During the summer, your outdoor space can become an extension of your home, our outdoor areas can give you the perfect space for entertaining, relaxing with friends and family and to relax and unwind.
So where do you start? Good question.
First Let’s also talk about picking a design and furniture that lasts, as we all know Summer doesn’t last forever. So, it’s important to pick furniture that does well in all seasons as well as can be stored easily. Garden furniture is an investment, so choose pieces that are timeless rather than following trends. If you want to give your outdoor oasis an ‘on-trend’ look, cushions and throws can be easily changed without a huge cost.
It’s also worth considering the direction your garden is facing, as it will have a big impact on what works best and when. A North facing garden is usually in shade for most of the day but you may get some sunlight in the morning or evening. A South facing garden will be sunny, with less shade than gardens with other aspects. East facing tends to get more sun in the morning and West facing in the afternoon. So if you want to enjoy your morning coffee in the sun or throw an alfresco dinner party, planning your furniture layout around this is key.
Outdoor spaces are usually surrounded by some greenery; grass, trees or flowers. Even with smaller spaces such as balconies and patios the colour scheme needs to be thought of well before throwing in the full rainbow. When it comes to choosing your colour scheme, the colour wheel is a really useful tool to create a harmony between the plants and flowers you have and the colours you bring in with furniture and accessories. Complementary colours (colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel) will bring the best out in each colour or choosing colours from either the cool or warm side of the wheel can create a real sense of harmony within your outdoor oasis. You can check our Pinterest here for examples and inspiration.
As an extension of your home, our outdoor areas can give you the perfect space for entertaining, relaxing with friends and family and to relax and unwind.
We asked one of our RoomLab designers, Nicole, for some tips on what to think about when planning your outdoor area to make an outdoor oasis, no matter where you live.
Choosing outdoor furniture for your space…
- Choose the right furniture for your space. It seems obvious but smaller patios and balconies will quickly start to look very crowded if you introduce too much furniture. Think about a small bistro table & chairs, a couple of lounge chairs with a side table, or floor cushions for these smaller areas and stick to furniture that looks lighter and isn’t too overbearing.
- Just as you’d plan an interior layout, you should do the same for your outdoor space. Measure the furniture you want to include and the size of your outdoor space to make sure it all fits perfectly.
- For bigger spaces, I would recommend zoning different areas for different tasks: Alfresco dining would be an essential place to start and if you have the space, an area to relax with a sofa and armchairs set around a table will make it feel like an alfresco living room. Keep in mind the flow of the space and don’t block walkways or circulation routes, you don’t want to be moving sofas or chairs to access the garden.
- Working from home has become such a normality for us all and I really enjoy being able to work outside when the sun is shining! If you have the space, try to carve out an area for you to work from. If you can, you can set up your own little area or work on your alfresco dining table and having some shade helps when you are on a screen.
- Outdoor spaces really sing when they have lots of textures and layers: cushions and throws are a great way to build this up and keep you warm and cosy in the evening. I would always start with a colour scheme or choose a single colour or use the colour wheel then add different textures and patterns from there, just make sure the fabrics are going to be hardwearing and withstand the outdoors.
- Finally, lighting is so important in any space so it’s really worth considering outdoors too. You can bring a lovely atmosphere to a dining table with candles and battery operated lights of an evening and placing lighting in trees and around the garden always looks so magical.