5 DIY outdoor living ideas to make the most of isolation

Alex Hamilton
diy outdoor living ideas lockdown outdoor kitchen
5 min read

Oh isolation, how you’ve allowed us to appreciate our homes now more than ever!

Across Australia, we are being told to stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and with good reason. But this does not mean we need to stay cramped up indoors day in and day out. So, what else can you do to make the most of isolation?

Pull out your home tool kit, throw on some gardening gloves and dust off those old home cooking recipe books – it’s time to get busy. These five DIY outdoor living ideas will keep you from going crazy while isolating, allowing you to soak up the amazing Australian winter sun while making the most of your outdoor area.

diy outdoor living ideas lockdown outdoor kitchen
50 Austin Street, Seddon, VIC

DIY outdoor living projects to tackle during lockdown

1. Take a gourmet escape to your outdoor kitchen

Consider yourself quite the home cook? Now that you’re spending less time in transit and more time at home, it’s time to ramp up your home cooking skills. While you might love cooking the classic pasta bake or quick stir fry, cooking indoors can become less appealing when you’ve been cooped up inside all day long.

The solution? Create your dream outdoor kitchen and start preparing some of your meals outdoors.

Creating a basic outdoor kitchen is relatively straight forward and something you can work on weekend by weekend during isolation. The essentials of an outdoor kitchen include:

  • The right sized BBQ to suit the number of people in your home.
  • Bench space for food prep and serving.
  • An outdoor dining or sitting area to enjoy your food outdoors.
  • Cabinets for easy access to cooking utensils, herbs and spices, plates and cutlery.

If you want to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level, you could also add in a bar fridge, a TV, woodfire pizza oven and even a BBQ smoker to your outdoor cooking appliance list. Whatever you decide to include, there’s no doubt your new outdoor kitchen will the perfect location to entertain family and friends for years to come.

diy outdoor projects pizza oven
2 Doulton Avenue, Heathmont, VIC

2. Embrace nature by revitalising your garden

Right now, you’re likely spending more time at home than ever before. This makes tackling a time-consuming and difficult task, such as gardening, much more viable and rewarding.

Create a landscaping plan and allocate each section of your backyard to be completed on a different weekend. Tackling a large task such as the entire garden can become overwhelming, so splitting your project into parts makes it much more digestible and will keep you focused. Or, if you have a few helpful hands in your home, split up sections of your backyard to be completed by different members of your household.

While you’re at it, why not create an edible garden to compliment your outdoor kitchen. Select your favourite herbs and vegetables which can be picked right from the garden and rinsed off before use in your next cook up. As we are coming into the colder months, be sure to pick vegetables and herbs that grow well during winter.

Growing and maintaining a garden is a great way to pass the time, get some fresh air and relax, while also brightening up your outdoor area by providing natural colour.

diy outdoor living isolation veggie patch
244-246 Alcock Road, Elimbah, QLD

3. Warm-up your backyard with unique outdoor heating ideas

As we come into self-isolation during the cooler months in Australia, it’s time to prepare your yard with some outdoor heating. Outdoor heating allows you to make use of your outdoor living space all year-round while also adding a lovely warm ambience to your area.

There are a few common DIY outdoor heating options:

  • Gas heaters: Gas heaters are one of the most common options for Australian homes as they are very easy to source and only require an LPG gas bottle to operate.
  • Fire pit: Fire pits work great to warm up your backyard but require a large open area and frequent restocking of wood. There are also some restrictions during the warmer months on use.
  • Ceiling heaters: If budget permits, you might like to look into installing radiant heaters that can be mounted on the wall or ceiling of your patio. They have a subtle and elegant design that won’t take up too much of your precious outdoor entertaining space.
outdoor diy ideas lockdown fire pit
24 Wiluna Avenue, White Gum Valley, WA

4. Brighten up your space with outdoor lighting

With less time outdoors while isolating, there’s no doubt we all might be going a bit stir-crazy. However, with some quick and easy creative lighting ideas, you can transform your outdoor area into an outdoor paradise.

Create an inviting ambience with some string lighting hanging from your roofline, gutters or patio beams. Or, make the switch to LED lighting to highlight your new outdoor kitchen or lush edible garden.

There are endless opportunities and design ideas that could work in your outdoor space, so get creative and experiment with some different lighting options.

diy outdoor projects locdown fireplace string lights
60-62 Canadian Bay Road, Mount Eliza, VIC

5. Create a relaxing retreat with comfortable furniture

Sometimes we need a place to relax and breath in the fresh air, so ensuring you have some comfortable lounges or alternative seating options in your outdoor area is essential.

If your outdoor area is covered, you can move your sofa outside to create a comfy outdoor lounging area instantly. Invest in bench seats, porch swings or rocking chairs to create a calming spot to unwind at the end of the day with a vino or steaming hot tea. Alternatively, speak to your local outdoor furniture retailer for some advice on furniture that can withstand Australia’s harsh weather.

dir outdoor ideas porch swing
4 Stanmore Street, Shenton Park, WA

Being stuck at home in isolation can become bothersome and tedious if we don’t keep active. Luckily, with these five outdoor DIY living ideas, you can keep busy, reconnect with your family or roommates and improve the comfort of your home.

Let’s make the most of the current situation by finishing off any of those home renovation tasks you haven’t had time for or by starting some new projects.

Alex Hamilton
Alex Hamilton is a blogger based in Perth, Western Australia. You can catch Alex on Google+.

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