How to make your garden super stylish from just £20 – with interiors specialist Siobhan Murphy

She came second in series two of Interior Design Masters, and now Siobhan Murphy is sharing her top tips on how to create a happy, colourful, gorgeous home – that won't break the bank!

From updating those tired rooms, to creating a happy home office to transforming a space with just a few key changes, Interiors With Siobhan Murphy will be all you need to ensure you have a happy home.

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Whether you have a big sprawling garden, a yard or a tiny balcony, there are a lots of ways to make it a magical, colourful space just in time for entertaining friends and family during our summer staycations.

Here are my top tips…

Know your style first

Firstly, it's good to think about your outdoor space as an extension of your home. If you live in a minimalist, modern penthouse apartment then a chintzy country cottage theme for your outdoor space is just going to look a bit strange! So consider the style and colours that you already have in your home.

I find Instagram and Pinterest to be great sources of inspiration for garden and outdoor spaces. I always like to start projects with a mood board and this can either be done digitally on sites like Canva, or the old fashioned way of cutting and sticking from interior magazines, colour samples and brochures. It's a brilliant way to spend an afternoon.

Once you have your style sorted and the theme and colours you love, you can have a think about layout and furniture. Work out who will be using the space, and when and where the sun will be at during different times of the day.

Just like inside spaces, it’s that combination of function and design that will create a truly magical outdoor space so make the best of any sunshine that comes your way.

One thing I really love about going on holiday is al fresco dining (for every meal!). Leisurely coffees in the morning, long lazy lunches in the shade and twinkly dinners under the stars. So how nice would it be to create somewhere like this in our own back garden?


Consider who will be using the area most and why. Do you want a proper outdoor dining table and chairs or a more informal sofa and coffee table? If you don’t want to buy new or you are on a budget, why not look for a solid wood dining table and chairs on your local selling sites? You can pick one up for as little as £20, and after a lick of outdoor paint you have got yourself the perfect solution for a fraction of the price.

This yellow paint is giving me tropical summer vibes so any furniture painted with this is sure to make you smile. And check out that yellow rocker chair!

I really like mixing up a few different seating areas and love a more formal dining area with some comfy seating mixed in. These egg chairs are super fun and would look great on a patio or decking area. Mix them in with some cool cushions and a throws and you have a fantastic afternoon relaxation space.

Cushions, rugs and throws

I’m all about the soft furnishings, both inside or out of the house, and these days there are so many options for outdoor cushions and rugs. These are a great way to add softness, colour and pattern into your outdoor dining space. Anything tropical always gets my seal of approval. You can mix in some ikat prints together with some nice geometric throws to give a cool contemporary look.

Buy this gorgeous cushion from John Lewis here

This tropical print cushion from John Lewis is just stunning and will transform any outdoor are!

This double sided outdoor rug will bring some colour to those sun traps!

And this Matalan throw is just *chefs kiss*

I always tuck my soft furnishings away at night in one of these outdoor storage boxes just to keep them looking nice and fresh (and as a dry as possible!). Here's a perfect outdoor storage solution from Argos.

Keeping warm on summer evenings

Even during the summer months, as soon as the sun goes down it can get a bit cold, so having a heat source can be very important. We don’t want the evening to draw to a close prematurely just because it’s a bit too chilly!

Fire pits are a great choice because you can bbq on them by day and then throw on a couple of logs on them in the evening to keep you snuggly and warm. They are, of course, handy for late night marshmallow toasting too. How lush is this one from Waitrose!

This Chiminea from Made is a real showstopper and adds a touch of class to any outdoor space.

Fairy lights, lanterns and candles

Lighting is key in any outdoor area at home. First and foremost you need enough light to see your guests and your dinner when alfresco dining. Good lighting will also create mood and ambience.

In my patio area I have lots of solar powered festoon lights. Once they are up they are pretty much maintenance free and because they are solar powered, there’s no need for outdoor power sockets. How cute are these lights from Freemans!

Candles are also a lovely addition when the sun goes down, giving off a lovely warm glow to your outdoor area. I like putting nice chunky church candles in glass lanterns with some on the table and others dotted around the space to give a real cosy feel, like this one from M&S.

And of course I couldn’t resist adding a pink solar flamingo, just what every garden needs!

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