6 Design ideas to beautify your outside space this summer

7 min read

After being cooped up inside for another winter, the first glimpse of spring has you longingly looking out the window at your outdoor space. It’s where you invite your friends for cold lemonade and a hot barbecue, or where you can sit outside with a good book, simply soaking up the sun. You deserve a space to relax and enjoy. So, we put together six design ideas for a beautiful and cosy outdoor space, whether you have a balcony, roof terrace or full-fledged garden.

Idea #1: Garden zones create the illusion of space

Your outdoor space is an extension of your home, so why not design it to fit your lifestyle? If you are an avid book reader, create a cosy reading nook that invites you to read outside. If you like to invite friends for dinner, design your garden around your dining furniture.

Outdoor Flex creating zones in your garden

You create zones in your garden by dividing the space by how you intend to use it. Not only will you create a modern and clean look, zones also make your garden look more spacious. Different textures and levels emphasise your zones. Stone goes well with plants; wooden tiles create a sense of warmth in a seating area. They’re also comfortable if you enjoy walking barefoot. High planters or borders can act both as dividers and extra seating space. If you want to enjoy your garden at night, border your garden zones with garden lighting, place pedestal lighting by paths and spotlights in your seating area. Ideal if you enjoy long conversations with your guests after a barbecue!

garden shade summer

Idea #2: Keep it cool with shade and greenery

Some summer days, it simply gets too hot for comfort. Gardens and roofs in cities can heat up even more than rural areas in summer. There’s only so much ice cream you can eat to cool down! Luckily, these easy tricks help you cool down your garden and enjoy your outdoor space longer.

Create shade with plants, screens, or covers. Choose a tree with a large leaf, like a small palm. If you have lots of space, a covered lounge area with a wooden canopy provides shade all day. For smaller spaces, screens made from natural material like bamboo bring privacy as well as shade. On a budget? Simply get a small, inexpensive awning or parasol.

A little pond or more greenery also help to cool down your garden. Hedges and climbing plants will make your garden cooler and cosier. Remove tiles for a cooler garden and improved water regulation. Grass feels wonderful beneath your toes. Unfortunately, real grass needs mowing, so it’s not ideal for smaller gardens. In that case, choose plant borders, gravel, wood chips, wooden tiles or artificial grass instead. If you enjoy the beach: white sand reflects sunlight so the ground heats up less and will look great with your brand-new palm tree. You’re sure to have the coolest garden in town!

Idea #3: Plants for your (vertical) garden

So, how to add more greenery to your garden? Hanging pots and fence planters spice up a balcony or small covered area. Olive trees and small apple trees are ideal for smaller spaces. Rosemary, lavender, and thyme remain green throughout the winter and bloom purple in summer, and they are easy to care for. Put rosemary in raised beds or planters and the vines will cascade downwards.

vertical garden plants

Empty walls can be turned into impressive and inexpensive vertical gardens. Use old pallets, hanging pots and planters, a lattice, or simply guide climbing plants to grow upward. Some fruit trees can even be trained to grow along your walls. Herbs, strawberries, and lettuce perform well in smaller planters or hanging pots.

Don’t have a green thumb? Do not stress. You can create a living wall with un-killable succulents or alpines. These can be placed vertically between stacked rocks. Or make a beautiful lattice wall with simple green climbing plants. For a unique effect, add smart outdoor lighting to your vertical masterpiece. Some well-aimed spots in surrounding borders or LED light strips behind the lattice will make sure you enjoy it even after the sun has set.

Idea #4: Lengthen your day with smart garden lighting

Oh, those summer nights! Extend your day by designing your garden with long lasting evenings in mind. Warmth and garden lights are the key to a comfortable night garden.

Outdoor smart lighting garden lounge setting

Does it get too chilly after sunset to comfortable stay outside at night? Heaters and fire pits work wonders, but they’re not the most environmentally friendly choice. The cheap and easy fix is to wear layers, turn on some warm outdoor lighting and snuggle up beneath a blanket with a hot cup of tea. Cushions, blankets, and candles work for your decor as well as provide extra warmth.

Garden lighting is essential to enjoy the garden at night. If you use smart outdoor lighting, you can control the colours and warmth of your lights, as well as when they turn on and off. Even on nights that get too cold to sit outside, you can still enjoy the backdrop of your beautiful, well-lit garden comfortably looking out the window. Have you always dreamed of a fairy-tale garden? Hang fairy globe lights or bulbs from your cover for a romantic atmosphere.

garden hammock or swing chair

Idea #5 Perfectly picked garden furniture

A cosy garden needs comfortable furniture, so you’ll never want to leave. But do you find that furniture looks blocky and cramped in a small outdoor space?

Open furniture instead of blocky chairs and tables create a more spacious look. Iron, wooden or bamboo furniture have options with narrow legs. Ideally, you can fold them up, or even extend them to seat extra guests. Hammocks can be placed between trees, walls, or on a hammock stand. Because they are off the ground and movable, hammocks save space. The same goes for hanging chairs or swings. Turn a desolate garden corner into a romantically lit reading nook with a woven swing chair. A small outdoor kitchen is a perfect addition for food lovers. For outdoor meals, a dining set is more comfortable than a lounge set, unless you don’t mind being bent over your meal.

Idea #6 Colour your garden without commitment using smart outdoor lighting

See your garden design as an extension of your home decor, but with an extra dash of colour. Connect your outdoor space to the indoor by using similar colours, with just a little extra brightness.

colour garden

Express colour on walls and fences, in a bright furniture set, unique plant choices and decorative pillows and rugs. Perhaps a bright blue for a Mediterranean garden, red for a Chinese zen garden, or warm yellow for a Mexico-inspired garden. If you’re feeling bold, paint a wall contemporary black. It’s a dramatic backdrop for green, works well with lighting and does a great job of zoning your garden. Small balconies on the other hand look cosy and warm with bright colour schemes and lots of white. Combine patterned pillows with a roughly hewn rug and brightly painted flowerpots for a joyous balcony.

If you’re unsure how to approach colour or want to keep it clean and modern: pick a simple set of tones based on white, grey, brown or black, and add colour without commitment by colouring your outside space with smart lighting. That way you don’t have to pick a definitive colour and stick to it until you feel like repainting. Instead, switch the colour palette from neutral and stylish to bright and cheerful whenever you feel like it. A tip from us: theme different occasions with lighting. Smart garden lights help you to create any atmosphere in a flash. Think of romantic, warm light for date night, or get adventurous with bright colours for a garden party.

The cosiness from inside, outside

A cosy garden is easy to achieve with just a few changes to shading, zones, and decoration. Play around with these ideas to find out what works for you and your outdoor space. Want to add a splash of brightness or create your fairy-tale garden? We’ve highlighted some of the smart outdoor lighting products from the images to cosy up your garden:

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