Outdoor Living this Summer: 14 Ideas to Make the Most of Your Garden

Written by: Chelsea Jobe



Time to read 6 min

Celebrate the start of summer

Picture this: it’s the 21st of June, the official start of summer. The weather forecast is bright blue skies and sunshine for the foreseeable future. Barbecues are a regular occurrence, and the fridge is stocked with summer food and drink. The evening air is warm and comfortable to sit out until late. These are all things to look forward to this season, but where to enjoy them all? 

It is the comfort of your outdoor space. 

However, if your garden has not received attention over winter, don’t panic. We’re here to help you get your space summer ready with our expertise in outdoor living. 

Many factors should be considered before designing your outdoor space - here are a few to start with:

  • Size of the area
  • If you have a north or south-facing garden (this is important for the position and arrangement of outdoor furniture and also planting and blooming flowers and greenery)
  • The primary purpose of the space (Do you often host outdoor gatherings and entertain guests? Do you want a quiet place to relax with a partner?) 
  • Theme or aesthetic

Once you have decided on the layout and function of your space, it’s time to create your outdoor oasis. From seating arrangements to outdoor cooking, this blog will explore summer outdoor living ideas to make the most of your outdoor space. 

1. Dreamy colour palette

One of the first steps in the design process is choosing a colour scheme, which will determine the ambience of the outdoor space. The top colour trend in outdoor living is earth tones such as taupe and sand beige. These colours are warm and inviting and create a tranquil and relaxing environment. Another popular colour palette is charcoal and shades of grey for a monochromatic and modern outdoor space. 

2. Sink into your seat

Seating will make or break your outdoor living experience, so find the perfect furniture set to suit your space. Comfort, style and functionality are qualities to look for when choosing outdoor seating. A corner sofa will create a cosy central spot for entertaining and is the best fit for accommodating a large group of friends. 2-seat or 3-seat sofa sets are ideal for smaller gardens - lounge, chat and immerse yourself in the summer fun.

Grey aluminium corner sofa set with matching coffee table and two stools.

3. Create a stylish garden room

Admire the picturesque view of your garden from a summerhouse, a stylish alternative to traditional storage sheds. Summerhouses are versatile garden buildings - used as a home office, hobby room or a quiet place to relax after a long day. Their practical design will extend the time spent outdoors, providing additional living space for casual lounging and entertaining. 

Outdoor summerhouse with double doors and glass side windows.

4. Mix and match materials

Are you struggling to settle on a single fabric for your furniture? Why not mix and match outdoor furniture materials to fashion a unique and individual style? Wicker and teak is a beautiful combination of timeless materials, embracing the natural beauty of nature for a bohemian-inspired garden. For a sleek and sophisticated appearance, aluminium is the go-to material. Blend with an outdoor fabric like rope weave to form a multi-layered and distinctive outdoor look. 

5. Shade and shelter

A known fact about British weather, especially during the summer, is how unpredictable it can be. Prepare for all types of weather and create a sheltered area. Parasols are a traditional outdoor canopy that provides shade to cool you down on a hot day. They are a must-have outdoor accessory and can pair with a sofa or dining set to complete the look. A pergola is a popular option to cover a larger area and offers shade and shelter throughout the seasons. Gone are the days of retreating indoors during a rain spell - you can sit under a pergola and continue the summer festivities. 

6. Dine alfresco style

Escape the four walls of your dining room and enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner outside this summer. To build an alfresco dining spot, think about the location and the shape of the dining table to fit your space. Consider the number of seats you require, especially if you regularly invite guests around. 6-seat and 8-seat dining sets have spacious dining tables for serving a feast of food and drink. If you're limited space-wise, a bistro set is a compact two-seat dining solution that does not compromise style and comfort.

7. Sunbathing central

Revamp a zone in your garden into a sun trap paradise to catch some rays. Whether it is a cosy corner or a decking area, choose a spot that receives the most sunlight and maximises the functionality of your space. A daybed or sunlounger, such as the Allure Cabana Double Sunlounger, can separate your seating or dining space to create a sun lounging station and enjoy lazy afternoons in the sun. 

8. Focus on the setting

Set the scene of your outdoor space with wood fencing and panelling. Wood panels such as contemporary batten cladding will define the borders of the space and transform any garden. Adding a small section of panelling or fencing will separate outdoor areas for lounging and dining and act as a stylish backdrop for summer celebrations. 

9. Show off your cooking skills

Outdoor dining is a fundamental part of the summer lifestyle, so why not impress your friends and family with your grilling skills? Build an outdoor cooking station starting with the star of the show: a BBQ. To cater to the whole family, a large BBQ like the Infinity 5 Burner BBQ is a good piece of kit to cook up a storm this summer. A pizza oven is more portable, easy to use and convenient for laid-back evenings. Invite your friends around for a pizza party and relish every moment outdoors. 

Stainless steel 5 burner BBQ with lid open.

10. Be the host with the most

BBQs and casual get-togethers are always on the agenda during the warmer months, so dedicate an area for outdoor entertaining. Go for a bar set with an ice bucket table centre and be the ultimate host. The ice bucket is a useful feature to keep drinks chilled and avoid the need to leave the party and your guests unattended. Mark your calendar and make this summer one to remember.

Grey rattan 6 seat round bar set with ice bucket.

11. Stay snug and warm

Reduce the risk of feeling a chill after the sun goes down and warm up your space with outdoor heating. Create a focal point with a gas fire pit for you and your guests to gather around at the end of the evening. Pair with a coordinating sofa set, a fire pit can bring together the look of your garden or patio. For a modern take on traditional outdoor heating, opt for a hanging patio heater to instantly add warmth and light and help you enjoy your area for longer. 

12. Add a cosy glow with lighting

Make the most of outdoor living after the sun has set, and illuminate your space with outdoor lighting. Find suitable lighting to keep the exterior of your home well-lit, such as the Mini Novara Solar Post Lights and help guests navigate the walkway leading back to your lounging or dining area. String lights and festoon lighting are attractive features and can be hung under a sheltered patio to add a warm glow to your outdoor space. 

13. De-clutter and organise

Is your shed overflowing and unable to find the outdoor accessories you stored away over the colder months? The most practical solution is a storage box to organise your outdoor space. Storage boxes do not need to be lacking in style - they can be fashionable and complement your decor. Incorporate the storage into your set-up and place it next to a sofa or dining set for a seamless design. 

14. Decorate with greenery

Improve the appearance of your outdoor space with greenery and create a garden of Eden. The best tip to get started, especially if you’re a gardening beginner, is self-watering planters. With a water level indicator, self-watering planters prevent you from wasting time or overwatering plants. Add decoration with modern-looking designed planters and make beautiful arrangements in your garden. 

Graphite square self-watering planter outdoors, placed beside an outdoor dining set.

Are you ‘outdoor ready’ for summer? Browse our outdoor collection  and find the perfect furniture or accessory for your outdoor living needs.