As the year draws to a close (and what a year its been!) we’re finding ourselves drawn to the great outdoors more than ever before. From pop-up parklets (re-purposed parking bays) sprinkled across Melbourne’s main streets, to festive garden parties, and of course the ever-enticing backdrop of Australia’s sparkling coastline calling us to escape the city… if there was EVER a time to relish an outdoor lifestyle, this is it.
For Sydney stylist Jono Fleming, pulling together the ultimate outdoor room at home isn’t complicated. According to Jono, furnishing and styling an outdoor space is simply about treating your garden (or balcony, or courtyard) just like any other room in your house.
‘The first thing I think about for an outdoor space is how I’m going to use it, and what kind of feeling I want when I’m in the space’ Jono says. ‘Whether you’ve got a large backyard or a small balcony, I love thinking of the space as a secondary living room of sorts’.
Here, Jono shows us how it’s done, with his contemporary edit of outdoor furniture and decorative details in this stunning courtyard garden in Sydney. The star of the show is the range of sleek yet super comfy upholstered furniture from Kun Design, available exclusively at DOMO.
Your interiors projects are often quite eclectic and personality-filled – incorporating bold colour, lots of artwork and decorative pieces. But what about OUTSIDE, what is your approach when styling an outdoor area like a balcony, verandah or courtyard?
The first thing I think about for an outdoor space is how I’m going to use it, and what kind of feeling I want when I’m in the space. Whether you’ve got a large backyard or a small balcony, I personally love thinking of the space as a secondary living room of sorts, somewhere comfortable but surrounded by plants and nature.
This year has has shown how important that connection with the natural environment can be. Nothing makes me happier than creating a comfortable outdoor room that you can spend hours in, have all your creature comforts at your fingertips and not have to move all day.
How do you inject personality into an outdoor room?
I’m not one to shy away from colour, pattern and shape when it comes to my interior spaces, so the outside is no different for me! As a self confessed #plantdaddy, the first thing I do is add plenty of greenery. Plants of different heights, species and sizes help layer the space and create the base for your decor and palette.
Don’t be afraid to add soft furnishings outdoors – but make sure you choose upholstery and cushions that can withstand our strong Australian sun. There are so many fabric options now that work both indoors and outdoors – here I’ve accessorised with some beautiful striped outdoor cushions with fringe, by Lucy Montgomery.
For entertaining and decorating, I again choose pieces that work just as well indoor and outdoors. Sculptural, colourful resin pieces from Dinosaur Designs are durable and really stunning in any space, adding visual interest through their cast patterns and shapes. And just like indoors, I love layers of lighting, so a bit of sparkle when it gets darker outside is a must for me. Taper candles and beautiful glassware help add that final touch to any outdoor space – and don’t just save these for special occasions, use them any time!
In this stunning Sydney garden, you’ve created the ultimate outdoor room with key pieces by Kun Design furniture – what is it about the range that works so well in this space?
For so long outdoor furniture was relegated to hard steel chairs and that table we’ve all spent time around at some point, you know the one with the glass top and the metal frame. What’s so special about the Kun Design range is that it takes a beautiful designed approached to the form of the objects, and still delivers the practicality of outdoor furniture.
The Pillow lounge chair is so comfortable, with plush upholstery that really elevates this piece beyond your typical outdoor furniture. The ribbed details on the Lotus coffee table and planters is both on trend and timeless, which means it’s adaptable to most styles of home. These classic shapes, colours and designs allow the pieces to stand out as outdoor furniture, but blend seamlessly into their environments at the same time.
In addition to sleek contemporary lounges, armchairs, side tables and planters, a key piece you’ve included in this outdoor room is Kun Design’s Pipe Bar Cart – so sleek! What is it you love most about this piece?
A bar cart outdoors is the ultimate luxury I reckon! And it’s a luxury that’s super accessible. From a practical side, it’s a dream to have something you can place anywhere, both for entertaining and also just as an extra surface for storage and styling – it’s an amazing way to change up a space, and add layers to an outdoor room.
While most bar carts indoors might just be storage for drinks, the outdoor bar cart works as a plant stand, a beautiful spot for garden storage, and of course, a place for drinks too. The versatility in the design of the Pipe bar cart means it can work just as well indoors but having the durability for outdoors is perfect for the Australian lifestyle.
What advice would you have for people keen to elevate their outdoor area, but unsure where to start? Where is a good place to start when furnishing and styling an outdoor area?
Definitely start with figuring out how you use the space. Is it a lounge space, or a dining area? Those sorts of questions really help guide your choices from the beginning.
Mainly, treat the outdoor room like any other room in your home! The rules are the same, and by keeping the same mood from inside to out, you create a really cohesive outdoor living space that feels like a seamless extension of your home.
What’s next for Jono Fleming?
This year I was so proud to launch my brand Palette by Jono Fleming. It stemmed from an idea whilst in lock down, affordable art doesn’t all need to look the same and can still be somewhat bespoke and exclusive, but without the price tag. I’ve just launched the second collection titled SHORE featuring artworks by the talented Tym Yee. These artworks are editions of 25 and explore Tym’s relationship with the Australian coastline.
But aside from the art, I’m hoping to get a bit of sun, outdoors time, get in some gardening, beach days, and enjoy how lucky we are to live somewhere that really provides the ultimate outdoor lifestyle, no matter where you are!
To be in the running to WIN a Kun Design Pipe Bar Cart from Domo Australia, tell us your dream outdoor set up in 25 words or less, follow @domoaustralia, and share your Instagram handle below. See here for terms and conditions.
For more than 30 years, DOMO has remained Australia’s exclusive stockist of prestigious design brands from Europe, and across the globe.
With showrooms in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Gold Coast, DOMO offers a curated collection of classic, contemporary indoor and outdoor furniture ranges that last a lifetime.
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