Versatile ideas for outdoor living zones

Versatile ideas for outdoor living zones

Private Property South Africa
Genevieve Fisher

Now that balmy summer days and nights have arrived, it’s time to take it outside.

  • Swing time

Perhaps it’s the youthful feeling of floating so visceral to swings that keeps spawning hanging furnishings. Whatever the case, the trend for swing-style pods and seating options for outdoor areas is showing no signs of abating. New on the scene is the adagio outdoor swing, designed by Francesco Rota for Italian furniture design company Paola Lenti. We love that it comes in bright acid-pop colours and has safety chords with a highly resistant technical yarn and a stainless steel coupling system. Safe swinging never looked so stylish. Modern home company, (021) 434-0611, (011) 262-0258,

  • A humbling oasis

If space is limited, a plunge pool is always a consideration. Here, the vastness of the surrounding desert space establishes an attractive contrast with this plunge pool, which is the size of a mere bathtub and appears in a home designed by o2 architects ( in LA's Yuccah Valley. Adding to the striking aesthetic is a giant flanking boulder, which has been cleverly incorporated into the design of the deck.

All on deck

Relatively new to the market is composite bamboo decking, an eco-friendly alternative to wooden decking. A combination of 60 percent bamboo and 40 percent recycled plastic makes the product extremely durable for outdoor areas, not to mention cost effective with great green credentials. Bamboo warehouse, (021) 701-0568,

  • Primary accents

The pool deck of Memmo Alfama (memmoalfama. Com), Lisbons’ newly opened design hotel, is brought to life with the use of red as an accent hue. As is the case in most outdoor nodes, white provides a perfect base to work from, especially if there is a pool in the vicinity, as both reflect the natural light. Choose one bright colour and add touches of it around the node, either in fabric or painted furnishings, for an uber stylish look.

  • Rainbow reloaded

When we came across Miami Hotel, the Saguaro (, we immediately wanted to don our cozzies and shades, take up position at the nearest pool and sip on a daiquiri. It screams club tropicana and all because of the attractive use of paint in consecutive rainbow hues.

  • Blurred lines

Furniture design is taking a cue from current trends in contemporary architecture, where the line between indoor and outdoor living spaces is increasingly distorted. From the large-scale furniture manufacturers to smaller niche designers, both local and international, a big trend is hardwearing multi-functional furniture that works just as well outdoors as it does in.

Anti-corrosive powder-coated stainless steel and weather-resistant polyester are used in the chic basket collection, by Italian furniture design company Roda ( Marlanteak, (021) 425-3817,

  • Bright lights, big city

If you live in the city take advantage of the impressive nighttime light shows, both from the sky and the cityscape itself. Convert your balcony or rooftop into a al fresco lounge, like the air cinema club in Jozi ( does once a month when the rooftop of 73 Juta Street in Braamfontein is transformed into an outdoor cinema, complete techni-coloured bean bags. The best part (aside from the cult movies projected onto a large screen) is the sweeping views over the city of gold’s CBD.

  • Lounge lizards

In line with the energy of Jozi’s inner city rejuvenation, and as part of their 175-year anniversary, FNB’s bank city precinct has been given an awe-inspiring overhaul. The collaborative effort of Design Scape (, Ingenuitive Design Lab Architects and Green inc (greeninc., the concept was to create an inner- city haven of tranquility amongst the hustle and bustle of africa’s biggest economic hub – a place where workers could enjoy some R&R in a beautiful setting. Many of the furnishings were sourced from Laurie Owen Interiors and Haldane Martin and there is a strong focus on art and sculpture: look out for Eve, a recycled wire sculpture by Cape Town based Wire Alchemy, and a 3-d installation by renowned artist Kurt Werner.

Insider secrets

According to Sonica Buksteg, Dulux Colour Expert:

-- Bright colours used on the exterior of your home create a bold statement but care should be taken regarding the choice of colour formulation used when tinting a paint product for exterior use as some colourants are more prone to fading than others.

-- In general, light colours reveal more detail because of the effects of shadow. Conversely, dark colours tend to mask detail.

-- When selecting your final palette, first apply swatches of approximately 1m2 of a tinted or ready-mix sample of each colour on the surface you intend to paint, as surface and paint texture will affect the appearance of colours.

-- If your sample allows, repeat these swatches on the east, west, south and north of your exterior in order to gauge how the colour and affected by different light quality.

-- View the painted colour throughout the day, from dawn to dusk, to get an impression of how altering daylight, weather conditions.


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