As the glorious warm weather continues to sweep across the country, it's no surprise homeowners are keen to get outside and enjoy their outside spaces to their full potential. However, if you've neglected your garden over the Winter months or feel your outside space is in need of a little TLC, here's six quick tricks for transforming your area to an authentic alfresco retreat:
1. Whether you enjoy socialising, entertaining or relaxing in your garden, chances are you won't want your neighbours watching your every move. If your outside space is overlooked, plant vines, shrubs or even small trees in strategic places to restrict views, with just one or two pieces of greenery making all the difference.
2. It may sound obvious, but make sure your patio is easily accessible by keeping your outdoor living space close to where you'll use it most. For example, consider a patio outside your kitchen if you envision it as a great spot for enjoying alfresco meals, or create a secluded sanctuary at the end of your garden if you want to make the most of a shady area.
3. One of the easiest ways to add interest and texture to your patio is with an attractive container or two. Select plants and pots that fill the space and suit your personal taste. Lots of foliage options, such as popular Miscanthus and Coleus, will flourish from Spring to Autumn for maximum impact and an abundance of gorgeous greenery.
4. No patio is complete without some stylish alfresco furniture to inject comfort and function to your outside space. If you're looking for furniture which requires minimal maintenance, the majority of metal, teak, cedar and all-weather wicker pieces are fairly hard-wearing so they'll withstand most weather conditions. This said, to keep your furniture in tip-top condition, we'd suggest using furniture covers or storing it in a protected location, such as beneath our Outdoor Living Pod.
5. Contrary to popular belief, water features do not need to be intrusive and dominate your outside space to make a big impact. Even the smallest of water fountains or birdbaths create a relaxing sound and movement that attracts birds and butterflies whilst forming a stunning focal point for your alfresco area.
6. Exterior lighting has many functions, such as ensuring safety along walkways and paths whilst creating ambience once the natural light fades. We think exterior lighting should be an integral part of any patio design, and the optional LED strip lighting built onto the underside of our patio awnings emits an attractive warm glow which is ideal for those late-night parties and Summer gatherings.