantly recognisable for what it is; raw and earthy. There are risks with fire pits though, with chance coals and embers emerging to scorch features and flooring. A tile or paver in deep ochre, reminiscent of the sun-swept plains of Africa, will provide an excellent backdrop to the flames while being fire and heat resistant.”
Mike’s pick for this purpose was the ever popular Travertine series in noce with a honed finish. He said another emerging option among renovators was cladding plain walls and Amber’s new and exclusive Veneerstone was excellent for this, with its Arctic collection presenting a primal, yet stylised, look.
“The most significant influence on Australian culture comes from Europe, specifically Britain,” Mike said. “However, European styling for an outdoor living space is anything but simple. There are literally thousands of options. Countries bordering the Mediterranean might encourage open-planned kitchens and living rooms while an outdoor area inspired by Switzerland would focus on something cosy and warm. Using raised nooks to overlook the best views is a great way to raise a home’s value, create a central point for a party and provide a romantic and secluded spot for a couple of any age.
“To work in conjunction with a southern European styled home a renovator should consider a natural stone, particularly marble. For something contemporary consider a concrete tile in the desired colour.”
Mike said Amber’s new and exclusive Cashmere range is excellent for a Mediterranean-inspired outdoor area while Amber’s Project series was good to accentuate the neutral tones common in contemporary homes.
When it comes to new trends in outdoor entertainment areas, Amber has the answer.