How to give your 2015 outdoor living area a rustic makeover

With the new year underway, many are looking to the interior design trends of 2015 to inspire new kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms. However, the new year doesn't just bring about ideas for indoors. 

In fact, the Garden Media Group recently released its annual report for the future year's outdoor design trends. One such trend was that a muted, rustic look is set to become hot in 2015. Want to try a rustic look for your own garden/patio area?

Here are some suggestions. 


The colours you should choose will greatly depend on the type of home and garden you already have. The very definition of 'rustic' is bringing a space back to a more natural, classic rural appeal. To that end, both the setting and the overall design of your home itself will largely define what your garden should look like.

If you have chosen a cabin-in-the-woods-style home, with plenty of wooden elements, you may wish to consider this similar look for the patio area. Natural browns such as Resene Authentic and Resene Bracken look great on exterior surfaces such as pillars and overhangs, and add that natural tree feel.

Also, for a wooden porch, veranda or other type of decking, you could consider staining to fit the new theme. For example, Resene Deep Oak fits with a darkwood look, though you could also go for something more natural and contrasting by instead using Resene Natural on a lighter timber.

This cabin theme does fit with a variety of house types, too, so don't shy away from it just because you don't have a cottage. Experiment a little with a Resene testpot or two and see what works best for you.

Furniture and decoration

The next most important aspect in creating that rustic garden look is choosing appropriate furniture and decor. Thankfully, you have almost free reign when it comes to selecting the right materials, looks and furniture types.

A popular choice among people looking for lightweight furniture is a wicker outdoor lounge suite. These come in a range of colours and can be purchased from almost any outdoor furniture supplier. If you can, find one with its own coffee table, too, so that you have a centrepiece to sit drinks on. If you can't find one in a tone you like, you can always paint over it to bring it into your colour scheme.

Alternatively, solid wood has been popular for centuries and will no doubt be popular for a few more. No matter the colour, furniture made of real wood looks great outdoors, and feels comfortable to sit on. Darkwood offers a classy look in the garden area, and contrasts nicely with bright flowers and other plant life. However, a more natural approach may be appropriate again so make sure to select whichever suits you best.

That being said, more artsy, hand-made pieces are perhaps the most truly rustic. Driftwood furniture has a unique sensibility to it, and isn't as common to find (meaning your house will stand out among others). Certain furniture stores may sell driftwood pieces, though don't forget to check art galleries or online as well, as you want to be able to get a full set. If you can't get everything, instead make sure the pieces you can get stand out, such as a coffee table would.

You could go any which way with the decor itself, and again it may take some experimenting in order to figure out what you like best. An old-timey look is popular these days, with oil lanterns and old-fashioned tools being used by some to create a uniquely decorated outdoor living area. Rusting buckets and other metal objects also add the right style of colour, as well as a bit of character.

Don't forget you're in a garden, however. That means you can have flowers, climbing vines, bushes, trees and anything else your heart desires. These all look great in a natural look, because they are the very definition of natural!

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