The long winter is behind us and now it’s time to get into the spirit of the festive season ahead. However, before you get into your celebratory mood and send out the invites, look around your home and check whether your outdoor space looks good enough to host your parties. Outdoor spaces go through a phase of neglect during the colder months. Now, with summer and the festive season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start preparing your outdoors for the long hot days and nights spent entertaining family and friends.
Eve Gunson, Interior Stylist and owner of Dot + Pop, gives her top tips for getting your garden ready for the party season ahead. Investing in outdoor furniture, soft furnishings and accessories, and lighting and getting your garden back to its former glory are some of the ways you can have a summer-ready outdoor space.
Take a seat
“Having comfortable outdoor furniture is a must if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the warmer months,” says Eve. “And there are so many gorgeous options for outdoor furniture in all shapes, sizes and price brackets.”
If you love to entertain, your outdoor space needs to include plenty of seating options to cater for large groups of family and friends. A large table and chairs plus another zone with extra casual seating provide you and your guests with a choice of comfortable spots to gather together or escape if the need arises.
It’s important to carefully select your furniture to match your entertaining style. You wouldn’t invest in a large outdoor dining table if you’re not going to use it, so choose comfortable furniture and seating that best suit your family’s needs.
You might prefer to treat your garden more like a place to relax and enjoy downtime, rather than to entertain. “If you enjoy relaxing and reading your book, look into a modern take on the sun lounger,” continues Eve.
Dress it up
No summer soiree is complete without decoration. “Add a pop of colour and some summer fun into your outdoor space by using soft furnishings and decor items,” says Eve.
“Use outdoor cushions on your furniture, string up some festoon lighting, use statement pots and plants to add personality and if you’re up for it, you could even paint your fence, veranda or pergola for a fresh new season look.”
To take your outdoor space to the next level and make it feel like an extension of your home, why not throw in a weather-resistant rug. Opt for one that can be left out in the rain and won’t fade with the harsh summer sun.
Turn up the ambience
The easiest way to add ambience and a party atmosphere to your space is with fairy lights or string lights. Use one long strand to light up your patio area, or connect multiple strands for a dramatic atmosphere throughout the whole garden.
For something more permanent, you might want to consider a multi-function light and heater for use all year round. “When those summer nights full of friends and drinks extend later than expected, it’s great to have outdoor lighting and a heater option,” says Eve.
“The IXL multi-function Fresco Aurora Outdoor Heater is an outdoor entertaining appliance like no other. The app controlled Fresco Aurora combines ambient infrared heat, dimmable task lighting and mood lighting in one stylish unit.”
The Fresco outdoor heater is designed to be suspended from flat or gabled roofs and is ideal for external dining areas, verandas and balconies that will transform your outdoors into an ambient space to be enjoyed throughout the year.
A fire pit is another great way to add atmosphere and a wow factor to your outdoor space. Opt for a fire pit that doubles as a barbeque, such as the Pit n Grill Deluxe from IXL Home. This clever product can be enjoyed all year round as a source of heat on cooler evenings and as a great focal point for gatherings with family and friends on warm summer nights.
Create an oasis
Now that the sun is shining, it’s time to get out there and start bringing your garden back to its former glory, or make it over into a lush tropical retreat.
“Start by weeding, pruning, mulching and fertilising your existing plants and they will happily spring back to life,” says Eve. “Then head down to your local nursery and pick up a few extra plants to fill in the gaps and make it feel lush.”
To go that extra mile and create a tropical oasis that will make your guests never want to leave Eve recommends adding additional greenery in the form of pots, planters and hanging plants. “By using moveable planting solutions you can easily bring the greenery up onto your deck, balcony or patio and change the overall feel of your space.”
Photographer: Hannah Blackmore for Adore Magazine
Stylist: Alana Langdon
Architecture/ Design: Dot + Pop & New Living Constructions