metropol » Outdoor

Tag: Outdoor

Enjoying the outside inside


Contemporary living often includes an “outdoor” kitchen, even a fireplace and a lounging area, all under cover and sheltered from the elements. Temperate weather doesn’t mean staying indoors. If you plan it right you can stay warm, cosy and dry in a purpose-built outdoor room. Here are some of Metropol’s tips for the essentials…



Adding warmth

Fireplace or fire pit? Both work for warming your outdoor room, as does a gas heater. Architects can even design a double opening fire centrepiece that’s indoors on one side of the wall and outside on the other.


Comfort zone

Relaxing in comfort necessitates protection from the sun, wind and rain, plus some comfy seating. Think soft sofas, luxurious loungers and maybe a bean bag or two, enclosed by sliding or stackable doors, or dropdown screens.


Kitchen wonders

An outdoor kitchen may be as simple as having your free-standing barbeque under cover, built in or having an actual second kitchen complete with a sink constructed. A pizza oven is another option.


Luxe lighting

When building or renovating, it’s easier to plan lighting, but don’t forget options such as fairy lights (lots of them), free-standing standard and small lamps, and of course a few candles for a romantic setting.


Soft throws

Cuddling up in front of the fire with a soft woolen blanket or throw, the latest Metropol magazine, and a glass of wine might just be the ultimate relaxation on a wet wintry day.




Paved to perfection: Dragon Stone Paving Ltd


No better time exists than now to jump in and get your outdoor area work complete. That way when the warm weather starts to appear, it is ready to enjoy!


River Willow, Fernside, Canterbury


With over 30 years of combined industry experience, Dragon Stone Paving Ltd is the expert in all areas of paving, from start to finish of any project. Its highly qualified team of tradesmen mean you are in safe hands throughout the whole process.

Patios and BBQ areas, outdoor living, driveways, and pool areas are all within the expertise of the team at Dragon Stone Paving. Each job is completed to a high standard and with a fast turnaround too! “From conception to completion, the team consistently delivers, offering a service second-to-none, advising on the best methods of installation to meet budget, taste, scope and specific needs,” says business owner Lee Squires. “The speed at which our team works got us recognised from the start,” he adds.


River Willow, Fernside, Canterbury


As well as residential jobs, the team also works on larger commercial and civil projects. These recently include the Avon River Precinct, the Kaiapoi Riverside walkway and pathways and road crossings outside Rolleston Health Hub, as well as subdivision work with Blakely Construction and the new Kaianga Ora Housing with Consortium.

Visit Dragon Stone Paving on facebook for amazing before and afters and to see the team at work. To discuss your project, phone Lee on 021 292 2335 or email



Go to the louvre: Louvre Solutions

Autumn is fast running into winter with its cool, short days and long nights. You are looking at your outdoor area and thinking “It’s goodbye to sitting out here for a few months. Inside is where I am going to be.” But that does not have to be the case. A solution to extending your outdoor living experience throughout the winter lies in adding a louvre roof to your home.



You might think that now would not be a good time to be installing a louvre roof. Not true.

It’s actually perfect, because even in the cold of winter Louvre Solutions can create an expansive outdoor space that can be enjoyed all year round. But as they say: “That’s not all.”

These roof systems are fully customisable with heating, lighting and ventilation as well as integrated pull-down side screens.

They also come standard with a rain sensor, which allows the roof to close automatically in the rain. Add that package together and you have the ideal environment for winter entertaining, relaxing or simply enjoying not being cooped up indoors.

For more than 17 years Craig Rogers, owner of Louvre Solutions, has been advising customers all over the country about the right roof for their environment.

He knows what works and what doesn’t, both from a practical and an aesthetic perspective.

It might be a roof over a patio, a spa pool or a deck or even a freestanding feature anywhere on a property. “There are often fine, crisp days in winter when it would be great to be outside,” says Craig, “The protection of a louvre roof can make doing that so much more appealing.”

The company’s louvre systems are manufactured locally in Canterbury at its Rangiora base.

Only high-quality materials are used, from the New Zealand extruded aluminium louvres and fastenings to the motors and controls imported from Europe.

The metal system is stronger and more durable than traditional patio covers and conforms to nearly all wind and snow load requirements. All the company’s louvre roofs come with a 10-year warranty.

What about the expense of such a solid system? “When we first started out,” says Craig, “these premium products were indeed expensive. Not anymore. Now thanks to technological advancements, we can be accessible to markets right across the spectrum, from entry-level properties to high-end architecturally-designed homes.”

Visit the website below for more information or phone 027 535 6286. Apart from Craig, the company has agents in the North Island as well as in Nelson, mid-Canterbury, Wanaka and Queenstown.



Bringing the outdoors in

Now that winter is mere days away, it is an ideal time to introduce the Norwegian philosophy of friluftsliv into your home. The philosophy of embracing the outdoors, friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) is not just about being outside; it is also about bringing nature indoors to the lounge, bathroom and even the bedroom.



Whereas hygge is all about comfort, friluftsliv is about communing with nature in your own home, especially when it is too cold to go outdoors. Of course, there is nothing to stop you going outdoors either and experiencing the fullness of the philosophy.

For those like me who like to stay cosy and dry with the occasional snowy sojourn, friluftsliv is perfect. At the heart of the philosophy is the belief that one should in some way, connect with nature every single day, no matter if it is raining sideways or snowing or bitterly cold.

Greening your interior is one way to achieve this. The world has such a rich and diverse range of plants, flowers, nature and wildlife that it is easy enough to create an indoor garden, even if it is just a few house plants. Group them together for effect or scatter them around the home.

Add a few strings of fairy lights indoors and create your own green grotto. Stringing lights along balconies and up patio pillars can transform any area into a setting to be enjoyed day and night.

Hanging baskets, herb pots on windowsills and even purpose-built kitchen gardens are all ways to go green. Anyone with a biophilic home design is more than halfway there!

Adding rustic elements such as twig trees, seashells, rocks and driftwood are other ways to bring nature inside to be enjoyed.

Your bedroom can easily transform to surround you with nature. Think about hanging a scenic painting – a landscape, a seascape or even a moonscape – -and look to a natural colour palette. Invite natural light in, add a few potted plants and think about mirror placement to reflect greenery.



The greatest outdoors

A wedding reception usually makes up bulk of the big day, so it is no wonder the care and consideration which goes into planning this part of the celebrations. If your reception is going to be outdoors, here are some ideas to help set the scene.



No matter how outdoors a wedding reception is, many couples opt for some kind of roof just in case. And these come in the forms of marquees. Designs in recent years have included contemporary clear, bohemian giant teepee-style as well as repurposing less temporary structures like old barns or woolsheds.

While the bridal party take photos and guests are left to their own devices, add a fun element to the afternoon with some lawn games. From croquet to pétanque, corn hole, kubb, giant Jenga and ring toss – there is nothing like having some competitive fun in the afternoon sun. Especially if there is some music, canapés and champagne involved, too. You can even make them yourself!

Festoon, fairy, chandeliers, and lanterns – ideas for creating a romantic glow when the sun goes down can be as endless as your imagination. While candles create the ultimate atmosphere, these come with obvious caveats (wind, hazard), but many electric options mimic the desired soft glow and can be hung from trees, tents or poles for height, or arranged as part of table centrepieces.

A seated dinner of course provides tables and chairs for guests to rest and soak in the speeches and their table’s company, but pre- and post-meal it can be a convenient (and cute) idea to create seating zones. From antique-style furniture, to hay bales and bean bags – get creative to create interesting chillout zones.


The great outdoors

Just because the cooler days of autumn are closing in, doesn’t mean that you have to. Make the most of your outdoor area this season (and all seasons), whether you’re adding that extra bit of warmth with an added layer or a pop of colour, Metropol has got you covered so you can enjoy the great outdoors year-round.


BoConcept Rome Outdoor Sofa



There is nothing quite like wrapping yourself up in a snuggly throw as a way to cut through the cold. A hot tip; have a blanket basket by the door to the outdoor area. That way dirt and leaves aren’t dragged inside.

Bunnings Warehouse Fiammetta Matt Black Outdoor Area Gas Heater


Urban Eden & Co Love Boat Trio – Fog Grey, Pink Lemonade, Hot Mustard

Adding warmth doesn’t have to resort to heat. Often what makes you feel cosy inside is the aesthetic of a room. Pops of colour can come in the form of planters, cushions, garden features and even lights.

Urban Eden & Co White Vertical Garden

But naturally if there is a bit of chill in the air, sitting outside will be made a whole lot easier with heating. Gas fires and fire pits are an awesome autumn edition. Not to mention, toasting marshmallows always goes down a treat.


Sheridan Naville Mango Throw


Pillow Talk Molly Candle Holder


Edible landscaping

Take your landscaping a step further by giving it an edible twist. A boost for your palate as well as Mother Nature’s, this flavourful endeavour will brighten up any space. Here are Metropol’s tips to incorporate edible plants into shaping your outdoor spaces.



Herbs don’t just give any recipe an edge – they can give your garden beds one, too. Lavender looks lovely lining any garden or path, and onions, garlic and chives can be planted as edging to protect other edibles from hungry birds and animals.

Fruit trees look stunning in every landscape. Supposedly nothing tastes better than the fruits of your labour, but just make sure you monitor excess fruit to keep hungry rodents and possums at bay. We especially love the look of an immaculately groomed citrus tree – and not just for the G&Ts.

If you’re using trellis to adorn a wall or to create a pergola or space divider, add interest and function with tasty additions. Runner beans and nasturtiums both have eye-catching blooms and enjoy a climb. The leaves of beans are also more attractive to pests than the veges – win, win!

Pansies and calendulas make beautiful touches to your landscape and can be added to your cooking in the way of salads and baked goods. Plant in garden beds, pots of hanging baskets – and then pluck away to garnish your meals.


Wicker-ed Furniture: WovenVeranda

Cirebon is situated about 250km east of Jakarta, Indonesia and has become a bit of a superstar in the world of outdoor furniture. Establishing itself as the rattan trade centre and manufacturer over time, it is here that WovenVeranda products begin their lifecycle before ending up on the shores of little old New Zealand.



All products are expertly completed by hand. The range can be used for both indoor and outdoor settings, and features natural fibres like rattan wicker alongside reputable and sought-after synthetic options, too.

The polycarbon strands are woven upon commercial grade aluminium framing and manufactured specifically to cope with New Zealand’s harsh and varied weather conditions, from high UV rays to extreme cold. Topped with sumptuous cushions that are, quite literally, made for lounging.

Sales Administrator Lisa Lloyd-Thwaites says many customers return to WovenVeranda to add to their collections, or refer family and friends.

“It is the highest compliment to our products and service when we have returning customers, or they refer their friends and family,” she says.

WovenVeranda also wanted to take the time to thank customers that have been loyal and patient during the uncertain times that the last year brought with it.

But one thing that has remained is the support of the community who believes the product is worth waiting for!

Does outdoor furniture sound like it would be a wicker(ed) addition to your home? Visit the Old School Collective on Main North Road in Waikuku.

Or get in contact directly on (03) 423 3133 or email


Portable outdoor comforts

A day at the beach, picnic in the garden or weekend at the bach can be made ever more enjoyable with some simple comforts. Here are Metropol’s picks of portable outdoor furniture to help you chase the last of the summer days.

Read, socialise and sunbathe on a cosy bean bag. Citta Bean Bag in Moss


Serve up picturesque cuisine and libations on an outdoor ottoman. OZ Design Furniture Water Hyacinth Ottoman


A snuggly rug for picnics, and when the temperature drops. Tolly McRae Merino Wool Throw


An umbrella to shield those sunny rays. Mocka Classic Black Beach Umbrella



Outdoor entertaining, covered: Louvre Solutions

Being sun smart takes on a new meaning with louvre roofs, the modern way to maximise your outdoor living in any season. And with Louvre Solutions, your summer al fresco living doesn’t have to end with the season.



Summer is undoubtedly the social season – enjoying chilled drinks and hot barbecues with friends and family in gardens, poolside and on decks and patios.

These outdoor spaces become extensions of our indoor living areas, and when maximised can keep providing living space whatever the weather (and temperature).

Louvre Solutions specialises in exactly that: Creating custom outdoor spaces which suit your home, lifestyle and budget. Owner Craig Rogers knows how to create the perfect outdoor space – he’s been designing, manufacturing and installing louvre products for 16 years.

“Whether entertaining, relaxing, or simply expanding your indoor area, we can bring your ultimate outdoor environment to fruition,” he says.

The louvres move at your command to allow full sunshine, to filter shade or to provide solid rain protection.

Or, how about a rain-censored louvre roof, complete with options such as pull-down or motorized side screens, LED lighting, and heat lamps.

“Our roofs are waterproof and you will no longer need to cover your outdoor furniture, BBQ’s and upholstery as they will be protected from the harsh New Zealand elements.”

The systems not only conform to all wind and snow load requirements but the louvres look slick and integrate flawlessly into any architectural style, and can be added during a new build or during renovations.

“Louvre Solutions’ louvre systems are manufactured with quality elements, precision engineering and aesthetic options to realise your vision of the ultimate outdoor space,” says Craig.

Louvre Solutions manufactures its louvres from 100% recyclable extruded aluminium which offers greater durability than traditional patio covers. Unlike plastic or fabric, these components will outperform in heat, wind and rain.

“Due to the evolution of systems and keeping our manufacturing process and resourcing local we are able to offer a premium product at an affordable cost.”

Craig and his team pride themselves on their burgeoning portfolio of repeat and referred business generated through word of mouth, independent builders, architects, landscape architects and building companies.

Louvre Solutions manufactures its products at its Canterbury-based factory.

A louvre roof can be ready for installation within four to six weeks.

Visit for more information or contact Craig on 027 5356 286.