In the second, and final, part of our series on decorating your outdoors, we show you four completely different looks which will hopefully provide you with further ideas to transform the areas outside of your home into fabulous entertaining spaces. For you lovers of relaxed eclecticism, how about our bohemian look? Fancy capturing the essence of traditional English style, then we’ve put together a scheme which does just this; channel the rustic Mediterranean style – complete with beautiful woods and artisanal ceramics; or, for something altogether more contemporary, take a look at our slick, contemporary scheme which features pared back tableware and a palette of cool greys, black and pale woods.
Serve Mediterranean inspired feasts on a table which has been dressed with relaxed linen napkins, sparkling glassware and plenty of olive wood platters and bowls. Pots of fragrant herbs such as rosemary or basil could be dotted along the table, with olive trees placed close-by the furniture.
Top row from left: Monaco 6 seater table, £765, Neptune. Wicker & glass carafe, £18, Rose & Grey
Middle row from left: White porcelain oil and vinegar drizzler set, £42, Sophie Conran. Oversize serving bowl, £65, The White Company. Olea Europaea potted olive tree, £16, Ikea
Bottom row from left: Olive wood small platter, £25; Olive wood dipping bowls, £8 each; all The White Company. Andalucia serveware, from £8 for a medium serving bowl, Habitat
A perfectly imperfect look calls for reclaimed woods, artfully rusted metals, recycled glassware and casually arranged cushions and sheepskins to add a soft touch. Generously hang fairy lights from trees and along the outside of your property, and also add plenty of lanterns and tealight holders to provide a pretty glow. For those long evenings under the stars, a brazier will warm the air.
Top row from left: Arden table and bench set, from £1,550, Graham & Green. Croft Collection recycled wine glasses, £5 each, John Lewis
Middle row from left: Lowther dinner plates, £78 for a set of 6, Neptune. Rose Garland LED string lights indoor/outdoor, £35.95, Hurn & Hurn. Hansa terracotta pinch pots, £3 each; Lenny recycled glass tumblers, £28 for a set of four; all Rowen & Wren
Bottom row from left: Rusty brazier, £80, Cox & Cox. Bulb Festoon lights, £45, Cox & Cox. Garden accessories, from a selection at The Raj Tent Club
English Country Garden
To evoke classic English country style, combine delicate florals, polka dots, and pastel-coloured candy stripes, with pretty glassware and vintage cutlery. Vases of garden flowers and plenty of candlelight are a must. Time to get baking those scones and cakes!
Top row from left: Summer Green Cambridge Stripe tablecloth, from £42; Wrought iron garden furniture, from £325; all Susie Watson Designs. Hoxton tumblers, £33 for a set of six, Neptune
Middle row from left: Orissa cushions, £40, Sarah Hardaker. Blushing Bride Candy Pink single stem, £2.50, Biggie Best. Old Berry serving spoons, £14.50 each, RE
Bottom row from left: Beautiful Portuguese glass plates, from £7.50, Greige. Tea plates in wire holders, £16.50, RE. Glass pudding bowls in Dusky Pink, £18 for a set of four, Greige
Cool & Contemporary
Stay super cool even as the mercury rises, with sleek furniture and a restrained palette of stone, black and white, along with the addition of some pale woods. Keep things pared back and simple, with just small hints of pattern provided by linear designs or speckled terrazzo.
Top row from left: Madame Stoltz large raised iron planter, £120, Posh Totty Designs at Trouva. Sketch garden table, £755, HOUE at Made in Design
Middle row from left: Neu large pitcher, £49, Ferm Living at Nest.co.uk. Terrazzo round board, £32, Future and Found
Bottom row from left: Tillagd black cutlery, £40 for 24-pieces, Ikea. ED Ellen de Generes for Royal Doulton tableware, from £9 each, John Lewis
With the official start of summer underway here in the UK, I hope that our two features on outdoor style (click here to read part I) have fed you with some ideas that you may be able to use for your own spaces. Whether you have a small balcony garden or a large outdoor area, all of the ideas I’ve shown can be scaled-up or down to suit the space: if space is at a premium, choose smaller pieces of furniture and decorate them with a selection of your favourite elements from one of these looks. As a final note, when the season changes, most of the pieces of tableware shown here can be used for indoor entertaining too – just add seasonal flowers to fit the mood.
With thanks to Graham & Green for kindly allowing us to use their photograph as the lead image.