Island design: Chill-outs

The difference between a chill-out and an outdoor living room might appear minimal, but for those adroit in local design, the two concepts could not be further apart. An outdoor living room is usually connected to the main house via a porch, patio or deck, whereas a chill-out can be placed anywhere within the property – at the end of the pool, in a secretive corner of the garden or on a rooftop.

The whole point of the enterprise is in the name – to chill out. Obviously, the idea is to be outside but maintain your cool. The fashion of antique pan-Asian huts still works beautifully for the Ibiza climate with rustic wood tones, open walls and thatched roofs. More modern takes on the concept might include re-imagined Roman pillars in smooth concrete draped with flowing cotton curtains to keep out the sun and provide a cocoon of privacy.

Whether you choose a sofa or a day bed, the point is to provide enough space to comfortably stretch out. Chilling out more often than not includes napping, which we all know keeps you looking young. Lots of throw cushions are essential to the ambience as is a low table or a scattering of stools so there’s plenty of spots to rest your cocktail, your book or even your feet.

Take note of the position of your chill-out zone, as making good use of the phases of the sun can really enhance the way you enjoy the space. Consider planting climbing vines to wrap around columns and beams to provide dappled shade and fragrant scent. Night-blooming jasmine makes an evening chill-out even more delightful as the sun sets. If planting directly into the soil is not an option, potted succulents and ferns create a lush green jungle vibe making everything feel cool and fresh.

If you’re lucky enough to feed electricity to your chill-out zone, then you can enjoy the space well into the evening. Subdued lighting supplemented by the flicker of candlelight is inducive to romance and reverie while tuning into your favourite chill-out beats adds an extra layer of joy. The successful chill-out zone encompasses the elements of comfort, utility and the owner’s personality. Get the combination right and you end up creating a whole new room that lasts all summer long.