Clever ways to style your outdoor living space

Bright outdoor living space
Jennifer Morgan,-Interiors Editor

Give your garden a mini makeover with some interior design hacks that you can take outside


This year, we have to make the most of whatever outdoor space we have, so it seems worthwhile to think about quick and easy things we can do to update our seating or dining areas. Here are a few interior design ideas that you can transfer easily to the garden and make the most of your outdoor living space.

Sail in a garden with an outdoor sofa

Lounge in style

Just as your sofa is the star of your living space, give an outdoor one the same status in your garden. Think about where you position the sofa – the obvious place is against one or two walls, but have you thought about using it to create a lounging zone in the middle? You might also experience a different viewpoint of your home and garden. Dress your garden sofa with colourful cushions – if your flowerbeds and lawn are looking a little tired by high summer, a few new cushions can help to add a colour boost.

Garden sofa with plants

Bring out a few styling tricks

Turn a wall or panelling behind your garden furniture into an outdoor ‘#shelfie’ moment with a simple wall shelf. Use it to show off a few lanterns, decorative finds, coloured glassware, plant pots and candles. Follow those classic, well-versed interior stylists’ rules and arrange things in odd numbers, creating little visual stories. Update a garden wall with an outdoor mirror, adding to the sense of space.

Use outdoor lighting to highlight areas of your garden, such as potted plants or climbers. Bring out a few cushions from inside to dress your furniture, mixing and matching prints in tonal colours for easy boho style.

Choose new accent colours

Treat your garden furniture to an update by introducing a new accent colour. Swap out tropical brights for pastel shades like mint green, or try a hit of everyone’s favourite, ochre. A few new cushions and a throw for when the sun begins to set should do the trick.

Dining alfresco has become a much more relaxed affair, with low-level coffee tables taking the place of more formal dining sets. Position your seating – which could include easy-to-move pouffes – around one. This will create a place for casual chatting, eating and relaxing.

Add some bold touches

Be bold and try using colours you might not be brave enough to try inside. Garden spaces can take stronger shades, with those hot, tropical colours guaranteed to give your patio a style hit. Think coral, turquoise and mustard, and look for hero pieces of furniture in these punchy colours, such as lounge chairs and tables. Or why not use these bolder colours to add a feature wall of colour, playing with graphic shapes for impact?

Try adding an occasional chair to your garden set, too. Look for pieces that combine colours playfully, such as blush with yellow – being braver outside might lead you to try similar colour partnerships in your next interior scheme.

Related Articles

great british bake off kit
The best kitchen kit for baking enthusiasts
Read more
Create a home office that’s as hard-working as you are
Setting up a home office? Here’s where to start
Read more
Storage ideas
The 10 storage solutions your home’s been waiting for
Read more
More stories