How to create an extra room outdoors – part 2

Image: The White Company

Turn your outdoor space into a multi-functional entertaining space and you’ll feel like you have an extra room all summer long. Whether you have a balcony, a roof terrace or a big garden, any outdoor space can be made party ready!

Warm it up!

Image: Cox and Cox

Stylish firepits and chimeneas are practical and more eco-friendly than patio heaters. There is nothing like sitting around the warmth of real flames to create a cosy vibe. Buy just enough logs for the evening and you won’t need to think about storing too much wood. Firepits are good value and create a surprising amount of warmth. Check what fuels you can burn where you live.

Time to cook

Image: Sophie Allport

Food just tastes better when it’s cooked in the fresh air. Al fresco cooking is relaxed, sociable and fun.

If your outside space is small, there are lots of compact and portable BBQs on the market. Just think about position so you don’t smoke out your guests! Bigger spaces can look at built in BBQs which are more permanent and can cater for larger numbers. Love pizza? Go for a pizza oven.

Image: The White Company

If you have a bigger garden, look at building an outdoor kitchen dedicated to al fresco cooking. Create a space for preparation, plan in storage and add a sink and even a fridge to make it as functional as possible. Plant herbs nearby for easy access and you have the ultimate entertainment space. 

Let there be light

Balmy evenings spent outdoors with friends requires adequate lighting; the kind of soft, atmospheric glow that perfectly complements quiet conversation and good food and wine.

Creating the perfect outdoor entertaining area also involves thinking about how you can use it day and night. Lighting makes your outside space atmospheric, stylish and inviting and there are so many options nowadays.  

A mixture of light sources is the best option. Background lighting can be provided by wall-mounted fisherman’s lanterns and soft bulbs, while candles and twinkling string lights add ambience and set the mood.

Image: Idyll Home

Choose from hurricane lamps and lanterns to light the table and illuminate the garden with festoon lights and fairy lights – which are perfect wrapped around a pergola or just wound round trees and plants.  

Solar lights are useful for lighting up pathways and plants. They have no plugs or wires and cost nothing to run. 

Layering your lighting gives you plenty of options and allows you to change the mood depending on the event.

Party time

Add a bar to your outdoor space and turn it into a party zone. You can build a bespoke bar area in your garden or just invest in an outdoor bar set for everything you need to mix up cocktails!

Music makes a party go with a bang, so an outdoor speaker or portable speakers are essential. 

Movie night

Love watching films? Create a garden cinema and watch your favourite movies under the stars. All you need is an outdoor projector and cushions. 

Image: The White Company

I hope I have shown you that if you plan you outdoor space with as much care and thought as an interior design project inside, you’ll have an extra room that will feel part of your home.