How to create an outdoor sanctuary | HerCanberra

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How to create an outdoor sanctuary

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Get inspired to create an outdoor space that feels like you’re on holiday while at home!

It’s easy to create an outdoor sanctuary, just follow these simple steps.

Outdoor seating

Start with relaxed outdoor seating. A lounge with separate armchairs is always a popular option as it offers comfort and flexibility – you can change the configuration depending on the occasion.

Hanging chairs are also a popular furniture choice in outdoor spaces as they create a private hideaway – the perfect spot to enjoy a good book or beverage.

Add cushions and throws

Add pops of colour and interest to your seating area by using cushions and throws.

There’s always a great range of latest season textiles at Canberra Outlet Centre, such as the botanical cushions I’ve used from Freedom.

Your cushions don’t all need to match but there should be some common elements in terms of colour palette or texture. Mix shapes, sizes and prints for fun and interest.

Large outdoor rug

Create the sense of a zone and anchor your outdoor seating with a large outdoor rug.

Large rugs add softness and really define the space. A tip is to consider whether a high pile or low pile rug is best for your space – low pile rugs are thinner and flatter making them easy to clean (great if you have trees that drop leaves overhanging your outdoor space), whereas high pile rugs are thicker and softer underfoot (however these are prone to getting debris caught in them).

Side tables

It’s not just about the seating – side tables and coffee tables are other ‘must have’ furniture pieces.  It’s important to have somewhere you can rest a drink while entertaining and when the outdoor space isn’t in use, they make a great surface to display smaller pot plants or mini succulent gardens.


Create lush, jungle vibes with loads of plants. You can mix real and faux plants to create a fuller look and add a big pop of greenery.

Use a mix of pots on the ground and pot plant stands or hanging planters to display the plants at different height levels for added dimension.

Style a tray

Set the mood that you’re ready to entertain with a tray of cold drinks and glasses. You can find beautiful servingware at many of the stores in Canberra Outlet Centre and I’ve used a large tray from Adairs, drinking glasses from Provincial and jug from Harris Scarfe. Fresh lemons or limes also look great on the tray.

Ambient lighting

Finally, set the mood with lighting. Lanterns filled with candles offer a soft, warm light source and you can use a cluster of lanterns for impact.

Festoon or party lights are another popular lighting option in outdoor spaces.

You can find all the items I used and more at Canberra Outlet Centre.

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