Create a cozy outside

Interior ideas for your outside space

In Ireland the summer is fickle.  Endless sunny days are not a given like for example a South African summer. But I still enjoy summer as a different season here. The beautiful greenery and colours everywhere, the birdsong, those lovely long summer evenings when the sun dips the horizon around 10:30 pm…

Just because you spend more time inside than outside and your living quarters are mostly inside doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful inviting outside space.

It also doesn’t matter how small your outside space is, you can always spruce it up and transform it into an appealing and peaceful place to sit and read a book or just enjoy the outside. It needs to shelter you from the wind or any other elements like too much sunshine….

Some basic tips to spruce up your outside space:

1. Tables and Chairs

small table
Versatile small table.

– Tables: Anything goes – a tiny bistro set or a low outside coffee table or a big rectangularly, round or square table – whatever your preference and your space, it will work.  Places like Jysk and Ikea have a wide variety of affordable garden furniture.

Even to have some versatile small tables that can work outside and inside are handy to have.

– Chairs: There is such an assortment of styles and types on the market, you will definitely find something that you’ll like. It is important with all garden furniture that it can withstand the elements. So they need to be treated with certain coatings and you’ll have to cover them in the winter if you don’t want to buy new furniture every year.

When looking for tables and chairs:  a) measure your space, b) decide on the colour, c) decide if you want chairs or benches or sofas or a mixture of styles. It will help if you try and decide before you go shopping, because the variety can overwhelm you if you don’t have a plan. A moodboard or using Milanote (like I did in this blog post) is always handy.

different chairs for outside
Chairs for outside. I couldn’t find four of the same, so went with two of each.

2. Plants

With your table and seating planned, now comes the fun part. You can add plants, baskets, beautiful coloured tablecloths or throws, candles and even outside rugs.

Plants are great to zone your space.  Look at your inside space.  Do you use plants as décor, as a zoning mechanism or to make your space feel more cozy?  Do the same.  Just remember to make use of plants that can grow outside.  You can also use plants as a decorative idea. Maybe have some hanging on a trellis which can double to shelter you from the wind. Or have big planters to use as dividers.

3. Rugs, throws, pillows, cushions, colours

These days you can use outside rugs to place underneath the table. This really makes the area look comfortable and zoned, but remember to take it inside when the weather changes. Throws which are available in any home store are ideal to softened the space and also practical for when it gets a little bit chilly. And use colours to brighten your space. Make it inviting.

Also with the unpredictable weather in this part of the world a garden furniture storage box for all those soft furnishings is ideal.

4. Lights and candles

Candles are always a winner because of the atmosphere it creates. But if there is a little bit of wind, lanterns might be a better option. Fairy lights will also help create atmosphere and you can use solar-powered lights as well which is even better.

5. Use your imagination

outside in Cape Town

Because you want the space to feel individual put your stamp on it. Use your imagination and don’t shy away from that. This is your space.

My sister who lives in Cape Town makes use of many succulents (which unfortunately will struggle to grow outside here), but a few years ago Cape Town was hit by a severe drought and they had to revert to clever ideas to still have some greenery in the garden. Using native plants that are used to the climate, was a given.  

To give some quirkiness to the garden and make it feel more individual she made use of an old wheelbarrow and some hanging hearts and shells to heighten the interest of the space and succeeded in making the garden feel like an outside room, an inviting space to sit and enjoy some peace.

creative with outside space

Treat your outside space like another room where you can relax and enjoy nature.

Happy summer (in the Northern hemisphere)


my name, Ieteke, signed under the blog post withyourcoffee
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *