The Idealist

Top 10 Finds: Garden Accessories for Outdoor Living

A nice outdoor table with a set of chairs is a good start for your garden or outdoor space, but it’s the accessories that really bring everything together.

If you want the comfort of your living room in your outdoor living space, you need the right accent pieces and garden accessories. From beautiful lighting to cosy outdoor cushions and rugs, here are our top 10 outdoor accessories for this summer.

1. Throw some shade

Enjoying the warmth of the sunshine is nice, but sometimes it can be a bit too much. This black parasol (£75) is exactly what you need to keep the sun at bay, and it perfectly fits the matching ZOLA parasol base (£35). A parasol is particularly important in areas where it may still rain during summer months. While not endorsed for sheltering from downpours, it’ll keep the drizzle out of your mojitos long enough to take cover!

2. Fiat lux

Proper lighting is a must for creating the perfect ambiance in your outdoor living area. This metal outdoor light (£100) has a sleek look and screws into the wall for a minimalist look, saving you precious space in your garden. And it’s bang on trend in a matt black finish.

3. Hanging style

Electric lighting is convenient, but nothing compares to the dancing light of an open flame. This hanging tealight holder (£10) from John Lewis holds standard tealights and has a stunning antique finish that’s perfect with other metal decor. While not designed for outdoor use specifically, we think at £10 it’s worth grabbing a few of them.

4. Lie back and think of Hockney

Bright colours can really liven up your outdoor living space. This multi-coloured floral cushion features bright blue, yellow, green and purple in a colour block pattern that does a wonderful job of breaking up the monotony of your garden. And it’s got illustrious inspiration: the designer tells us that the pattern in the outdoor collection references Hockney’s iPad paintings. This iPad generated technique gives a particular quality of luminous colour and special kind of mark which creates a particular kind of stylised botanical imagery (£40)

5. Match with a Rug

An outdoor rug gives your garden a more indoor feel, creating a more inviting area for you and your guests to relax and enjoy each other’s company. This rug from Habitat (£45) perfectly matches the floral cushion above, providing cohesion while breaking up the sea of grey or green on the ground.

6. Works with or without green fingers

What good is a garden without plants? Give the look of a windowsill a boost with this blue, green and white Orla Kiely 70’s plant pot (£30). It’s perfect for planting herbs, flowers, and even bonsai trees.

7. Run for cover

While curtains aren’t generally considered an outdoor accessory, they can add an elegant touch if used correctly. Create an outdoor workspace or a private reading area by putting up a set of these dark grey curtains from IKEA (£45) under a gazebo.

8. Bug off

Outdoor living isn’t just about creating a stylish area; it’s also important to make your garden comfortable and functional. Bugs are a big problem outdoors, so you need something to keep them under control. This white faceted citronella candle (£15) looks elegant and keeps bugs away — simply burn it when you’re relaxing outside.

9. Time for a dip

Nothing beats snacking on your favourite foods while relaxing in the sunshine. This bowl from IKEA (£1.50) has a soft, elegant look and comes in two different sizes that are perfect for dips, nuts, and other small snacks.

10. Raise the stakes

Do you have a nice paved walkway in your outdoor space? Walkways aren’t just useful, they do a great job of breaking your garden up visually. Highlight your walkway with these copper Bahia LED lights (£20) from John Lewis; they’re even solar-powered so you don’t have to worry about recharging them.

Outdoor furniture isn’t the only important part of creating your ideal outdoor living space — you also need the right accessories. You can’t go wrong with any of our top 10 ideas for outdoor accessories, and you (and your guests) will be thankful you made the investment.

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  • John is a photographer and journalist from Manchester with a passion for street photography and modern art. When not taking photos, you can find him on a bike anywhere from Sardinia to Amsterdam listening to Zero 7.

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