Practical updates for any alfresco area

At Open Atelier, we adore amorphous living spaces for the sheer sense of relief that they provide: after an exhausting day at work, in between stressful moments, or for a leisurely pursuit. Who hasn’t treasured the tranquility of a city building’s terrace, lounging on a high-rise apartment’s breezy balcony, or enjoying a hot cup of tea in a villa’s garden?

We understand that unless you have the luxury of living in a bungalow, decorating a tiny balcony or a small porch at an apartment’s doorstep, can be quite tricky! Here are a few easy and stylish updates, which will spruce up an outdoor living space.

Suitable Materials for the Outdoors
Most home decor stores have separate garden furniture sections for very good reasons. Alfresco spaces have a completely different material palette from what is adhered to indoors, which has to be durable, stain resistant, weather resistant, and theft proof.

Canopies and Curtains
To enjoy being in an outdoor space, the second most important requirement is the roofing to protect you from the elements. Thatched roofs on terraces, window canopies, table umbrellas, rattan balcony screens, and latticed privacy fences are all home necessities that block the sun and break the wind.

Outdoor Lifestyle
We have to admit that most homeowners do not use their outdoor spaces consistently and effectively simply because they do not dwell on how they utilize their time. For example, it would make sense for a social drinker who has frequent house parties to set up a home bar on a balcony, whereas a yoga buff could lay out a meditation mat and some floor cushions there instead.

As interior designers, we understand that exteriors need to be designed as well and have as much weightage in the design scheme of an address. Our clients often throw a few bean bags, cane furniture, and scented candles into the mix, then call it a day! We have to remind them that there are so many architectural hardscapes to choose from while decorating a terrace or garden. You can choose from a Zen rock garden, a Goan balcão, and even a Vedic central courtyard.

Outdoor Lighting
Imagine a scenario where you had to walk down a road at night that had no street lights! While lighting is important to any space, in an outdoor setting, it is even more so because the illumination changes are more abrupt. In between solar lighting panels, LED minilamps, and glittering fairy lights, there are many aesthetically pleasing options to choose from.

Maximize the Outdoors
From an evolutionary perspective, man was never meant to live indoors! While we have evolved into these sedentary lifestyles which are spent indoors, remember to design your al fresco spaces in such a way that allows you to spend as much time as you can outside. Your coffee tables, barbecues, writing desks, workout equipment, and many other household items can be relocated to these spaces with some inventive thinking.