Summer’s almost here! 6 Clever Alfresco Ideas for Urban Dwellers
Outdoor space doesn’t have to be expansive in order to enjoy an alfresco lifestyle this summer. So if you’re fortunate enough to have found yourself a little back yard, bijou roof space or even a tiny balcony these design tips will help you make the most. Nowhere is the saying ‘small is beautiful’ more true than in a city garden. These design ideas will beautify your outdoor space and enable you to fully enjoy the warmer weather...
Raised beds. Wooden planters are all the rage and make for a chic, well-ordered small garden. Wooden planters elevate flowers, herbs or grasses by raising plants off the ground and are a super smart and effective way to instantly create a tidy wow factor. They also help to maximise ground space and can act as great privacy screens too. If raised beds don’t appeal then go for pots, pots and more pots! Other great planters are old chimney pots, baskets (lined with bin liners), large food tins having soaked off the labels, the more rustic the better.
Fairy Tale. There’s little more enchanting than strings of fairy lights criss-crossing a small outdoor area. Use weatherproof outdoor bulbs (the more retro looking the better) and instantly you will set a scene ready for music and cocktails.
Bring the inside out. Nothing can so dramatically create a romantic scene than furnishing an outdoor space. Comfy cushions, soft sumptuous throws, an Aztec rug, add flickering candles and a fire pit to create a homely heaven on a Summers evening.
Fake it. No more does faux grass have to look like a green grocer’s stall! In fact, much of it is so alarmingly realistic that mowers might soon disappear from our garden sheds. Moreover, it can be purchased off the roll at large DIY shops. Casual seating or squishy bean bags and pillows strewn around a patch of artificial lawn instantly creates a warm weather hub perfect for socialising.
Summer reflections. Don’t throw away that old fashioned hand-me-down mirror, rather lean it against a wall or fence to add instant impact. The use of mirrors in gardens, especially tiny ones, can dramatically create a sense of space. Place some pretty potted plants and a candle (alternatively bunch up a string of battery operated fairy lights) in front of it for even more impact.
On a budget? Nothing beats good old fashioned jam jars and a reel of florist wire! Tea lights now come in LED versions, flickering to boot. Hang them from branches, nestle them amongst the flowers and bunch them in groups on tables to frame a central one filled with daisies, Rose buds, buttercups and more. Likewise some of the best table cloths are actually old duvet covers (pillow cases make great central table mats!). Rummage through your linen cupboard, have fun with your colour schemes - there are no rules!