IBA19 Badges Nominated

From weatherproofing fabrics to making the most of small outdoor spaces, Good Homes talks you through how to create the perfect outdoor space for spring summer entertaining, whether you have a garden or a patio.

Sainsburys Home Palm House Outdoor Dining Cropped

Image: Sainsbury's Home

Spring has officially sprung and we are officially looking forward to alfresco living on lazy sunny days. Make the most of summer with an outside living room. Just pick your spot, choose your garden furniture and accessorise for the personal touch.

From formal entertaining areas to laid-back lounging and cosy reading corners, there’s so much you can do with a bit of patio. Here’s how to create a second living room – in your back garden.

Choose your spot

Out There Interiors Outdoor Furniture Ss18 Spring Summer Patio

Image: Out There Interiors 

You may not have much choice when it comes to where to put an outdoor living room, but the positioning of your furniture is crucial. Consider how each piece will be configured and which way it will face.

In a tiny courtyard, it may be better to choose a corner rather than place furniture centrally. In a larger garden, take the position of any trees, hedging and flower beds into account and choose a position that is aesthetically pleasing.

Seek sun - and shade

Nest Table Chairs Outdoor Dining Room Ideas Patio Balcony

Image: Nest.co.uk

Consider the tracking of the sun and where might offer shade as well as sun. Factor in creating your own shade if existing planting, trees or buildings do not provide it.

Is it possible to add shade without blocking out views across the garden? Flexible solutions, such as retractable awnings or adjustable garden sail shades and umbrellas are worth considering. Or include permanent structures, such as pergolas or gazebos. Fit them with trellis for climbing plants and you will be able to enjoy dappled rather than full shade.

Create a reading corner

French Connection Outdoor Furniture Chair

Image: French Connection

Outdoor living areas don’t have to be formal with the equivalent of sofas and armchairs. Find a quiet spot that will take a bench and flagstones.

Dress the space with scatter cushions and potted plants and consider painting a wall if you have chosen a sheltered spot near the house.

Go for laid-back lounging

Outdoor Seating Relaxed Lanterns Tesco Ss18 Spring Summer 2018 Collection

Image: Tesco Home 

Liven up weather-worn garden seating with outdoor cushions and seat pads. Incorporate storage under benches so you can pack everything away in the winter.

Bring shelter to the spot with dense planting and take battery-powered outdoor lanterns into the foliage for dramatic plays of light, pattern and shade.

Pick a party colour scheme

 Sainsburys Home  Fiesta Outdoor Picnic Cropped

Image: Sainsbury's Home

Choose contrasting shades of vivid blue and postbox red for a party feel. Go for outdoor fabrics that are hardwearing and easy to clean and cushion designs that can be used on floors as well as furniture.

Bring in co-ordinating wooden tables, rattan footstools and quirky, oversized lanterns and throws.

Decide on a look and stick to it

Sainsburys Home Palm House Outdoor Dining Cropped

Image: Sainsbury's Home

Pick the style you want from your outdoor living room and take it all the way from furniture and upholstery to backdrop, decoration, accessories and glassware.

This Moroccan theme permeates from the wicker-style furniture, bamboo screening and potted plants to the burnt orange, sunny yellow and lush green of the soft furnishings.

Summer-proof your patio living room

Cuckooland Outdoor Space Wooden Natural Sun Shade Outdoor Living

Image: Cuckooland

To make the most of your outdoor garden room you will want to make as much use of it as you can. Provide shade for the hottest of days and warmth for the chilliest of evenings.

Hang a sail-type canopy for relief from the heat when the sun is at its highest or consider fencing and garden structures that throw intermittent shadows rather than casting a whole area into solid shade.

Keep cooling drinks and ice buckets on tap and cosy blankets to hand so that everyone is comfortable no matter what the temperature.

 

Have you got your outdoor space ready for summer? Share a photo by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or posting a comment on our Facebook page.

 

RELATED ARTICLES

How to create a multi sensory room for your home

How to choose and care for house plants to suit every room

More Garden inspiration

Champagne Bucket Jeshoots Com
Shopping

7 of the best sparkling wines under £20

From champagne and cremant to popular prosecco and bang-for-buck British fizz, we've picked some of the best affordable fizz to quaff at Christmas.
John Lewis Sonos One Speaker Black
Shopping

6 of the most stylish home speakers

Looking to invest in your home's audio? These speakers have a lot to offer not only in improving sound quality, but in the style stakes...
 
Watering Plants How To Keep Plants Alive While On Holiday
Garden

6 ways to keep plants alive while on holiday

Going away for a few weeks shouldn't mean your hard work in the garden goes to waste. Keep your plants alive while on holiday with...
Dishwasher Ao Opener
Kitchen

7 of the best dishwashers

Read our quick guide to the best dishwashers around right now that are worth investing in.
Champagne Bucket Jeshoots Com
Shopping

7 of the best sparkling wines under £20

From champagne and cremant to popular prosecco and bang-for-buck British fizz, we've picked some of the best affordable fizz to quaff at Christmas.
John Lewis Sonos One Speaker Black
Shopping

6 of the most stylish home speakers

Looking to invest in your home's audio? These speakers have a lot to offer not only in improving sound quality, but in the style stakes...
 
 
Nomadic Opener
Shopping

Swoon launches furniture collection for renters

Take a look at Swoon's latest furniture collection Nomadic, specially designed for generation rent.
H FREE In Blue Room Win
Competitions

Win a Hoover H-FREE 500 energy vacuum cleaner

This month, we've partnered with Hoover to give away a H-FREE 500 vacuum cleaner as part of our Instagram competition.
How To Keep Wasps Away Dining Outside Alfresco
Garden

How to keep wasps away while dining outside

Wasps are great pollinators, but not so great dinner guests. Enjoy alfresco dining wasp-free with these top tips on how to keep wasps away!
Garden Heatwave Tips Dobbies
Garden

Top tips on what to do in the garden during a heatwave

Garden experts at Dobbies give their top tips on what we should do in the garden during a heatwave - from conserving water to keeping...
Content Terence Conran Bedroom Lifestyle Main
Bedroom

How to design a bedroom for a better night’s sleep

Design a bedroom that's not only stylish, but mindful of a good quality sleep routine.
Annie Sloan Selfie Win
Competitions

Win a £250 Annie Sloan voucher

Join the Reuse Revolution and upcycle a piece of British Heart Foundation furniture to be in with a chance of winning a £250 voucher.
Pineapple Lily Eucomis Comosa Tropical Garden Plant Uk Copy
Garden

7 easy tropical garden plants you can grow in the UK

Everyone wants their own back garden oasis. So we've summed up 7 easy tropical garden plants you can grow in the UK, including Pineapple lilies, Hibiscus...
Houseoffraser Colour Outdoor Table Garden Party Ideas
Garden

5 garden party ideas for sunny weekends

Heatwave weekends call for al fresco dining and entertaining. We've rounded up a few of our favourite garden party ideas that can be easily achieved...
Bilbury Grey Sofa Set Debenhams
Garden

Stylish garden furniture sets worth investing in

We round up our favourite outdoor furniture sofa sets, featuring stylish water resistant materials and minimalist designs.