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October 27, 2010, 10:52 am betterhomesgardens
Are you aching to keep the feel of summer alive all year long? Changing the look of your landscape could be just the ticket.
If you add a Mediterranean theme to your outdoor entertaining space, every time you step out the back door you’ll be transported to a Tuscan courtyard or a Greek taverna. This gorgeous look is easy to achieve – we used largely recycled materials – so before you know it you can be relaxing in your new surrounds while the souvlaki sizzles away on the barbie. Read on for simple projects that can be used together to achieve the total look, or individually for just a taste of European flavour.
Getting the look is a lot easier than you may imagine. Just think of it as a simple formula. Start with white or neutral backdrops – the walls can provide this. Then add rustic furnishings, so much the better if they’re made from recycled materials. Complete the picture by adding features and decos in vibrant solid colours.
Use salvaged pots as an integral part of your makeover. When painted an earthy colour, like Dulux Tuscan Red, they’ll glow with rich warmth. Make your pots productive by filling them with citrus – lemons are a great choice. Or you can really accentuate the Mediterranean mood by planting olive trees.
Make your table as generously sized as the available space allows so you can relax with all your fave people, spread out and enjoy long lazy meals together.
A shuttered mirror is much more than just a delightful feature piece. Position the mirror where it can reflect a variety of surfaces and it will amplify the size of your outdoor space.
Include candles in your new space. When housed in a rustic lantern, they’ll just ooze elegance and romance.
Elevate your plants for maximum impact. Using a plinth or tall pot to bring your plants up closer to eye level makes them appear larger. You can even use climbers in this way – they’ll then tumble and cascade over the edge of the pot.
Once your makeover is complete, it’s time to relax with long, lazy lunches. To complement your decorative scheme, add baskets of fresh citrus to the table – and don’t forget the grapes!
Add potted pelargoniums as they will really suit the mood of your Mediterranean space. Plus, they’re super low maintenance, requiring little beyond the occasional splash of water and deadheading.
Bring old chairs back to life with a coat of paint. A prep-coat product, such as Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3, will improve the finish and increase its life span. Choose a colour in keeping with your theme (we used Dulux Weathershield in Mediterranean Blue).
Don’t forget to paint the fence! It’s the simplest way to add a new mood to your landscape (we used Dulux Weathershield in Tuscan Red).
Rejuvenate old pots with a coat of paint that matches your scheme (we used Dulux Weathershield in Tuscan Red).
Suitable panel for tabletop (old trestle-table top or large doors); stone blocks for bases and plinth-like legs (we used salvaged limestone)Step 1
Level area where bases will sit. Evenly space bases – distance will depend on your tabletop size – then position plinth legs on top.Step 2
Check all plinths are level, plumb and at the same height. Pack plinths as required. Once you are happy with positions and levels, you may wish to use construction adhesive under the plinth to bind it to the base.Step 3
Carefully position your tabletop on plinths. To tie the table parts together, you can drill and screw through the tabletop with rock screws. Simply countersink into the table for the heads or add small L-brackets underneath the table, attaching the top to the plinth.
Suitable panel for bench-seat tops (old hardwood panel doors are ideal); second-hand railway sleepers, for legs; power saw; drillStep 1
Saw doors into suitable widths for seat tops. Making them more than 400mm wide will ensure they’re a comfy size.Step 2
and also 1 leg in the middle for all but the thickest of panels.Step 3
Position cut sleeper legs and place benchtops on them. Predrill for all screw holes, then screw securely in place. Add a few colourful scatter cushions and you’re all done!
Framed mirror suitable for outdoor use (many bathroom mirrors will do); louvred doorsStep 1
Cut louvres to the same height as the mirror, to make shutters. Clean thoroughly, then paint (we used Dulux Weathershield in Mediterranean Blue). Mask off mirror and paint frame. For difficult surfaces use a prep-coat product, such as Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3. It will bind to, and seal, just about any material, and allows surface coats to adhere more effectively.Step 2
Position 2 screws or nails in wall to support base of mirror. Once paint is dry, apply a generous amount of a quick-grab landscape construction adhesive, such as Selleys Liquid Nails Landscape, to the rear of the mirror. Rest the base of the mirror on the support nails or screws, then press mirror firmly to the wall, ensuring adhesive is in contact with the wall.Step 3
Mark screw position on shutters, to attach them to the wall – you’ll need at least 1 screw in each corner of each shutter. Drill holes in shutters. Mark out screw locations on wall and drill.Step 4