With warmer weather upon us it is time to lush up our gardens and balconies to create somewhere truly chic so we can make the most of the glorious weather. Like all the best indoor spaces, great outdoor areas are layered, textured and full of personality that hit the sweet spot of function and style. In other words, It’s going to take slightly more effort than dragging an outdoor dining setting out and calling it a day! But with a few pro design tips you can nail outdoor styling to really elevate that outdoor dining set and give you all the alfresco feels. Let’s explore the ways we can bring the indoors outdoors to pull together a space that really sings.
1. Floor, Walls, Ceiling
Just as with interiors, it’s a good idea to start from the ground up – in this case quite literally – when designing your outdoor area. A weather resistant outdoor rug is the starting point that will define your area and, with plenty of options to choose from, you are sure to be able to find a rug (or rugs, for the boho aficionados) to mirror your interior décor style. Next, introduce some artwork to really up your style ante. Make a feature of even the blankest walls and hide all manner of manner of sins with a gorgeous screen or weather resistant artwork. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a generous outdoor space, a large-scale panel works to zone your outdoor entertaining area from other elements of your garden. As for the ‘ceiling’? For those transforming a balcony or patio, consider some ambient overhead lighting or even a dramatic chandelier. If you are styling up a luxe outdoor space, an umbrella will protect you from the sun’s rays and can be easily moved so you can enjoy the starry skies above on a fine evening.
2. Getting comfortable with cushions
Just as with the interiors, starting with a neutral palette in your foundation pieces for the outdoors allows you to have fun with your style and inject a major dose of personality through soft furnishings. Cushions punch well above their weight as a décor item, doing double duty by creating cohesion in a look and telling a design story. So whether you are a Hamptons lover, channelling Santorini, coveting a Moroccan garden oasis or anything in between, let your cushions tell the story. And let’s face it, too many cushions are never enough and are key to being comfortable while you wile away the hours chatting with family and friends.
3. Bring the garden even closer
We are talking about an outdoor space here, so introduce some planters. This is an especially good idea if you are working your design magic in an urban setting or balcony. Pair planters in classic shapes for a formal feel that works well in Mediterranean or traditional inspired spaces. A bowl with a rustic limestone finish is a great addition for a more casual resort style garden. For the ultimate entertaining win, consider mixing and matching large planters to create a cocktail garden and plant mint, thyme and other favourites to be sure you are truly entertaining ready.
4. Light and Warmth
What’s to love about a fire pit? Everything! They create a warmth and ambience that just can’t be matched by a heater. As well as providing warmth in cooler weather, fire pits create a focal point for interaction and a strong connection with nature. Modern fire pits are built in clean lines as well as organic forms, built in for seamless integration or sitting above ground. No sparkies needed. Take a leaf from countries with cold climates where it is customary to put blankets out for guests to snuggle up in and relax all year round in your lush outdoor space. Bliss!