Top tips on how to create a stylish outdoor living area for the long summer evenings
It seems like every time little bit of sunshine graces us with its presence, everyone goes crazy getting ready for summer! We love preparing ourselves, and our home, for the sunny days and long summer evenings – sunbathing in the early morning, late cocktail evenings with our friends and the unforgettable BBQ parties. When inviting our friends over, admit it, we are all secretly seeking admiring comments on our good-looking exterior design.
You don’t need a great, big swimming pool or a garden twice the size of your living room to enjoy the warm evenings. Whether it is a roof terrace, a deck or a conservatory, make sure you’re ready for this exciting time of the year (and for the chilly evenings, too!)
Options are endless, but these tips will hopefully spark some ideas for you to create whatever design fits your style.
The location of its foundation
If your house didn’t come with a terrace, you might want to build a patio yourself. Bearing in mind that sunbathing takes less surface space than inviting the whole family over, you’ll first need to decide on the patio size. Then it only takes a handful of materials and patience.
Are you lucky enough to have a beautiful, big tree in your backyard? You might want to try constructing a patio next to its trunk so you can enjoy the shade while drinking a cocktail. If there’s nothing to hide behind, and your translucent skin – white from our long winter – is getting scorched by the sun, why not cover the patio or sitting area with a gazebo?
Once you have decided on the concept, it’s time to see it to fruition. To make sure you are well prepared and don’t miss out on anything important, why not do a quick Google search on ‘Build Own Patio’? With millions of results and easy step-by-step videos you’ll guarantee your patio will last for longer than just the summer of 2013!
Keeping warm on chilly evenings
We all know how summer evenings can last till late, and at some point, you loose track of time. But temperatures will drop. A fire place on the deck definitely stimulate the summer-feel and will keep you warm for sure.
If your deck doesn’t allow for a fire place, why not design a conservatory or garden room? With large windows and the doors open, it will feel like you’re sitting outside while giving you the comfort of an indoor room. Accessorise with a wooden radiator, keeping the ‘outdoor oasis’ look consistent and ensuring you stay warm even on chilly evenings and rainy days.
The tables and chairs
Once the summer-sitting-area is agreed upon and built, the fun part begins: choosing the furniture and designing the layout.
Continuing the BBQ excitement – a large dining table accompanied by stylish chairs is what you need. Plus, if you want to enjoy the sunshine while reading your favourite novel, I highly recommend comfortable loungers and a small coffee (or wine!) table in the middle.
As it is for seasonal use only, completely new outdoor furniture sets might be a bit beyond your budget, and deciding to take out the standard plastic chairs from the garage and covering the dirty table with a flowered cloth can be a little less than inspiring. So why not have a look around in second-hand shops? These often have great vintage-look to offer – saving on your budget while hitting a 2013 design trend at the same time.
A Finishing Touch
Having decided on the outdoor area – or inside, garden room alternative – and its accompanying furniture, it’s time to accessorise and colour up! If there isn’t much greenery around, use big plants to accessorise. Fitting them into tiled pots with vivd colours will give your sitting area a bit more personality.
If you opt for multiple colours of flowers and pots, additional colours and patterns can become quite overwhelming. Try to keep your furniture cushions and covers single or neutral coloured, instead of using extra dots and stripes! The result will be an effective contrast between your patterned garden design and a calm patio to relax on after a long day of work.
Add some outdoor lighting as a finishing touch and enjoy evening meals out there too.
The great outdoors
Designing an outdoor space is similar to how we decorate our interior – we build and design according to our preferences and style. Utilise whatever space you have and really make it your own ‘great outdoors’ escape.
Now, time to organise your first outdoor party of the year!
Laura writes for Jaga decorative radiators. When not blogging, she can often be found trying to find time to enjoy her outdoor living space.