Let Me Entertain You

Take the inside out with Editor Lynn Stewart’s round-up of summer trends for your great outdoors.

We know summer can be a slippery customer in Scotland, but that doesn’t stop us loving our outdoor spaces and trying to make the most of them. Gardens – or simple patios for that matter – are an extension of our homes, which means any update requires just as much thought and planning as an interiors revamp does.

According to the Society of Garden Designers, key trends for 2018 include an increase in demand for outdoor kitchens, with the focus on dedicated spaces for cooking, eating and entertaining, while outdoor structures such as pergolas will become a ‘must have’ (or at least a ‘really want’).

Gardens designed to benefit the environment are a key theme, while an interest in growing our own food will see greenhouses enjoy a new surge of popularity.

The Society also suggests that copper and natural, weathered patinas – rather than shiny, stainless steel – will be the finish of choice, and wood-effect porcelain tiles look set to become a real trend outdoors.

If you have the space, create a dedicated outside area for entertaining. Comfy furniture set around a fire pit is the ideal setting for evening get togethers. Have a pile of blankets to hand for when the sun sets. There are so many options for outdoor furniture, it really comes down to what suits your personal taste. As a rough guide, try to be in keeping with the overall style of your garden – a super-sleek, contemporary sofa may look a little out of place in an English country style setting.

When it comes to colour, muted tones are still popular, but adding a bright bench in a sunny corner can add a surprising pop of colour that works really well. Also Annie Sloan’s range of chalk paints are a great way of upcycling old furniture if you don’t want to buy new.

Outdoor lighting is perfect for creating mood and ambience outdoors. There is a huge selection of solar lighting around, while the pretty bulb lights pictured have the appearance of real bulbs, but are made from perspex and can be extended up to 40m. They look perfect draped from pergola beams for a special occasion – all you need to create your own magical outdoor space. TC

Rimini Lounge Set, £995, Cox & Cox (www.coxandcox.co.uk)
Shelton Planters, from £48, Rowen & Wren (rowenandwren.co.uk)
20 Warm White Festoon Lights (for indoor and outdoor use), £35, Lights4fun (www.lights4fun.co.uk)
Jambi Bench, £250, Habitat (habitat.co.uk)
Table painted in Old White and Graphite Chalk Paint, chairs painted in Old White and Florence, plaster effect wall paint in Scandinavian Pink, from £19.95, Annie Sloan (www.anniesloan.com)
Published: April 2018