Gary Warrell-Phillips

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We’re dining alfresco dahling!

1 August, 2015

With this seasons trend of bringing the indoors out, going out for dinner takes on a whole new meaning

Believe it or not, it’s still Summer and now is the time to embrace the season by opening our homes to the outdoors to create a seamless throughfare that brings the indoors out and vice versa.

Garden design today is about so much more than landscaping. With lifestyle changes demanding more open spaces within the home, the patio or deck area has become a natural extension of both our sitting and dining rooms, offering the perfect platform for creating a beautiful outdoor oasis.

What could be better than basking under the morning sun sipping tea, listening to bird song as you read the paper, whilst breathing in fresh air and the delightful scent of Summer, in a setting every bit as comfortable as your living room.

With streamed lines ever trending, it is the wood effect patio tile that is creating a real buzz in the design industry – they’re so realistic it’s hard to tell which is which. Imagine a beautiful wooden sitting room floor that appears to endlessly flow right into the garden…stunning!

Gone are the days of the traditional gathering round the barbeque waiting for burnt sausages, now it’s all about function and sophistication, creating comfortable spaces under the sun or stars that will make your guests want to linger for longer over coffee and scintillating conversation. Barbecues watch out, the demand for a full outdoor kitchen is rapidly growing.

The principle for designing your outdoor haven is exactly the same as it is indoors. Consider the space available, what it will be used for and who will be using it – creating a floor plan or layout will ensure the area can incorporate everything you would like it to. If you have a larger outside space, for more versatility, why not create an area for formal dining and another with big comfy chairs that you and your guests can retire to for one or two digestifs before the call of slumber beckons.

Outdoor spaces are perfect for families to spend quality time together and for entertaining friends or work colleagues. Incorporating furniture that is multi-functional enables you to adapt easily to each situation. With so many stylish and versatile design options, such as clever seating solutions with built in storage that can also be used as an accent or coffee table, or a hybrid dining table that conceals a built in fire pit or barbeque, the possibilities are endless.

Just like indoors, comfort is also an important feature of your outdoor space and this is not limited to the furniture you sit on. With our ever changing British climate, consider providing areas of shelter from the elements. Whether it’s in the form of a free standing canopy, a pergola or awning, all of these stylish options can assist in creating a perfect solution so you can dine alfresco whatever the weather.

Once your outside space looks dazzling don’t let all of your hard work disappear once the sun does. Combining accent lighting with candles, twinkly lights and a few well chosen accessories such as cushions, throws and ornaments will add just the right amount of ambience that will beautifully transform your indoor/outdoor space, creating an atmosphere that is simply magic!

Gary Warrell-Phillips, Decoration by Design, Farnborough, Hampshire

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