Great Outdoor Spaces For Summer

With summer now upon us we all spend more and more time in our gardens or outdoor spaces, so it is important for these spaces to look great and be functional. Also, during the summer months we all tend to have guests over and entertain more so it is key to have a great outside space to entertain in. Whether your outside space is small or large, there is always a way to make the most of it and turn it into something amazing.

Your outdoor space should reflect your personal style and your tastes, the rustic style can work great in an outdoor space. Rustic style tables and chairs are a great idea to create the perfect outdoor seating and dining area. Having different seating options creates a great look indoors and out, try using a selection of chairs and benches to make sure your outdoor space looks more interesting. This way you can also move these around to different areas in your garden or courtyard and they won’t look out of place. If you’re lucky enough to have a built-in canopy, or if you can build one in yourself, then make sure you consider your lighting in these areas. If you can, try and wire in lighting and hang some pendant lights or sconces in this space. It is also important to decorate your dining table just as if it were your normal dining table. Opt for some more colourful dining accessories and include vases with some seasonal flowers or greenery in, just to tie the whole look together.

Again, if you’re lucky enough to have a built-in canopy then you should definitely embrace it. Try hanging fairy lights from the top of your canopy so that you can enjoy your outside space during the day and at night. So, when those summer barbeques turn into late nights, you can still enjoy the warm summer evenings. It is also a nice idea to have a range of different seating areas in your outdoor space. Although it is great to have a large outdoor dining area, it is useful to also have a smaller seating area for when there are less people or just as a nice spot to enjoy a coffee on a warm summer morning. If you are working with a tiled or patio space, then try incorporating in some potted plants to give the space some more colour. You can have large pots on the floor and smaller pots on shelves or even hanging up from the wall or a canopy.

Maybe you have a small outdoor area or a courtyard instead of a garden, but you can still create something really special for your outside space. If you have a smaller area then try not to add too much furniture to save on ground space when it comes to entertaining. It is a good idea to have some open doors onto your courtyard so that your guests can spill out onto the outside space. If you do want some seating, then try and include a small table & chairs and/or a small bench tucked away at the side the courtyard. This way, when you’re not entertaining, you have a quiet spot to sit outside and the perfect place to have a sunny breakfast or an evening drink whilst you watch the sun go down. With a smaller space, you may also want to create a look which is a lot more modern; if you have decking or a patio courtyard for instance then this will be really easy to do. With a courtyard, you will need to try and inject some greenery as usually you won’t have a grass area or many plants. You can decorate with potted plants in large, modern pots to tie the whole look together.

If you have a larger space, it is good to have a covered area as an addition to you space. During the summer months, it is ideal to have a covered area in your garden so you have a space to cool down and get some shade on those really hot days. You can also combine styles just like you can indoors, that’s what’s great about interior design. Mixing rustic accessories and natural elements with modern pieces can create a really on-trend outdoor look. Again, overhead lights, soft furnishings, potted plants, tables, chairs and other accessories will bring an outdoor look together and create a really affective outside space. Outdoor rugs or titled flooring can also be a great look in your outdoor space, this will add some different texture and colour too.

If you live in the UK like me, you’ll know that beautiful sunny days can turn into rather chilly nights. Because of this, it is key to have some items on deck to keep you warm when you want to enjoy those summer nights. Comfy cushions and blankets are a great thing to stack up on your outdoor seating for your guests and yourself when it gets a bit nippy at night. Another great element to have in your outdoor space is a fire pit or patio heater. This will again keep you warm when the sun goes down and will even create a central point on your patio. You can even have a built-in fire pit with built-in seating surrounding it, this will give you a great chill out zone for the summer and give your guests a focused area to sit around in the evenings.

Small gardens, courtyards or balconies are much more intimate and can be trickier to know how to decorate. Again, try to limit your furniture so you don’t take up too much space and make your outdoor area too cluttered. There are lots of things you can do in a small space to make it look great without taking up too much room. Try and accommodate seating options for a few people and a table where you can set down drinks and place accessories. If you are worried about not having any shaded space, try a large umbrella or a fabric canopy that you can hang across your courtyard to give you some shaded space. As always, you will want some lighting for your space for evening/night time, so fairy lights and lanterns are a great addition to a small space. These can be hung up on walls or hung over the top of your space and they won’t take up any space on the floor or on top of your tables. Hanging plants is also a great way free up space on your floors, if you don’t have flower beds then always go for potted plants or buy huge plant pots and plant a range of smaller flowers in one pot. This is a great alternative when you don’t have any other space for planting. You can also include accessories such as candles and holders, throw cushions and vases, etc.

Plants and flowers are a great way to add colour to your garden or outdoor space, but there are other ways to incorporate more unconventional colours too. Tiling works great in a garden space and you can create a great seating area that is different to a conventional patio area. You can then match any colourful tiling with your accessories; thrown cushions, blankets and pots are a great way to do this. It is also a good idea to try and accessorise with items that match your natural colour palette. Try and reflect the greens, browns and neutral colours in these, think wooden tables and wicker baskets. Again, go for large potted plants on a patio/tiled surface to keep the garden look harmonious throughout.

If you are someone who entertains often and likes to entertain in your garden, then it is key to have plenty of seating options. Aside from having a dining space, it’s a great idea to have secondary spaces to sit when you want to relax or have a drink, or for when you have guests over and need extra seating. If you are struggling for seating space for these events, get yourself some fold way deck chairs that can be stored away for when you don’t need then. Then for even more seating space, grab yourself some outdoor blankets or rugs and some large garden cushions for floor seating space for when your guests want to just chill out in the sunshine.

There are so many great things you can do in an outdoor space and many elements in this blog can be merged to create the perfect garden space. I hope this has given you some inspiration for your outdoor spaces to make the most of them this summer.

Until next time!

How to Style- Statement Colour

Following on from last week’s blog, this week we are looking at how to add a statement pop of colour into our interiors. Using one bold colour is a great way to add interest and character into a space, and by sticking to just one colour, it adds to a room without making it look too OTT. We explore some great ways to add in crazy colours and still get the perfect, stylish interiors.

If you can find a colour that you really like, then try out a few pieces that match up well to add some colour in. I can appreciate that committing to a colourful carpet is a little bit crazy and probably won’t give you the look you’re after, but a runner carpet on the stairs may just work. Team it with some small accessories such as lamps, pots or vases and you have a wonderfully harmonious entrance room with a splash of colour to welcome your quests into your home. As long as you keep the rest of the space relatively neutral you can’t really go wrong. You could even add in a small printed rug to jazz it up a little bit more.

I am always up for a little DIY project and if you are too then whip out your paint brush and some bright paint and get creative! Painting small elements in your home can add a unique and interesting look and the more colourful the paint, the more eye-catching these elements will be. Try painting the risers on steps, maybe not a whole staircase but if you have 2 or 3 steps or a raised platform in your home then give this a go. Other great things to try painting are the insides of your bookcases, shelves, door frames or even radiators. And the best thing about trying this out is, if you don’t like it simply paint over it and its gone. Easy peasy.

Now I mention this in a lot of my blogs, but throws, cushions and artwork really are great ways to add colour into your spaces without spending too much and they are super easy to swap and change as your tastes and the trends change. If you want your bedroom or living room to be mainly neutral then get yourself some throw cushions in your favourite colour and you have easy, instant brightness. If you can’t afford to splash out on posh art, look online for colourful prints or even reach for the paint and have a go at creating something yourself. This is a great way to add colour and interest and brighten up your bare walls, and frames or art can be hung in any and every room in the house.

Another easy way you can add in that little pop of colour is to modify small parts of your furniture. Dipped furniture is a trend that seems to be cropping up all over the place recently. Take legs of chairs or even tables that are a neutral or plain colour and ‘dip’ them into colourful paint to create a unique, funky look. I’m sure people don’t really dip their furniture into big pots of paint and instead measure out where they want to paint so it’s symmetrical on each side, but you never know. If you’re not feeling brave enough to throw your furniture into a pot of paint then why not try coloured tape? It gives the same look and effect but without the commitment. If you don’t like it, you change your mind, or you maybe just want to try a new colour, taking off tape is a lot easier than trying to remove paint.

If you can pick a colour that you know you love and won’t get sick of, then why not go big and splash out on a colourful, statement furniture piece. If you keep the rest of your palette neutral, then you’re not limited to what colour you can try out. A colourful piece of furniture is sure to make a statement and be a conversation starter when you have guests visiting. You can then even team it with small accessories in the same colour to bring the whole look together so that the bold colour doesn’t look too out of place. And, if the colour is one that you love then you can rest assured that you’ll love it for years to come.

Again, if you don’t want to go big on new pieces or start painting your expensive furniture, there are lots of other ways to add in some colour. Wall art is always a striking way to add some interest into a space. Whether you want to do a whole mural or even just some small subtle touches there are loads of things you can do. You can drip paint, splash it, use tape to create lines, use stencils and spray paint, anything goes. Design is very expressive, so go bold and do what you think looks good and if you use your favourite colours you’re sure to love it. If you don’t? Just paint over it and have another go!

Why not give a colourful area rug a go? More affordable than new furniture and they usually take up a larger space too to spread a beautiful, bright colour out. Rugs are a must in an interior, as I’m sure we all know, so why not go big and choose one in a bold colour to mix in with a neutral interior. Fabrics are a great way to add in colour and the more vibrant the better in my opinion!

I’m hoping that you’re all going to go away now and add some wonderful statement colours into your homes. And as ever, I hope I have given you the inspiration to do so.

Until next time!