bright plants in outdoor space

Combat Cabin Fever By Bringing The Indoors, Outdoors!

Published 17th June 2021
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Following the advice of countless horticulturalists, interior designers, and even TikTok over the years, almost everyone has tried ‘bringing the outdoors in’ at some point in their lives. Cotton wool cloud creations and artificial ivy walls aside, we’ve probably all purchased enough bonsai trees and Japanese peace lilies to last us a lifetime (providing you can actually keep them alive, of course!), and frankly, we think it’s time to switch things up a bit!

Here at OnBuy, we love to celebrate unconventionality, so we’ve created this blog to inspire all you homeware heroes to become dab hands at domestic DIY this summer, combating the effects of post-pandemic cabin fever by bringing your indoor luxuries outside instead. After all, there’s never been a better time to enhance your garden paradise, and no better way to do it than with some interior comforts.

According to a survey conducted by Origin, the number of people searching for ‘outdoor living’ terms online has recently reached a record high, with rugs, cushions, and sofas experiencing a rapid internet resurgence. They believe that this is attributable to the ‘outroom’, a cosy space situated between the home and backyard that features traditionally internal décor. Not only a fab solution to the almost-at-the-end-of-lockdown boredom, but also a fantastically affordable way to smarten and revamp your space (without the high-end price tag), in/out areas can truly feel like an extension of your sanctuary, encouraging you and your guests to feel better connected to Mother Nature. No matter the size and scope of your project, there’s tremendous potential to be found in every flat, house, and bungalow. So, don the appropriate accessories today, and revel in your resourcefulness. It’s truly an experience like no other!

1. Achieve the al fresco aesthetic

outdoor decor

If you’ve ever found yourself asking, ‘how do I unlock the decorative potential of my garden?’, then this is the section for you. We understand that a dramatic change can be daunting, especially when welcoming guests and friends back into your happy throng, but with OnBuy’s handy tips, tricks, and advice in your al fresco arsenal, you’ll never have to worry about homeware hesitation again!

First, it’s probably best to agree on what you’ll be using the outroom for. Whether you’re a fan of entertaining, are thinking of creating your very own bar, or are simply looking to establish a tranquil refuge for some evening R and R, it’s worth considering a variety of styles and colour options, to determine which aesthetic best complements your space. 

If you’re planning on fashioning a country farmhouse dining room, for instance, cottagecore chic is the style for you. We’re talking gingham tablecloths, distressed wooden cabinets galore, and a rustic rattan furniture set. Outdoor kitchens, a glowing trend at the moment, can similarly be achieved with a state-of-the-art barbeque, fire pit, or pizza oven, stylishly set beneath a tasteful, voguish pergola or elegant garden parasol. Super convenient and consistently sophisticated, they’re the open-air embellishments you didn’t know you needed… and trust us, they’ll really make a difference!

Alternatively, if you’re keen to design a domestic café where everyone can sit and enjoy the seasonal sunshine with their favourite tisane or tipple, it might be worth investing in a garden or outdoor coffee table, to help make your space look far more comfortable and inviting. In between all the greenery, it’s a good idea to plant (no pun intended!) some little home amenities and treats that harmonise with the vibe of your living room or kitchen. This stunning sofa and counter suite would make the perfect addition to any outdoor catch-up and cuppa hideaway, showcasing useful and practical footrests for even the most chilled of chummy chinwags.

2. Make the flooring multi-functional

outdoor flooring

To truly make an outroom feel like a reflection of your living space, some plush, swanky-looking flooring could really make all the difference. Many base-level buffs opt to use the same textile outside as they exhibit in their homes, as this inevitably creates a unified finish and gives the illusion of a bigger, uninterrupted area. This is especially attainable if your interior features a set of bifolding doors that can open out completely to reveal a ‘fifth room’. Perhaps the most important thing to consider here, therefore then, is material. 

If you’ve gone for the natural wood aesthetic inside, for example, why not contemplate some external decking as a foundation for your cosy den of zen? Not only a durable alternative to artificial grass, but also a super stylish solution when balancing your furniture and décor, it’s the ideal covering for a range of entertaining purposes. 

If this isn’t a feasible option, or you’re looking to fashion a softer space with luxurious lavish flooring, a rug could be the answer. Both sumptuous and exclusive, just one of these fittings could instantly turn your traditional table-and-chair configuration from drab to undeniably fab, leaving your outroom feeling irresistibly cosy and warm (even in the unpredictable British weather!). Floor cushions are also a wonderful alternative to costly dining seating, and relax the space to unstiffen any harsh edges or corners. Or, if budget is a concern, a gorgeous picnic blanket will complement the space nicely too. 

3. Spotlight your illuminations

garden fairy lights

As with any element of your home’s design, lighting is essential. Not only capable of establishing a warm and welcoming environment (for friends and family alike), the right illuminations can also highlight and add drama to your garden’s interesting landscapes or architectural features, strikingly blending your indoor and outside spaces together. Helping to create a comfortable and communal surrounding, whether a designated seating area or entertainment station, they’re absolute necessities when it comes to al fresco accessories. 

It certainly helps to have an outdoor plug or two if brighter beautifications are your bag, but that’s by no means the only way of lifting or improving your area. Criss-crossed strings of festoon, rope, or solar lights can generate an intimate feel, and will irradiate your outroom with a gorgeous glimmer and subtle glow. If you’re looking for something a little more specific, decorative lanterns and tiki torches make a wonderful substitute to your conventional strings, and truly add a sense of unique individuality to your restful retreat. You may as well be in the South Pacific!

4. Add the finishing touches

outdoor seating

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to move on to the fun bit: styling your space with some fabulous finishing touches. First up, it’s textiles. Aside from your cushions, pillows, and other fabulous fittings, it’s certainly a good idea to invest in a soft and snuggly sofa blanket, which can be wrapped up and rolled into a wicker basket or hamper at the end of the day. 

Next, it’s time to set the ambiance. One of the joys in not straying too far from home (and, most importantly, your Wi-Fi hub), is that you should still be able to connect to your tech. Whether you want to stream Spotify, fancy listening to an audiobook, or need to catch-up on podcasts, being outside shouldn’t stop you from enjoying all your favourite audio. From wireless headphones to portable speakers and DAB radios, kitting out your patio has never been so easy!

Another ornamental element worth thinking about is greenery, even if it sounds somewhat obvious! Though your garden may have a beautiful vista of its own, there’s nothing to stop you enhancing Mother Nature with a few well-chosen flourishes. To start, think about suspending a large mirror from either a bare fence or trellising - trust us on this one! This will not only create an eye-catching focal point in your garden, it’ll also give the illusion of a larger area, as the varying shades of green are reflected and bounced back across your space. Hanging planters and wall decorations can similarly add interest and drama to your outroom, elegantly complementing their surroundings with attractive pops of colour and heavenly, natural scents.

Creating your den of zen

outdoor swing chair

There we have it… OnBuy’s top tips on how to combat cabin fever this sunny season. Whether you’re catching up with friends over a cuppa, hosting an adult games night, or showing off your gastronomic expertise with a family cook-off steak night, there’s simply tonnes of ways you can breathe new life into your al fresco area and turn it into the indoor/outdoor den of your dreams. 

Best of all, you shouldn’t have to feel limited to these ideas only! With OnBuy’s fantastic range of helpful blogs and buyer’s guides, you’ll never be stumped for backyard inspiration again. In need of some advice on how to achieve the Insta look in your home? Look no further than this piece. Searching for support on the six comfiest garden chairs available? This handbook has all the info you require. No matter what your style and preference, our extensive selection of outdoor living essentials is simply stuffed with al fresco ideas for every buyer and budget. Bursting with everything from garden decorations to wall hangings, candle lanterns to furniture, you’ll never be short on ideas, products, and creative flair again. All that’s left to say is… what are you waiting for?! Jump on the 2021 trend and transform your garden into ‘the fifth room’ today! 

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