Moving back to Australia, the most appealing thing for us – after living in apartments without any outdoor space for the last 12 years – was our back veranda.
To be able to have a morning cup of tea outside, eat dinner while the sun sets and just generally FEEL the outdoors, has been my dream for so so long. It’s a relatively small dream but the reality of it has made such a big difference to our lives. Over the last few months, we have been slowly upgrading and updating the space from what it was initially like, with a blend of indoor and outdoor elements. As part of the evolution of this space, I worked with West Elm, drawing on my Spanish travels as inspiration, and integrating some favourite outdoor pieces. Read on for how we perfected our outdoor space.
We Added Pop Out Wooden Panels
The biggest change we made to this space was designing these pop out window panels and adding them to the space. Ben spent a long time working on their custom design so they provide shade, privacy and security to the back deck. They’ve turned out to be the best design element of the whole house! They can be locked closed or partially open, and are amazing for not only catching breezes but also keeping out the sun. They have ultimate flexibility, and I have to admit I love opening and closing them at different times of the day. It’s the little things!
We Went Big On Plants
Without much of a garden (we have a small terrace), I realised it would be a really good idea to bring as many plants into this outdoor area as possible. The first addition was THAT fiddle leaf fig, aka the love of my life. We then added lots of amazing hanging plants (more on that soon) and this rubber plant in a beautiful West Elm terracotta planter.
We Upgraded Our Table
After moving our outdoor table into the studio, we were on the lookout for a nice update to this space, something that would be durable in the rain and other elements, and would look really nice. Of course West Elm delivered the goods, in the form of this beautiful concrete table! It looks so great in the space, and is the perfect size and shape for our us to be together and also have a few other people over. Around it we’re using some vintage bentwood chairs that Ben’s brother gave us.
We Tied It Together With Decor
I really wanted to channel a Spanish outdoor feel in this space, with lots of plants, natural textures and terracotta. But space is obviously limited so I didn’t want to overdo it! I started with a jute style outdoor rug (like this one), which helped to soften the look and feel of the floor. Then, I painted that huge fiddle leaf pot using terracotta paint. This was such a simple update but it made a BIG difference to the palette of the veranda. I then added a structural terracotta planter with a rubber plant in it. I also already had this rattan lounger, which I updated with the addition of a few gorgeous canvas cushions in rust and white.
I Added Tableware
I’m all about simplicity in the outdoor space, which is kind of a requirement when you have a two year old running around! I absolutely love the details of the Kaloh dinnerware from West Elm, they have the perfect colour options and are great for mixing and matching. I have some in black, pink and the mustard yellow tone and use them all the time. The mustard ties into the palette for the veranda so well. To that I added simple beige cotton napkins and black flatware, along with some beautiful glassware. I also love these acrylic tumblers which do great double duty as (not ugly) kids cups.
And finally, I made a terracotta wall hanging!
Finally, a little cherry on top of the whole space, and something that ties all the different elements together. I recently made this big clay toned wall hanging that I absolutely love and seriously never stop staring at! For this statement piece I wanted to integrate different materials from the house so I made it useful terracotta, wood, raffia tassels and leather strapping.
Wearing this beautiful Spell dress.
In this space
West Elm concrete dining table, West Elm faceted glass lanterns, West Elm terracotta pedestal planter, West Elm Kaloh dinnerware, West Elm black cutlery set, West Elm stemless wine glasses and acrylic glassware, West Elm cotton canvas cushions.