Al fresco living in the late summer sun
September 5, 2023
Why not turn your garden into an extension of your house, with these tips for al fresco living. Whether you’re a shade lover or sun worshipper, style your outdoor space to embrace the late summer sun.
1. Bright idea
Festoon lights are a decorative way of introducing ambient light outside. Drape them around the perimeter, create a overhead canopy or string from poles for added height and a contemporary festival vibe.
Pictured: Platform 4-Seater modular garden lounging set in green, £1,199; Bolton Aztec flower performance rug, £320; square faux-jute outdoor pouffe, £110; fan leaf indoor/outdoor cushion, £12; faux-fur sheepskin rugs, from £25 each; Harmony outdoor lanterns, £65 each; Nordlux Ara To Go LED potable outdoor light, £99.95; Ivyline Heritage firepit bowl, £229; all other accessories from a selection, all John Lewis & Partners
2. Talking timber
Replicate the interior trend for contemporary wood panelling in your garden using horizontal slatted fence panels. The warm wood tones contrast with modern furniture while linear graphic lines add a Scandi twist.
Pictured: Ivy natural and dark green rope dining chairs £438 for two; Porto round dining table in natural, £569; Danetti.
3. Picnic style
Eating al fresco is one of the greatest joys of warmer weather. Add a picnic table to your garden set up for easy outdoor dining all summer.
Pictured: Folding four-seater steel dining set, £650; Mediterranean woven picnic blanket, £12; tableware & accessories from a selection, all Habitat.
4. Coastal feel
Make the most of an exterior alcove or nook to create a sheltered chill-out area with built-in seating, stacks of cosy cushions and pots of contemporary grasses for a beach-inspired scheme.
Pictured: Large outdoor grey rug, £14; fringe tassel parasol, £18; real outdoor plants, from £6.50; striped scatter cushions, £6 each; seat pads, £8 for two; heart tin decorative planters, £1.50 each; ribbed tin planters, £3 each; tumblers, picnic plates & picnic bowls, £1 each; ridged wine glasses, £1.50 each, all B&M.
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5. Durable furniture
Powder-coated metal is a lightweight and durable material for outdoor furniture but can be cold to sit on, so choose a design with a padded seat and layer with throws and extra cushions for year-round al fresco living.
Pictured: Boel deck chair with cushion & foot rest, around £344; Marti display box in brown Firwood, around £86; Enola brown jute cushion, around £43; accessories from a selection, all Bloomingville.
6. Lick of paint
Exterior paint is an easy way to give your outdoor space character. Adding stripes in rich yet muted tones to a wall will create a bold, nature-inspired feature.
Pictured: Wall painted in Arras, Olive Colour & Nether Red Intelligent masonry paint, all £79 per 5ltrs; cabinet doors painted in Vulcan Intelligent exterior eggshell, £81 per 2.5ltrs, all Little Greene.
7. Sustainable tweaks
For eco-friendly plant pots that make stylish place settings, wrap strips of newspaper tightly around a mould such as a jar, remove then fold the paper underneath to form the base, tucking in the top for the rim.
Pictured: Rio 4-seater acacia wood dining set, £299; tableware, plants and accessories from a selection, all Dobbies.
MORE OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING IDEAS
- 5 of the best garden dining sets
- 10 outdoor kitchen ideas
- How to bring festival vibes to your garden this summer