Outdoor oasis on a budget

Make the most of your backyard or balcony without breaking the bank.

Summer in Queensland means barbecues with friends, alfresco dinners and backyard cricket.

Vault Interiors Principal Stylist Justine Wilson said the key to upgrading your outdoor entertaining space was layering.

“When it comes to the outdoor area of the home, it doesn’t matter what the size or setup,” Ms Wilson said.

“Be creative and, although you do need to work with the space you have, there are options for all shapes and sizes.

“If you live in an apartment look at applying items to the walls and railing, of course check your strata first though.”

Justine shared her top five tips for outdoor summer styling on a budget.

Party lights

These could be plug-in fairy lights, solar-powered or Edison globe party lights – any outdoor string lighting will work. It’s all about that soft ambient twinkle in your trees, or hedges which will make entertaining outdoors magical. 

As the days are longer we spend more time outdoors, so when the light does fade you can enjoy your outdoor area even longer if it's lit well. 

Entertaining under a canopy of twinkling lights will create a night your guests will remember.

Hydrangeas

These are my new favorite and are the flower that keeps on giving. 

They make beautiful cut bouquets for your interior and will bloom well with the predicted heat this spring and summer. 

They are a full, pretty and overscale flower and they come in so many colours – blues, pinks, purples, whites, greens – so there is a tone to suit any garden space.

Outdoor rugs 

There are so many good outdoor vinyl rug options available now. 

They are great because you can hose them down and sweep them easily, so they are very low maintenance. 

They will jazz up your outdoor lounge or dining area and creates a more styled look. It’s a great way to tie your interior decor scheme to your alfresco area.

Water features

Listening to trickling water is known to reduce anxiety and as we can’t jet off to Bali, why not bring this resort experience into your garden or courtyard.

Hardware stores have many options and so will most garden centres. 

They come in a range of sizes and you can get a more classical design or modern to suit your decor.

Birdbaths

I’m a lover of feeding and watering the local wildlife and seeing as Australia has been hit with the works this year from fires to floods and cold snaps, why not have a beautiful visual statement like a birdbath that can not only look pretty but helps the animals also. 

I love the white or black ceramic ones, but there are many design options out there and you can landscape around them to make a real feature.