Outdoor terrace inspiration

The weather is FINALLY getting warmer over here and after a whirlwind three months, I’m once again belatedly turning my attention to my much neglected terrace. It’s a sore spot for us. Our terrace is actually bigger than our house in terms of square metres. So why don’t you knock down a wall and enlarge your house, right? Well, Italian housing laws don’t let you extended the square meterage on a pre-existing house in town centres, sooooo…. I am left with a gigantic space to style.

We made some attempts last summer to clean it up and get some porcelain pavers placed all around the seating area to make the place look beautiful. We rebuilt the pergola and added a plexiglass roof. We installed new decking and even added faux grass for that beautifully maintained lawn feel. Then we built planters for our jasmine, which is supposed to screen out the nosy gaze of our nearest neighbour – Hello, Mr Franchi, no we’re getting a divorce, just arguing – but it’s sort of not growing, at all.

I admit, I’m stumped on how to style such a big and black canvas. I’ve learnt that outdoor design (as opposed to interior design 🙂 ) is really expensive. We’ve probably spent more on our terrace than on all the furnishings inside our house and it’s still empty. Luckily buying outdoor furniture from FurnitureOkay helped us save a great deal of money.

I know I don’t want something too extravagant. As much as I hate to admit it, we don’t really use the outdoor space, even in summer. Hubby hates the sun in all forms and whines endlessly about how it burns his head. I go out to sun bake, but I already have a hammock that works perfectly for this. And neither of us have enough friends for raucous garden parties. We bought one of the top backyard projectors to watch movies on summer nights, so aside from my tanning, that’s pretty much the only time we use the backyard.

The other day, I was going throught these pergola reviews, and decided that what I’m looking for is something that’s easy to maintain, practical and looks clean and stylish without needing heaps of furniture or textiles that will get ruined during an unexpected summer shower.

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I feel like the project is divided into three parts:

1. plan the covered space

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I love the idea of dark wood and striped textiles. So now all I need to do is learn how to make a cushion! Or I could just do what they did in the above picture and use canvas bags. I’m digging it.

2. Plan the grassy area

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I built a wooden bench last summer and I’m ready to show it off, but I’m trying to decide whether I should whitewash it or stain it. Then there is the question of plants in pots. How do you make them look good?

3. plan the wall space

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I read this in one of my design mags. It’s about creating an outdoor feature wall. DIY anyone?

Photos: 1| 2| 3| 4|5 |6 |7 |

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