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Alfresco Lounge Life

Written by Redrow

10 May 2021

If you love al fresco life and want to create an outdoor living space that features stylish garden furniture and is perfect for entertaining and relaxing, we’ve compiled some of the freshest outdoor space design ideas just for you.

Creating a lounge feel outside

Whether you’re looking for the best garden furniture you can leave outside in all weather or require space saving garden furniture, there is an array of options from retailers. You can create a space that feels just like a lounge area with careful positioning, screening and cosy accessories to keep you warm on cooler evenings. 

Alysha Alli, head of our in-house interior design team, said: “Outdoor space has always been a key driver for people looking for a new home but it is now a top priority for 60% of movers.  One crucial design trend that has emerged this year is how outdoor space can be utilised as an additional room to your main home. We love to design areas that flow from and complement our show homes, particularly if they feature conservatories and open-plan areas that blur the boundaries of inside and outside space. Using beautiful garden furniture, including outdoor sofas and chairs that are almost indistinguishable from your lounge furniture, is a great way to achieve this feel.”

Be savvy with your seating plans

No longer just for weddings and events, a great seating plan is key to creating an outdoor ‘room’ that works for you and your family. 

Alysha says: “Consider how much space you want your seating area to take up and how many seats you will need. You can always opt for a set with just enough space for your family and add extra chairs when guests are visiting.”

There are some fabulously comfortable fold-away options like these zero-gravity lounge rocker chairs from ManoMano

Configurations include round tables with tub chairs, which can be great if you enjoy eating outdoors regularly, or you can choose sofa and chair combinations, corner or ‘U’ shaped sofas with coffee tables from John Lewis. Combine with footstools and ottoman style padded benches that double up as additional seats or added storage. 

Alysha adds: “If you’re clever with your configurations you can include enough comfortable seating for your family and guests, while still keeping your seating area compact if you’re limited on space. 

“Retailers offer an array of weatherproof materials from coated wicker, rattan and wood to glass and aluminium. 

Create an even cosier space by adding ambient lighting, screening and outdoor heaters. We love multi-functional outdoor item like this Aluminium fire pit table from Oakworld which doubles up as a heater and/or dining table.”

If you haven’t already, check out our six ways to create a sociable outdoor area so you can create the perfect entertaining space, which include ideas for cooking, heating, lighting and outdoor fun. 

Take outdoor lounging to the next level

If you’re not content with dining and socialising outside, how about a spot of snoozing too? In addition to sun loungers, day beds are becoming increasingly popular and can double up as seating. A rattan garden day bed is a great option if you want to lounge outdoors with the whole family; and you can split the sections apart to create seating and a table when you’re ready to enjoy a spot of lunch. Alternatively, this day bed from Dunelm doubles as a sofa and ottoman offering fantastic flexibility. 

Alysha says: “Day beds can create a feeling of indulgence and luxury for true relaxation outdoors. They really do blur the lines between outdoor and indoor living and can look great with luxurious throws and scatter cushions in beachy pastels, and a coordinating sunshade. They’re so comfortable you may never want to return indoors!”

Finishing touches are just as important for your outdoor room as they are indoors

Luxurious finishing touches

Alysha adds: “Finishing touches are just as important for your outdoor room as they are indoors. 

“Oversized lanterns, woven style candle holders and collections of clay and ceramic pots can look great grouped together around seating areas to create the ‘inside out’ look.

“When adding soft furnishings like cushions and throws, you need to consider washability and durability, especially if you are leaving them outside for longer periods of time. We love the range of outdoor cushions from Riverside Garden Centre, which come in an array of bold tones and feature prints influenced by nature, both key trends of the season. My favourites are these sunny yellow scatter cushions, in one of the season’s hottest hues. 

“Investing in a weatherproof garden storage box is a great idea. These clever designs from Fruugo actually double as a coffee table or stool while providing a handy place to pack away your soft furnishings at the end of the day.”

We’re featuring an area of outdoor furniture in our show home gardens to provide design inspiration. Discover your nearest show homes here - www.redrow.co.uk/search