Spending so much time at home has made us really appreciate our outdoor living spaces – even if it’s the tiniest balcony or terrace. Sales of outdoor furniture and accessories have rocketed, as we’ve lavished TLC on our patios so that they’re a sanctuary that truly reflects our taste and needs. With that in mind, we have gathered together some of the best outdoor living space ideas to help transform your patio, balcony or terrace.

“There’s a growing recognition that an outside space really is the ‘fifth room’ in your home, and should be furnished and decorated with the same amount of care and attention to detail as any indoor room,” says Lynsey Abbott, seasonal buyer at Dobbies Garden Centres.

“This should be a space that begs you to throw open the windows and unwind at the end of a long day during the spring and summer months. Whether it’s a set of French windows, the door to your balcony, or simply your outdoor patio, your home probably has an ideal place to style as that fifth room.”

Top outdoor living space ideas

Tempted? Take your pick from these outdoor living space ideas for creating the perfect fifth room outside.

Small can be beautiful

Decorate outdoor space from Wayfair
Wayfair has a range of patio sets, outdoor rugs and accessories (Wayfair/PA)

Size truly isn’t everything when it comes to creating an inviting outdoor space. With a dash of imagination and flair, you can work magic on even the tiniest spot. “No matter how compact your space, it can be turned into a little sanctuary perfect for morning coffee or evening cocktails,” agrees Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style advisor at Wayfair.

“I love a relaxed boho look for summer, with wall hangings and outdoor rugs in all colours and shapes. Layering rugs has a striking effect and will add depth to a balcony or outdoor space with limited square footage.”

TOP TIP: Light coloured seating will look less dominating in a small area. Add punchy colour and pattern with colourful, textured cushions and blankets, handy for warding off the chills on cool nights. A decorative wooden ladder is a super way to display hanging succulents or small lanterns.

3-Tier Folding Plant Stand, £39.99, Vonhaus; Succulent Arrangement (faux), £80, Sweetpea & Willow (VonHaus/Sweetpea & Willow/PA)
3-Tier Folding Plant Stand, £39.99, Vonhaus; Succulent Arrangement (faux), £80, Sweetpea & Willow (VonHaus/Sweetpea & Willow/PA)

Take it tropical

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Prettying up the patio COMPLETE! Every morning I open my curtains and look out onto this dismal patio, I’ve been meaning to give it a make over for so long and since the weathers been great and we’re stuck at home now has been the perfect opportunity. Swipe for the before shot 👈 As we’re still renting, I didn’t want to make any permanent changes that would be difficult to put back to how it was once we leave, so the bamboo and screening and the @homebase_uk geometric rugs were perfect to hide the rickety fence and old tiles. And the bright pink @georgeatasda furniture set adds a big splash colour too. It’s safe to say I’ll be spending lots of time out from now on (as long as the weather holds out!) . . . . . #gardendecor #garden #gardendecoration #interiors #patio #patiodecor #stayhome #tiki #colourfulgarden

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Summer holiday to that far-flung hotspot on hold? Ramp up the temperature at home by creating your own Caribbean-style retreat outside your back door.

Kit it out with neon patio furniture, a palm-fringed bar,  potted palms (fake or real) and accessories in exotic prints. No passport or suitcases required – and pina colada optional!

Shake up some style

Orange Paradise Outdoor Cushion, £24.99, Bean Bag Bazaar; Outdoor Wicker Bar With Palm Roof, £850, Ella James; Faux Palm Plant, from £215, Rose & Grey; Delta Orange Metal Tealight Lantern, £4.80 (was £6), Habitat (Bean Bag Bazaar/ Ella James; Rose & Grey/Habitat/PA)
Orange Paradise Outdoor Cushion, £24.99, Bean Bag Bazaar; Outdoor Wicker Bar With Palm Roof, £850, Ella James; Faux Palm Plant, from £215, Rose & Grey; Delta Orange Metal Tealight Lantern, £4.80 (was £6), Habitat (Bean Bag Bazaar/ Ella James; Rose & Grey/Habitat/PA)

TOP TIP: Adding a lick of paint isn’t just for indoors. Get creative and bring hot colour and character to your outdoor space with an exterior paint. You can also use a shade to complement or contrast with the planted areas of your garden, depending on the look you’re going for. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Bright Orange Gloss Multi-Surface Paint, from £9 for 0.25L, B&Q.

Treats for the table

Al fresco tableware is so stylish now, it’s tempting to use it all year round, indoors as well as out. Keep garden table dressing pared-back for the best effect – it doesn’t want to be fussy, as that will ruin the casual, kick-off-your-shoes atmosphere you’re trying to create. Just choose a couple of statement pieces and then match a key colour with napkins or a table runner.

Strawberry Fields Strawberry Shaped Plate, £4.50; Truly Scrumptious Fabric Table Runner, £10; Boho Spice Glass Jug, £35, Talking Tables (Talking Tables/PA)
Strawberry Fields Strawberry Shaped Plate, £4.50; Truly Scrumptious Fabric Table Runner, £10; Boho Spice Glass Jug, £35, Talking Tables (Talking Tables/PA)

Create a fifth room with furniture

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Last chance on our bank holiday offers – 40% off selected outdoor furniture. Visit the website for full details.

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“Choose furniture that suits your indoor style, then there will be a real follow-through of your look into the outdoors that blurs the boundary,” says Abbott.

“Consider the height of furniture. Low-backed furniture, for instance, won’t block your view of your garden. Add cushions and throws to soften the contrast between garden furniture and indoor furniture. Reflect key garden colours in accessories to further tie the scheme together.”

TOP TIP: Large, leafy palms and striking succulents can star in an outdoor space and be brought indoors in the colder months to bring greenery inside. Displaying a collection of plants by the entrance to your patio or balcony area is another way of merging the divide between the indoor and outdoor areas.

Go super natural

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Your dream garden is the topic of our latest newsletter, which includes a first look into our new garden collection.⁠ ⁠ You can join our list through our new website ( @gomodernuk ), which will give you exclusive access to first looks and discounts.⁠ ⁠ The New Tribu Garden collection is available on our website now, linked here @gomodernuk⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ #GoModernUK #KingsRoadChelsea #ChelseaDesignQuarter #Garden #GardenFurniture #OutdoorFurniture #ContemporaryOutdoor #ModernGarden #ContemporaryGarden #ModernOutdoor #Design #LuxuryMade #Furniture #ModernGardenFurniture #ContemporaryGardenFurniture #GardenDesign #GardenSofa #GardenChair #NewGarden #DreamGarden #Tribu #Manutti #ModernGardenSofa #ModernGardenChair

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One of the hottest trends in patio style is a laid-back look, which combines natural materials with an easy-on-the-eye neutral palette. It’s perfect for a sophisticated stylish space.

“We’re seeing a growing emphasis on fabrics made from recycled materials and furniture made from natural, organic material, as well as responsibly-sourced sustainable woods such as A-grade teak,” says Tina Mahony, director at Go Modern (gomodern.co.uk).

“Teak is weather-proof and retains its beautiful warm honey-tones. It blends wonderfully with any surrounding style and is perfect for creating an ‘outside room’ look,” she adds.

Mahony highlights new material Tricord – a weather-resistant synthetic that’s now often being used in place of natural rattan because it won’t fade or rot, is easy to clean and extremely comfortable.

Go Modern’s range includes a Tribu Elio Garden Sofa, in teak with Tricord rope backs and seats, £2,890, Garden Armchair, £990, and Tribu Roots Garden Teak Block, £1,350.

Natural beauties

Bring interest to a neutral scheme with woven textures and organic materials.

Sura Lounger – Natural, £395, Habitat; Sika Rattan Renoir Hanging Chair in Natural, £425, Cuckooland; Camo Water Hyacinth Side Table, £119, Beaumonde (Habitat/Cuckooland/Beaumonde/PA)
Sura Lounger – Natural, £395, Habitat; Sika Rattan Renoir Hanging Chair in Natural, £425, Cuckooland; Camo Water Hyacinth Side Table, £119, Beaumonde (Habitat/Cuckooland/Beaumonde/PA)

Light up the night

“Outdoor spaces, whether small or large, have so much untapped potential to be transformed at night into a warm, welcoming haven with the addition of lights,” says  Becky Tasker, brand creative at Lights4Fun.co.uk.

“Arrange lights  in your courtyard, garden or balcony just as you would in an indoor room. It’s important to have three levels of light. I’d suggest stringing festoon lights overhead for a twinkling canopy, add waterproof candle-style lights on a table top, and arrange candle lanterns on the ground to zone the area ”

TOP TIP: A group of lanterns, candles and micro lights on a mirrored tray makes a stunning focal point for a table. String lighting on your fencing, solar lights around pots and bedding plants and enjoy a night-time garden landscape that rivals the daytime one.

Read more – Top garden makeover tips to help revamp your garden.

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