It’s summer, so what better way to enjoy the warm breezes than relaxing in your own outdoor sanctuary, seamlessly connected with your indoor space.
Capital Bluestone interior (and exterior) design director Sue Axlund loves her job, working with buyers at Esplanade Norwest Lake to help guide them in finishing options or advising them on how to ensure their favourite piece of furniture can join them when downsizing.
Having just established a new outdoor living space at the Esplanade Norwest Lake display suite, Sue has some great tips to share on extending your living areas with great indoor outdoor space.

Being able to seamlessly merge your indoor and outdoor living spaces is a widely popular trend that offers huge benefits. Establishing an easy flow between the two means that you can double the floor space of your home simply by opening a sliding door or two.
At Esplanade, blended indoor and outdoor living spaces reflect the spirit of the development. You will be able to simply slide back the large glass doors from your living room, dining room and bedrooms to reap the psychological benefits of more space and being more connected with the outdoors. At the Esplanade Norwest Lake display apartment, the living space opens to an outdoor table and chairs, perfect for an easy early morning coffee overlooking the lake.

Neither indoor nor outdoor spaces are complete without greenery; this brings you closer to nature without leaving your home. Plants give covered spaces a gorgeous, intimate feeling while bringing the outdoors in. They also add life and colour, and who doesn’t love more of that?
For apartment dwellers potted plants and vertical gardens, using traditional trellis or contemporary solutions such as stacked planters and hanging pockets, are great space saving options. Easy to maintain and beautiful to look at, it’s no surprise vertical gardens have grown in popularity in recent years.
However, if it's a lush green look you're after, you can’t go past plants with heavy foliage and clusters of pots on your balcony or courtyard.
Flourishing pot plants allow you to exercise your green thumbs while also allowing you time to sit back and relax, feel the warm breeze and sunshine, and just breathe.

Functional furniture and soft furnishings
There should be little difference between your indoor and outdoor spaces in style, so think about what you love indoors when planning your outdoor furnishings.
By carrying a style through both spaces, you can communicate that the areas are one and the same. This helps to create flow outdoors and should encourage you and your guests to move between both spaces.
Having an outdoor dining table and comfortable seating and, if space allows, a relaxed, low-seated cocktail or coffee area is a modern luxury we can all enjoy.
A soft outdoor rug will add character to a seating area and will work beautifully in the large wintergardens as offered at Esplanade. Stools can act as space saving extra seating or as occasional tables that are easy to move around and stack away when not required.
One of the benefits of vertical living is often the view, so where you have an outlook too good to miss, choose low and light furniture options that don’t bulk up the space. Another great tip is chairs with mesh fabrics that you can see through.

Ambience is everything
Often overlooked but rarely underappreciated, the right lighting and music is essential to ensure you make the most of your multi-purpose indoor/outdoor space.
Soft lighting is as valuable out of doors as it is in, and battery operated flameless candles will even flicker like a real flame, but without the mess and fire hazard.
Wireless speakers that connect to your smartphone allow you to create the right kind of mood, whether it be a manic Monday, lazy Sunday or Friday night with the lights down low.
For many people mounted speakers are a worthy investment, but a portable Bluetooth speaker is a great lower cost option.
With the right details, your outdoor space will quickly become a place where your family, friends and neighbours are comfortable gathering for a weekend brunch, afternoon cocktail and nibbles, barbecue or lavish dinner party.

The perfect outdoor kitchen
Everyone loves to gather around the kitchen. Imagine taking that outdoors. An outdoor kitchen is a wonderful way to bring the socialising outside with a functional designated space.
Given Australia’s almost year-round love of the barbecue, a dedicated area extends your entertainment space and makes it both guest and host friendly. Esplanade Norwest has outdoor entertaining firmly in mind, with some apartment designs featuring kitchen servery windows with fully-louvred access.
If you’re considering a vertical garden, there’s nothing like your favourite herbs providing the backdrop to your outdoor kitchen, ready to be the fragrant finishing touch to everything from a cocktail to dessert.

This article is sponsored by Esplanade Norwest
Details: or visit the display suite at 11 Solent Circuit, Baulkham Hills, from noon to 3pm daily to learn more about the new way of outdoor living.