As you’d expect, we tend to talk a lot about Outdoor Furniture on this blog, specifically the range itself and the reasons why you should purchase from us.
We like to look at the benefits of cast aluminium and how to purchase the right set for your outdoor space. And we'll often touch on styling in those posts. However, we thought it would be nice to look at how to style our patios and outdoor dining tables in more detail.
Our furniture should be one of, if not the focal point on your patio. It should invite you and your family outside when the sun shines. Much like the kitchen inside, it should be the place you all gather outside.
If you’re having friends or family over in the summer, or maybe you’ve got them coming over to celebrate the upcoming Jubilee bank holiday weekend, then these tips will help to make your outdoor furniture the centre of attention.
In hindsight maybe the heading of this article was a little misleading. Whilst we’ve stated these outdoor furniture styling tips are for summer 2022, the majority of them are, much like our furniture range, timeless.
Most, if not all, are classic ways we can easily dress an outdoor table or patio to draw the eye. They say to your guests that you’ve made an effort and that in turn will make them feel special.
You want a patio to be elegant, of course, these are all characteristics our outdoor furniture exudes. However, this is not formal dining as such, an outdoor table should be relaxed, intimate, inviting, and maybe most important of all, a joy to spend time at.
With a Lazy Susan Outdoor Table as your patio focal point, our practical styling tips will help give your patio a ‘glow up’ for yourself and hosting friends and family.
Add outdoor cushions, throws and rugs
Our Outdoor Chairs are comfortable without cushions. Ergonomically designed, the gentle curves are designed to pair perfectly with our outdoor tables and you. However, you can up the comfort by pairing our chairs with our Outdoor Cushions, as shown in the customer photo above.
Available in a range of neutral ‘patio friendly’ tones, they coordinate with our furniture and let you further customise the look and comfort of your patio. You can purchase cushions for all our outdoor chairs, benches and sun loungers, and they're made from a durable waterproof outdoor fabric that won’t fade in the sun and can be removed to clean.
You can really up the wow factor if you add a stunning on-trend tile effect outdoor rug from Dunelm to take your outdoor living style to the next level. They never fail to pull an outdoor design scheme together and they definitely add a big dose of underfoot comfort to your patio.
And if you want to keep the party going when the sun goes down, then a beautiful wool throw from Apatchy will not only look inviting draped on the back of our chairs but it’ll keep you and your guests warm as a lap rug if the temperature dips.
Pop up a parasol for style and substance
Much like our outdoor cushions, our Parasols & Bases are the perfect companions to our outdoor tables. They not only look great but they provide you and your guests with a shade and protection from the sun. Available up to 3.5 metres in diameter, they feature a crank handle for ease of opening and closing and can be tilted and moved to shield you from whichever position the sun is in.
The parasols themselves are constructed from a quick-drying waterproof acrylic fabric, so if you do encounter a sudden downpour, which, let’s face it, is inevitable during a British summer, then they’ll keep you and your table sheltered from the rain.
To up the outdoor style, why not drape a few LED lights underneath in the parasol spokes to add a little ambience when the sun's gone down? Or you could take it to the next level and frame your Lazy Susan outdoor furniture with a veranda, awning, pergola or arbour as shown in the fab customer photos above and below!
Use outdoor accessories and décor to add the wow factor
This is where you can really have some fun and inject your own personality and style on our outdoor tables and across your wider patio space. Many will argue that a garden should be a garden. And whilst we fully agree with that to some extent, we think the patio area, whatever that may be, should be an extension of your home.
By that, we mean you should make it ‘liveable’. You should treat it like any other room inside your house. Yes, you should use outdoor specific items, but make that space comfortable. Make it a space you and your family want to spend time. Of course, outdoor furniture from Lazy Susan can deliver that. But don’t stop there. Add the aforementioned outdoor soft furnishings. Just like you would a dining or kitchen table inside the home, dress it up, especially if you have guests coming over.
Carefully select some outdoor accessories and décor to add a little style. Look for pieces that work with and bring your outdoor table to life. A well-decorated patio will make all the difference to how you use and enjoy your garden, and some of our favourite pieces for summer 2002 include:
1. Vertical Wall Planters
We love these things, and there’s a variety of different solutions, but they’re a great way to brighten up a boring brick wall or fence on your patio. The PlantBox Wall Planters from Crocus (above) are a great example of this style of planting.
2. Outdoor Serving Tray
If you're entertaining friends or family, be it coffee or something a little stronger, then a good outdoor serving tray is essential if you want to be the host with the most. If you want to add a little Scandi style, then the Sackit Patio Serving Trays tick all the boxes (above).
3. Outdoor Table Lamp
A good outdoor table lamp not only makes for a good centrepiece, but it will also add a little light and ambience when the sun goes down. You want something quite subtle, not too high in terms of watts, with a nice diffused glow. Something like the waterproof outdoor table lamp from Sparta Saker (above) is the perfect solution.
4. Outdoor Lanterns
Another option along the same lines is an outdoor lantern, you could go traditional candle style but there are some fab LED/USB-charged options on the market such as the Harmony Colour Changing Outdoor Lantern from John Lewis (above).
5. Hanging Planters
Hanging Planters are another great way to bring a little more colour, and if you have a pergola over your patio they look great hanging from the rafters. You have the classic designer touch of hanging in 3’s at different heights to create impact and interest. The Endo Reclaimed Iron Hanging Planters from Nkuku (above) would look great hanging over our antique bronze outdoor tables.
6. Outdoor Candle Holder
Whilst there are some great LED table lights when you’re outdoors, sometimes you just can’t beat candles. The flickering flame is perfect for creating ambience and in the warmer summer evening, they’ll keep any bugs away. These Outdoor Candle Lanterns from A Place In The Garden (above) would pair perfectly with our outdoor tables!
7. Patio Heater
Patio heaters come in a number of shapes and sizes but if you want to keep your garden party going when the sun goes down, then they’re an essential bit of kit. In terms of our current favourite, it would have to be the Kettler Plush Electric Tabletop Heater. This combines two styling tips with a table lamp and heater in one. Not only will it look great on the centre of our outdoor tables, but it also is sturdy and safe, and can provide 1500W of heat.
8. Fire Lanterns
Alternatively, if you prefer an open flame, then there are some great tabletop fire pits that again tick off a lot of outdoor styling tips and trends. The team's choice is the Cosi XL Taupe Fire Lantern from Ruma. Large enough to make a statement in the centre of your outdoor table but still able to multi-task and move around the patio as you need.
9. Outdoor Cooking
Last on our list of favourite outdoor accessories and décor had to be our Cozze Pizza Oven. You have to let us have one of our own! If you’re going to cook outside, what’s better than perfectly cooked pizza? The oven is both easy and safe to use, you can pop in on top of your outdoor table if you want people close to the action, you’re always in control as your pizza bakes and the cordierite pizza stone ensures that you get a perfectly crisp base.
Set your outdoor table
This is a subject we looked at in detail (for formal and casual settings) last summer in our how to dress your garden table for a party post. Much of what we said in that post applies to everyday outdoor table styling, for example:
Well presented, beautiful food served on a well presented and beautiful table will significantly enhance the overall enjoyment of your garden party. Your guests will appreciate the effort, you will make them feel special, and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. For us, the best garden parties are about presentation and the ambience this helps to create.
For us, the key to a well set outdoor table, regardless if it is more formal (or as formal as you can be outside) or casual, is to pick a simple colour palette. One of two colours that compliment the surroundings, keep things simple. Ashlyn Carter has a great series on YouTube called Set The Table, where she shares inspiration and ideas that go into throwing a party or dinner party. The wonderful video below looks at how to set your outdoor table for a garden party:
Add a floral centrepiece
We’ve already touched on this a few times throughout this post but they really do need a section of their own. For the team here at Lazy Susan, the centrepiece is the most important styling tip we can give. They’re the deal-breaker, and if you do nothing else to your outdoor table, a good centrepiece will still give it the wow factor.
A centrepiece is also the best place to start when it comes to styling your outdoor table as it sets the theme for any other décor. What you put is entirely up to you but our advice, if you have a 4+ seater table, is to start with a Lazy Susan revolving server (pictured above on our Catherine Table). It helps to elevate and frame any centrepiece you create, and is handy for serving if you have guests over.
In terms of the centrepiece itself, personally, I like flowers planted in pots, others prefer lanterns or garden art. You go with whatever reflects your taste and personality. You could mix a few different items or keep it simple and change when the mood suits. Something that will draw people to the table and enhance our classic designs is the way to go.
The devil is in the details when it comes to good outdoor styling
Details are everything when it comes to outdoor styling. Even something as small as the flowers in the customer photo above can bring our outdoor tables to life.
And it's not just the thing you see, attention to detail can be applied to every aspect of patio design and styling. For example, you don’t see the foam inserts of our outdoor cushions, however, rest assured they are designed for outdoor use.
The best outdoor styling details are the ones that are unexpected and add to the enjoyment of your outdoor space.
Bring inside style outside
And last but by no means least, don’t be afraid to borrow from the inside of your home. Of course, you want permanent items such as your outdoor table and chairs to be fit for purpose and in place. However, accessories and décor pieces can be brought outside if you are having guests over.
We are blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living more than ever, so maybe look at purchasing pieces that work in both environments? For example, modern materials such as melamine and acrylic are at home both inside and out. If you want to set the table for a spot of alfresco dining, then why not bring those inside lines outside too?
Good Outdoor Furniture styling is about showcasing your personality, creating a space that draws people outside and, most importantly, is a place you enjoy spending time in. It is about balancing the details while still keeping your eyes on the wider outdoor space. Patio perfection is often achieved with small things done really well. Be open-minded to new design styles and ideas, and don’t be afraid to experiment and make changes if it's not working. But most importantly make it your own!