The outside space at my house has been one of our favourite areas since we transformed it from a branch-filled, uninhabitable assault course this time last year. If you want to see just how dark and dirty it was, you can take a look at the complete house Before and After photos here. Needless to say, the update was a vast improvement and this time last year the courtyard looked like this:
But after a year of rain, leaves and some pesky feline visitors, the courtyard wasn’t quite as shiny and white and the herb garden definitely hadn’t survived! So we decided to work some magic on the outside space just in time for the scorching August we’re due to have (positive attitude will make it happen!).
First things first, we definitely needed to update the seating areas in the courtyard. The small vintage table and antique French garden chairs are great, as is the fabulous 1970s plastic wicker chair that I bought recently, but we wanted a space to relax and enjoy the outside more comfortably (aka horizontally).
After researching all of the sofa, beanbag and hammock solutions, we decided on this modulor rattan sofa set from Amazon. It was one of the most inexpensive options and would act as a neutral base on which to build some more colour and personality into the space. It arrived quickly (from Germany no less!) and I was so impressed with my sofa building abilities that I documented it in video form.
The sofa fits perfectly into the corner formed by the raised beds, and the modular nature of it means that we can move the ‘L-shape’ around to suit the purpose of the day.
The next step was to pick out some durable cushions and decorative items that could stand the inevitable gentle wear and tear from being outside. I found some amazing outside dip-dyed cushions in the Westelm sale and re-purposed some cushions from my bedroom that I’d been wanting to replace anyway.
The immediate result was transformative – the outside space felt even more like an extension of the living area and a true ‘room’ on its own merit. This photo was taken immediately after I collapsed in a messy heap following an afternoon of solo sofa-building.
There was still some work to be done to dress the outside space and new sofa and so we got to work. We picked out some more plants and flowers to live outside, shifted around some decorative objects from inside and even hung a painting in place of one of the mirrors that didn’t quite survive the winter. Whilst some of the pieces won’t live outside permanently, they are all easy to shift around and give the space a homely feeling that is like no other garden!
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