I’m hoping that if you’re not based in the UK this weekend you’ve got much better weather than us! Whilst writing it’s raining and we’ve just had some thunder and lightening… Luckily we did have some glorious sunshine earlier for a few hours either side of more rain. Anyway, enough of the weather chat!
At the moment the weather is really unpredictable and it seems slightly (actually, massively) crazy to be talking about making the most of your outdoor space, but here we are! It is June after all…
The best part of the summer months for me, is being able to open the back doors to the garden and enjoy a cup of tea in the morning. It really is the little things in life that makes all the difference.
So despite the questionable weather in the UK right now, I’ve decided to talk about the Great Outdoors! Because, let’s face it, spending time outside during the summer months is – albeit small – one of life’s luxuries.
It’s funny because a lot of us tend to (brace yourself) neglect our gardens during the winter months. But as soon as the sun makes its first appearance in March time – BOOM – everyone to the Garden Centre! To try and rectify the situation…
But what exactly makes a garden or outdoor space truly great?
Let’s have a look at the key factors that make any outdoor space amazing! I’ve also rounded up some of the best products on the market right now that your garden definitely needs…
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Bringing the Inside Out
Let’s start with the main aim of your outdoor space. Generally speaking, any outdoor space to a house will be a similar footprint to the house itself. Therefore this should by default be a key area of focus for any homeowner.
As Interior Designers, we often intend to bring the outdoors in, but when the summer months come around, we need to think a little differently.
The outdoors can be just as important as the interior when it comes to a redesign. The outdoor space you have should be an extension of your interior.
Essentially, this means creating a cosy atmosphere, even outside. Many people think that this is extremely difficult – and it can be – however there are a couple of areas to focus on which makes all the difference.
The first area to Creating the cosiest outdoor space is of course the outdoor seating. Many companies are offering living room esque setups for the garden which is the perfect place to start.
Of course this does all depend on the size of space you have available to use for the furniture but there is something for everyone. Making sure you have a patio or decking area first and foremost, measure the space and ensure you don’t over-furnish the area.
Here are some of my favourite outdoor seating setups…
Once you’ve decided on the outdoor furniture for your space, the next step in creating a cosy environment is both the accessories and decorative lighting.
Perfect for those warm summer’s evenings; outdoor lanterns, fairy lights and candle holders helps to create a homely feel outside.
For your outdoor furniture, you may want to consider purchasing cushions specifically designed for using outside. These are often made in thicker and more practical fabrics which can be wiped down far easier than many other indoor cushions.
Let it Bloom
This might seem like the most obvious aspect to an outdoor space, but so often this gets overlooked! You must allow your plants to bloom beautifully in the right environment.
For a garden (big or small), you can combine potted plants / flowers with bedded shrubbery.
Always read up on the plants or flowers you are looking to purchase for your garden and make sure you have a suitable place for them! Some may only need partial direct sunlight whereas others will need shade and sometimes a few will need direct sunlight.
However should you have a smaller more courtyard style or even a balcony for outdoor space, you may opt for more pots and planters than anything else. This will enable you to maximise the total floor space outside for furniture etc.
The Finest Entertaining
Creating a cosy outdoor space is one thing, but making sure it’s also “guest ready” is another! If you’re anything like me, and become more of a social butterfly come the summer months, you’ll be looking to make sure your outdoor space is as fun as it can be for your family and friends.
My absolute favourite thing about the summer is the BBQs that get put on. It brings so many people together and everyone is happy to be out enjoying the good weather with some great food.
If you really want to splash out with your outside space this year, consider adding a fire pit of sorts… It doesn’t need to be massive, but by putting one of these in the central point to your outdoor seating area, it creates an even cosier area during the summer evenings. It’s fun, warming and extremely sociable.
Tending to Your Outdoors
Now that you’ve got your outdoor space looking amazing, you’ll want to keep it looking that way! And this means you will need to tend to it in one way or the other.
Whether that’s making sure you have the right furniture covers, a cover for the BBQ or space to store your new pieces, you’ll want to be able to bring them out year after year.
Another important area to tend to are the plants you’ve newly planted and potted! Of course this all depends on the type and species of plants or flowers you have planted, but there will need to be some consideration to the upkeep of them.
For example, the shrubbery you may have put in can go for months on end once it’s settled into the soil but will need cutting back to keep their shape. Make sure whatever you have planted you water them often during the warm summer months!
I hope this post has given you some inspiration as to how you can make your outdoor space great for the summer months this year! How do you like to maintain your garden?
I’d love to know how you like to make your outdoor space feel cosy and practical in the comments below!