In the increasing quest for space at home, our outdoor areas can provide a sanctuary unlike any other. Distinctly separate from the competing priorities of indoor spaces, outside there are no excuses not to take a moment of respite. And given the temperate Australian climate, we’re always on the lookout for ways to improve and elevate the often-forgotten value of our gardens, decks, and balconies.

Colin Kupke and Shane Sinnott are two men who understand the true value of beautiful outdoor spaces. As the brains behind one of one of our largest local outdoor living retailers Cosh Living,  We sat down with Colin and Shane to discuss how to create effective outdoor living spaces, the importance of comfort, and why a love of the outdoors is not confined to Australia.

Produced in partnership with Cosh Living

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To understand the value in investing in our outdoor spaces, it’s worth taking a moment to appreciate our instinctive desire to be outside. For Colin, it’s evident that Australians are spoiled for premium outdoor conditions. But that doesn’t stop those in cooler climates from clambering outside when possible. “It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. If you travel through a place like Germany, which doesn’t have a long summer, there might be a hint of sunshine and everyone will be in the parks”, he explains. There’s an instinctive pull to the outdoors, Shane says, that inevitably results in entertaining. “The outdoor space in general is a very social environment, and if you do it well, people will gravitate to this environment”.

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Whether it’s salty sea air or blistering sunlight, Australians have a unique and often varied range of challenges when designing their outdoor areas.

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Given our tendency to congregate outdoors, we naturally had to ask the duo their advice for furnishing these spaces – and for Colin, it’s an exercise in judicious planning. “You need to judge the size of the space, how you’d best use that space without overcrowding it. Whether it’s with sofas or with dining, you can make it as big or as small as you really need to”, he explains.

Deciding on exactly what those furnishings should be also means understanding the exposed nature of our outdoor spaces. Whether it’s salty sea air or blistering sunlight, Australians have a unique and often varied range of challenges when designing their outdoor areas. For Cosh Living, this is where there can be no compromise on quality. Colin explains “The last thing we want is for products to be out and about for two or three years, and they’re rusting. We need to understand that, because there’s no secret that it’s not sitting out in the elements and looking after itself.”

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But don’t let the reality of Australia’s harsh climate get you down  – today’s outdoor furnishings are just as elegant and contemporary as anything we might choose for our inside spaces – and thankfully gone are the days of plastic and stainless steel. “Woven material is finding its way back in, especially in combination with other materials. Powder coated aluminium, beautiful outdoor fabrics, or woven materials with teak or ceramics”,  Colin says of the trends currently driving their showroom collection.

Cosh Living’s selection of pieces stems from a desire for both comfort and quality – an ethos we at est are always on board with. For Colin and Shane, while there are top picks across each range, there are definite personal standouts. “Both Gloster and Manutti have got some lovely pieces, and Tribu just speaks this language that resonates with us” Colin explains. And given the long-term value that outdoor spaces add to our properties as well as our lives, an investment does not go astray. Shane agrees, saying “just make sure that what you do, you do well.”

Take a look through the entire Cosh Living collection on their website, or view the est favourites on the Design Directory here

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