Simplicity is the key 7 – simplicity is the key to successful outdoor dining

We can be thankful that the British summer still gives us the chance to get out in the garden from time to time and enjoy alfresco dining. Barbecues, cold buffets and lots of fruit punch is relaxed and simple dining at its best! We have some great planning and decorating advice so that you can make those summer days and evenings in the garden as enjoyable and memorable as possible.

You might think that it is a lot of time, money and effort to decorate outdoors for dining but the truth is - the space that you decorate can be used for relaxation (putting your nose in a good book) and taking in some fresh air at any time of the year. Not to mention that the fact you won't be using the space so often will make it all the more special when you do! Once you have your dining furniture it will be time to give it some interesting decorating and functional accessories to enhance the alfresco dining experience.

You may want to begin with an umbrella if you don't have a spot with natural shade from trees or roof/awning. Not only functional, umbrellas can be a great way to bring colour to your dining arrangement. You can go with block colour or traditional stripes. For a more fun and light hearted choice, choose polka dots or funky floral curtain material online for inexpensive table cloths and napkins in bright summery colours.

Carry on with the colour choice or pattern in comfortable cushions and throws for comfort and chillier evenings. We think it is always good to play with colour in the garden which will work well with the natural light of the sun and summer blooms. Themes can be achieved too by your choice of colour, pattern and how you dress your table.

A Mediterranean theme could incorporate yellows, greens, terracotta and cool blues with fresh flower arrangements on the table or an attractive bowl full of lemons. If you have a pagoda, add lime green curtains or sheer silk curtain fabric to help keep bugs away from you and your food!

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