Outdoor Patio Ideas

7 signs your courtyard could really use some love

Is a cruddy outdoor area cramping your style?
French doors leading from a kitchen into a courtyard decorated with ecclectic vintage plant pots.Photography: Chris Warnes | Styling: John Mangila

Take another look outside –if you don’t see a beautifully decorated courtyard then your overlooked outdoor entertaining space could be working harder for you as a place of relaxation.

These seven signs of neglect mean that it’s time to re-decorate your courtyard and give it some much-needed maintenance to ensure that it’s a space you can enjoy no matter the season.

1. Dodgy pavers

Give them a deep clean with a borrowed or rented high-pressure hose. Remove weeds that lurk between the paving stones by hand, with boiling water from the kettle or with a shot of paver and Slasher Organic Weed Killer.

(Credit: Photography: Brigid Arnott / Styling: Lisa Hilton)

2. Mouldy awnings

Window covers that are sagging, stained or mouldy are doing you no favours to create an inviting outdoor space. Give them a clean with a solution of 1 part bleach to 4 parts water, applied with a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly after 10 minutes with cold water.

3. Dirty windows

Cleaning windows is one of the easiest ways to refresh your home and add a little sparkle – both indoors and out. Remember to wipe down the frames and window sills and to brush away any cobwebs.

French doors leading from a kitchen into a courtyard decorated with ecclectic vintage plant pots.
(Credit: Photography: Chris Warnes | Styling: John Mangila)

4. Clutter and junk

If your deck has become a dumping ground and your courtyard is full of tired old loungers, it’s time for a garden declutter! Discard or donate unwanted items and look to creating a functional, tidy storage space for things you need to keep. Spend time hanging hooks and shelving in a central spot where necessary and invest in stylish tubs and containers to hide things away.

(Photography: Louise Roche | Styling: Amber Keller)

5. Faded furniture

Good quality outdoor furniture makes for a beautiful and relaxing space. Get rid of broken second-hand benches and smelly cushions and treat your outdoor zone to a new wardrobe – in the same way you would an interior space. The more comfortable and stylish it is, the more likely you are to keep it that way and therefore use it more often.

6. Forgotten plants

Banish failed attempts at potted herb gardens and dried up orchids to the green waste bin and start anew. Nurture a collection of plants to give life to your outdoor room – a lush assembly of your favourite foliage will literally breathe life into the area.

Consider whether it’s in full sunlight or part shade and begin your search for the perfect plants to decorate with. Start small if your experience is limited.

6 signs of a neglected courtyard | Home Beautiful Magazine Australia
(Credit: Aaron Perkins)

7. A lack of warmth

The key to a courtyard you can enjoy no matter the weather is a source of warmth. This could be as complicated as an elegant infrared heatstrip or as simple as installing a good old firepit.

Throw blankets (stored safely in a weatherproof box) can also make outdoor seating areas more inviting in cooler weather.

(Credit: Photography: Hannah Puechmarin / Styling: Ivy & Piper)

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