Romantic outdoor dining

Summer is here and we need to think about our outdoor space and gardens. Outdoor rooms are an essential on today's real estate market, as well as an inexpensive way to expand your living space.

Use a natural fibre indoor/outdoor area rug like sisal or jute to define your outside dining area. An area rug can be used on any surface to make it feel more comfortable and finished.

The furniture is next. Most people have a table/chairs grouping which can be placed on that area rug. If you have other furniture, pick a focal point in your new outdoor room and place the furniture in a U-shape around it. Additional pieces can be placed in smaller groupings.

Flowering pots and containers are great outdoor ornaments, if you have green fingers. Group your containers together for maximum impact and easier watering. Make sure the containers vary in height and size. Choose flowers that do well in this area because they will be under close inspection by people on the patio. No plant is better than a dead plant. Use spheres, baskets, smaller pots, and sculptures to add interest.

Use table linen on your table, and put some throw pillows on the bench. There are many outdoor safe fabrics available in great patterns and colours. Place candles in hurricane lamps for outside light, and string paper lanterns in bright colours for a festive look. All of this adds charm and “decorates” your outdoor room. If there isn’t too much wind, bring out crystal candlesticks and chandeliers for effect, even the ornaments that are normally on your mantelpiece will look terrific on your table.

Make a room out of your patio or deck and start enjoying your garden. A few extra touches will transform that boring patio into an oasis that you can enjoy with friends and family. Don't forget the grill!

Don’t forget the candles and lanterns

Use wall candle lanterns in your outdoor decorating — you will be pleasantly surprised at the ambience such a simple addition can create. There's something magical about candlelight in the garden, especially on a summer night. And on a patio or deck, flickering candles create an inviting, cozy, and relaxing ambience for you and your guests.

So my suggestion is to use electric lighting to light where additional brightness is needed, and then complement with candle lanterns for a warm, cozy, and relaxing feel. Quality candle lanterns are made of beautifully crafted metalwork that will last a lifetime. Use crystal clear or beautifully etched glass for safety and illumination.

Laurent Billiet

La Maison Chic www.lamaisonchic.ie

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