Covid-19 has impacted our lives in several ways. While the ease of restrictions across the UAE has encouraged residents to step out and enjoy the outdoors, we still have to keep in mind the rules of safety and social distancing. The pandemic has made us all re-evaluate what has been the normal for a very long time and how that is likely to change in the future.
Sayed Habib, General Manager Buying, Danube Home, says people are seen spending time in cafes, restaurants and opting for weekend getaways in local hotels and resorts. “However, the recent spike in Coronavirus cases shows that we cannot put down our guard and ideally need to avoid busy public areas. Also, the experience of residents during the lockdown has made people realise that it’s better to enjoy the outdoors within the privacy of their homes,” he says.
Get a home extension
Habib says outdoor spaces are an extension of the home and a lot of attention is being given to creating a relaxing space that the family can enjoy. “The 2021 outdoor décor will focus on things people would want if they were to experience a lockdown again,” he explains.
“People now understand that the living space is not just confined to the four walls of a room. Homeowners are gravitating towards features they might have taken for granted in their daily lives. As the weather is getting better, we have customers inquiring about how to design outdoor spaces, such as balconies, lawns, backyards, terraces and even parking areas,” says Habib.
Requests for calming green spaces through the use of plants and water features have now increased, he says. “Our clients want to use their outdoor space to work from home, to entertain guests over barbeque, to provide kids a fun play area and encourage them to move away from the television, mobile phone and laptop.”
Here are some easy ways to transform your outdoor spaces to great functional areas for a better lifestyle.
Create elegant workspaces
Outdoor spaces have immense design potential, says Habib. Many people are now working from home but working from the kitchen table or propped up on the sofa with a laptop is not a long-term solution. “For an elegant outdoor work-from-home zone, we have comfortable seating options with inbuilt charging slots that can be used to charge your laptop or phone while working without any interruptions.”
If the outdoor area is sunny, Danube Home provides different types of gazebos, pergolas and umbrellas that provide shade. “Adding green elements in the form of artificial plants that are easy-to-maintain are a great way to give a feeling of tranquility. Elegant fountains are also a great way to enhance the ambience of outdoor spaces as there’s nothing more relaxing than the sound of a gentle stream,” he says.
Expert in-house designers at Danube Home provide useful solutions depending on the available space in a residential unit - big or small, catering to the aspirations of all customers.
Blend indoors with outdoors
Bridging the divide between indoors and outdoors is a great idea. Habib points out that many homeowners have the image of the perfect outdoor experience in mind but they don’t know how to translate that to reality in the space they have. For example, many want to enjoy an outdoor bar or a barbeque, while others are keen on outdoor meditation spaces and reading nooks, he says.
“Decks and flooring is a staple of outdoor design, but they’re usually something you don’t pay too much attention to. But laying the perfect foundation is half the job done,” he adds.
Danube Home provides superior quality outdoor flooring solutions along with free installation services. The company also offers landscaping with artificial grass and plants that let customers have a forever green space without the maintenance hassle.
After spending the most part of 2020 indoors, consumers are now gravitating towards brighter colours for their home exteriors. “Natural elements or elements that remind one of nature are increasingly being integrated into home designs. The demand for bright but earthy tones for cushions and throws are being seen. Such colour schemes easily blend in with most interior décor and create a uniform design aesthetic.”
Set a relaxing green space
Several studies have proved that spending time in a green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical well-being. Habib says, “The colour green is said to have a calming effect. However, sometimes live plants can be quite difficult to maintain. This is where we come in. Danube Home has introduced a range of lifelike artificial plants that give you the same calming sensation while being easy to maintain. Creating such a space in your backyard or lawn can be a great way to relax and de-stress after a long day.”
A zone to entertain
Products like gazebos, dining sets, barbeque sets and outdoor bar sets, are perfect options to transform any backyard into the ideal place to entertain the family over barbeque and cocktails. Danube Home has a wide range of barbeque sets that are great for cookouts and will suit every person’s style and budget requirements.
Habib says, “We have gazebos or pergolas with curtains for privacy. If you want to bring the feeling of an interior outside, you can use string lights or pendant lights that give the illusion of a ceiling without obstructing your view of the stars.”
“Multifunctional products like sofa sets that can be used for dining in or ottomans that provide additional seating or swing chairs that convert into loungers and beds are in high demand,” he says.
Timeout zone for kids
The pandemic has also made children miss the great outdoors. Habib says, “These days schools are online, and entertainment is restricted to videogames, television and mobile devices, so, we must provide them with a safe space to unwind and have fun.”
“Our Garden Catalogue 2021 has a wide range of products in the kids play category that children are sure to love. From swings and slides to trampolines and kids pools, we have it all. Incorporating a kid’s play area in an outdoor space is a great way to let kids have a wonderful playtime as well as an opportunity for parents to bond with them,” he said.
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