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Outdoor living

Embracing the Outdoor Living Trend

Following on from the lockdowns of the recent years during the Covid 19 pandemic, one of the biggest trends to emerge in 2022 is outdoor living. The garden has now become an extension of the indoor space, allowing you to do pretty much anything you can do in the home, outside.

Here are some of the biggest trends and examples of how you can embrace them:

Exterior is the new interior

Think moving your living room to the garden!

The main way to embrace the outdoor living trend is with comfortable outdoor furniture that allows you to enjoy the garden at any time of the day or night. Luxurious sofas and chairs, finished with sumptuous cushions and cosy knitted throws allow you to relax throughout the day.

Including rattan garden sofa and fire pit sets in your outdoor living area allows you to enjoy the space as you move into the evening and night-time. Rattan is also a great way to include the eco-friendly trend for this year, providing a more natural aesthetic.

Including a dining set in your outdoor living space means you can even enjoy meal times in your garden as well as using it for children’s art and homework activities or laptop time.

Enjoy the outdoors in any season

If you want to use the space on colder days (or nights), outdoor infrared heaters and radiant heaters provide even heat distribution, with a similar feel to natural sunlight. There are many energy efficient options available, so you can enjoy your outdoor time without worrying about the cost of living crisis!

Outdoor entertainment areas

Once upon a time, outdoor entertainment meant wheeling out the BBQ. Today, outdoor entertainment has evolved significantly, inspired in part by European outdoor spaces.

Outdoor kitchens now play a big part in many garden designs, including everything from gas cookers to fridges, sinks and worktops. Outdoor bars and cinemas are also gaining popularity, including a sheltered space to drink alfresco whilst enjoying your favourite movies on your devices.

A change of scenery

Another change that came as part of the Covid 19 restrictions is an increase in people working from home. Rather than being confined to the same 4 walls 24 hours a day, garden offices and outdoor working became popular.

Garden rooms provide a separate space away from the home. Including everything from insulation to electrics, they make the perfect home office and allow you to separate work from home life for a better work-life balance.

If you prefer something less permanent that you can use as and when, you could create a decked area with tables and seating for an impromptu outdoor office.

Outdoor lighting

With the increased popularity of outdoor living, there has been an explosion of outdoor lighting options beyond the traditional fairy lights.

From electricity powered wall mounted lights to portable solar powered lights, the choices are endless.

If you’re looking to add some stylish drama to your outdoor living space, outdoor pendant lights are an excellent choice and can be positioned above dining tables, hanging from natural wooden beams for example.

Positioning LED lighting next to water such as ponds also creates a stunning effect at night-time.

Uplighting positioned around your seating area provides a more subtle aesthetic, perfect for relaxing with friends and family into the evening.

However you decide to decorate your outdoor living space, it’s definitely a trend that’s worth looking into as we head into the summer months.

Small Garden Furniture

Every garden is different, and we all have our style of garden decorating. When you have a small patio or garden, you would want to utilise and make the most of your limited space, and with the right garden furniture, even the smallest of gardens can seem much bigger and more inviting. Here at Hastings Garden Centre, we have made a guide on ways to incorporate small garden furniture into your garden.

Minimalist garden for space-saving solutions

A minimal garden makes use of limited design elements by creating a simple, uncluttered relaxing environment. To achieve a clean look, you can limit objects in your surroundings by opting for folding chairs and folding table.

Folding furniture is a great way to maximise and extend your space, and it’s perfect for summer events, and spares can be used to accommodate a guest. These can easily be stored and taken out of storage instantly, and they will make your garden look peaceful from the view inside your home.

Family Garden Bench

Picnic benches are perfect for large open gardens since they can be placed against a wall. Garden benches are great for families as they allow you to participate in fun activities in the central area and give the kids plenty of space to move around freely.

Traditional wooden benches are available in different colours, shapes and sizes that can cater to other occasions. A round style bench is perfect for small gatherings, whilst a straight bench can come in handy for compact-sized gardens.

Bistro Style area

Cafe style furniture and bistro sets can give a small garden a designated spot to sit and catch up with friends and family without taking up too much space. A bistro set will have at least two chairs and a table with various designs made with lightweight metal and slim components, which helps to create a compact space that feel large and spacious.

If you want to opt for a bar-style environment for outdoor events and gatherings, raised bar stools on skinny legs will keep the floor clear and allow light to pass through, creating an airy and space-enhancing aesthetic for your garden.

Outdoor dining with garden tables and chairs

A sturdy garden chair and table set is the most popular furniture choice to turn your patio into a sunny social gathering area. Larger spaces are perfect for complete seating sets. You can co-ordinate your set with matching chairs, sofas and tables, and there’s plenty of options for colour scheme, designs and furniture size to choose from.

For a less permanent option, a metal pergola is ideal for occasional parties and bbq with friends and families since they can create a cosy outdoor living area where you can place sofas and tables. The added protection and shelter from a pergola makes it easy to accessories the space with outdoor cushions and lighting to create an ambient and relaxing atmosphere.

Whichever garden furniture you buy, make sure to invest in a decent furniture set that will last you for many years to come. Always cover your furniture or store them inside during the winter when it is not used to elongate their lifespan and keep them in the best condition.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Your Garden

With the correct lighting and outdoor garden design, you can completely transform an average garden into a pleasant outdoor haven that you’ll want to relax in day and night. A creative outdoor lighting idea might be what your garden needs to make the area atmospheric and inviting during evening and nighttime.

Playing around with different styles and lighting products can illuminate your outdoor area with a warm and cosy glow at dusk. Several options include mini lanterns, floor spotlights, fairy lights on trees or walkway lamps, to mention a few. Picking the proper lighting can highlight key features in your garden, add a personal touch to your favourite space and draw attention to the garden’s main feature.

To help you design your ideal outdoor garden, we have included the best outdoor lighting ideas that are on-trend right now.

Accentuate your favourite plants with a rope light

If you have a favourite flowerbed or plant that you have spent endless hours working on during the summer, then you can illuminate any garden patch and make them stand out with rope light. Running the rope light along the edge can help you shape and give your plants a chance to glow even during the colder seasons.

Weave plants and trees with fairy lights

You can utilise fairy lights or outdoor Christmas lights by wrapping them around trees, plants or structures around the garden. Whichever option you opt for, a string of outdoor fairy lights can bring the very best of your trees and create a magical scene during the night. It’s low in maintenance and great for value.

Illuminate your pathways with floor lights

Aside from its practical and safety purposes, floor lighting positioned in your garden pathways can invite your guest to make their way around your garden and fully experience its entirety. Floor lights are great alternatives if you’re not a fan of posts or stake lights and prefer a subtle and minimal design footprint.

Mix and match different light bulb shapes and elevate them at different heights

If you’re into retro or vintage garden lighting styles, mixing and matching your light bulb shapes adds depth and a sense of spontaneity to the environment. Combining various features from quirky string lights to different sized lanterns adds a whimsical and playful atmosphere in your garden, helping you and your guest feel relaxed and cosy.

Organising A Garden Party With A Marquee

It might not be something you’ve considered before, but even large parties or formal events can actually be hosted at your own home without having to clear space or decorate indoors.

How is this possible, you ask? By making use of your garden, of course! It’s a great idea to get your guests outside where there will often be more space, flexibility and fresh air, but having a dedicated marquee really completes the picture. But why is this such a popular option?

We’ve consulted some experts in their field to compile this list of the most common benefits of hosting your party outdoors with a marquee. The professionals at Marquee Leisure have been in business for decades providing marquee hire in Birmingham and the surrounding regions, so they know what their customers have loved the most about choosing this option for their events.

Brining the indoors outdoors

With a marquee, you really do get the best of both worlds, which is perhaps the most appealing aspect of hiring one for an important party or event. While you’ll be able to enjoy the sense of space and freshness outside in your garden, there’s still plenty of room for catering, music, lighting and other equipment or areas that should really be kept under cover.

Avoiding the British weather

As a continuation of our first point, it’s worth remembering the difficulties associated with hosting an outdoor event in a country like the UK, where the weather can be unpredictable at best. The weather won’t be able to interfere with your schedule as long as you have a marquee to keep away unwanted rain.

Accommodate more guests

Of course, with a large marquee you will probably be able to invite more guests than you usually would if you had to host the event in your own home. In fact, you can usually define the exact size you have available in your garden and get a custom marquee set up to fill the space exactly. This means you can maximise efficiency and don’t have to worry about inviting extra guests to make your event even more special.

Cut down on costs

Marquee hire can actually be a very cost-effective alternative when you compare it with other solutions for getting a large party venue. Most of the best venues in the UK will usually be booked up well in advance, especially if you’re looking for something for a wedding party, and due to the high demand they will tend to charge extremely high prices. With a marquee, you can cut down on the amount you spend quite considerably by avoiding these traditional event venues completely.

Easy lighting and heating

It’s probably easier than you think to provide adequate heating and lighting in a marquee. If you hire one from a professional company, they will usually be able to include these additional services in a package for you, or recommend the best way to achieve the look you want.

Get more use out of your garden

Last but not least, we do think that any excuse to use your garden more is a good one. Don’t feel that a plain open space isn’t suitable for entertaining, because this is the ideal spot for a great marquee to be set up. The shelter and heat provided by a marquee also means that you can use your garden for hosting events throughout the year, even during winter.