Exterior space is now more important than ever before and as of this week, we’re allowed to welcome friends and family back to our gardens! Rule of six / two households applies of course…
So with the weather getting a bit better too, here are our tips on making the most of your exterior space for socialising...
Whether your outside space is garden, patio, terrace, deck or balcony, you should see it as an extension of your interior space and treat it accordingly.
Zones – just as you would your open plan living areas. Seating, dining cooking. Use outdoor rugs, garden trellis, screens or green screens (such as bamboo) to define your space. Make moveable screening on castors that you can move from one place to another depending on the time of day.
Lighting – where is your light source for darker days or evenings? Garden fairy lights and hanging bulbs (solar or battery powered) can be brilliant and are very inexpensive. Borrow light from inside sources through windows and patio doors. Lantern candles are great and create a lovely atmosphere.
Heating - Let’s face it, spring in the UK is still COLD – especially in evenings, so you’re going to need a heat source. Patio heaters are inexpensive these days, although the canopy sorts can be quite intensely directed at your head. Go for ones where the heat source is lower and more ambient. Outdoor log burners, chimeneas and fire pits/bowls are brilliant. You can get ones that are safely covered too.
Shelter – from both sun and rain (more likely rain this time of year!)… You can go all out with a modern garden igloo; create your own canopy using existing walls for tethering or create an inexpensive garden shelter – there are plenty of options out there. Remember if it’s a permanent structure, it needs to be max 2.5m high for planning regulations.
Furniture – if you’ve got a large space that is zoned, you can create outdoor seating and dining separately; if you’re more confined, multi-use furniture is key. Modular furniture is great for flexibility or make up your own using wooden boxes or wooden pallets on castors that you can move around.
Accessorize your space as you would your interior living area – low tables, plants, lamps and candles…
Of course, the most important element to outdoor socialising is the people… Enjoy yourself this spring/summer, you deserve it!