Bringing the inside out

Summer’s finally here and Redrow’s Interior Design Manager has come up with some top tips for turning your garden into the perfect outdoor living room.

From lighting to set the mood to firepits for extra warmth, Emma Brindley has plenty of suggestions for making the most of your outdoor space. Redrow Homes is also inviting people to create their own virtual style in return for the chance to win £250 of Not On The High Street vouchers.

The award-winning housebuilder has launched a competition on Pinterest to see who can create the most inspired and stylish outdoor living room.

To help get those creative juices flowing, here are Emma’s top five things to consider:

1. Lighting
There are plenty of options to choose from, both practical and on trend. Possibilities include citronella candles which can help to keep those bugs at bay but for something super stylish, why not hang festoon lights or oversized lanterns from trees and bushes to create a magical effect.

2. Seating and furniture
If you’re planning on making the most of your outdoor space and socialising with friends into the evening, then comfort is king. Make sure you buy appropriate furniture for lounging as well as dining. A pagoda or gazebo is always a good idea to provide much needed shade or rain protection. Children love the freedom of the garden so throw down some blankets and cushions for them so they can eat and play as they wish and keep the big comfy seating for the grown-ups.

3. Home grown
Make the most of the summer harvest by using as much as you can from the garden. Lavender can make a lovely table centrepiece and utilising home grown fresh fruit and veg in your salads and pudding can only serve to impress your guests and show off (or pretend) how green fingered you are.

4. Fire pits
Choose the one that’s right for your garden space. Large ones may offer more in terms of heat and lighting but there are more compact gel fuel alternatives that provide a decorative option and can even fit on a suitable table, ideal for smaller patio areas. Some garden tables even come with a small fire pit built in.

5. Dressing your space
You’d choose a colour scheme for the inside of your house, so do the same for your outside space. For ease, you can opt for a similar style to your interior design scheme and give some of your colourful cushions an outside airing to add interest to plain furniture. Colourful furniture is available to buy but for longevity it may be better to plump for funky accessories.

Emma says:

“The garden is now very much a room in its own right and has a multitude of uses. We can’t wait to see what ideas people come up with in our ‘Very Me, Very Redrow’ outdoor living competition.”

The deadline for entries is September 18 and all boards will be judged on their creativity, styling and individuality by Emma, who leads the design of Redrow’s showhomes around the UK.