Healthy Home Habits: Prioritise Time Outdoors

Healthy Home Habits: Prioritise Time Outdoors

In addition to being an extension of your home, your outside space can positively enhance your overall sense of well-being by providing a secluded and peaceful spot ideally suited to relaxing and socialising with your nearest and dearest.

We all know that the weather can be unpredictable, which is why making the most of the summer season while it's here is so important. Investing in a garden that feels like an extension of your personal style and personality will encourage you to spend as much time as possible outside. We have a selection of stylish solutions that will allow you to maximise your outside space, even when the sun is shrouded by a layer of cloud.

The Benefits of Spending Time Outside

With so many demands on our time, it isn't always easy to enjoy the outside every day. However, making the time to sit and pause outside, to breathe in the fresh air, and feel the soft breeze on our skin can contribute to our health and wellbeing in extraordinarily powerful ways.

Breathe Deeper

Pollutants in the air can trigger an array of issues, including asthma and allergies. But did you know that pollutant concentrations can be up to five times as high inside than they are outside? So, it goes without saying that spending time in the fresh air can ease many of the symptoms associated with respiratory issues.

Sleep Better

Our natural internal clocks are aligned with the rising and the setting of the sun, ensuring that we're awake during the day and start to feel tired as darkness falls. Spending too much time inside can interfere with this natural sleep wake cycle, which may result in an array of sleep issues from restlessness to insomnia.

Lift your Mood

As many people with winter seasonal affective disorder (SAD) will attest, feelings of fatigue and low mood can be triggered when we aren't getting enough sunlight. These negative feelings can be eased or even completely reversed by drinking your morning coffee or eating lunch outside every day.

Rest and Recuperate

From smartphones and computer screens to the hustle and bustle of busy cities and busy motorways, the modern world presents us with a plethora of intrusive stimuli that can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. Enjoying a moment of quiet outside without staring at a screen and instead focusing on the sights and sounds of nature can give the brain time to rest, which will help to restore your mental energy reserves and ensure that you aren't burning yourself out.

Boost your Immune System

When we spend time outside in nature, our immune system comes into contact with a variety of harmless microorganisms that essentially help the body to respond more effectively to less benign microorganisms that may lead to infection. This process helps the immune system to consistently tell the difference between harmful and harmless microorganisms, which may prevent the body from responding unnecessarily, causing chronic inflammation or pain.

Connect with Others

A beautiful outside space can provide an ideal environment for connecting with people in deep and meaningful ways. From enjoying a cup of tea with a neighbour to hosting a dinner party with your close friends, sharing time outside with others can enhance our interpersonal relationships, increase our sense of inner peace, and boost our mood for hours and even days.

How to Create your Perfect Outside Space

Whether you have a large garden, petite patio or bijou balcony, there are myriad ways to create your perfect outside space for relaxing, dining, entertaining, gardening, and more. Here are just a few of our top design tips that will help you to create an outside area that you can be proud of.

Outdoor Seating

A small outdoor seating area can transform the way we view our gardens, encouraging us to venture outside more frequently to soak in the summer sunshine and admire the natural world around us. The Olivia's collection contains a vast array of outdoor seating solutions, in styles to suit every space.

The Gallery Direct Alberoni bench has been designed to fit seamlessly around the trunk of a tree, which will allow you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the natural shade provided by the branches. This classic metal bench has been given a distressed white painted finish, which has a charming aesthetic and will make a wonderful addition to a country cottage garden. 

outdoor white metal bench

Similarly, the Gallery Outdoor Duchess bench also boasts a charmingly classical form and is the ideal size to nestle beneath an established tree, on a sprawling deck, or to complete a charming patio area. Its modern chic grey finish will naturally age over time to offer a slice of shabby chic style to your outside space.

Ideally suited to sophisticated Scandinavian gardens, the Cane-Line String outdoor sofa features a natural teak toned weather-proof frame and a trio of comfortable cushions in a slightly deeper natural hue for an element of subtle contrast. This comfortable outdoor sofa is charmingly compact, ensuring it can be incorporated into small outside spaces with ease.

For those keen to enhance the sociability of their outside spaces, a bar set can be the perfect addition. The Maze Regal four seat set has a sleek contemporary silhouette with beautifully quilted taupe seats that nestle perfectly around a central circular table. The Maze six seat bar set is another excellent option and also comes with an integrated ice bucket, which enhances the luxe factor and will minimise the need to keep making trips to the kitchen for top-ups.

All outside spaces can benefit from the addition of multi-functional pieces, particularly when they are as well designed as the Cane-Line Nest footstool. Finished in a chic lava grey hue, this footstool can also be used as a contemporary coffee table or even simply as a decorative addition to your garden.

Outdoor Lounging

Lounging outside is one of life's great pleasures, giving you time to relax, listen to music or podcasts, and get lost in a new novel. The Maze Florida sun lounger set will quickly become one of the most used pieces of furniture in your garden, as the adjustable lounger has an integrated side table with enough tabletop space to house a cold drink, stack of magazines, and all your sun protection essentials. The set also comes with an integrated head cushion, enhancing the comfort factor and essentially guaranteeing you'll never want to get up.

garden sun loungers

The Maze Allure sun lounger has a simpler and more contemporary silhouette, with clean lines and a rich charcoal hue that is consistent across both the frame and the cushions. This double sun lounger can easily accommodate two adults, allowing you to share your outside relaxation time with a loved one. The Gallery Mileva high back lounge set is similarly sociable, with twin loungers and twin ottomans allowing you to sit back in style this summer. The set is completed with the addition of a matching side table, ideally suited to housing your favourite drinks, snacks and entertainment.

The quirky egg shaped silhouette of the Maze Riviera outdoor sofa is extraordinarily charming and provides the perfect retreat for everyone looking to enjoy a bit of 'me time' during the summer. Its deep seat provides plenty of space to curl up with a good book, with the side and back cushions perfectly placed to allow you to find the position that is most comfortable for you.

For those who enjoy planning and hosting a variety of social gatherings in your garden, the Garden Trading Hampstead corner sofa could be the ideal addition to your poolside patio area. The chic Scandinavian vibes are effortlessly stylish, with the bamboo wrapped legs and frame giving the piece a sense of lightness without compromising on durability or stability. The cream toned seat pads and cushions complement the natural bamboo tones to create a seating area that will sit at the heart of your summertime gatherings for years to come. 

The Maze Marina sofa set is another sociable seating option, with a minimalist-inspired two-seater sofa, two matching armchairs, and an oval-shaped coffee table. This set is ideally suited to relaxing coffee mornings with friends, cocktail evenings, and laid back family barbecues, and its neutral charcoal grey hue will slip seamlessly into a variety of different outside spaces including verdant lawns and striking patios.

garden grey outdoor set

The Maze Chelsea Lifestyle suite has plenty of room for all your nearest and dearest, with the option to enjoy the piece as one large circular daybed, a chic sofa set, or a laid back dining set. With four sofas and a central circular table that rises with ease, the options here are endless and ensure this versatile piece can be adapted to suit both formal and relaxed occasions.

garden entertainment sofa

Outdoor Daybeds

To really lean into the opportunity to enjoy full relaxation, your garden will benefit significantly from the addition of a sophisticated daybed.

The Maze Ark outdoor daybed bridges the space between outdoor sofas and lounge sets, with its deep semi-circular seat and selection of plush cushions for maximum comfort. The sleek design is enhanced by its cool charcoal colour, which provides the opportunity for you to keep it simple or introduce additional outdoor cushions and throws for splashes of colour and texture.

garden day beds

To enhance the elegance factor of your garden, the Maze Oxford daybed in this beautiful light grey hue will deliver instant results and allow you to create an outside retreat that will quickly become one of your favourite lounging spots. The adjustable hood allows you to maximise your time in the sun or protect yourself from the sun's rays and the matching side tables feature a gently curved side to ensure they nestle perfectly into the rounded sides of the daybed itself.

If you want to enjoy the benefits of the Oxford daybed but on a slightly smaller scale, the Cane-Line Savannah modular daybed could be the ideal solution. This single seater daybed boasts a soft silhouette that is easy on the eye and comes with a plush seat pad, three cushions, and a fully integrated sunshade. As a modular design, it can be styled alongside other pieces from the same collection, however each module is also stylish enough to make the right impression alone.

Outdoor Dining

Whether you're grabbing a light bite before heading out for the afternoon or you're planning an elaborate dinner party to celebrate a special occasion, al fresco dining is always a good option.

alfresco dining

A sweet bistro set can completely transform the look and feel of your patio, deck, or balcony space, providing you with a place to sit, eat and drink in style. The simplicity of the Gallery Milena two seater set is incredibly charming, with the wood effect detailing contrasting beautifully with the chic charcoal grey cushions.

The Gallery Kenrick four seater set is perfect for slightly larger outside spaces, offering an additional layer of versatility through the addition of two extra chairs and a more generously sized tabletop. Its Scandinavian inspired design is effortlessly stylish and will continue to be one of your garden's primary features for many seasons to come.

If you have an expansive patio or decked area, the Maze Pulse corner dining set is certain to make the right impression. Not only is the chic taupe colour way eye-catchingly beautiful, but this set features a spacious corner sofa, stool and footstool, as well as a central fire pit that will allow you to continue your celebrations long into the evening.

garden dining

Outdoor Lighting

No outside space is truly complete without a selection of final finishing design flourishes that bring each element together into a single, cohesive design.

To ensure that your outside space is functional in both the daytime and the evenings, good lighting is essential. Luckily, there are numerous options to choose from depending on your personal style, including cute Garden Trading festoon lights which emit a pleasant warm white glow and will give your garden a hint of festival chic all night long. Alternatively, for a distinctly more contemporary look, the Skyline LED Globe light is certain to become a central feature within your garden and can be used to illuminate seating areas or feature planting areas with ease.

Garden lighting

If your outside space features a winding garden path, placing a selection of lights strategically will allow you to illuminate it in the evenings to ensure it remains one of your garden's central features both day and night. The Garden Trading Regent Mast path lights are delightfully modern and have a sleek silhouette that will blend seamlessly into your outside space. Alternatively, pathways can also be illuminated by lantern style lights, such as the Maze Quad solar lights, which provide a modern take on traditional designs.

Outdoor decor

Even the smallest accessories can make the biggest differences, which is why it is so important not to overlook the value of outdoor accessories. The Gallery Interiors Lambert milk churn can be used as a purely decorative element or will serve as a planter for beautiful flowers or fragrant herbs. Each churn is hand made, which ensures every single one is unique and ready to make a vintage style statement in your outside space.

garden decorations and accessories

If you prefer your outdoor accessories to be on the simpler side, the Broste Copenhagen Fenja planters have been finished in a gorgeous neutral taupe colour and nestled within a raised caged style base to bring different heights to your outside space. Alternatively, the Gallery Interiors Derby bowl can be used solely as a decorative piece or as a sophisticated herb planter positioned on patio steps outside your kitchen.

As we have seen, there are a vast array of ways in which you can transform your outside space into an inviting retreat suitable for both relaxation and entertaining. Smaller outside spaces will benefit from the addition of multi-functional pieces that provide maximum versatility, while larger gardens may benefit from a selection of different pieces that can be placed in different zones throughout your outside space. We hope we have provided you with plenty of inspiration that will allow your creativity to run wild. Just remember that your outside space should feel personal to you and allow you to use your space in ways that will be most beneficial to your overall sense of happiness and well-being.