12 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Verandah
Designed well, verandahs can be a home’s haven. Be it for a get-together with friends, moments of quiet reflection, reading, craft activities or simply sitting and relaxing, a veranda can be a versatile space and a space you truly love. To get the most out of your verandah, however, there are factors you should consider…
- Make its function suit your lifestyle
What is it you want most out of your verandah? Is it a place to enjoy your first coffee of the day or is it a place where you bring the family together for an evening meal? Close your eyes and envision your happiest on the verandah and design with that function in mind.
- Keep your lighting in mind
The key to lighting your verandah is to know how your verandah will be used. Task lighting is a must, helping you to cook on the barbecue, read, or stay safe and secure when on the move. Angled spotlights work well in this setting, while table lamps, string lights, wall sconces and pendants offer ambient lighting and a cosy and romantic feel.
Also remember to account for the direction that the verandah faces – the impact that facing either the dawn or setting sun can have a huge impact on the mood, climate and comfort of your verandah.
- Use clever planting to protect it from insects
No one wants to sit swatting away flies, but on the other hand, why rely on insect repellant if you don’t have to? Playing good attention to the plants that you grow around your verandah is a good first step. For example, if you can grow or keep lavendar, marigolds or mint within close range of your sitting area, these can help repel both mossies and flies.
Focusing on a particular position on your verandah is sometimes the best way to make the most of light. A corner setting, for example, can take advantage of both the morning and afternoon sun, or provide shelter from too-hot rays just when you need it most. Privacy can also be another bonus to choosing a particular positioning.
Perching yourself up on a hard seat or a wooden bench is hardly inviting and you’re not likely to linger for too long. Aim for soft furnishings and mix and match patterns and colours, however, and you’ll enjoy an eclectic and relaxing space.The safe way to experiment with patterns is to choose a colour scheme and stick to those colours while playing around with pattern and rhythm of print. Try to have at least three different patterns for the best effect. Don’t forget to add a rug!
- Accessories to fit your style
A cosy spot to sit is important but it’s the other elements that will make the space inviting. A rustic console table adorned with orchids and items of interest will make you feel much more at home. Keep it simple and choose items, plants and flowers you love. Don’t be afraid to fill the space either. A verandah with couches, ottomans, coffee table and plant pots can still feel spacious if you stick to two or three colours.
Growing a verandah balcony can limit the space you have to entertain so why not go up with wall mounts? A wall-mounted design not only gets your planters off the ground, it serves as a form of wall art. Another idea would be to stack your plants on a laddered shelf.
- Make the most of your space
If space is limited, look at ways you can maximise it. A L-shaped bench configuration will make the most of a narrow, angular verandah and you can accessorise with comfy cushions and throws to create a cosy nook.
- If in doubt, remember ‘less is more’
Sometimes it’s the simplicity of a verandah that brings it to life. Two comfortable chairs covered in a beautiful fabric can make a lovely entry into the house without dominating the area. Add a side table for a cup of tea, a good book, some candles and a potted plant and that’s all you need to watch the world go by.
- Keep it maintained
A clean and tidy and well maintained verandah will make you much more likely to use it. Sweep it frequently to remove dust and leaves, wash it with water every few weeks or as needed, and remove any stains. Regularly inspect your verandah and keep on top of fading and other issues caused by external elements.
- Keep it warm and comfortable
Verandahs aren’t just a feature for the summer months, but this means that in some climates, it’s essential to keep alternate sources of heat in mind. Radiant heating panels and patio heaters let you enjoy your verandah even in the midst of winter. Alternatively you can keep it simple and stay warm with a collection of throws.
- Treat it as an entranceway to the outdoors
A good way to ensure your verandah is inviting is to make the transition from the interior of your home as seamless as possible. You can do this by echoing some of your interior’s design motifs and having reflective elements such as furniture.
Making the most of your verandah
Verandahs tend to be narrower than patios and pergolas but that doesn’t mean they offer less in terms of usage. Positioned at the front of the house, side of the house, back of the house, or wrapped around, a verandah is a great space you’re lucky to have.