How to make the most of your outdoor entertaining spaces

  • 13th Apr 21
How to make the most of your outdoor entertaining spaces

As we welcome spring and the easing of lockdown restrictions, all thoughts turn to making the most of our outdoor spaces. Research has shown that being outside reduces stress and improves the mood. So whether it is a balcony, roof terrace or courtyard, getting out in the fresh air will be good for mind, body and soul.

What’s allowed

In England, people have been able to socialise in private gardens and balconies since 29 March in groups of six or with one other household. Outdoor living spaces have been creeping up in popularity over the years and during the first lockdown, searches for patio and garden furniture rose by up to 70%. So after a long and lonely winter, make the most of your space, whatever the size.

The sunny side

The sun will fall on different parts of your balcony or roof garden at different times of the day. Familiarise yourself with this pattern to plan how you intend to use the area. Where should you put a lounger if you want to catch some rays or are there any shaded areas if you fancy working from your laptop in the fresh air. You might also want to do a morning or evening workout outside so dappled shade will stop you getting overheated. 

Keep cosy

As we are entering Spring and being mindful of the changing weather conditions in the UK, plan how to keep cosy when the sun goes down. Staying warm is crucial to any outside entertaining. One of the most efficient ways of heating a small outside area is from an electric patio heater, with a choice of hanging, wall-mounted or free-standing lamp-style heaters. For an eco-friendly solution, there are low carbon heater options available or simply keep cosy with blankets and sheepskin cushions.

How to light an outside space

Much like the inside, you can create a warm and inviting atmosphere outside with the use of lighting. If you want to create a party setting, solar-powered festoon lights in a range of colours will set the scene. For a warmer and more intimate feeling, an outdoor table lamp or a cluster of candle lanterns will create a romantic setting. To design a touch of  magic, think fairy lights and boho lamps layered up in different ways.

Small space, big design

There’s plenty of furniture on the market that is perfect for small balconies or terraces. A hanging or rocking chair is lovely if you want to sit and enjoy the view or if you prefer to have an area for al fresco dining, there are lots of compact and foldable table and chair options.  Add an outdoor rug and side table and you have a great little set up to enjoy drinks and nibbles with friends.

Outdoor kitchen

For the ultimate outdoor dining experience, an outdoor kitchen ticks all the right boxes. From a permanent set up to a simple barbeque, just consider the best space for prep and cooking. The one thing that most of us can agree on it that nothing beats a good old fashioned pizza. But cooking one at home in the oven never tastes quite right, which is why a wood-fired outdoor pizza oven will be one investment that gets everyone’s vote.

Build-to-rent designer terraces

One of the many advantages of living in a build-to-rent property is the thought and consideration behind each part of the design. Inspired by projects such as The High Line in New York, developers and landscape designers are transforming roof terraces to become a space of relaxation, entertainment and the ultimate party venue. 

Al fresco dining

Put the same amount of planning an indoor dinner party into your al fresco experience. Music is a big part of the process and you can enjoy it on a balcony or roof terrace if you invest in an outdoor speaker. This will allow you to simply change the song or control the volume without having to keep going inside. Find one that is waterproof and many can also double up as an LED lantern.  Set the table as you would normally with fresh table linen but use natural and luxurious fabrics such as cotton and linen. To stay one step ahead of the changeable British weather, keep everyone protected from the sun or the rain with a parasol, either free standing or clip on to your table.

Style tips for your outdoor spaces

  • Use brightly coloured outdoor cushions.
  • String up some festoon lighting.
  • Add statement pots and plants to add character.
  • Bring in nature to balconies for a natural design.
  • Decorate outside walls with mirrors or art.
  • Hide ugly or plain floor with an outside rug.
  • Create a shaded area for when it heats up too much.
  • Add your own design personality into your balcony or terrace set up.


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