10 tips to create a cosy outdoor living space

After what seems like a very long winter and a chilly start to spring we are all looking forward to some much-needed sunnier days. When we get one of those glorious hot days, there is no place you would rather be than enjoying your garden and making the most of your outdoor spaces. 

It’s not a surprise with garden parties and BBQs a British favourite, and home DIY hacks continuously on the rise that creating an outdoor living space is high on the to-do list. Are you wanting to create a cosy outdoor living space to host friends or chill out with the family? Here are our top ten tips for creating a cosy outdoor living space this summer, starting with the first steps. 

create a cosy outdoor living space


Plan its purpose

You don’t want to go all guns blazing and then realise you made a huge mistake with the location or it’s not functional for what you need it for. Our first tip is to spend time in your garden and ask yourself what is the purpose of this cosy space. The three main things you must consider are. 

  • What’s its purpose? Is it for creating an outdoor hosting space where you can cook, serve and dine? Or is it a sun trap and you want an L-shape garden seater where you can relax and read a book? 
  • How many people are in your household or how many people would you like it to accommodate? 
  • Its position in your garden. Do you want it to be near the kitchen so you know it’s easy to carry food to and fro? Do you want it to be in the sunniest position in your garden or where it keeps the evening sun? You most likely want it to be sheltered so consider where it will be protected if we were to experience any bad weather. 
create a cosy outdoor living space


Outdoor Furnishings

Our next tip would be to start with the large furniture. You will be able to determine this after you have considered what you want the space to do. Larger outdoor dining sets or seaters are always such a good investment but consider whether you will be storing them away in the winter. For example, Oak is a lot more hard-wearing than rattan if you don’t have anywhere to store it through the colder months.  

You can make the space contemporary with a statement chair such as a hammock. Or many people add mirrors to make the space seem cosy, bringing elements of indoors outside. This is an easy way to accessorize the space and open it up. 


The perfect way to decorate this space is with some gorgeous greenery and since it’s in your garden this shouldn’t be too hard. They will lift the space and give it a fresh and airy feeling. Planters are also an easy way to separate areas. You can use large plant pots or planters to corner off an area and add decoration. The Ferm Living planters are a team favourite, contemporary and minimalist aesthetic for a tranquil space.  


Lightening is key! To create a cosy outdoor living space set the ambience when the sun dips down. Use fairy lights, lanterns or candles to create the perfect mood. Dot them around the table, place them on side tables or hang them along your fence or pergola. 

Create a cosy outdoor living space



You want to consider if it does go cooler how you are going to keep cosy. You can buy those industrial heaters for your outside space if you want to keep a larger space warm. If you prefer something more traditional you could incorporate a fire pit into the area, just make sure you consider what you will be putting the fire pit on. You don’t want to burn all of your grass. Equally, you could just have a basket of cosy blankets that people can wrap around themselves when the temperature cools. 

Cosy Furnishings

To create a cosy outdoor living space you must add soft furnishings. It will elevate the appearance of your outdoor space, creating an inviting space for you to enjoy. Here are our top three tips when it comes to soft furnishings. 

  • Adding a rug is such an easy way to elevate your outdoor area. We would advise a shorter pile or a more coarse woven rug as it will be more durable. It will last you longer being outside but also under your shoes.
  • Add some cushions whether it’s on your chairs or on a seater. This is a really easy way to add your personal style. It will not only add comfort but it will also allow you to add some colour or prints to bring more summery elements. 
  • Add soft furnishings to your table, starting with a tablecloth. This is a great way to spruce up your furniture if it’s looking a little wired or weathered. Table dressing with a tablecloth and napkins will bring a softer element and capture the mood if you are having guests over. 
create a cosy outdoor living space



If you enjoy some sunshine drinks or want to create a fun space for you and your guests to enjoy, why not create a mini bar? You can go all out creating a full-on bar or just create a corner that will serve its purpose as well. All you need is a shaker some cocktail utensils and glasses. There are so many gorgeous glasses sets new this season for you to choose from. Then just pick up your drink of choice and enjoy! 

Table settings

Depending on whether you are dressing a dinner table, a coffee table or a sideboard, dressing the work surfaces is the finishing touch. There is so much inspiration for you to choose from but picking a theme depending on the occasion helps. Or, alternatively, if you invest in a few key accessories that you can bring out each time. These are our top table-setting accessories to think about; 

  • Candles – lanterns or tall candle sticks are perfect for creating a focal point or centrepiece.
  • Vases – Having some flowers on your table in a vase will always uplift the table. They don’t always have to be flowers, you could forage some shrubbery or you could have some pussy willow stalks. 
  • Large dishes or serving bowls – You will want to invest in some large serving bowls or dishes that you can use for serving food, nibbles or you can use for housing your cutlery and utensils. 
  • Dining set – You might want to look at a new dining set solely for outside or add more to your existing set to give you more place settings.



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2023-02-21 11:38:02By Holly Thompson

Written by Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Writer and expert