Alfresco Summer Living | Turning an Outside Space into a Cosy Sanctuary

Summer is the perfect time to start considering your outdoor space. Whether you have a small balcony or a huge garden, make sure that your design flows from the interior of your home to the exterior. Use modern colours, patterns and greenery to create an inviting atmosphere for you and your guests. Let us help you get started on creating the perfect summer sanctuary!

Seating & Dining Areas

Firstly, it’s important to address your seating and dining areas. In some cases this area could be one in the same. There is an array of furniture available from rattan to wooden brushed metal so pick a style that suits you and then begin to create the cosiness with the smaller details of soft furnishings and accessories.

Scale

One thing that some can get wrong when styling their outdoor space is scale. You need to make sure that the plans you have are at the right scale for the outdoor space you have. The furniture and accessories should not overwhelm a small place and be large enough to fill a more vast area without looking lost.

Accessories

If you have a large area you will have the option of being able to accessorise with fire pits, pergolas, outdoor heaters, egg chairs, outdoor kitchens, bars… the possibilities are endless nowadays! A lot of outdoor spaces can look just as decorated and styled as indoor areas and this stems from an increase in time spent at home over the past few years. Covid-19 saw people having to stay pretty much within their own 4 walls for a long period of time (certainly longer than we were all used to). There was a surge in utilising all of the space that people had within their homes, inside and out, making comfortable and cosy areas for relaxing, unwinding and even entertaining. Creative Manager, Jane Grasier said;

“Many people now have bars, barbeque areas, kitchens and lounge areas in their gardens, it’s becoming quite sophisticated!”

Lighting

Lighting can really make a difference when creating a cosy ambience especially in the evenings. From lanterns to fairy lights, candles to LEDs, there’s a whole range of options available to create an atmosphere. Soft lighting from lanterns and candles is great for a relaxed and cosy vibe whereas LED’s can get people in a more lively party mood.

Soft Furnishings

Soft furnishings are key to creating a stylish and desirable alfresco space. They really create that outdoor living vibe. Cushions, soft seating, rugs, throws and blankets add the illusion of having an additional room (or rooms) to the home essentially. All the creature comforts that were once housed within the main living areas of a home are slowly making their way outside, even down to outdoor kitchens and projector screens! And it’s becoming more and more acceptable and dare we say preferable to stay home and entertain. Sales Manager, Sarah Cave said;

“Last summer most of our outings were to our friend’s gardens rather than dining out at a restaurant or going to a bar in the evening. I think the thing is, with covid and the change in lifestyle over the past couple of years, people have realised that they can actually have a good time at their house so they’re inclined to stay in rather than going out”

Nature

The pandemic actually accentuated a lot of love for nature as well. People are starting to understand how nature and having birds, bees, beautiful trees and plants around you is important for your wellbeing. Taking ourselves back to enjoy the more simple things, like being outside in the fresh air with nature has become a way of escapism.

Including different plants, herbs, flowers etc within your outdoor space is certainly recommended to create that sense of wellbeing and allowing you even just for a moment to escape the everyday. Some people even choose to decorate with plants now which before may have just been a herb garden on a kitchen windowsill but nowadays plants can be a key part of design.

Outdoor living spaces have come a long way in the past few years. No longer are they just an afterthought, featuring perhaps a dining table, chairs and a parasol but rather an essential, functional and beautiful living space within its own right and as part of any home. This is especially apparent with the rise in popularity of bifold doors and other ways to seamlessly merge the indoor and outdoor spaces together, there are now more opportunities than ever before to make the most of your garden or patio.

Because people are looking for new experiences and want to spend more time outdoors, it means that we can be braver with our designs. The increase in awareness of the importance of nature in our mental health and wellbeing means that incorporating plants and natural elements are likely to be more popular than ever before. If you’re thinking about updating your garden this year, why not consider some of these trends?

In this age of digital saturation and stimulation overload, people are increasingly favouring a return to nature within the comfort of their own homes. This trend is reflected in garden design, with an increase in requests for outdoor spaces that feel like extensions of the home, incorporating natural elements such as water features and plants, as well as cosy seating areas and fire pits. If you’re looking to create an inviting outdoor space and spend more time socialising outdoors (and away from screens), consider your interior design style and bring that outside. Use similar colours, patterns and plants to help make the atmosphere flow between inside and out. Make sure to use comfortable furniture and decorate with items you love to truly relax in your alfresco oasis.

As always, if you’d like to discuss how we can help you create your home sanctuary then please contact us.

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