How to Prepare Your Patio for Storm Season

 

From hail to high winds, storm season in South East Queensland brings all kinds of dangerous conditions – but there are steps you can take to protect your patio against the volatile climate. The trick is to start preparing now, so you’re as ready as you can be for any wild weather headed your way.
Here’s how to prepare your patio for storm season.

 

Dodge Hail Damage

Hail storms can appear out of nowhere during summer, battering entire suburbs in a matter of minutes. Planning for this type of weather event can mean the difference between paying for major repairs and escaping unscathed.

While it’s almost impossible to completely safeguard your patio against severe hailstorms, getting ready ahead of time can help minimise the damage. This is especially important if you’re relying on your outdoor structure to protect your car and other possessions from hail.

The following tips can help you avoid hail damage:

  Maintain your roof – Minor defects in a patio’s roof can make the entire structure more susceptible to hail damage. Even if everything looks to be in working order, arranging for a professional patio builder to do an inspection is the only way to know for sure that you’re really ready for storm season.

  Choose the right roofing materials – If you’re thinking of adding an outdoor structure to your home, try to use materials that can withstand Queensland’s climate. The roofing materials available at Altec are designed to endure storm season in the South East.

  Keep the space enclosed – If your patio has windows, screens, shutters or sliding doors, keeping these shut during storms can prevent the structure’s interior from sustaining hail damage.

 

 Get Rid of Clutter

Is your patio is looking a little messy? Be sure to do some spring cleaning before storm season arrives. Get rid of old pot plants, throw away any unused furniture and store decorative items out of the way. Not only do you get to enjoy a more open space when the weather is nice, but securing loose items is one of the essential storm-readiness tasks on every checklist, so you can tick that one off straight away.

 

Tame Your Trees

Keep your patio intact over the storm season by attending to any trees around your yard that might have gone a bit over the top with their growth during the year. For large branches, be sure to get a professional tree lopper in – the last thing you want is to attempt to take them down yourself and end up with branches falling on your patio anyway! Smaller branches can be tackled with a hedge trimmer or a hand saw. Yearly maintenance of your trees doesn’t only help by removing limbs that can potentially come off during storms, it can also help reduce the amount of leaves that end up in your gutters year-round. And that’s a win for every season!

Of course, hail, rain, wind and hail aren’t the only things you need to consider during storm season. Temperatures can soar at this time of year, making your patio feel more like an oven than a breezy outdoor haven. To beat the heat, check out our tips on preparing your patio for summer.

 

Spring Cleaning - Getting Your Outdoor Area Ready for Spring

 

Now that winter is done and dusted for another year, it’s time to start getting your outdoor area ready for spring. After months of enduring damp weather and less frequent use, your patio or deck may be looking a little worse for wear – but giving it a quick makeover doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Here’s how to make spring-cleaning your outdoor area as painless as possible.

 

De-Grime the Floor

Dust and dirt can build up in your outdoor spaces over winter, especially if you live near the beach or in a busy urban area. Getting rid of this layer of grime as soon as the weather starts warming up is essential to making the most of your patio during spring.
 
Begin by clearing all your outdoor furniture out of the way. Sweep up any dead leaves and neglected pot plants, and then mop the floor using a gentle detergent. You might need to bring in a gurney to get rid of the worst of the grime. Make sure the cleaning products you’re planning to use won’t damage your patio’s flooring materials by checking labels and spot-testing prior to use.

 

Wash Wooden Furniture

Scrubbing wooden furniture with a soft brush and mild soap can remove any mildew that may have set in over winter (add bleach or vinegar to shift stubborn stains). Once you’re done, wiping a generous layer of wood polish over each piece of furniture can help add extra shine. To prevent your hard work from going to waste, make sure you allow the wood polish to dry completely before placing it outdoors again.

 

Freshen Up Outdoor Cushions

Forgot to bring your cushions indoors during winter? Everyone loves a good cushion in their outdoor area, but these decorative features don’t fare so well in cold and damp conditions. To banish the last of those drab winter tones, putting any mouldy cushions through the wash can make a huge difference to the appearance of your patio.
 
If winter has done serious damage to your cushions and they’re too far gone to save, give your patio an instant makeover by buying some new ones. Scattering cushions with pretty patterns and bright colours around your outdoor area is a great way to welcome the arrival of spring.

 

Make Time for Repairs

Whether your patio came off second best in a bad winter storm or is simply starting to show signs of wear and tear, this is the perfect time of year to do repairs. From minor adjustments to complete structural overhauls, repairing faults can make sure your space is both comfortable to entertain in and strong enough to withstand the upcoming storm season.
 
Now that you know how to prepare your patio for the arrival of alfresco living season, check out our gardening tips for spring.

 

Natural Shields for Your Patio

 

Is your patio lacking in privacy? It can be tricky to shield your outdoor area from nosy neighbours without creating a closed-off effect. Rather than going overboard with building materials, greenery offers a flexible solution for adding privacy to your patio. You can plant a hedge, install a vertical garden bed or go wild with pot plants – when it comes to creating natural shields, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

 

Hedges

Hedges

You don’t need to be an expert landscaper to grow a hedge from the ground up. Whether you want to block off a small section of your patio or your entire outdoor area, a neatly manicured hedge is the perfect decorative feature for enhancing privacy.

To grow your own hedge, you’ll need the following supplies:

  A suitable hedge plant (Blueberry Ash and Lilly Pilly are both suited to Queensland’s climate)

  Quality garden mix (don’t just use the soil from your garden)

  Mulch

  Compost

  A shovel

  Secateurs

Begin by digging the holes for your hedge. Most hedges should be planted at a depth of around 35cm. Keep in mind that the closer you dig the holes, the faster your hedge will form. After throwing a handful of compost in each hole, you can plant your hedge (be sure to compress the dirt around each plant tightly to prevent air bubbles forming). Sprinkle some mulch on top of each plant and give them a good watering.

Within a few weeks, your hedge should be getting nice and dense. Ask your local nursery how often you should water your hedges, as some plants are thirstier than others.

 

 

Bamboo Screens

Bamboo Screens

Bamboo screens aren’t just an effective privacy enhancer – they can also add an exotic touch to your yard. Hardwearing and weather resistant, bamboo can withstand everything from pouring rain to blazing sunshine. If you want to build a privacy screen that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your yard, the natural colour and texture of bamboo make this plant a versatile option.

You can use wood strips, metal brackets, or even zip ties to attach your bamboo screen to your patio. Just make sure the bamboo has been coated in a waterproof stain before you start building.

 

 

Statement Pot Plans

Statement Pot Plants

Looking for a more temporary solution to your lack of privacy? Scatter some large pot plants around your patio to make it feel like a shady sanctuary. If you ever want to open up your space to the outside world, you can simply move the pot plants out of the way.

Vertical gardens can also be used as privacy screens, and require minimal maintenance. Climbing plants tend to grow quite quickly, so you can start enjoying more privacy within weeks of planting your vertical garden.

If you’re not much of a gardener, there are plenty of other ways to shield your patio. To enjoy permanent privacy in your outdoor area, check out Altec’s range of privacy and weather screens.

 

Best Boating Spots in South East Queensland

 

South East Queensland is a boat owner’s paradise. With beautiful beaches and rivers in every direction, deciding where to hit the water can be quite the dilemma. If you need help finding the perfect boating spot, check out these destinations.

 

Wave Break Island, Gold Coast

Popular with the Gold Coast’s local fishing community, Wave Break Island is home to 2 designated boat anchorages, colourful coral reefs and an abundance of marine life. This snorkeling and fishing hot spot may be a treasure trove of natural beauty, but it’s actually manmade. Built in 1985, it protects the region’s local estuaries from getting battered by large waves.

If you plan to do some fishing, the sandbank on the western side of Wave Break Island is a great place to snap up some baitfish.

 

Lake McDonald, Sunshine Coast

If it’s too breezy to go boating on the ocean, Lake McDonald is a tranquil, freshwater alternative. Situated near Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, only electric and non-powered boats are allowed on the lake. A haven for sailing and row boats, this quiet spot is ideal leisurely days out on the water.

 

The Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island

Found just off Morton Island, this cluster of shipwrecks is a magnet for boating enthusiasts. Cruising around Moreton Bay is always a pleasant experience, but the Tangalooma wrecks are extra special. Located on the western side of the island, the site consists of 15 sunken vessels. The ships were sunk deliberately to make a breakwall for smaller vessels, and can easily be spotted just below the surface.

Surrounded by shallow water, the Tangalooma wrecks are best suited to small boats and slow cruising speeds. Be sure to go ashore and explore the island before heading back to the mainland.

 

Caboolture River, Caboolture

Stretching from the northern end or Moreton Bay past Bribie Island, the Caboolture River is long and winding. It flows into narrow side creeks, which smaller boats can explore at high tide. Hidden amongst Brisbane’s northern suburbs and the Bruce Highway, the river offers an escape from the surrounding urban sprawl.

Quiet and picturesque, the Caboolture River is worth a visit if you’re looking for an uncrowded waterway that’s easy to navigate.

 

Brisbane River

To see Queensland’s largest city from a different perspective, go boating on the Brisbane River. Whether you’re in a canoe or a luxury yacht, exploring the Brisbane River is an essential SEQ experience for boat owners.

There are plenty of boat ramps and pontoons scattered along the length of the river, so it’s relatively easy to access. Once on the water, you can cruise past landmarks like the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the Story Bridge and the city’s glittering skyline.

 

Best Boat Fishing Spots

Of course, in order to enjoy all these boating spots, you’ll need to keep your vessel in good condition. While it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast before embarking on a boating expedition, your boat is still vulnerable to bad weather when it’s on dry land.

Get in touch with Altec to have a custom boat shelter installed on your property. Using materials that blend in seamlessly with your home, we can design structures for boats of all sizes. Sturdy and weather-resistant, our boat ports are built to withstand Queensland’s unpredictable climate. If you’re not sure whether your yard has enough room for a boat port, book a free design consultation today.

 

Gardening Tips for Spring

 

Want to whip your garden into shape for the warmer weather? Whether your patio is your yard’s main feature or you have acres of flowers and trees to care for, every landscape needs tending to at this time of year. With some handy horticultural tricks, you can help your garden thrive during spring.

So make the most of the milder temperatures with these top tips for springtime gardening.

 

Lawn Care 101

Lawn Care 101

Start your spring yard work from the ground up. First on the list: your lawn. If your grass is looking a little patchy after all those frosty winter mornings, now’s the perfect time to nurse it back to health.

Take these steps at the start of spring to give your lawn a makeover:
 

  • •  Trim the tops of the grass with a light mow – don’t go too short as it will be hard for it to bounce back, and don’t leave any grass clippings over the yard.
  • •  Aerate your lawn by using a garden spike to poke holes throughout the yard. This will allow better oxygen, water and nutrient circulation and promote growth.
  • •  Top dress your lawn. Use a quality top dressing and rake it out evenly through your grass. Try to avoid covering it up entirely – you want the dressing to be about 1-2cm deep in at the roots.
  • •  Water it down, then avoid walking on it or mowing it for a week or so.

 

Potted Plant Paradise

Potted Plant Paradise

Why not celebrate spring by adding an extra touch of greenery to your outdoor space? From glossy ceramic vases to classic terracotta pots, you can display your favourite plants any way you want. If you’re starting from scratch, be sure to get your hands on some quality potting mix. Don’t use soil from your garden, as it could be infested with pests or weeds. Pick up some potting mix from your local nursery to ensure your plants grow big and strong.

When it comes to planting spring bulbs in a pot plant, the bulb should be buried at a depth 2 to 3 times its own height. This ensures the flower stem will have enough support once it starts to grow. Even though the weather usually remains mild during spring, don’t forget to water your pot plants regularly. The soil inside a pot plant dries out a lot faster than ground soil, and your plants may get a little thirsty on warmer days.

 

 

Flower Power

Flower Power

Not sure what kind of flowers to plant during spring? These are some of our springtime favourites:
 

  • •  Pansies – These low growers can brighten up any garden bed
  • •  Heucheras – Also known as coral bells, heucheras come in a variety of pretty colours and leaf shapes
  • •  Kale – While not technically a flower, if you’re trying to grow a veggie garden, kale is the perfect springtime edible. It’s tolerant to the cold, and won’t wilt once summer rolls around
  • •  Lilac – Embrace the sweet fragrances of spring by planting some lilac in your garden.

 
 

Flower Power

Not much of a green thumb? If you’d rather fill your garden with elegant outdoor structures than pretty flowers, get in touch with Altec today. We are here to help you design the perfect patio, deck or carport for your yard.

Our expert patio designers can create an extension that flows seamlessly between your indoor and outdoor areas. Regardless of your property’s size, we know all the tricks for making the most of underutilised spaces. To transform your garden, Altec can install flyover patios, gabled patios, pergolas, alfresco dining areas and a range of other outdoor structures.

Book in a free consultation to start planning your garden makeover today.

 

The Best Caravanning Spots in SEQ

 

South East Queensland is home to some of the most scenic caravanning spots in Australia. From rugged mountain ranges to quaint country towns, this region’s diverse landscape provides the perfect backdrop for leisurely drives. Whether you’re planning a day trip or want to spend weeks on the road, the ultimate caravanning adventure awaits you.

These are our favourite caravanning spots in SEQ:

 

Charlie Moreland, Sunshine Coast Hinterland


 
Perched on the edge of Conondale National Park, Charlie Moreland offers plenty of peace and quiet. The campground is close to rainforests, a freshwater creek and hiking trails, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Getting to Charlie Moreland is an adventure in itself – after turning off the Bruce Highway towards the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, you’ll need to take a long and winding road through the Blackall Range. Renowned for its spectacular views of the Glasshouse Mountains, this route is one of Australia’s most popular tourist drives.

 

Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park, Killarney


 
Surrounded by bushland, Queen Mary Falls Caravan & Tourist Park is a picturesque bush retreat. It can be found on the outskirts of Killarney, a tiny town around 40 kilometres east of Warwick.

The caravan park covers a huge expanse of grassland, so there’s always plenty of room. You can choose to set up your vehicle near the centre of the campground (close to electricity sources and other guests), or away from the main area for a little more privacy. If you feel like treating yourself, luxury cabin accommodation is also available.

It might feel like the middle of nowhere, but this caravan park still has plenty to offer in terms of comfort and entertainment. You can grab a cappuccino at the Falls Café, go bushwalking, handfeed parrots, or simply sit back and enjoy the tranquillity.

 

Lockyer Valley


 
If you’re eager to get off the beaten track, give the more touristy destinations a miss and head west for the Lockyer Valley. Known as Australia’s salad bowl due to its fertile soil, this region is bursting with scenic drives. Whether you want to visit a winery, admire the scenery from Cunningham Crest Lookout or stop for a picnic in a rural town, exploring the Lockyer Valley is a great way to spend the weekend.

Set your jockey wheel down in Toowoomba at the Garden City Holiday Park and venture down the majestic Toowoomba Range to discover the gems of the Valley.

 

Tamborine Mountain


 
Perfect for day trips from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, Tamborine Mountain sits 550 metres above sea level. Overlooking rainforests and valleys, the road leading to the top of the mountain covers some of the best vantage points in South East Queensland. With Surfers Paradise to the east and the Scenic Rim region to the west, there are incredible views in every direction.

Keep in mind that some of the roads near the top of Tamborine Mountain are quite steep and may not be suitable for caravans. However, there are lots of places where you can safely park your vehicle and continue exploring on foot.

Love getting outdoors and exploring nature’s backyard? We don’t blame you – SEQ has a lot to offer keen caravanners. Keep your camping companion safe between adventures with a specialised Altec caravan shelter – our team can custom-design a structure that’s tailored to your home and vehicle. Enquire today to line up your free consultation!

 

Outdoor Living Ideas That Won’t Bust the Budget

 

Do you want a stylish and practical outdoor space like the ones always featured in gardening magazines and on renovation shows? The professionals might make it look easy, but a lot of people just don’t have the time, money or expertise to turn their plans into a reality.

Enter: the outdoor living ideas that will make your area better, without being difficult or expensive.

 

Get creative with seating

Were you thinking of heading to your local outdoor furniture supplier to pick up a traditional 7-piece dining set? Not on our watch! If you have a day free, you can make your own seating options, without paying through the nose for the same wooden setting everyone else has.
From wooden pallets to cinder blocks to milk crates, all kinds of materials can be used for seating and tables. Bolt the pallets together and throw on some cushions for comfort, or use cinder blocks as supports for a weathered piece of timber (treated, to ensure it lasts) to make your own table.
 

Altec-Better-Homes-and-Gardens

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

 

Go green

Plants are great for adding colour and energy to your space, but they can be quite expensive if you want anything more than seedlings. To offset the cost, try to source your plants cleverly. Think your local markets or cuttings from friends or neighbours. If you’re a homeowner in Queensland, many council zones entitle residents to 2 free plants a year from a participating nursery.
 

Light it up

Christmas lights aren’t just for the festive season. Pick up some lights when the sales are on and turn your outdoor space into a sparkling wonderland. Not only will this give you enough light to enjoy the outdoors after the sun goes down, it also adds a beautiful ambience and makes for a great conversation starter!
 

Altec-Pinterest

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

 

Dress up your pot plants

Get DIY on your pot plants to create an interesting and eclectic collection that can be spread around the yard. From simple paints, to mosaics made from old CDs, to pots made from scratch using clay or recycled materials, you’ll have plenty of choice when adding a touch of personalisation to your backyard.
 

Screen your area

Simple lattice screens, feature walls crafted from recycled cinder blocks, stylish outdoor blinds – these are just a few easy options to add style to your outdoor living space. Whether you leave them blank or add touches of greenery over time, screens can increase your privacy while adding a unique design element to your yard.
 

Altec-Little-Things

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

 
You don’t need a ton of time or money to create interesting additions to your outdoor area. If you’re thinking of making more significant changes to your home, make sure you have a chat with one of our experienced design consultants!
 
 

Custom Patios or Flat Pack Patios – Which Is Better?

 

Are you wondering whether a flat pack patio cover, deck cover or carport is the most suitable solution for your home? Even the most dedicated DIYer can get caught out by the traps of the famous flat pack. We’ve taken a look at some of the myths associated with ready-to-assemble (RTA) structures, and whether they stand up to scrutiny.
 
 

Flat Pack Products Unstable

Flat pack products are easy and fast to assemble

Many people think flat packs are easy and quick – and in some cases, they may be. However, for a lot of people, assembling a flat pack can be a painful experience. You only have to do a quick Google search to see the huge number of posts and forum threads on how to stay sane while putting a flat pack together.

 
 

Flat Pack Products Unstable

Flat pack products are sturdy and durable

In an ideal world, components of flat packs would be the same quality as materials sourced by custom builders. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. Flat packs usually have fewer upfront costs, so it’s to be expected that the quality of poles, roofing and joinery won’t be of the same standard as pieces and products used by builders. This can result in a structure that just doesn’t stand the test of time.
 
 

Flat Pack Products Cheap

Flat pack products are cheaper than custom-built products

As we mentioned above, the initial costs associated with flat packs are generally cheaper than getting a builder out to do the job. But are RTA home extensions really easier on the hip-pocket than going custom?

Depending on the quality you end up with and how well you put it together, your flat pack patio cover, carport, or deck cover may not go the distance. With less structural integrity to stand up to the harsh Queensland weather, you may end up with a carport that blows apart in the first windstorm or succumbs to the first branch that hits it.

If you’re unlucky enough to end up with a cover that doesn’t go the distance, by the time you’ve paid for a replacement or repairs, you may find that you would have been better off with a higher quality product.

 
 

Flat Pack Products Easy

Flat packs are an easy option

Sure, it may seem like you can just buy one and throw it up over the weekend. Of course, we’ve already covered how it often isn’t that simple. But there’s more to it – you can’t forget about the council approvals and fees, as well as the other elements that you may need to consider. From flooring to drafting to engineering, flat packs are limited in ways that custom builds are not. And if you have a unique shape to build within, this all goes double. While custom patios can be built to the specific area, flat packs will be a standard design, which can make them look ‘tacked on’ or cheap.

So while flat packs can look like a convenient and cost-effective alternative to getting a home extension built by professionals, using this type of structure may not always go to plan. When it comes to your home, you get what you pay for, so it’s worth investing in something that will add genuine value to your home and your lifestyle.

Speak to one of our friendly team members to learn more about the benefits of a custom-built home extension today!

 

Our Favourite BBQ Recipes For Summer

 

While nothing beats the classic snags and steak combo for a summer barbeque, sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little. We’ve popped some of our favourite recipes together so you can barbeque your days away.

 

  1. 1. Tropical Chicken Skewers

For the chicken, you’ll need:

  • •  6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each cut into 4 pieces
  • •  2 spring onions, chopped
  • •  1 handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • •  2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • •  ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • •  2 tablespoons lime juice
  • •  2 tablespoons olive oil
  • •  8 wooden skewers (soak in water for 30 minutes before cooking)

For the sauce, you’ll need:

  • • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • • 1 finely chopped red chilli
  • • 4 thinly sliced spring onions
  • • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Method:

Put the spring onions, parsley, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper, lime juice and olive oil into a food processor and blitz to a paste. Rub it all over the chicken, then pop the chicken in the fridge for 6-8 hours.

Before cooking the chicken, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Add in 125mL of boiling water, then stir to combine.

Thread the chicken onto the skewers, then cook on a high temperature on a preheated grill. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked through, turning the skewers often. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.

 

  1. 2. Garlic Prawns

You’ll need:

  • •   85g unsalted butter, softened
  • •  3 tablespoons olive oil
  • •  1 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • •  1 tablespoon finely chopped eschalots
  • •  2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • •  salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • •  1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • •  1 kg uncooked, large fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
  • •  oil for the barbecue

Method:

Preheat barbecue for high heat.

In a large bowl, mix together softened butter, olive oil, garlic, eschalots, chives, salt, pepper and paprika. Add the prawns, and toss to coat.

Lightly oil the hotplate. Cook the prawns as close to the flame as possible for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they turn pink.

 

  1. 3. Soy and Sesame Marinated Barramundi

You’ll need:

  • •  1 cup long-grain white rice
  • •  2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • •  1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • •  1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
  • •  4 (150g each) barramundi fillets
  • •  Spray olive oil
  • •  3 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally
  • •  1 Lebanese cucumber, chopped
  • •  2 celery stalks, sliced
  • •  2 tablespoons mirin seasoning
  • •  2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted

Method:

Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until just ready. Drain and set aside. Turn it occasionally with a fork or large metal spoon to release the heat, until cool.

Preheat a barbecue grill or chargrill on medium. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger in a shallow dish. Add the barramundi and turn it over to coat both sides. Cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until opaque and the flesh flakes when tested gently with a fork.

Place the rice, spring onion, cucumber, celery and mirin seasoning in a large bowl and toss to combine. Divide among plates and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Put the barramundi on top to serve.

Got an awesome recipe you’d love to see included? Share it with us today!

 

How to Create a Relaxing Outdoor Space

 

Life is stressful. From meeting deadlines to dealing with the kids day in, day out, self-care is extremely important. Enter: the outdoor space perfect for winding down and escaping the chaos. Here are some of our favourite ideas for making use of nature and getting some quality “you” time.

 

Get a hammock or hanging chair

Achieving a feeling of near-weightlessness is a great way to let the weight of your day (or week, or month) slip right away. A hammock or a hanging chair is an easy way to get that right in your own yard. Avoid the type that will roll you up into a tangle – a hammock with a wooden frame supporting the cords will be easier to get in and out of, making the experience much more pleasant.

 

Invest in really good furniture

Sure, you could get the aluminium dining setting and plastic deck chairs. But at the end of the day, when it comes to really creating a comfortable, inviting, relaxing space, you need quality outdoor furniture with durable cushions and materials. The right furniture can transform a space.

 

Embrace soothing sounds

It’s fairly well-known that sounds can change the ambiance. Whether it’s chirping crickets, chimes, water, soft music, or something else entirely, try to facilitate sounds that help you feel calm. Add a water feature, make a special space for a dock for your phone or music player, or hang wind chimes to get that special sound you love.

 

Create a corner

Of course, the corner itself will already exist. But pick an out-of-the-way corner and make it your own. Put in a comfy seat, surround yourself with greenery, add a little side table to put a drink on, and you have a quiet nook where you can retreat, relax and regroup. Added bonus: if it’s a covered area, you can head there when the next rain sets in. There’s nothing better than listening to the sound of the weather and letting your mind drift.

 

Light the way to relaxation

Studies have shown that lighting may affect your mood. For many people, the brighter the lighting, the more intense your emotions might be – both positive and negative. Whether you believe this to be true or not, having a soft, dim light is relaxing for many people. If you’re enjoying your space in the evening, try lighting some candles or having a dedicated lamp. During the day, you might want to make sure you are able to lower a shade or some outdoor blinds.

Relaxing outdoors is a great way to shift some stress and get back in touch with yourself. Want more outdoor inspo? Check out our post on making your indoors and outdoors work together.

 

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