With the festive season upon us, now is the perfect time to prepare your outdoor space for long hot days and nights spent entertaining family and friends.
Just as important is to boost your energy levels and restore everyone at the end of a busy year, by creating your ideal outdoor spaces in which to relax, recharge and reconnect with nature.
We spoke to interior stylist and owner of Dot + Pop, Eve Gunson for her top tips for getting your garden ready for summer and the party season ahead.
1. Bring in plenty of seating
“If you love to entertain, your outdoor space needs to include plenty of seating options to cater for large groups of family and friends,” says Eve. Invest in a large table and chairs plus another zone with extra casual seating to provide you and your guests with a choice of places to come together or escape if the need arises.
“It’s important to carefully select your furniture in accordance to your entertaining style,” Eve suggests.
“Having comfortable outdoor furniture is a must if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the warmer months.”Eve Gunson
2. Include spaces for relaxation
Rather than creating spaces with only entertaining in mind, you may also be looking to treat your garden as a place to relax and enjoy downtime. Consider establishing spaces to retreat to in your garden or on your deck – forming relaxation nooks for a little peace and quiet. Even is space is limited, a little area set aside is all that’s required. “If you enjoy relaxing and reading your book, look into a modern take on the sun lounger,” suggests Eve.
“It’s important to carefully select your furniture in accordance to your entertaining style.”
3. Decorate for entertaining
Up the ante for your summer soiree by going the extra mile with decorations – whether they’re for Christmas or simply to create a festive atmosphere. “Add a pop of colour and some summer fun into your outdoor space by using soft furnishings and decor items,” says Eve.
4. Ideas to inject colour and style into your outdoor spaces
- Use outdoor cushions on your furniture
- string up some festoon lighting
- use statement pots and plants to add personality
- paint your fence, veranda or pergola for a fresh new season look
- add a rug to demarcate zones for relaxation and entertaining
“Opt for a weather-resistant rug that can be left out in the rain and won’t fade with the harsh summer sun."
5. Add lighting for ambience
The easiest way to add ambience and a party atmosphere to your space is with fairy lights or string lights. Use one long strand to light up your patio area, or connect multiple strands for a dramatic atmosphere throughout the whole garden.
“When those summer nights full of friends and drinks extend later than expected it’s great to have outdoor lighting and a heater option.”
6. Create a fire pit
Add atmosphere and a wow-factor to your outdoor space with a fire pit. This may also be cooked on and enjoyed all year round as a source of heat on cooler evenings and a great focal point for gatherings with family and friends on warm summer nights.
7. Refresh your garden for summer
Now that the sun is shining it’s time to get out there and start bringing your garden back to its former glory, or make it over into a lush tropical retreat.
“Start by weeding, pruning, mulching and fertilising your existing plants and they will happily spring back to life,” says Eve. “Then head down to your local nursery and pick up a few extra plants to fill in the gaps and make it feel lush.”
8. Add plants to your outdoor room
To go that extra mile and create a tropical oasis that will make your guests never want to leave Eve recommends adding additional greenery in the form of pots, planters and hanging plants. “By using moveable planting solutions you can easily bring the greenery up onto your deck, balcony or patio and change the overall feel of your space, ” says Eve.
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