Summer is literally right around the corner (although here in Ireland you’d hardly know it), but nevertheless I thought a post about how to sort out your outdoor space would come in handy for all that summer entertaining we all plan to do when the weather heats up a little.
For those of us who live in towns and cities, outdoor space comes at a premium and often we can struggle trying to make the most of what space we have. However, whether it’s a square of decking, a few slabs of patio or a patch of grass that you have, these styling ideas will be sure to inspire you to make that space a wonderfully inviting and functional area.
Image source: Sugar & Charm
In a small backyard or patio, make full use of a corner space by a shady wall or fence by creating a cosy nook with a couple of chairs or a bench and small table. Up the cosy factor further by scattering a few cushions and a wool blanket for wrapping around your shoulders when the sun goes down. I adore this setup with the basket of hydrangeas, soft lighting and accents of grey and cream against the weathered decking. It exudes a certain laid-back French charm – a look that always wins in my opinion! The current pastels trend for this summer would also work very effectively in this setting. Pick up a similar printed cushion here and for large wicker baskets, try here.
I love the bright Moroccan inspired cushions on the corner seating above, isn’t this such a simple idea for creating a social area around a centre focal point (the fire pit) to be enjoyed on a cool summer’s evening? For a range of fire pits browse here.
Equally, a monochrome theme works well in an outdoor setting, giving a stronger, more edgy look. I like the way the plants have been arranged at different heights for visual appeal and the simple green and white plantings sit easily alongside the neutral backdrop provided by the monochrome pieces. White flowers also illuminate beautifully in the evening light so they’re perfect for outdoors!
Image source: Design Sponge
If your yard is a long and narrow strip, set a bench or picnic table along the length of a wall and use the opposite space to plant greenery vertically up a fence or on raised beds further along. I think the setup above has created a lovely al fresco eating space and with raised vegetable plantings it really makes for a truly multi-functional space. Drape a string of outdoor bulbs in a criss cross along the length of the yard to further enhance the ambience.
Image source: Indulgy.com
Stacking some raised vegetable beds against a sunny wall makes for a practical and efficient employment of limited outdoor space. Plant out herbs or salad leaves for a continuous culinary supply!
Image sources: Unknown (top) / Yellow Bliss Road (bottom)
In a small garden or backyard, creating a focal point will bring the eye away from the outer boundaries of the space, giving the impression that you have more garden rather than less. I love the little Buddha statue happily tucked amongst the Japanese maple and ornamental grasses. This look could be produced on a smaller scale with just as impressive an effect. Try planting some grasses and dwarf trees in big pots instead. Or what about making a piece of beloved furniture your focal interest? I am loving this aqua blue table set in a tight patio corner but proving that small doesn’t mean insignificant! Find old benches or desks at auctions or charity shops and make them your own with a lick of brightly coloured paint.
Other focal points to make could be a brightly painted wooden door or gateway, a small water feature or a plant that offers visual interest throughout the year, such as the maple tree above. Just remember that too many focal points will confuse and impede the effect you’re trying to achieve – less is more! This online guide is pretty informative.
Your outdoor space should effectively be an extension of your home and so the style you choose for it will reflect that seen indoors too. Creating separate functional zones in your yard or garden will make the space infinitely more useable, seem larger and make you actually want to spend some time outside enjoying it – because that’s the whole point isn’t it? Bring on summer!
What ways have you developed your own outdoor space creatively? Do share!