Please Wait...
Skip to main content

Outdoor Living

Sarah Howden
29th Jul. '21

Whether you have a pocket-sized patio, a compact courtyard or a generous back garden space, making the most of your outdoors and creating a dedicated outdoor living space is a clever way to enhance your home.

With more summer sunshine predicted in August and September, transforming your outdoors can create an extra ‘room’ in your home for relaxation, entertaining or eating alfresco. These spaces can even be “season-proof,” allowing you to enjoy them on cooler or rainy days.

It can seem overwhelming knowing where to start, but the team at Dobbies Garden Centres are experts at blending the indoors, out.

“A carefully considered garden design can completely transform an unused walkway or blank canvas, to a functional and stylish living space,” says Lynsey Abbott, Outdoor Living Buyer for Dobbies. “Not only will this provide another area in your home to enjoy but has also been reported to increase the value of your property.”

Think Ahead

According to Lynsey, it’s crucial to know what the outdoor space will be used for from the outset, whether that’s entertaining, a children’s play area, dining alfresco, home workouts or a space for relaxation.

“Thinking about the end use will prioritise what is most important, helping to make decisions on furniture size, choices on lighting, outdoor heating, and accessories. This approach will also mean you get more use out of it once it’s complete.”

Colour and Style

Then it’s time to decide on your colour scheme and style.

Lynsey agrees: “This will inform everything from furniture to the accessories. It may be that you take the lead from the style of your garden, for example a country cottage garden will complement modern rustic décor. There are plenty of styles to choose from, including laid back coastal, tropical, Scandi – or the latest Japandi trend which balances a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian design.”

She adds: “It’s all about blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors, and when creating your outdoor room think it of it in the same way you would when designing any other room in your home. Attention to detail will help to create a finished space you’ll love.”

Selecting the right furniture is key. “Choosing a set that looks just as good inside as it does outside is a great way to make it feel like a natural extension of your home. A conversational set, such as our Nectar set, is a great option for an outdoor room as this features a coffee table, sofa and two chairs – really giving your garden a living room feel.”


Then, start to layer the space with accessories to help soften the overall look. Think cushions and throws, lanterns and vases, parasols, even outdoor mirrors to reflect great views. Lastly, don’t forget heating and lighting.

“Clever outdoor lighting will mean you get extra use of the space once the sun goes down,” says Lynsey. “Use string lighting around your fencing or solar stake lights in and around your pots and bedding plants to enjoy an illuminated garden.

“A scattering of tea lights and lanterns on dining tables will cast a magical cosy glow. Hang solar string lights or lanterns overhead so you can enjoy the area well into the evening. A firepit, fire lantern or chiminea will keep you warm as the nights draw in, whilst also creating a focal point to centre furniture around.”

Thanks to Lynsey and the Outdoor Living team, Dobbies is a one stop shop for everything you need to create a stylish outdoor space for every summer occasion. From weekend BBQs, afternoon tea in the garden, to evenings round the firepit and more, there is everything needed to furnish your garden to the fullest.

So, what are the big outdoor style trends for 2021 we need to be looking at? Lynsey reveals all.

  • Country Kitchen Garden An evergreen look filled with lush leafy foliage, subtle delicate florals and sandy tones. Pair rustic earthy terracotta, an abundance of greenery and calming neutrals. Whether you are an allotment enthusiast, grow your own at home, or are just finding your green fingers, your garden will be transformed into a horticultural haven.

  • Summer HazeLaid back, Scandi style with a focus on adaptable designs and sustainable materials including recycled glass lanterns and serveware. Outdoor lighting and firepits are key to add warmth and light, extending the time outside and seamlessly connecting days to summer evenings, moving into autumn with the addition of cosy knit throws and blankets. Furniture materials include rattan, metal and wood with contemporary clean lines in cool greys and simple bare wood.

  • Global BazaarA celebration of colour, with sunshine shades of apricot orange and tropical greenery to create a garden getaway. A craft homespun look, using soft materials, printed tiles and decorative patterns.

  • Simple Serenity Balancing a mix of Japanese and Scandinavian design. East meets West, embracing the core design traits of each to create an outdoor oasis of calm, centring on minimalist simplicity. The colour palette for this trend includes a mix of cool grey, bamboo and undertones of anthracite. Disconnect from the digital word with a plug and clutter-free space, enjoying the sense of calm that being in nature can bring.

  • Kitsch ColourFilled with colour and fun, this look will quickly add personality to a small space. A few simple accessories will brighten up a bistro set or mix and match contrasting pastel shades for a burst of energetic summer colour.

Find out more at


Related Posts


From prenups to living together agreements, Danielle Edgar of Anderson Strathern is here to help us navigate through it all. »

Celebrating Egg Authors »

From dealing with losing loved ones to stories of infidelity and betrayal, our talented Egg Authors share their stories. »

Eggs do net zero! »

The Scottish Government has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2045, and we all need to do our bit to make it happen. »

EGG Membership Card Illustration
Join EGG Today

Become a member of EGG and enjoy a heap of exclusive benefits. You’ll get access to Exclusive Offers, Events and your very own Digital Membership Card –  use it to discover great places in Edinburgh and connect with like-minded girls.

Pay Annually

£30 per year
Sign Up Now »