Now that the summer’s almost here, make sure your outdoor space, however big or small, operates as an appealing outside lounge area by putting the emphasis on comfort and relaxation. Think carefully about seating and include comfy, inviting options, such as floor cushions, loungers or hammocks. Next, work in a few extra features such as lush potted plants, outdoor rugs and handy tables to fully flesh out your alfresco room. Then sink back and relax, and enjoy the good weather for as long as it lasts.
Simple floor cushions give a balcony or deck a relaxed, sink-into-me vibe. This is a flexible, informal option too, as the cushions can be moved around easily to create different seating configurations.
If your outdoor space is overlooked, sitting low to the floor may also provide additional privacy. Simply sink down and enjoy a private oasis.
Hang some hammocks
A single hammock is a relaxed, fun addition to the garden, but a whole series of them is even better. Hammocks are easy to take down and store during poor weather, and are particularly appealing to youngsters whose supple joints allow them to flop in and out with ease.
Create a green oasis in the heart of the city by laying fake grass in your outdoor space. Hard-wearing and practical, fake grass will bring a feeling of lawn and some welcome green to an urban garden. Just add some deck chairs and relax.
Consider a corner
A corner sofa packs maximum seating into a compact living room, and the same is true of a small deck, verandah or balcony. So when lounging is a top priority for an outdoor space, but its footprint is small, make the most of a corner. Tuck a freestanding sofa into it or build in some seating.
You may need to orientate the seating away from the view, but creating a generous lounging space outdoors that works as an additional room should more than compensate for it.
Create different areas
If space allows, carve out different zones for relaxing in your outside space. A place to gather with friends, a pocket for private rest or reading, and a small table and chairs for outdoor dining are all welcome additions. Even a small space can be zoned to improve its functionality and appeal.
Use screens and planting to provide privacy and choose natural materials such as timber for the landscaping to give a soft, natural feel.
Inexpensive and versatile, pallets can act as the building blocks of an outdoor living space. Top them with cushions and foam seating pads to create a casual sofa, then use one as a coffee table and another as a side table, complete with drinks. It’s a budget-friendly approach to creating a complete outdoor lounge area.
Even if your balcony is postage-stamp sized, it can still function as a valuable outdoor chill-out zone. Rather than crowd it with lots of small furniture, which can make it feel cluttered and bitty, turn the entire area over to comfort. Allow a generous day bed or lounger to fill your balcony, making clear that this space is dedicated to relaxation.
Get the most from your outdoor space by ensuring it’s still comfortable as the light fades and the temperature drops.
Blankets soften seats but also become warm shawls for anyone sitting outside late into the night. Include cosy, atmospheric lighting such as candles in hurricane lamps and jam jars, or string up some outdoor lights. A fire pit will provide additional heat and encourage you to linger outside for longer.
This is a simple way to turn an outside space into a chill-out area. Forget kitting it out with chairs and tables – instead only choose seating that allows you to put your feet up. Here, a freestanding hammock and two steamer-style lounge chairs create a relaxed mood. They can also be moved around, so you can follow the sun or change the view.
Plant it out
Potted plants bring colour and life to a balcony or deck, and this can be particularly welcome in an urban space. Use a handful of large plants or trees to bring height, structure and privacy to the area, rather than lots of small, low-level pots. A fake-grass rug is a nice way to green-up the floor too.
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