Is your backyard ready for Summer?

Outdoor area

What do you get when you combine sunny afternoons, barbeques, family, friends and (for the lucky ones) cool dips in the pool? A ripper Aussie summer! 

As Melburnians, we like getting outside to soak up all the summery goodness that the weather gods will permit, and to ensure we enjoy every second, we’ll want to have the best set up possible.

Interior designer Shannon Vos (who you may know from winning The Block’s Glasshouse season) has provided 5 outdoor entertaining area styling essentials for 2020 that are key for any outdoor space. If you love entertaining outdoors and want your ‘pad’ to be ready for the sunny season ahead, get the lowdown below.

Functional spaces


Functionality is hands down the number one priority when It comes to creating an outdoor entertaining area. Dining tables, BBQ or fully equipped outdoor kitchen, lounge chairs, plenty of cushions and (for those cooler nights) heating, are all things that can make your outdoor space cosy, liveable, and functional. If the area can act as an extension to an existing living area that’s even better – a space that is not only summer ready, but functional all year round. 

Decor & Accessories


For 2020, less is more! When pulling together the styling for your outdoor entertaining area, find décor pieces that use natural textures and fibres, such as bamboo, rattan and cane to connect your furniture to the outdoors. These materials are becoming more and more trendy and are expected to gain great popularity in 2020. However, make sure your outdoor styling also nods to the interior styling to ensure continuity throughout your home. This can be done through the use of colour and texture to create a gorgeous outdoor space that ties in beautifully with the rest of your home. 

Outdoor Plants


If your outdoor area is large and abundant, or small and minimal, greenery is ALWAYS a great addition. Plants provide texture and interest in a space, not to mention beauty and liveliness too. Low maintenance plants are an excellent option, with devil’s ivy, ferns, jasmine and succulents all very on-trend for 2020. Whether they are potted, wall creepers or in garden beds, plants are a must include for your outdoor entertaining area. 



Lighting can really influence the mood of your outdoor spaces, and you’ll want to strategically use lighting to create ambiance and draw attention to special features in the space. For 2020, highlighting focal points with lighting design will continue to be a popular and important outdoor living trend, with sculptures, architectural details, feature plants or sectioned off areas of your outdoor spaces all excellent features to shine a light on. 

Blinds, shades & awnings


Whether you want to keep your outdoor space cool over summer, or lock in the heat over winter, blinds and awnings are an essential part of any outdoor design for 2020. These features can be used cleverly to make the space feel integrated with the rest of your home while also by giving the space flexibility.

Try opting for waterproof synthetic fibres that provide resistance to fading, mould and dirt to ensure longevity. Colour matching the fabric to the colour of the other blinds used throughout your property is also a growing trend that is predicted to gain momentum in 2020.