Designing Outdoor Spaces

Designing Exterior Spaces Outdoors

Rising temperatures and bright blue holiday skies may be luring you to entertain and dine outside this summer.  Designing practical outdoor spaces and beautiful table settings is an important part of any outdoor lifestyle by the sea.  Here are a few decorating ideas to create seductive and guest-friendly entertainment areas.

Perfect Patios

Make sure your patio area, whatever size, is freshly painted and cleaned for your summer entertaining.  Neutral, light colour schemes tend to work best, so think whites, greys and sandy beach tones for a fresh summer feel.  A monochromatic palette allows you to create a variety of outdoor styles and add and play with accent colours and designs depending on the occasion.  Colour trends for 2016 include a myriad of blues and whites and a variety of pinks and yellow.

Fitting Furniture

Especially if your outdoor space is limited, start by measuring your furniture essentials to fit the space; the most important being your table & chairs, umbrella and course your braai.  Try selecting pieces that complement the indoor style and furniture of your home so that your patio becomes an extension of this style to establish a flow.  If your outdoor spaces allow, a large server is a must for placing your cutlery, glasses and food for buffet style entertaining.  Choose weather-resistant outdoor pieces that won’t require your constant upkeep.

Themed Table Settings

The easiest way to design a gorgeous table setting for hosting guests is to theme it.  Whether your theme is a simple colour scheme, or, a concept such as seaside, or nature, select table décor elements that will be a feast to all of your guests’ senses.  Fresh flowers, scented candles; tactile elements such as seashells or pebbles; an interesting centrepiece and personalized seating cards can all be great conversation pieces.  Try not to over clutter your table décor leaving guests feeling cramped and unable to reach for another glass of wine!

Lounging About

Dreaming of a lounging area for reading, writing, or hanging with guests? Always decorate around the key piece: the sofa. A neutral tone sofa will again allow you to add accent colour cushions that can be changed cost effectively.  Ensure your cushion fabric is meant for exterior usage and is sun-resistant and your couch is uber comfortable. Outdoor rugs are now available in a much wider range of designs and colours and are ideal for grounding a lounge area.  Made from polypropylene, they are both water and sun-resistant; just be sure not to place them too close to an open fire!

Outdoor Lighting

If you have an enclosed patio, hanging pendant lighting above your dining table is a lovely way to create an intimate eating area.  Hanging an assortment of festive glass lanterns, Chinese lanterns and fairy lights is also ambience enriching.  Finally just ensure that you have practical lighting around stairs and other awkward areas so that your guests don’t slip up after a few glasses of festive bubbly.

Lastly, cover up. Guard against too much sun exposure by providing sufficient shading over your entertainment spaces….Enjoy!

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