Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to get your outdoors ready. Here are some suggestions for giving your garden an update, whether you want to spend big or small
Save or splurge on these 8 stylish outdoor updates
Spend a lot, or spend a little. The choice is yours with these practical and stylish tips as a starting point for finessing al fresco, whatever your budget.
+ Swap out old outdoor wall lights for modern new models with sensors or colour-changing options.
+ If your outdoor dining space has a roof or pergola, install a statement pendant light over your table. This will add a little extra style to your al fresco dinners and provide better illumination of your latest culinary triumph.
+ Highlight your feature plants with solar-powered garden lights, which are cheap and readily available.
+ Lanterns containing tea light candles or LEDs cast a warm glow and create a real sense of occasion.
+ String festoon lights up along a fence or post for atmospheric lighting.
Places to relax
+ A bit low on shade in your outdoor area? Rather than building a permanent shade sail or splashing out on a big umbrella, a tent can be a fun yet a temporary way to avoid the sun’s hottest rays.
+ If you have a spot for it under a tree or pergola, hang a swinging chair and layer it with pillows and a throw for a great chill zone.
+ Nothing says “relax” like the gentle sway of a hammock. Whether you hang yours from some trees or on a bespoke stand, a hammock will become the in-demand napping spot at your place this summer.
+ Who doesn’t like pizza? A pizza oven brings an instant injection of fun and flavour to any backyard, and there are plenty of affordable options available, including easy attachments for your home barbecue.
+ Another way to keep the beating sun off your outdoor space is by adding a mesh sun shade. These can be installed quickly and are a great cost-effective option for sun protection. As they’re not permanent, they can easily be removed and taken with you if you move.
+ Visit your local hardware store and find a colourful outdoor umbrella to put up in your backyard.
For the kids
+ Give the kids a place to express themselves by painting a large sheet of outdoor plywood in blackboard paint. Screw the board to a fence or wall for an instant art area they will love.
+ A sandbox in a backyard will never go amiss with kids (and some adults). For an easy, affordable, portable and sun-smart alternative, fill an inexpensive play tent with sand and beach toys.
+ For a more ambitious project that your kids will love for years to come, get the tools out and start building. A playhouse, tree house or skate ramp built from a kitset will all offer hours of fun.
+ Installing a bar fridge in your outdoor entertainment area will dial up the luxe factor, as well as making it easier to prepare fresh food and cutting down on trips inside the house for more drinks!
+ Having an outdoor TV is a great way to enjoy the big game or a movie without leaving home. Avoid positioning it in direct sunlight and mount it so you can view from multiple angles.
+ Create a simple bar by fixing a shelf to an exterior wall of your house or fence using brackets or hinges. If you have a large window that opens out to your deck or patio, add this shelf underneath it and serve drinks through the hatch.
+ When entertaining outside, set up a drinks station using some inexpensive glass or plastic drinks dispensers. Arrange on a wooden crate or table with some glasses and reusable straws. Kids can help themselves to water or fruit drink and adults can enjoy a nice summer mojito without venturing inside.
+ Replace your faded or cracked pavers with some Moroccan-style or terrazzo versions for an on-trend update.
+ For a fun patterned look, paint a stencilled design directly onto your deck or pavers. Your pattern could include a hopscotch path or giant chess board.
Dive on in
+ Adding a pool is the ultimate garden update! Yes, it’s expensive, but it will add value to your property and offer enjoyment for years to come. Is this the right summer to finally take the plunge?
+ Got a secluded spot in your outdoor space that is screaming for a hot tub or spa? It can be a cheaper and easier alternative to a pool, and you’ll get use out of it all year round.
Words by: Vanessa Nouwens.