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Outdoor furniture and accessories from a selection at Marks & Spencer
Thank goodness the proper sunshine has arrived, especially as we’ve all been itching to get outside into the garden to enjoy it in a leisurely manner. Perhaps we got excited a bit too soon earlier this Spring! Linda Parker has some sunny-day suggestions for your outdoor entertaining areas
A Splash of Colour
New homes and their similarly-new gardens and patios need perking up with colour and greenery. The best idea is to pop in some flowering shrubs, pot up some hanging baskets and troughs, and generally get it all going as soon as you can! However, as we know, a lush green garden needs time and planning, and isn’t going to offer up instant results. In the meantime, it’s a great idea to start off with some interesting focal-point outdoor furniture – it can be spiced up with outdoor cushions and even rugs whilst you’re waiting for everything to go green! All these accessories and the Salsa furniture are from John Lewis. This type of furniture is relatively lightweight and moveable, so can be switched from garden to conservatory or sun room or even into the living-dining space in an open plan layout if you’re catering for extra numbers at other times of the year.
Brights & Neutrals
Small-space outdoor areas can still be made to look lush and inviting. Choose compact pieces, such as single comfy chairs, plus floor cushions and pouffes. Small-scale tables won’t take over the whole area, and are useful for drinks and snacks too, of course. We’re all in favour of multi-purpose items too, so little tables like these can double up as bedside tables too when it’s time to retreat back indoors! All items shown here from a selection at Sainsbury’s Home
As we are well aware, it’s the little ‘added extras’ that a touch of style and individuality to any new home. From left; Disguise a blank wall, create an interesting feature or simply use it as a backdrop to some new planting … this is the Leaf Decorative Panel, available from B&Q. Centre; a solar lantern can perk up the atmosphere for summery evening drinks, and of course, can also look good sitting on the front doorstep too. This is the Black Solar Lantern from Cox & Cox; Right; We love a fire-pit – less trouble than a full-on barbecue, and it’s the perfect excuse to extend the time spent in the garden in the evenings. This is the Square Pit from a selection at VonHaus which, can of course, also be used as a small-scale barbecue. Remember the safety-drill when using a fire-pit or barbecue; keep young children well out of the way, make sure the fire appliance is positioned securely and on an even, heat-resistant surface such as outdoor slabs or tiles, and never leave it unattended.
Green & Pleasant Land
Create a very traditional and harmonious outdoor look by choosing traditional wrought iron or steel garden furniture, and making it super-comfy with the addition of some cushions and blankets. For special occasions we also love the idea of moving the dining table outside too – makes it far easier when the whole family is invited! Look at the collection of cushions, throws and furniture from Susie Watson Designs, as shown here. Metal furniture can be left outside all-year-round, so it’s a good investment and rarely needs any extra attention, other than a brush down and clean in the spring. If you want to keep it looking brand new, store it over the winter of course, but if that’s not possible, remember that metal furniture will age gracefully outdoors (as will other hardwoods and teak items).
Top Table Style
The practicality of dining outdoors often depends on the number of youngsters running around and the stability of the available chairs and tables! Which is why we always love the idea of a modest investment in melamine outdoor picnic ware; and of course it always comes in handy for children’s birthday parties too! This particularly summery range is from Matalan. Perfect for patio picnics and summer barbecues …
Move away from that ‘too new’ look by adding some painted pots and accessories. We love this decorative feature, created with a ladder, some planks and painted pots and troughs. The paint used here is 10-Year Exterior Satin by Sandtex in Gentle Blue, which also comes in nine colours, including Soothing Green and Autumn Chestnut.
For a sleek and modern addition to your outdoor area, a chimenea is a worthwhile option; they’re quick and easy to get going, don’t use much fuel, and are more controllable, as the heat is funnelled upwards. This is the Matrix model, available from Wyevale Garden Centres. As previously mentioned, remember that safety must be paramount when any chimenea, firepit or barbecue is in use.
The Perfect Choice
Your new Anwyl Home deserves a beautiful outdoor dining space, and to sum it all up, we think this Cannes six-seater set from Out & Out ticks absolutely all the boxes. It’s made from resin and teak, the teak will fade over time, but can be refreshed with teak oil once a season. Let us know how you’re getting on with your new gardens, we would love to see any pics of your creative efforts …