It's easy to neglect your outside living areas, especially when they are not being used much in the colder seasons. It doesn't take a lot of effort, however to improve your outdoor living space during warm weather so that it almost becomes another room for you and your family to use.
Here are some tips on how to spruce up your backyard!
I love a good declutter, but finding the motivation for it is the worst. So instead of trying to tackle an area all in one go, break it down so that there is a really small section to do. Recruit some help if there is a lot of lifting to do.
Set yourself a time slot and be strict about it, you don't want to get overwhelmed. So, to recap declutter a small area for a designated amount of time, then take a break and move onto the next or set a date and time to tackle the next section. Soon you will have reclaimed your space.
2. Track the sun and the shade.
On a bright day, notice where the sun falls in your garden. Do you have evening sunlight on your patio, or is it in shade by then? This will give you an idea as to what to use the areas for. For example a sunny patio in the morning might be used for a small table and chairs so that breakfast can be eaten outside, or a cup of coffee can be grabbed in the early morning sunlight.
Alternatively, a sunny patio area in the evening would suit a relaxed area with cosy cushions and throws.
We often eat outside in the evening as the sun is off the area, but it remains warm and sheltered.
If your space is really small, include some plants in pots or hanging baskets or bags. Having moved recently I have learnt the importance of picking the correct plants for your garden. I had a few mishaps where plants died because I didn't pay attention to what they needed, the type of soil, positioning for example.
If in doubt visit a reputable garden centre and ask their advice. In my local garden centre they has a section especially for coastal planting!
4 The use of soft furnishings.
You might think this is a crazy idea given the british climate, but the addition of soft furnishing to your outside space will and so much more comfort value and you will be tempted to spend more time enjoying the area.
As the summer evenings shorten and cool down it's always a good idea to have a throw to keep of the evening chill.
Keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to grab the and take them inside to avoid a soaking.If this does happen, fabrics will always dry on the next sunny day, so all is not lost!
5. Create ambience.
Now your space is clutter free, there is suitable planting and you have a comfy / practical area depending on your needs, take a little time to create some ambience.
The easiest way to do this is to add some lighting. As the summer days shorten towards August and into September we still have some lovely weather in the UK, and often into October too. Subtle outdoor lighting from candles or lanterns will create a welcome and make the cool summer evenings feel relaxing. Our Outdoor Lantern is battery operated and can be hung up if required.
6. Coastal Theme
Now for the fun bit, giving your patio a coastal living look. The key to this is not to go too over the top. Some subtle seaside inspired items cleverly placed will give a that coastal feel.
For example some shells that have been collected placed around a plant pot, or a starfish ornament nestled in some sand amongst terracotta plant pots. If you have a wall area you may want to consider an anchor, or a seaside inspired sign.
Another feature I love is a pebble stack, these can be small or large, although if you make a large pebble stack I would recommend securing them with strong glue otherwise you will be constantly restacking them! This is a pebble stack fountain that we made and had installed (always use a qualified electrician), and we have loved it for years!
A fun item to include would be a fishing net such as the one recently added to our store, this can be draped or hung, and would most definitely give a seaside feel.