Ditch the Decking: Create An Outdoor Living Area with Patio Tiles!
So Summer is on its way and, if you're lucky enough to have a garden, then you'll know that there's nothing nicer than to sit outside with a nice cold drink on a hot Summer's day. Create a stylish new patio area in which you can relax and unwind, and lap up the summer sun! For the guide to creating your own outdoor living area, scroll down to part B!
When it comes to creating a new patio, or refreshing an old one, it can be tempting to fit some decking. But we're here to tell you not to. Decking is a nightmare. Not only is wood incredibly expensive, but it's also incredibly slippery when it gets wet. It becomes link an ice rink - especially dangerous when you add children or elderly relatives into the equation. Not only is it slippery, but it also loses its colour very quickly. The sun and rain bleach it away, leaving the planks pale and ugly. Then green gunk and moss accumulates in all the grooves, and you find yourself having to power-wash them clean, before retreating the wood.
Garden tiles are your best bet, when it comes to creating a patio area outdoors. They're sturdy, they keep their colour, they're affordable, they're easy to install, and they come in gripping anti-slip options; adding extra safety to your patio area!
Part A) 5 Outdoor Tiles for Creating A Patio Area
Part of our exclusive Louisa Charlotte Collection, these striking tiles have a realistic wood effect design and a gripping anti-slip finish. Relatively light in tone, they're perfect for transforming dull outdoor spaces into stylish, accessible platforms, as shown above. Here's a close-up of the fantastic detailing, complete with lifelike wood grain:
For the natural stone effect design, try these tiles. Made from durable porcelain, they have a gripping anti-slip finish, and will add a rich, rustic, earthy finish to your outdoor living area. Small, manageable rectangles, they make it easily to piece together an interesting, eye-catching layout. Why not try the Herringbone pattern?
Another member of our uber stylish Louisa Charlotte Collection, these Vintage Wood Plank Tiles also have an anti-slip finish; for those of you who like the traditional wooden plank shape, without all the hassle of real wood. They allow you to add a nice, light base.
To capture the gorgeous golds and browns of Autumn all year round, how about these Autumn Leaf Tiles? They consist of a striking leaf pattern, and are perfect for adding definition to a vast outdoor floor space.
Invite the popular industrial trend into your garden this summer with these Foundry Concrete Effect Tiles (another member of the Louisa Charlotte Collection). They have a realistic concrete effect design.
Part B) How to create the perfect outdoor living area
Once you've got your patio base, you can set to work creating an outdoor living space, to help make the most of your garden this Summer. Here are some of the things you should include:
When it comes to feeding those summertime guests at family get-togethers, you'll need the king of summer food - a barbecue. When recommend getting a gas one for a more thorough cook. Get one with a glass lid so you can see through at your meat without lifting the lid and losing all the heat. For an added bonus, buy one with a cooking hob at the side - for frying onions whilst you wait. Try this Landmann Grill from Picnic Shop.
You'll need a place to sit and eat - so invest in a patio set. A table and some chairs. These range from £25 at Wilko, up to the hundreds - so the amount you spend boils down to the style and quality that you require. Don't forget the parasol!
Lounging and relaxing
For a stylish and artistic focal point, in which you can weightlessly relax, invest in a rattan tear drop swinging chair. Rattan furniture is making a major comeback this year - so you should at least have one piece of rattan furniture in your garden. I found this teardrop rattan swinging chair on eBay...
If it's just the two of you, and you love lounging around with a drink at hand, try this 2 seater hammock from B and M. The two chairs swing independently of each other - so if one of you wants to swing and the other would rather stay stationary, that's no problem! Each chair has a sun shade and a drink holder!
If there are a few of you in the house, and you want somewhere to lounge in comfort, rather than being hunched up in a patio chair, invest in an outdoor sofa. We love the Applaro range from IKEA.
In case the sunny Summer sky clouds over, and it starts to spittle, you'll want some cover in your outdoor living area, so that your get-together isn't cut short for the sake of a passing shower. IKEA have a fantastic gazebo in their Applaro range. As shown in the picture, you can decorate the legs with outdoor bulb strings! Not only will this look fantastic at night, but it'll also keep your evening well lit.
If you're looking for cover on a smaller scale, try a cantilever parasol. Effectively a giant canvas umbrella on a large metal frame, it folds up into a vertical, space-saving pod when not in use. Then when you need it, it arches over the required space and opens out.
Feel the heat
Although we always pray for a scorching hot summer, let's face it - it is Britain we're talking about - and there will be days when the temperature doesn't quite creep up enough to sit out in the garden unaided - particularly in the evenings. But in this day and age, that doesn't have to stop you from going out and enjoying your new patio area, thanks to advancements in outdoor heating. It's not the expensive, energy-guzzling frolic that it used to be. This Firefly 2kW Standing Outdoor Patio Heater costs just £39.99, it can heat an area up to 15M square, and it has three power settings - the lowest of which costs just 9p per hour in electricity!
If you prefer the more traditional method of using fire to heat up an outdoor area, invest in a chiminea or metal fire pit. That way, you get to have a pile of chopped logs nearby (logpiles are a huge design trend right now).
So there you have it - a guide to piecing together your own outdoor living area. The ultimate zone for relaxing, dining and entertaining this Summer!
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