Alfresco Living

Futon Company says: Aaah summer, we love you! And since Covid hit our shores at the start of last year, we appreciate you more than ever. The long sunny days (sometimes rainy, but that’s OK too), spending more time outdoors, meeting friends for picnics and a shandy or two, day trips to the park, weekends at the beach, camping. What’s not to love! And if you’re one of the lucky ones who has an outside space, there’s even more to get excited about. But even if you only have a small space outside or your closest space is the local park, there’s still plenty to be excited about. Check out these handy hacks from James Cunningham’s article Brighter Days Ahead in the July issue of Red Magazine. He says….

A burst of colour will make your garden thrive this summer and beyond….
• On the tiles: If you’re planning a whole redesign of your outside space, it’s smart to start first with the fixed elements (known as the ‘hard landscaping’) before you plan the planting and positioning of the trees, flowerbeds and lawns. Instead of wooden decking why not try outdoor tiles? The myriad options for pattern and colour means they can bring much more life to your garden than simple timber would…. As well as their aesthetic value, tiles make sense practically too. Ceramics withstand the elements better than wood, are more durable and, consequently, require less maintenance in the long run.
• Take a seat: While the colour wheel of garden furniture tends to spin from anonymous beige to cold grey, your outside space will feel much more inviting if you choose brighter pieces that evoke a feeling of sunshine and summer.
• Brush Up: Don’t reserve colour just for indoor walls – specialist masonry paint can bring a new look to stone, brick or render, too. Whether you choose a bold colour to brighten up the space, a botanical shade to echo the landscape or a darker hue to zone a specific area, treat the choice as if you were deciding for the inside of your home. The colour shouldn’t look distracting or feel out of place. If you do the work yourself, paint when there’s no risk of rain and avoid days with bright, warm sunshine as this will affect the application and drying process. Little Green, the paint manufacturer, has a good how-to guide on its website.
• A new hue: Painting the door that leads inside from your garden will create a pretty vignette transition between outside and in. For visual contrast, choose a bright shade that reflects other elements in your garden, such as a favourite plant, flower or piece of furniture… To paint, simply give your door a proper clean, gently sand the surface and brush on your chosen shade. As well as giving a polished look to doors, exterior eggshell paints can be used on window frames and fences too, as well as on metal surfaces such as benches or garage doors.
• Step Change: Decorative elements play as much a part in the look and feel of a garden as they do inside, so don’t forget the details. An outdoor rug is a simple way to elevate alfresco seating areas, and a bold design will brighten up your space and create textural interest… Positioning rugs is a clever way to define a specific area of your garden, as they can act as a central anchor to bring different pieces of furniture neatly together. They’re also useful for covering up any imperfections on the floor that can’t be fixed straight away, such as staining on decking or cracking on stone surfaces.
• Good taste: Eating alfresco is one of the joys of summertime, and a colourful backdrop will make your outdoor feasting all the more enjoyable. As with every tablescape, the cloth is the key starting point. Patterned styles work particularly well as you can then echo the mix of colours in your other pieces… For a charming centrepiece fill a vase with a rustic bouquet of blooms

In other news….

• Garden party: Jetting off to an exotic beach destination this year? Unlikely. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring that holiday spirit to your home. Transform your garden and dine alfresco with beautiful table linen, elegant china, simple glassware and – the ultimate accessory to keep you (and fizz) out of the sun – a gorgeous canopy.

Futon Company says: Check out our sizzling summertime outdoor goodies – each and every piece ideally designed for space saving living!

Adirondack Folding Chair

Naples Folding Bistro Table & Chairs

Harpur Ribbed Rugs

Bloom Vase