What is Outdoor Living?

What is Outdoor Living

So, what is outdoor living? We think it’s about taking what you love doing indoors outside into the open air. Whether it’s sitting around a dining table to eat a delicious home-made meal, or relaxing with loved ones on the sofa, these comfortable and familiar things can all be enjoyed outside of the home. And that’s what outdoor living is all about.

Not every home has a large garden, but if you do have access to outdoor space, it is worth taking a moment to consider if you are putting your outdoor space to best use and think about ways to improve it.

Using any outdoor space is a great way to extend your world. A garden is ideal, but any outdoor space can be made into a haven to relax, have fun, or to enjoy food and drinks with family and friends. Outdoor space provides the perfect opportunity to introduce style and colour through the use of garden furniture and accessories to create a unique outdoor space to be proud of.

Whether you have a large patio or a small balcony, there are some great solutions to make spending time outside, either alone or together, more enjoyable.

To help you make the most of your outdoor space, we’ve compiled a list of 6 ways to enjoy outdoor living. For now, we will focus on outdoor living at home, but you can apply these principles to trips away too.

6 ways to enjoy Outdoor Living

Thinking about how you live indoors will provide you with some great ideas for outdoor living:

Outdoor living
1.Find the Sweet Spot & create an outdoor living zone
2.Dine al fresco with a barbecue, grill or pizza oven
3.Showcase your style with outdoor seating & dining
4.Keep warm and extend time outdoors with a fire pit, chimenea or patio heater
5.Create the perfect atmosphere with outdoor lighting
6.Accessorize with a splash of colour and add interest with garden accessories

1. Find the Sweet Spot

Every outdoor space has a ‘Sweet Spot’. Depending on what you enjoy most, this could be a shady part of the garden, a sun trap or simply a spot with a view. Either way, think about where your favourite outdoor space is.

You may decide that there are a few sweet spots outside. As the sun moves throughout the day, it’s important to bear in mind how you want to use your outdoor space at different times of the day. Watch how the sun moves and how shade is cast from natural objects around the garden and even how the shadow of your home affects light levels outside.

Once you have identified your sweet spot or spots, this will help determine what you need to make the most of that zone.

Some sweet spots come with natural shade from mature trees, whilst others are open south facing aspects. Your favourite spot might be lawned or paved, either way, think about using some landscape accessories such as pergolas, gazebos or a large parasol to provide protection from the glaring sun. Or enjoy the protection from a gazebo roof canopy and curtain pack, to protect against the elements and general garden grime.

Our favourite way to enjoy shade is under the protection of a versatile Bramblecrest cantilever side post parasol. These large and elegant parasols move in different directions and can be tilted to provide shade for circular, square or rectangular patio sets and some feature impressive integrated LEDs and speaker options.

For small spaces that need protecting from the sun, try a half round balcony parasol by Hartman. These fit neatly against a wall to provide shade and work brilliantly on a balcony or small patio.

By using a gazebo structure close to the home, you can effectively extend your indoor living areas. Not only will it help to shade a south facing room, but it provides the perfect access to a newly created outdoor zone or sweet spot!

2. Dine al fresco

Family gatherings with the Weber Genesis II E-310 GBS Gas Grill Barbecue (Black)

Whilst friends and family are outside in the garden, the last place you want to be is stuck in your kitchen. By creating a functional kitchen area outside, you can enjoy spending time together whilst cooking up a feast.

If you have the space to go the full hog, then a dedicated outdoor kitchen is the way to go, with an outdoor sink, preparation area, outdoor fridge, drinks bar, barbecue or pizza oven for a real wow factor.

But don’t worry if you don’t have the space or the budget for a super duper outdoor kitchen. A good quality charcoal, gas or electric barbecue will fit the bill, no matter how big or small.

A barbecue for your outdoor space, is arguably the best investment for outdoor living and nothing tastes better than a smoke infused chargrilled beef or veggie-burger. We love Weber and Kamado Joe grills. These American inspired outdoor appliances cook with authentic flavour. Barbecues from these brands can include everything you need from food preparation side tables, to tool hooks for your spatula or tongs, so you won’t need a fancy outdoor kitchen. They’re easy to use and will last for years to come. Additionally, for a perfectly baked crispy pizza, we adore British designed Ooni pizza ovens.

3. Showcase your style

Whether you enjoy minimalist or maximalist style at home, furniture style says a lot about personal taste. Outdoors is no different and you can kick back and relax on an outdoor sofa or sit together around a dining set in the garden. Perhaps you are fed up with making do with old camping chairs or have an outdated patio set. If so, it’s never too late to bring a touch of luxury to your garden and make it a home-from-home. Make your garden an outdoor space both you and your loved ones can enjoy.

Swing Seats & Cocoon Chairs

Comfortable and reliable garden furniture makes all the difference to spending time outdoors. There’s a wide selection of garden furniture available, from garden dining and patio lounge sets, to swing seats like cocoons and firepit sets. So choose wisely to maximise the potential of your outdoor space.

You can enjoy eating with a formal dining set, but some prefer a more relaxed approach with a casual lounge set. These all come in many shapes and sizes, from elliptical dining sets to L shaped corner sofas. Rattan or aluminium patio sets called Casual Lounge Sets are very versatile and come with a height adjustable table to provide flexibility for morning coffee or a dinner party.

Some larger luxury Lounge Sets come with an integrated firepit table. These are ideal for those who want to spend longer outside and party on into the night.

If you plan to leave garden furniture set up all year round, then we recommend choosing from a leading furniture brand with a reputation for all-weather materials and reliable protective covers. Brands such as Bramblecrest, Kettler, Hartman, LIFE and Supremo are some to look out for, offering all-weather frames with season-proof cushions and protective covers. These garden furniture sets can be left outside all year round, however it is always a good idea to store cushions when not in use and pop on protective covers to prevent grime.

There are some outdoor living brands that make patio sets that can be left outside all year round and uncovered, whatever the weather. These sets are low maintenance, convenient and tend to be the luxury option because of their durability. Look out for Bramblecrest’s Monte Carlo range, made with nautical marine grade materials that won’t rot or rust. Another favourite brand of ours for low maintenance furniture is 4 Seasons Outdoor (4SO). 4SO is one of the few furniture brands that doesn’t need covering (although a cover is great for protecting against nuisance bird droppings or tree sap).

Always check measurements and footprints to make sure your chosen garden furniture will fit your outdoor space. If you are tight on space, look out for compact solutions such as Bramblecrest’s Tetbury Cloud Tree-Free Balcony Set with Parasol & Base which tucks away or pulls out to create more seating.

4. Keep warm

You can enjoy outdoor living in all weathers. When the day cools or when night falls, keeping warm is a good way to be able to carry on the conversation or keep the party going outside. There are lots of ways to heat outdoor spaces, from chimeneas and electric patio heaters, to fire pits.

Chimeneas and fire pits make a stylish focal point to burn wood or charcoal and they’re a great way to generate heat. They look great and many come with additional accessories to toast marshmallows or simply grill a sausage or two, but their primary focus is to provide outdoor heating.

Many quality patio heaters rely on electric hook up and come with long cables and UK plugs, so bear in mind access if you choose this option for outdoor living. Patio heaters come in a range of sizes, styles, and price ranges to suit every pocket. They can transform your outdoor living experience and create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. A firm favourite that we receive lots of positive feedback about is the Kettler Kalos Plush Electric Table Top Heater (for outdoor use only), which is both elegant and practical and works just like any table lamp in the home, but with the extra bonus of providing heat.

Chimeneas and fire pits use natural wood which makes them a popular choice for 2022. But we think you’ll love our energy efficient patio heaters too for practicability and style. The Heatmaster Popular Electric Heater for parasols is a fabulous choice to keep guests cosy around a garden dining set and provides targeted heat.

Firepits are increasingly popular and the shape of a firepit makes it a sociable and accessible heat source for any sized outdoor space. Most fire pits are circular by design, so they give everyone access to warmth, but remember (as with any outdoor heating solution) to always supervise around children and pets.

5. Outdoor lighting

Brightening up an outdoor area or the ‘sweet spot’ will make all the difference to spending time outside.

Smart Solar Eureka Retro Lightbulbs 4 Pack Lifestyle day

Like the home, many outdoor lighting solutions rely on electric hook up, but you’d be amazed at how a few solar lights using free energy without the need for mains power, can make a real difference to provide a welcoming and cheerful space when the sun goes down. They also make a great nighttime feature.

Solar lighting does not rely on a mains power supply, so it is a great eco-friendly way to bring light to outdoor spaces. Whether it be for decorative or practical reasons, there are lots of different types to choose from. Solar lighting can be used for pathways, rockeries, borders, and decking.

You can light up a favourite landscaped area in the garden or keep an outdoor space secure with motion sensor solar lighting. For added peace of mind, flood lights powered by solar energy are available from trusted brands like Smart Solar. They make a wide range of security lighting including bollards, fence, wall, and post lights.

However if you simply enjoy decorative lights, then consider solar lighting to add another dimension to the garden. Many solar lights provide a realistic glow to create an authentic lantern look without the worry of naked flames or candles.

Last year, pendant solar lighting was a firm favourite, alongside strings of light bulbs and we see this theme continuing this year with a focus on decorative lanterns and torches.

6. Accessorize

Finally, add the finishing touches to your outdoor space. What makes your house a home are all of the little extras, from ornaments, framed pictures, houseplants and mirrors, to throws, rugs and scatter cushions. These things can make a home, but they can make your garden too.

Try introducing a garden mirror, to create the illusion of more space and brighten up a dark garden corner.

Sculptures like wind spinners add height, colour, movement, and interest in a garden. Both relaxing and mesmerising to watch, a wind spinner or a collection of them can create a brilliant focal point. If contemporary country style is your thing, try a beautiful burnished or Verdigris wind spinner by Jonart Design.

And for a bit of extra comfort, choose some interesting and colourful scatter cushions. These are ideal for garden seating and can help to update the overall look of garden furniture.

Scatter Cushions

Lastly, by simply adding some colourful potted plants, you’ll be able to complete the look of any outdoor space. Plant pots provide the ideal opportunity to add greenery, colour and style to spaces with or without lawns.

These little finishing touches make all the difference to achieving outdoor living at its best. As a garden centre, outdoor living is something we like to think we are experts in. For over seventy years, we’ve grown and so has our Outdoor Living range of garden furniture and accessories, which are available to buy in-store or online all year round (subject to availability).

We are proud that many of our customers enjoy not only our plants, but our furniture and accessories for their homes and gardens too. We think it’s important to make life easier and we want to help you to enjoy quality time outside.

We stock a wide range of garden furniture from market-leading brands, as well as a fantastic selection of outdoor heating and barbecues for sale. We are proud to be an official Weber World Store, which means we stock and display Weber barbecues and accessories all year round.

You can shop our Outdoor Living range online or visit us in-store to see the latest trends in outdoor living to find the right high-quality garden furniture and outdoor equipment to make your outdoor space perfect.

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