Give your outdoor lighting a contemporary feel with these Box Lanterns from Daisy West, £15.75.
With warmer evenings hopefully on their way, it’s time to embrace one of my favourite summer pastimes; dinner in the garden.
I don’t know about you but, for me, there’s nothing nicer than sitting in the garden eating dinner with a glass or two of vino.
Whether it’s a relaxed, after-work supper or entertaining friends at the weekend, adding some outdoor lighting is a great way to create atmosphere and make the most of your evenings, long after the sun has gone down.
Lanterns are the perfect choice as they can withstand the odd breeze, and I love these Box Lanterns from Daisy West.
Simple in design, they suit both contemporary and classic outdoor spaces and, best of all, come as a set of two which makes them an absolute bargain.
Barbecue in style with this Barbecue Mod – 02 from Garden Beet, £583.20.
If you believe those in the know, summer is on its way (Yeah right - Ed), and that means it’s barbecue time. Whether you go for traditional burgers and bangers or more exotic seafood, you’ll need something to get your food sizzling.
There are tons of barbecues on the market, in a multitude of styles, sizes and and for a wide range of budgets.
For a super-stylish one this Barbecue Mod – 02 from Garden Beet is the perfect choice.
Made from concrete and metal, I love the angular shape which will create a real style statement in your garden plus, for the techie barbecue enthusiasts among you, this design also comes with an adjustable grill so you can make sure you end up with beautifully cooked food.
Keep your glasses safe and your picnics stylish with these Printed Melamine Beakers from Rigby & Mac, £4.75.
Picnic season is upon us, which is fantastic for me as it’s one of my favourite pastimes during the summer months.
Whether you choose a pretty seaside spot or a secluded country field, there’s nothing quite like eating sandwiches, cakes and other treats on a chequered blanket in the great outdoors.
If, however, you don’t fancy risking your best china or glassware on these outdoor jaunts, then melamine plates and tumblers are a must.
I love these Printed Melamine Beakers from Rigby & Mac which are a riot of pattern and colour, and are guaranteed to make your picnic picture perfect.
Add some contemporary style to your garden with this Ball Chair from Bodie and Fou, £144.
Now the good weather is showing signs of sticking around for a bit, it’s time to start thinking about getting your garden sorted.
While tables, chairs and sun loungers are all great, not everyone has the room to accommodate all these items of furniture.
Which is why I love this Ball Chair from Bodie and Fou.
Apart from the stunning colour, this chair is ideal both for lounging around in the sun as well as for al fresco dining, which means you don’t need to have tons of furniture cluttering up your garden. And it's pretty perfect as an informal chair indoors too!
Laze and enjoy the sun with a selection of our favourite garden chairs.
Finally the sun has decided to show its face, and winter seems to have gone for good. The perfect time for getting out into the garden, mowing the lawn, tidying those borders, and popping in your new plants. And then taking it easy in one of our gorgeous garden chairs.
The Kartell Papyrus Chair from Design 55 offers both comfort and good looks, and comes in a variety of lovely colours, while the Magis Proust Armchair from Found Home Store is a true knockout piece, bringing a touch of decadence to your garden.
Clockwise from top left: Distressed Blue Garden Chair from Out There Interiors, £105; emu Cetra Folding Outdoor Armchair from John Lewis, £170; Kartell Papyrus Chair from Design 55, £193; Cafe Bistro Dining Chair – Grey from Lover’s lounge, £110; Magis Proust Armchair from Found Home Store, £690; Velia White Garden Chair Set (Set of 4) from Fashion for Home, £239.
Shop the look...
Give your balcony a contemporary feel with this Oblong Zinc Balcony Planter from Habitat, £18.
A friend, who was recently bemoaning her lack of outdoor space, asked me how she could add some greenery to her balcony.
She was delighted when I showed her these clever Oblong Zinc Balcony Planters from Habitat.
Perfect for modernists for whom terracotta pots won’t cut the mustard, this simple planter can be hung on your balcony or fence, providing plenty of room for an array of plant life.
Give your garden some drama with these Pierced Moroccan Lanterns from Artisanti, £89.
If the powers that be are to be believed, spring is on its way. Yes, that’s right folks - it's finally time to put away our heavy coats, gloves and scarves.
Which means it’s time to start thinking about updating your outdoor space, and what better way to add some subtle candlelight than with these Pierced Moroccan Lanterns from Artisanti.
They come in a set of two different sizes, allowing you to create a very dramatic lighting display whatever size your outdoor space.
Try placing near an outdoor dining area or use to add drama to a front porch.
Keep your feathered friends happy with this Birdball Birdhouse from Amara Living, £34.95.
I don’t know about you but, what with all this horrible weather we’ve been having, I’ve been a tad worried about our feathered friends.
Now I live in the sticks, my garden seems to have become a haven for a wide range of birds compared to the fat wood pigeon that used to visit me in London.
So I’ve decided to look after them, stylishly of course, by investing in this Birdball Birdhouse from Amara Living.
Available in Terracotta or White and made in the UK, this simple yet stunning birdhouse will keep your little tweeters safe and warm until the weather improves.
Give your garden a touch of the exotic with these Morocco Contemporary Hanging Baskets from Garden Beet, currently reduced to £83.60.
Now that Christmas has been and gone, it’s time to start thinking about sprucing up your garden.
I’m the first to admit that I’m not blessed in the green-fingered department, and prefer to leave growing things (and keeping them alive) to the other half.
However, I do love choosing accessories for the garden, and currently have my eye on these gorgeous Morocco Contemporary Hanging Baskets from Garden Beet.
Perfect for giving your garden a touch of exotic glamour, these elegant baskets will look fabulous hung alone or in a cluster.
Say hello to this welcoming Umbra Hello Doormat from Heal's, £70.
After a hard day’s work (or shopping), it’s nice to come home to a friendly “Hello”. And that’s exactly what you get from this welcoming Umbra Hello Doormat from Heal’s.
Give your visitors a warm welcome with this Nice To See You To See You Nice Doormat from The Contemporary Home, £19.99.
This week sees the return of Strictly on Saturday night. It’s one of those love it or hate it programmes with me loving it and, unfortunately, my hubbie most definitely not.
But, whether or not you enjoy the sequins, the scores, the ‘journey’ and Brucie’s dreadful gags, you're sure to love this welcoming Nice To See You To See You Nice Doormat from The Contemporary Home.
Enjoy the last of the summer champagne with the Baroque & Rock Champagne Flute from Red Candy, £6.30.
Summer (such as it’s been) is definitely coming to an end. The last few days are here, and they’re getting noticeably shorter.
But if you want to send summer off in style, you need one (or more) of these striking acrylic Baroque & Rock Champagne Flutes, perfect for enjoying some outdoor bubbly.
Keep that summer feeling with the Flick Patio Heater from Out There Interiors, £129.
Gosh it’s been a dreadful summer, weatherwise. I came down this morning and it was so cold I almost put the heating on – in August!
And there have been so few evenings when it’s been possible to enjoy an alfresco G&T. For those of us who have not been able to get away somewhere warm, it’s simply not fair!
But we have the answer... designed as a tabletop heater, this Flick Patio Heater from Out There Interiors is just what you need to keep you warm outdoors for the rest of the summer and beyond.
Add gorgeous planting to your garden with the Zaina 3 Square Planters from Out There Interiors, £105.
After all the miserable weather earlier on this summer, it has been wonderful having a few days of blisteringly hot sun. (Apologies to anyone who has been where the sun has not.)
Just playing in the park, walking by the river, or popping into the garden is so much more enjoyable when it’s warm, and we have spent more time in our garden in the past week than the last six months put together.
The only problem is that by being in the garden more, I’m noticing its shortcomings, and have realised that it could really do with a bit of a refresh.
Fortunately, Furnish has lots of great outdoor bits and pieces, including these stylish rattan Zaina Square Planters, sure to help any garden look its best.
Enjoy alfresco dining with the Bali Rattan Weave Garden 6 Seater Dining Set from Furniche, £650.
After all this miserable weather we've been having, I reckon we deserve some sun and finally it’s here. It might not hang around for long but it’s here and I’m loving it.
So... the barbecue is ready, the rosé has been chilled and it’s time to enjoy some alfresco dining. And this Bali Rattan Weave Garden 6 Seater Dining Set from Furniche is an ideal way to do just that.
Together with 2 carver and 4 dining chairs, the table is made of a rattan-style fabric, perfect for outdoor use.
Watch the birdies with the Hand Painted Bird House from The Orchard, currently £7.50.
As a long-time cat owner I’ve always been a tad cautious about having a bird table, bird bath or bird house.
Both of my cats are rather good mousers, and I’m worried that, given the chance, they’ll also be good birders.
But it’s no good – I’m going to have to find an appropriate bird-friendly spot because I just can’t resist this gorgeous Hand Painted Bird House from The Orchard.
Lovely and bright in red, it’s also available in a rather fetching blue.
Enjoy twinkly evenings in the garden with the Monsoon Tea Light Holder from Garden Beet, currently £4.99.
On a warm summer’s evening, there’s nothing I like more than sitting in the garden with a cold G&T.
And to make it feel extra special and twinkly, I always like to have some candles flickering alongside.
This Monsoon Tea Light Holder is ideal (although it can also be used indoors), and can be placed on a table or hung decoratively in trees.
Brighten up alfresco dining with this Set of 4 Rainbow Coloured Melamine Flower Plates from Rockett St George, £24
Our family loves a picnic.
On sunny days (remember them?) we can usually be found at the park, by the river or on the beach with picnic hamper, blanket and wine cooler in hand.
Some days we favour a more traditional spread, with sandwiches and sausages rolls; sometimes we go oriental with sushi and edamame; and every now and then we give Caribbean food a whirl with jerk chicken and rice and beans.
But whatever is on the menu, part of the fun is in using plastic plates, glasses and cutlery, only brought out for such an occasion.
The latest picnicware to catch my eye is this set of colourful Rainbow Coloured Melamine Flower Plates. In bold colours with even bolder flowers, they are just perfect for serving up your alfresco nibbles. Whatever they may be…
Get your garden ready for some summertime alfresco dining and reclining.
Although summer doesn’t seem to know if it’s coming or going, I refuse to let the poor weather stop me from spending loads of my free time in the garden.
I love pottering around (despite not being even a little green-fingered), playing games (being nominated goalie when my 5 year old is playing football) and, most of all, relaxing with a book and my evening G&T.
My particular favourites are the colourful woven Driade Cape West Armchair and the very cool and comfy-looking FatBoy Headdemock Hammock. Just add ice and a slice.
(Clockwise from top) John Lewis Pisa Round 4 Seater Outdoor Dining Table from John Lewis, £275, Havana Rattan Weave Cube Set with Foot Stools from Furniche, £599, Dr Yes from Lifestyle Bazaar, £102, Driade Cape West Armchair from A White Room, from £887, FatBoy Headdemock Hammock from Found Home Store, £339, Penguin Deckchair - Man and Superman from Bloomsbury, £99.
Create an elegant exterior with this Melrose Weatherproof Outdoor Chair from OKA. £340
Despite the appalling weather of late, I’m still optimistic that summer will make an appearance before the season is out.
Which is why I’m getting very strange looks from my neighbours as I dust down the garden furniture despite the looming dark clouds.
And while I’m making the most of last year’s purchase, I don’t think I’ll be able to resist investing in a few of these Melrose Weatherproof Outdoor Chairs from OKA.
Beautifully elegant, these chairs remind me of furniture you see in films set in the Deep South of America.
Made from plastic coated metal, the chairs are available in either crisp white or a gorgeous blue. There’s also a matching footstool, coffee table and bench available.