The stresses of every day life can push us to the limits sometimes, which is why it is so important to get outdoors and reconnect with nature as often as you can.
Whether you have a large garden or a tiny balcony, everyone deserves a little space to sit, relax and contemplate. So today I’m sharing the 6 essentials I think every patio, garden deck or balcony needs:
This is of course a really vital component and, as with anything, the bigger the space and the bigger the budget, the more lavish you can be when it comes to your outdoor seating choices. There are some really beautiful outdoor sofas around these days that look stylish enough to be indoors. And with features like water resistant cushions and finishes (e.g. plastic rattan), they can withstand the elements really well.
But even if you can’t splash the cash and maybe only have a small space for seating, it pays to be more creative in your approach. For example, I once picked up two vintage folding wooden chairs at a church furniture sale for £1 each! So be resourceful and hunt around or ask friends and relatives if they are ever getting rid of any garden furniture to let you know. As my recent post about upcycling a picnic bench goes to show, you can always give old items a fresh look with some paint!
Whether you decide to buy a parasol, an awning, a bamboo screen or a pergola, you will need to ensure that you have a little shelter from the sun and rain on those extreme weather days. It just makes sitting out more comfortable and achievable.
A small space can usually accommodate a compact bistro table or coffee table, since you will need somewhere to perch a cup and saucer and a plate at the very least. For larger areas, it might be nice to consider getting a proper outdoor dining set where you can entertain. There are some gorgeous patio furniture sets I discovered recently at LionsHome. I’m thinking some of the bigger dining tables would also make a rather good outdoor desk for for those opportunities to work at home when the weather is nice!
Let’s face it, no patio, deck or balcony is ever complete without some greenery! Well proportioned decks and patio surfaces are perfect for displaying large planters with tall and leafy exotic palms or distinctive cactus plants. But if space is at a premium, don’t feel at a disadvantage, simply use the wall to hang your plants – this can make a really stunning feature, like a little urban oasis.
Outdoor lighting can come in many styles and can be either electric or solar powered. I think string lights always decorate an outdoor seating area beautifully, but shop around for novelty lights, different coloured ones, those that twinkle on and off or can be static. If you are having a new deck built, you can have lights fitted directly into it – this is a good way to illuminate the path if there are steps. There are lots of choices and the good news is because solar lamps are so much better these days, even if you don’t have an outdoor plug socket it doesn’t have to hinder you.
A cosy element
Whether you keep it cheep and cheerful with a few soft cushions and a good old blanket, or invest in a patio heater, chiminea or fire pit, when the lights go down and the cool night air comes in, you will need something cosy to allow you to stay outside for longer and enjoy every moment of the evening air. So think about what cosy element you would choose for your patio, deck or balcony.