Seven steps to make the most of your outdoor spaces

It goes without saying that as eventing fans we like to spend a lot of time outdoors so interior designer Celia Sawyer shares her advice on how to make the most your outdoor space at home.

1. Decide what type of look you are trying to create. Modern, boho, white-washed beach haven, country, trendy, eco – the list goes on.

2. Seating is incredibly important as your outdoor space is to enjoy so you want your friends, family and guests to indulge and be comfortable. 

3. Clever use of lights can help to make a small courtyard look bigger, and spotlights can direct attention to specific areas within a larger garden. To create an illusion of space and depth, place some lighting higher (on trees, walls and fences) and place some lower (in decking, planters). If you have a particularly gorgeous tree, ornament or shrub, place uplighters underneath to really show it off! Outdoor lighting must be fit for purpose though, so make sure it’s rated IP44 or above.

4. Bring your terrace or patio to life with a range of pots, planters and troughs that, if cared for and added to regularly, can give year-round colour and interest. Choose a range of pot sizes and styles to create an interesting collection of plants.

5. You can revamp your garden or terrace into a cool hub by making an outdoor fireplace your central feature. I know people who have used old bricks to build the fireplace, meaning it’s recycled, and put sand on the floor to create a truly unique space. If building a fireplace is too much, invest in a fire pit. Nothing beats sitting round the warmth of a fire after dinner.

6. Alfresco dining is something we all love to do – those long summer evenings that glow and seem to go on forever. Purchase a dining table and chairs in rattan or metal over anything plastic and cheap looking – you may as well get it right first time.

7. Lastly, outdoor bars are the ultimate cool. I have one at my home and it gets so much use throughout summer. They’re actually fairly simple to build – source wood to keep costs down and, as long as you have a flat surface, fridge and some bar stools you are ready to entertain.

So, whether it’s an impressive terrace, colourful cabana, or quaint garden, show off what you have and make the most of your space. Make it innovative, spacious, elegant and refined.

Now you've sorted your outdoor space, get the lighting in your home just right with our guide.

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