Our homes are our havens, our sanctuaries from the world, and we spend considerable time, money and care on making them perfect. For many of us, home is a social space, and one of its key functions is entertaining guests and allowing us to share moments with our nearest and dearest, whether it’s a casual Friday night supper or a big celebration. Too often, our gardens are overlooked as part of this. Your outdoor space –be it large or cosy, can provide great additional room to entertain. Follow these steps to make over your space and then start planning for the parties!
Cover The Uglies
Especially in a smaller outdoor space, there can be more functional features that are less than aesthetically appealing to contend with. The good news is that most of these can be easily disguised or concealed with a little creative licence! Building a wooden bin store can hide rubbish out of sight, while unsightly walls can be camouflaged with wooden baton fences, planters of quick-growing bamboo and raised plant beds. If you have a dark corner, try adding mirrors or a water feature to bring light and interest. Turn your eyesore into an asset!
The Surface Treatment
Once you’ve worked out how to hide the worst offenders, you can really facelift a space and transform the feeling of it by treated surfaces. Cover cracked concrete or straggly grass with an attractive, hardwearing surface such as Indian Sandstone or tiered wooden decking. If you have dark walls, introduce more light by painting them over with white masonry paint. Flooring can also be used to split levels and create raised benches or sunken conversation pits to make your space more sociable.
Add Comfy Seats
If you’re planning for people to linger, you need to make sure that there is plenty of comfortable seating available. You can either include built-in seating or find an elegant patio set or day beds and loungers to bring people together. You could even add a freestanding hammock if you’re planning on spending lazy summer says out there. Invest in some weather-treated outdoors pillows and cushions to make the space extra welcoming.
Your Outdoor Kitchen
As outdoors entertaining and food often go hand in hand, think about your options for catering outside. From built-in barbecues to pizza ovens, or even a freestanding structure where you can prepare food to share, or hold cutlery, plates and glasses such as a sheltered, repurposed armoire. If you’re set up allows, considering adding a small sink or a functioning mini-fridge to keep drinks cool. Stainless steel and slate surfaces stand up to the weather conditions and provide a cool, contemporary look to your outdoor space. If you want to add drama, you could even consider a fire pit. This could eke out your use of the space longer into the year as it will keep guest warm when the first chills start to creep in, and you can also use it for toasting marshmallows. With a couple of patio heaters, you could even be using your revamped outdoor entertaining space well into the autumn months.