With the weather in the UK changing and our summers predicted to get hotter and last longer, the desire to have an outdoor living space with all the comforts you enjoy indoors is an interior trend that is becoming increasingly popular. Whether you have a large garden, a tiny courtyard or somewhere in between, read on for tips on how to design a welcoming and comfortable outdoor living space.
Think about function
Before you can design your outside space, you need to consider what function it will have. Ask yourself if you plan to use the space for simply relaxing in, or would you like an area where you can entertain with a space for alfresco dining? Perhaps you want a space that will offer you both options - one for outdoor dining furniture and also some more casual seating?
A great design tip that works well for your outdoor space is to take a look at the style you already use inside your home. If one of your rooms open into the garden, then consider carrying the same style from one area to the other. This could help to provide a more cohesive look that will help you extend your indoor living space as well. Think about colours and textures as well as styles of furniture.
Clearly define each area
Having said that, you should also clearly demarcate all of the different areas in your outdoor living space to help establish each area in their own right. This may mean picking a rattan garden corner sofa as part of your seating area and opting for a completely different type of garden dining furniture for the space you have chosen for alfresco dining. Bold coloured planters and different textured foliage offer a great way to clearly separate and zone different areas, giving them each their own individual character.
Consider adding a wall or ceiling
Unfortunately, as we well know, the weather here in the UK doesn’t always play nice so you may want to consider adding some form of canopy or ceiling to your outdoor living space. This will help to protect you against winds and light rains and make your space even more usable, not to mention cosy and inviting. A pergola or canopy is a great way to offer some overhead protection and can add a really visual contrast to your garden. You can also create more natural walls or a “ceiling” with clever use of planting, using small trees, bamboo planting or even some shrubs.
Pick similar furniture to inside your home
Just as you did when you thought about the style of your outdoor area, when it comes to picking the type of garden furniture, pick the same type of furniture you like the most indoors and use this as a base for your outside space. An ideal choice could be a garden dining table that echoes the same style you have chosen for your dining room. For example, if you have an industrial dining table, pick an outdoor dining table or outdoor chairs with dark metal detailing, such as our Poole Outdoor Dining Table and Poole Outdoor Dining Chair. You could also use outdoor lounge chairs and add bright coloured cushions that bring the same colour scheme of your living room into the garden.
Lighting and heating
One final thing to consider to complete your outside space is the addition of some lighting and heating. These will make it easier to use your outside space for longer on warm evenings when the natural light fades and of course on lighter evenings when it gets cooler. Whilst candles might seem like a good option it only takes a light breeze to be constantly relighting them - it is much better to go for something like solar lighting which will be safe and more effective beside your rattan garden set.