Accessorising your outdoor space
Accessories are just as important outside as in, so don’t stop at furniture when creating your outdoor sanctuary. If the sun makes an appearance, use it as an opportunity to take advantage of your extra space, whether that’s a sprawling expanse of grass in the country or a compact terrace in the middle of town.
It’s actually quite easy to turn your garden into an outside room with the help of a few decorative pieces. Here, we share some of our expert tips for accessorising your outdoor space.
How about making things even comfier?
When relaxing outside, maximum comfort means you can remain outdoors from sunrise to sunset. If you have the whole arsenal of outdoor furniture – garden chairs, sofas, footstools and more – then you already have an enviably comfortable setup, but this can be made even better. How? By adding lots and lots of cushions.
Accessorising with cushions will not only add an extra dimension to wooden, metal or all-weather ‘Rattan’ furniture, it’ll also give you a level of comfort more akin to sitting in your living room than out in the open air. For smaller gardens with limited outdoor space, cushions are great for creating a less formal, alternative seating area – just spread a large throw or rug on the ground (make sure you place waterproof material underneath to prevent any damp patches), then ramp up the comfort with a pile of cushions.
Can you add more colour to your garden?
With nature as your backdrop, anything goes when it comes to colour schemes and patterns. Prints that would be overwhelming inside appear much more toned down outdoors, so it’s a great excuse to go overboard with cushions and choose designs you might shy away from using indoors.
Multicoloured or green cushions are ideal for summer, but you can’t put a design-foot wrong if you opt for the classic combination of blue and white.
How do you make al fresco dining feel like the real deal?
On our list of things that we love to do outside, dining al fresco comes top. Banish from your mind memories of attempting to eat food off paper plates using flimsy plastic knives and forks, and turn your outdoor dinner party into a proper occasion by insisting on real plates, glasses and cutlery.
Drinks are always more appealing when poured from glass jugs and sipped from glassware, and using linen tablecloths and napkins will help to create a sense of formality (and protect your table and your clothes).
Where else can you fit some extra decor?
We’re big fans of decorative pieces inside the home and find that they can make a huge difference outside too.
Arches and gazebos can help to separate and define areas of your garden while also serving as sculptural features. Gigantic planters – potted up with a selection of your favourite flowering perennials or even a small tree – are great if you want to introduce a bit of greenery to a bare terrace or courtyard. A pair of decorative metal obelisks will add varying levels of height to flower beds or planters, bringing an extra dimension to the space and creating an attractive focal feature.
What about accessorising after dark?
With forward planning, there’s no need to head indoors when the sun goes down. After sunset, a selection of carefully placed hurricane lamps will help to create a magical ambiance, or for more substantial lighting, you could decorate an arch or gazebo with outdoor lights. Got a date? Add a touch of warmth with a grey candle holder to help set the scene.
As it starts to cool down in the evening, make sure you have a lightweight wool or faux mohair throw with a grey cushion at hand to keep warm. And remember to bring all your accessories inside when you tidy up for the night (we all know how temperamental British weather can be).