An outdoor living space can be an exciting blank canvas for homeowners. Inspired by the natural environment, a great outdoor area speaks to both purpose and personality, while connecting with each of the elements.

Even in the winter months, outdoor spaces extend the footprint of your home and provide a breakaway space from day-to-day life.

When we consider outdoor design, we like to dabble with different ideas and spaces. Spaces that command attention yet flow seamlessly together – think vertical gardens, mood lighting and striking outdoor fireplaces…

At Stoke, we thrive on helping you create inspiring spaces that stand the test of time. We’ve put together our best tips for planning an inviting outdoor space to enjoy for years to come.

1. Plant a Vertical Garden

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Go Green – this rustic planter stacked with an array of lush greenery is an artistic addition to the wall exterior. Image: This is NZ life

A Vertical Garden is a fantastic way to create a striking feature wall in your outdoor living room while also optimising on space and resources. A stunning backdrop for your outdoor entertaining.

Climbing vines & roses, ivy or wisteria will bring your outdoor area to life while also creating a sense of time and space as they reflect the changing seasons. This creative use of a blank wall is also a practical feature which helps to filter your outdoor air.


2. Invest in Mood Lighting

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Hanging festoon lights paired with tabletop lanterns - alternating different lighting solutions is a great way to bring life into your backyard. Image: Beacon Lighting.

Investing in lighting is key to ensuring your outdoor space can be enjoyed well after sunset.  The right mood lighting will help to create the comfort and ambiance needed so that you and your guests can share stories and make memories well into the small hours.

Wall sconces will designate areas of connection in your outdoor space; while twinkle lights weaved through wisteria create a romantic hideaway from everyday life. 

When dusk falls, your outdoor living space comes alive, beckoning to friends and family, extending quality time and conversation.


3. Include a Water Feature

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Just the subtle trickling of water creates a sense of calm. Photo: Ahmed Rizkhaan.

Including a water feature in your outdoor design ideas doesn't have to be overwhelming. A small, subtle water feature can be a nod to the elements while also creating a wave of calm that you can truly unwind and relax in. And it looks great!

The quiet flow of water is the perfect form of white noise that takes you from day to night and sets the mood for your morning coffee with family or a few cool beverages on a warm night. 


4. Install an Outdoor Fireplace

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This Escea EF5000 Outdoor Gas Fire creates a fantastic indoor meet outdoor entertainment area.

Finally, create a place for gathering in your outdoor living space which can be enjoyed through the seasons by installing an outdoor gas fireplace. 

Find the perfect balance between feel and function by selecting a zero clearance, low emission and high-efficiency fireplace which suits both your style and practical needs.

The beauty of a gas fireplace is that it turns on instantly, you can enjoy the alluring impact of flames the minute the mood takes you.

If space is an issue, warm up your outdoor space with a radiant electric heater. Installed overhead, they’re sleek and discreet – providing a cosy warmth without making a nuisance of themselves.


5. Create an outdoor kitchen

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The Escea EW5000 cooking fire brings back the basics of flame-grilled food.

Truly extend your home by investing in an outdoor kitchen. A wood fireplace that doubles as a barbeque is a seamless way to achieve this.

Keep it simple with the Escea EW5000 – a modest wood fire with the addition of a cooking plate. Or, step things up a notch with the Escea EK Series Outdoor Fireplace Kitchen.

The EK comes with all the functionality you’d expect in the kitchen –, cooking plates, grills, meat hooks, and an ember generator – and when the flame grilling is done it transforms into a roaring outdoor fireplace.

Don’t forget to include a sink, running water, prep space and storage.  It also doesn’t hurt to have a rubbish bin nearby.

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The Escea EK Series outdoor wood fireplace is able to be installed within the envelope of the home – seamlessly blending the inside, with the outside.

With each of these elements, you are well on your way to achieving the open and inviting outdoor living space you’ve been aspiring to.

At Stoke Fireplace Studio, we love helping our clients make their outdoor living room an extension of their home. Whether you're looking to add a touch of drama to your outdoor space with a gas fire, a wood fire, or an electric fireplace, we’ll help you find the right solution

With showrooms across Australia and New Zealand, our team of fireplace experts look forward to helping you design an outdoor space you’ll never want to leave.

Find your nearest Stoke Fireplace Studio here