Outside is where fun happens. It’s where people laugh, cavort and sing, and soon you’ll be able to enjoy it freely and abundantly. So let’s get our spaces in check shall we, whether it’s a sprawling garden with topiary, a concrete patio or even a balcony. Imagine it now, the sun is high in the sky, and you’re napping in the sun. There’s an open book splayed on your chest because your intentions were good. Your friends, five at least, are coming over this evening. Maybe you’ve made an Ottolenghi salad, one with 19 ingredients that you perfected over lockdown. Are you drunk on anticipation yet?
Interior designers and people who are professionally good at living, say you should treat your outside as an extension of your inside space. But it’s daunting to think of spending hard earned cash on something that birds will shit on and that the elements will ravage. Not to mention the uncertain number of occasions that you’ll actually be able to enjoy it. Parade? Consider it rained on. In sofas, look for dry-fast foam cushions that can withstand being water logged when you forget to put the cover on… for seven months. Rattan doesn't fare well in biblical rain, granted, but it does look equally at home inside for when you do force yourself to bring it in. If you’re not willing – don’t blame you – to trace electrics outside to festoon the place with fairy lights, look to portable lanterns instead. For tables, wipeable steel is a failsafe, especially the Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec one below. If you’d like to appear responsible, like the kind of person who deems an umbrella necessary to protect oneself the sun, then look to the Raj Tent Clubs delicious collection of brollies. They're so good, even those who wear factor 2 and lie out on Bacofoil will want one.