Restyling your outside space?
Take inspiration from inside
Garden decor is now being influenced, like never before, by the inside of our homes.
Outdoor entertaining is ramping up along with the temperature outside. Garden decor is now being influenced, like never before, by the inside of our homes. Indeed, some of the best garden furniture ideas are taken from indoors – from seating and lighting to decorative accessories.
Whether you’re on a stylish terrace in the city or the leafy garden of a country farmhouse, here’s how to get your outdoor spaces looking shipshape for some well-deserved fun times.
Sofas are now commonplace in many gardens. Rattan garden sofas and low-level tables are helpfully weather resistant and available in mix-and-match colours from the traditional natural hues to greys, greens and more.
For a more formal seating area, you can choose dining tables and chairs or benches in modern, rustic, farmhouse, or traditional style to co-ordinate with your overall aesthetic that will help keep the outdoors connected to the rest of the home.
It’s the accessories that really provide the comfort for outdoor decor. Beautiful outdoor cushions will enhance the luxurious feel of your garden and nowadays there’s far more choice in terms of designs, which are often available as indoor or showerproof outdoor versions.
Throws are another great garden design idea taken straight from interior style. For extra comfort place a throw or a blanket on each garden chair to inject colour but also add warmth on cooler evenings. Throws aren’t weatherproof of course, so they'll need to be taken inside unlike outdoor furniture and cushions which can stay outdoors all summer.
Dressing your table is an important business, as much in the garden as it is indoors. Whether it’s a casual low-level table or a more formal dining table you can go to town with ‘tablescaping’. Bamboo tableware is less likely to break than ceramic – and also kinder to the environment than using disposable plates. There are some stylish designs to be found online. Natural placemats will fit nicely into an outdoor scheme – think seagrass or jute. You can use colourful glassware to add colour to the table.
Lighten the mood
Clever lighting will transform the setting of your gathering. Try a string of weatherproof lantern lights that can be hung along a wall or used with tall crooks to hang around or over the table.
Lanterns can also fit nicely into house and garden design. Alternatively, you can buy battery-powered table lamps which means they can be brought into the garden and used as you would in a dining room. Be sure to charge the batteries before entertaining so they don’t run out when the sun goes down.
One way to add a homely feel to your garden – and blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living – is with a rug. Laid on top of paving slabs or decking rather than on the lawn, a rug can add colour and cosiness. Keep an eye out for waterproof outdoor rugs designed specifically for gardens, especially those made from recycled plastic if you want to support reusing materials. You can choose a bold print in bright colours or a natural look with earthy tones.
An outdoor heater, firepit or brazier can extend time in the garden – and add to your lighting and ambience too. They can come in stylish designs that act as a secondary focal point to the seating area.
Al fresco cooking
Cooking outside will allow you to spend more time with your guests. You might prefer the convenience of a gas grill. Though those with larger budgets might splash out on a dining table with a built-in firepit where you can cook for guests. Some allow you to simply add a griddle and use the fire as a mini-BBQ.
An outdoor bar
Make room on your patio for a bar trolley to house drinks and snacks. You can choose from a sleek metallic design or opt for wood or rattan to blend into the natural surroundings of your garden. Finding one on wheels means you can easily transport it from inside to out if you need to.
For the more serious mixologists among us, it might be worth adding a built-in garden bar. A covered or partially covered space is a good idea to give you protection from the elements.
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