outdoor space5 Steps to Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space. Photo: Josh Wilburne (Unsplash)

5 Steps to Making the Most of Your Outdoor Space

Whether you live in a city apartment, Barnes town-house or have a country pad, there is a strong possibility you are not making the most out of your outdoor space.

Think of the terrace or garden as an extension of your interior and maximise the space. This not only enhances your down-time but adds value to your asset.

If you think about when you travel, one of the “wow” factors of hotels or villas are usually the externals which draw you to be outside enabling you to unwind, have fun or create memories, right? So why not take these feelings and have them every day in your pad?

Take a read of some of our ideas & tips below that can simply and quickly create a cool, useable, effective space whether you have a balcony or town garden.

1. The Walls

You might question why walls are important, but they set the scene and act as a continuation of your interior theme. If your interior is a little “vanilla” then add some “wow” factor outside. Picture dark grey or dark blue feature walls or go for an atypical ‘live’ wall for impact.

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2. Lighting

A critical factor to set the ambience. Lighting is so underplayed but look around you when you are next in an aspirational space, it is likely that lighting is playing a huge part.

If you have a balcony you no doubt have an external light, if it does not add anything to your scheme, change it. Add uplighters; strategically placed around the edge of area can create a sense of space, uplighters under trees and foliage bring sensory relaxation to an evening.

Check out a selection of stylish and iconic to simplistic lighting ideas below, including a tongue-in-cheek piece if you like monkeying around or an outdoor chandelier if your other half likes a dash of bling.

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3. Greenery

Should not be a quick cut from a design theme (clever eh?!), there are zero maintenance options which subtly give life yet strong contrast in a masculine stark scheme. Consider artificial grass – yes it works on a wall or balcony floor! It can be used to create ‘areas’ on a roof terrace and looks continuously perfect in a garden.

Box hedging and trees provide privacy; how about some bespoke “word” box hedging as a bit of fun, a statement piece and a way to add some art to your outdoors? Top tip: spend on artificial plants to get the quality, make sure they are resistant to UV for longevity.

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4. Assets

Keep furniture low key and simplistic for heightened impact. Add some design pieces for that everyday satisfaction.

Be creative; if you have a smaller space have a bar area instead of the typical bistro table and chairs, in a space luxe environment have a functional island area from which to watch the skills happening on the Big Green Egg.

Your outside space works the same as inside, think about how you entertain. If you don’t eat outside, why have a table and chairs? Opt for a high counter with industrial surface (commodities: concrete, teak, copper) with bar stools, think European coffee houses and East London speak easy bars, or go low by creating a stylish lounge environment.

Benches are another great option if you are a bit of a Robbie Williams (entertainer), we even found a concrete one with a built-in ice bucket, ahem, “planter”. Modular pieces work well in smaller areas offering versatility, who doesn’t love a day bed?! Takes you back to an afternoon at Nikki Beach.

Top tip: you are looking at these pieces every day, so love them and make the long office hours worth it by making your pad a place you want to come back to.

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5. The Bonus

These extras are where the scheme pulls together. Key to bonus pieces should be colour, texture, hue, ambience.

Keep items versatile, essential in compact spaces. Concrete cubes vibe masculinity & texture; a surface to pop your whisky during pensive moments after a pressured trading day, or a place to perch for revellers; planters can double up as a champagne bucket!

Infra-red heaters make for a safer option than gas on a chilly evening.
Mirrors work as a feature and create sense of space & light, think NYC loft; sail canopies offer shelter whilst adding an architectural sporty splash.

Have some items that gets that friend to give you that knowing respectful nod - a swing (no need to deny you've seen THAT episode of Sex and the City?!), an amusing side table (yes that is a token gnome!), an outdoor football table… the possibilities are endless.

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Planning on giving your outdoor space a bit of love? Make sure to tag us on Twitter or Instagram if you take us up on any of our ideas!