We have had the most amazing summer, it is like the summers from our childhood and I know everyone has been lapping up the sunshine.

If you’ve been struggling with your outdoor space this summer, then maybe it’s time to start planning a make-over.

I started my planning in Spring and revamped our tired outdoor space, to create a fun and welcoming summer entertaining space.

I know outdoors aren’t exactly Interiors, but they are an extension of our indoor spaces and can literally add another room to you home, especially if covered (our winter project). With my love of plants and design, an outdoor room is a no brainer to add a splash of drama to your house.

With my passion for colour, I decided to go all out and bring the bold colours that I love indoors to my garden.  Luckily Resenes and Your Home and Garden loved it also, picking us for their monthly Colour Home Awards.


A few helpful tips before you Start with your Outdoor renovation


The first step is to evaluate the shape and size of your outdoor living spaces. Don’t worry, a small footprint doesn’t mean your outdoor living space can’t be relaxing—it’s all about making the most of what you’ve got, understanding its limitations and potential. (we could only fit one couch into our space, but we brought one with an inbuild recliner, so it can double as a daybed)!

Start by defining your focal point. It may be a gorgeous ocean view or the Garden you recently planted. Then access the space and the amount of furniture you can fit in.

Next up, consider the furniture you want in the space and what you will use the space for.  If you want to host dinner parties, you’ll need a table, if you just want to chill then some big couches.

Once you know what you want, consider whether that furniture will fit in your space and begin to get a grasp of how much furniture you’ll need to create the look you want.

Finally, think about the Style you’re after and if the furniture will fit in with this, remembering that functionality must be at the heart of the design.


This is the part I love, using your interior style as a guide, dream big with your outdoor space and let it tell your Story.

There are so many different outdoor materials these days that can stand up to weather—think wood, metal, plastic, fabric (thank you, Sunbrella!), and wicker—so your options aren’t limited.

There are so many ways to bring your style to your outdoor space – from colorful pots to bright cushions, tabletop décor or even artwork. Adding an outdoor rug also adds softness while anchoring the furniture and creating the sense of an outdoor room.

Define the look and feel you’re doing for. Once you’ve done that the design process will be much easier.  Start your shopping on line to streamline what you are after, and then create a shopping list adhering to your budget.


Lighting will help take your garden from day to night, – it creates ambiance and can showcase your gorgeous planting. Light up your nights with fairy lights, lanterns or lamps to create a magical space.

Solar-powered lights can light up pathways to make navigating your outdoor space easier, without the need to run cables to a power source and are better for the environment too.

SHADE (So important in our NZ sun)

Another functional consideration of your outdoor space is shade cover. In New Zealand, it’s simply not possible to use or enjoy an outdoor area unless it’s undercover or you use a shade, such as a gazebo or umbrella.  There are also lots of new innovations on the market along the lines of  Luvretech.


Of course, no outdoor space is complete without a big dose of greenery

When it comes to selecting plants for your outdoor space, start by doing a little research. Will they be in direct sunlight or mostly in shade, and what’s the climate in your city? Also consider the style you want to create – Monster plants are an ideal choice for botanical vibes whereas cacti in a mix of vessels play to the eclectic style. Pinterest is a fab source of plant inspiration and a great starting point for your research.  As part of Erina Emery Interiors we can also help with your choice of the perfect plants.


The most important, but least fun is left for last.

How much money have you got to spend on this space? Now that you have all the above sorted you can create a list of what you need and want, adding value to each.

This is the time that you need to evaluate what is the most important items, and which will have the most durability in use and time, then prioritise these in your budget.

Look at what value this space is going to create to your lifestyle and budget accordingly.


Have fun designing and living in your new “Outdoor Space”

Visit erina emery for design advice