How’s your outdoor living space looking? Could a little decoration be in order?

An outdoor living space – a garden, a deck, a patio, whatever – shouldn’t look too perfect or too forced. That’s not what it’s all about but you do want it to hang together well. Thinking about how you decorate a room can help, and that’s what we’ll do here.

What kind of place do you want your outside space to be?

What are the colours associated with your vision for your space? Paint in this colour palette would bring things together. Green is fine, by the way! There are so many shades, all of which give serenity to an outside space.

What about a focal point which attracts your gaze? Fire pits are very fashionable now and work well in the evening but fabulous trees or fountains or sculpture are good in the daytime.

Mark the threshold

A very effective decoration move is to mark the boundary between inside and outside living spaces in an emphatic way. We love the idea that inside and outside flow and fade into one another but the outside is most definitely a special and different place. Put down a decorative marker! Pots overflowing with pelargoniums or with geometric succulents, fantastic urns, an arch or a pergola are all possibilities.

Garden urn filled with succulents and cacti in Corleone, Sicily. outdoor living space

Garden urn filled with succulents in Corleone, Sicily.

The ‘walls’ – pulling the boundaries of your space together

Even if you don’t have walls you’ve probably got a fence, some trellis, a hedge or some railings marking the edges of your outdoor living space.

Some boundaries are good enough on their own. Smartly painted decorative iron railings enclosing gardens, for example, make a big statement of their own.

Plum railings and white Japanese anemone, Worcestershire. Colour. Outdoor living space

Plum railings and white Japanese anemone, Worcestershire.
M K Stone

Some boundaries, especially in newish properties, are a bit bare and stark – they need some help and some decoration. Wooden fence panels cry out to be painted (good for maintenance!) and to be clothed with plants such as clematis, honeysuckle, morning glory, a climbing rose or sweet peas.

Do you have walls around your outdoor living space? Are they collapsing romantically (in which case roses, honeysuckle and ivy look so good) or are they in good condition? White-washed walls bounce light and warmth around tiny town courtyards, creating a warm microclimate where you can grow many Mediterranean plants successfully. Taking a tip from the Mediterranean, you can hang pots of flowers on the walls.

Look up, up to the ceiling of your outdoor living space

It’s the sky, obviously, with its wonderfully changing moods of weather and clouds. Link your space to the sky’s immensity by gazing through trelliswork of metal, wood or simply the branches and leaves of a tree. This acts as a boundary, making your outdoor living space feel more secure and adding to that sheltered and comfortable feeling.

outdoor living space


We have that sorted! Have a look here at outdoor dining and relaxing possibilities. Or perhaps reclaimed furniture is your thing.

Accents and lights

Add some colour accents with textiles that chime with your vision for your space – a tablecloth, the cushions, a few throws.

Set up mood or other garden lighting. You can use candles and tea lights, of course, but remember how fairy lights magically make a cramped area into a cosy one.

Enjoy decorating your outdoor space!