Norfolk garden designer Stephane Lustig explains how you can make the most of your outdoor spaces and ensure they are perfect for hosting dinner parties and socialising.
Around 90% of our garden design clients want to use their outdoor spaces for socIalising with triends and family.
The features they want include dining terraces, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and cool outdoor lounge areas. These can be accomplished in any garden, whatever the size from small courtyard gardens to larger country gardens.
How many guests?
What is the maximum number of people you would likely have over for garden drinks/dinner.
What space do you have available?
Have you got room for an outdoor dining table? You need at least 3m either side of a rectangular table to accommodate a chair with the possibility of pushing it back comfortably.
If you are in a town garden or a courtyard garden go for an outdoor lounge area with a low coffee table instead. Then you can tick off aperitifs, nibbles and those after dinner drinks in one single sitting.
What's the best lighting for your space?
If you can fit in a pergola then you have a great way of getting some cool garden lighting over your outdoor table or sofa. In our garden designs we only use light fittings with a rating of IP65 or IP66. Another option for outdoor lighting is rechargeable portable lamps. These are perfect for lighting up your food or your friends' faces and really easy to get hold of nowadays
How will you store outdoor items?
You will need somewhere to put all those lovely outdoor cushions in the winter. If you don't have space for a shed consider installing a smaller outdoor storage unit.