It’s official and hard to believe, but we are in the middle of a Great (so far not so great) British summer. I know many of you are asking ‘what summer? and when will it start?’, with all the heavy rain we are having it is difficult to imagine, but it is here, it’s just that nobody has told the weather yet.
After attending the Hampton Court Palace Flower show recently and seeing all the wonderful garden displays, there were a number of stands displaying dining furniture that would look great on any patio. This got me thinking about alfresco dining.
Outside dining rooms and patios come in all shapes and sizes to suit all budgets and with this terrible weather they are much more practical if they have a roof or cover. Whether their style be minimalistic or very extravagant they can add to the enjoyment while outside your home, whatever the weather.
The outside dining area can appear as an extension to the interior of your home, encouraging people to take that step outside and enjoy your garden. They are ideal places to entertain friends and relax from stressful days. A place to read, lose your thoughts make plans and dream of your future.
If you are starting from scratch and want to plan your outside dining and sitting area, think about how you want to use it, what the area needs to hold and the way you would like it to look. Here area some ideas that may be of help:-
– the positioning of the area in relation to your home, for access from the kitchen and conservatory doorways, ensuring that if the weather is damp you can have cover from a parasol or a verandah
– the base and flooring for the dining area, always ensure that it is level to prevent trips and falls when you are carrying items to and from the table. The colour of the flooring product and whether it is gravel, paving or wood finish can add to the ambiance of the area and be easier for cleaning.
– checking where the sun lays in your garden at specific times of the day when you want to use it and enjoy the late afternoon warmth from the sun, to cater for those chilly evenings heating can be provided by outside fireplaces, patio heaters, fire pits and chimeneas. Heaters can extend the time you spend outside and can give a focal point to the area. Always be aware of leaving fires and candles unattended.
– choosing subtle mood lighting will enhance the feel of the area, try adding different coloured lights, solar lights, lanterns, candles or other forms of outside lighting. Harsh overhead lights will not make the area feel relaxed.
– choosing comfortable furniture is a must, remember if you leave it outside, the materials need to be able to cope with damp and possibly wet weather, if not you will need waterproof covers. Choosing furniture and accessories to use outside can add to the ambiance of the area you are trying to create. Whether you bring some of your existing furniture outside to use or you decide to buy new or reclaimed items. Remember that a selection of textures, colours and fabrics add to the warmth and style of the area.
– scented plants around the seating area once warmed from the day’s sun, leave an aromatic scent and depending on their height can add to the screening of the area.
It feels a bit like a minefield when you start to plan a new area so why not gather ideas from magazines, the internet and friends as to what makes a good outside dining space and what you would like to include in your outdoor dining area.
No matter how big or small the budget for your dining area you can design it into any style you desire, more often than not, the fewer items you add the more beautiful it can look. There is nothing better than being able to sit outside in your garden on a lovely balmy summer’s day chatting with friends, eating, drinking and watching the stars late into the night.
We hope that we have given you a few ideas and that you enjoy your summer what ever the weather.
If you fancy a new garden and outside dining space why not take the opportunity to enter the Anglian Home Improvements draw to win a £10,000 garden makeover courtesy of David Domoney, simply by entering our prize draw.
This prize consists of advice, consultancy and design ideas from David Domoney. David’s team will then carry out the work on your garden according to the plans, take you to your local garden centre where you will have up to £2,500 to spend on plants, trees and ornaments for your garden to fit in with David’s exciting new design.
So do not hesitate, you could be the proud owner of a lovely new garden. To enter, click here and follow the instructions.