As temperatures soar, we're all looking forward to long lazy summer nights entertaining friends and family in the garden.
So, you may be thinking that’s great if you have the space, but what if you don’t? Well, we’re pleased to say you don’t need loads of space or equipment; all it takes is a little time and imagination.
Here are some ideas on how to create a dedicated seating area, make your own garden furniture and build some handy shelving or storage.
Creating the right seating
You don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive wicker, metal or wooden seating. You can pick up disused wooden pallets relatively cheaply or even for free if you know where to look.
Pinterest has thousands of pictures and suggestions on how you can create some fantastic furniture for your outside space and we’ve added a couple of our favourites to our Outdoor Living board.
Create a chair or sofa from pallets, give them a new lease of life with a coat of paint or spruce them up with one of our wood stains. You can transform your new sofa with some colourful scatter cushions, immediately creating a more relaxed and informal vibe to your outside area.
Theme your seating area and cover foam pads with summery material or add a nautical theme to your outside space with seasonal stripes. You can find all the accessories you may need for upholstering or refurbishing a chair in the accessories section on our website.
Top tip: Want to make your outside space a little more flexible? Why not add castors to your tables and chairs to ensure you can manoeuvre them more easily and configure your seating according to the number of guests you’re entertaining?
You don’t have to be traditional when it comes to outside tables and dining spaces – think terrific instead! Impress your guests with innovative ideas and try creating a table top from an old door. Choose some statement legs from the huge range available on our website and you’re away – talking point table sorted!
Consider upcycling an old wooden spool or wire reels into smaller side or drinks tables. They make a great addition to an outside area and can be handy when you’ve got lots of guests.
Define the space
Once you’ve sorted your seating, it’s time to think about how you define the different areas. Consider breaking up larger expanses with planters to create a great space for alfresco dining.
Set the scene with some subtle lighting. We can’t think of anything worse than a summer evening with friends floodlit by an intruder-style security light. Use solar-powered lighting in strategic places and combine this with colourful fairy lights draped through trees and across fence panels to create a more ambient feel to the area.
Got a small space? Worried about disturbing the neighbours? Using fence panels, tall grasses and climbing plants as barriers can help diffuse noise and helps to create a more intimate feel if the area is overlooked.
Using mirrors, umbrellas (as you can’t predict the British weather!) and delicate metal furniture also helps create the feeling of space for those more cosy, smaller gardens or patios.
Consider what you want to use your outside space for
If you want to create an open-plan area that you can entertain in, then why not consider joining your internal and external entertaining spaces with bi-folding doors? They don’t have to be a splurge; you can create the same effect using cleverly placed glass windows or double doors. It’s a brilliant way of creating the impression of a larger space and adding light to your inside space.
Whatever you’re working with and however you manage to create your outside space, we hope that you get plenty of long, warm summer evenings to enjoy with family and friends!