With summer practically on our doorsteps (even though in the UK that doesn’t necessarily guarantee weeks of glorious sun), I thought I’d share this post with you today all about ways to style your outdoor space to make it a perfect spot for some summer entertaining.
I think many people, like me, jump at the first signs of a clear sky and slightly above sub zero temperatures and get the sudden urge to transform the garden into a paradise of curated loveliness! The great thing about the warmer months is that your garden space can become an extension of your home providing, in a sense, another room to be used. With this is mind, use a similar colour palette to create flow and cohesion from the inside out. Using textiles is a great way of injecting colour and texture to your space making it feel like a real extension of the inside. Comfy cushions and cosy blankets are a necessity for snuggling up in the evenings. Outdoor rugs are also a really popular way to create a designated zone in your garden to make the space feel purposeful. Again this use of texture also transitions the indoors out (ps have you ever thought about using indoor rugs inside?! I’ll cover this another day but they are super durable and also half the price of most indoor rugs).
Lighting (for those of you who don’t know this is one of my favourite topics of all time) should be used as you would indoors. Obviously lighting outdoors is even more important in order to achieve a cosy feel, use lighting at different levels and accentuate features by lighting up trees, this is always an effective look. But don’t forget more simplistic solutions such as using fairy lights or lanterns, these will instantly make your space inviting.
Don’t feel restricted by a small space, small gardens can actually be a lot easier to style as making them feel cosy and informal requires much less accessorising. Utilise the space you have, if there is a lack of seating use flexible options such as floor cushions, these are also a great alternative to using lots of heavy overpowering furniture. Use seating as you would indoors, and arrange it in a circle to encourage conversation between guests making it easy for everyone to socialise.
If your garden space includes an outdoor table then accessorise it up with as much glitz and glamour as you would your dining table. Use soft fabrics, twinkly lights, glowing candles and colourful tableware to style up a summer’s evening dinner party or BBQ. Pinterest has a whole wealth of inspiration (trust me you’ll be scrolling for hours), like using eucalyptus or small bunches of wild flowers dotted along a hessian table runner for a natural vibe.
Plants are a bit of a given in adding vibrancy to the outdoors, make sure you have a good variety from small potted plants or herbs to larger trees to create texture, height and colour. I love to paint fence panels in a dark blue/black colour (such as the aptly named F&B Black Blue) You can also use plants to act as cornerstones for different areas of your garden, similarly to using a rug this will section off zones giving them purpose.
The best advice for outdoor styling is to use what you have and make the space personal to you, using eclectic and unusual pieces to keep it informal. Consider if you use the area for dining, casual socialising, BBQ-ing, sunbathing, sipping on a G&T (or three) or all of the above? Whichever applies to you, make your space work effectively for you and treat it with the same care and thought as you would a room inside. And finally, before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s always wise to consider some form of shelter, whether that be a sun sail or simply a parasol to provide a little bit of protection from spots of rain (or the heat of the afternoon sun if we’re being optimistic). I don’t know about you but I CAN’T WAIT for the summer months, more outside dining, evenings walks and lots of Pimms. The Cotswolds really does lend itself to the warmer weather and definitely makes me appreciate where we live!