Adding a splash of colour is one of the simplest ways to give your garden an instant update. By introducing vibrant tones and broadening your palette beyond trusted neutrals you can lend the impression of brightness and tap into an inviting, summery vibe - even when the sun doesn't shine. And let's be honest, the British summer needs all the help it can get.
Whether you're interested in creating a scheme - Indian oranges and reds, the zesty blue and lemon of the Cote d'Azur - or just looking for that one key colourful accessory to create a focal point, there's a number of ways, and a number of products, that will refresh the dullest garden or patio.
How much you invest in creating your desired look will depend on what overall effect you are reaching for - and how brave you're feeling. Feature walls needn't be consigned to the living room and are a striking addition to an outdoor space while also increasing privacy.
If you wish to add a touch of urban attitude, decorating a wall with a piece of street (garden?) art may have instant appeal. On the subject of contemporary art, quirky sculptures are an excellent choice for those with limited tolerance for the conventional.
For those less willing to make the leap, a safer way to hit refresh on your outdoor space is through the deployment of coloured fabric. Tropical prints are particularly fashionable right now, but there's a wealth of options to explore. What's more, should your tastes change, you can easily switch your fabrics up next year. After all, colourful gardens pose an excellent opportunity to let your creativity run wild and, above all, have some fun.
1/29 Orange garden parasol and warm-toned accessories
Team warm-toned accessories, like this orange parasol, with terracotta pots and dark wood furniture for an exotic look that hints at an Indian summer.
2/29 Red floral printed garden screen
Divide your garden into zones using a screen - perfect for giving you extra privacy if you have an urban garden that's not blessed with tall fences or lots of foliage.
3/29 Bright and bold outdoor tableware
Add an instant lift to a spring barbecue by investing in some bright and fun tableware for your garden. Contrast with the colour of your furniture to really make it pop.
4/29 Bright blue shutters
Don't forget the outside of your house when thinking about adding colour to your garden. These bright blue shutters stand out beautifully from the dark-wood cladding on the outside of the house, and complement the pale blue of the table and chairs.
5/29 Red low-level garden seating
Create a space for relaxation with outdoor sofa seating. This red and white low seating area would be perfect for relaxing and catching some rays.
6/29 Multicoloured bunting and dining area
Whether you're celebrating or just relaxing in your garden this spring, colourful bunting is a great instant update - and it's a fun craft project for children, too.
7/29 Yellow painted exterior walls
Add a subtle splash of colour to your garden by painting an exterior wall a soft yellow shade for a hint of Mediterranean sunshine all year round. An elegant chandelier finishes the look.
8/29 Quirky sculpture and garden mirror
Go wild with your outdoor space and add in the unexpected. From bringing the indoors, outdoors (think hanging mirrors and paintings on fences and exterior walls) to quirky sculptures, have fun with your garden.
9/29 Bright and bold table and chairs
Go for a totally tropical look by mixing and matching bold and bright shades. Accessories in jewel tones, like these glass bottles, and statement wall art add a rich edge to this garden oasis.
10/29 Colourful garden with alfresco dining area
Give a pale and uninteresting garden a splash of colour with bold furniture and accessories that really sing out. An inspired mix of simple and designer furniture makes for a relaxed dining vibe, while the funky, party illuminations spell FUN.
Barbecues at the ready...
11/29 Summer garden with bright accessories
Liven up a corner of a traditional garden with bright garden furniture and fluorescent glassware. A peaceful retreat is created among scented flowers and herbs. Serve scones with
homemade jams, plum wines and cordials in colourful carafes, and keep
them cool beneath a parasol.
12/29 Urban garden with colourful string lighting
Slick matte-black industrial style contrasts with shots of vivid colour. Think a string of twinkling lights are only reserved for the Christmas
tree? Think again! Hang up a selection of colourful cotton or fairy
lights around your garden for a rather colourful affair.
13/29 Pool-side garden with colourful seating
Sometimes all it takes is a small dose of colour to really liven up a space. But if painting a wall or laying down colourful tiles are just too daring to comprehend, try incoporating colour through fabric. It can be easily changed, and chairs and daybeds can be reupholstered should your taste change next season.
14/29 Colourful geometric garden patio
Geometric patterns take all forms in this modern garden patio. A delicate palette of Eastern ceramics bring a lighter touch to ancient
motifs and luxurious velvet curtains in deep shades of blue, red and green.
15/29 Colourful garden retreat
If your style is more maximalist than minimalist, pretty up your garden
with acid bright accessories grouped together for impact. This simple desk has been furnished with a noticeboard where you can pin your favourite photos to your garden moodboard.
16/29 Vibrant outdoor garden room
Inside and outside meet in this vibrant and eccentric garden. Low-level seating and a mixture of patterns in flower-bed brights blend with
outdoor rugs, while fabric sails in an explosion of colours create structure.
17/29 Cote d’Azur style garden with lemon hues
Uses sorbet and zesty lemon-hued fabrics to create scenes redolent of sixties' Saint-Tropez. Classic wide-striped upholstery in ochre tones, finished with outdoor-friendly fringing, has a pleasing sun-kissed vibe.
So kick your feet up, and imagine you're soaking up the sun by the
coast. Lemonade, anyone?
18/29 Colourful entertaining garden with feature wall
Feature walls don't have to be consigned to the living room - they're a fantastic way of brightening up a garden too. So if you feel daring enough, paint a whole wall in a vibrant colour. The blue wall is an eye-catching
feature, and it also acts as a screen for added privacy. Colourful accessories give contemporary outdoor furniture a fresh, bold twist.
Dining table and cushions
Marks & Spencer
19/29 Garden with bright graffiti wall art
Create a modern arbour by using an outdoor wall as a canvas for a bold artwork - either your own or an artist's. This graffiti combines urban
attitude with leafy shapes and glorious summer colour to lift a simple garden seating area out of the ordinary.
20/29 Try a bright paint colour
Treat the exterior of your house to a colour facelift to brighten up a gloomy patio area. Choose a cheery shade to paint wooden cladding or outdoor brickwork with contrast white on woodwork, then hang bright bunting for an extra blast of colour.
For exterior paints, try
21/29 Make a colourful sun canopy
Create some extra shade in the garden for sunny days outdoors. Use a length of colourful stripy fabric (the wider you can find, the better) and secure one end of it to an outside wall or the side of your shed. Support the other end on wooden posts or the branches of a tree if there is one close by.
For similar fabrics, try
22/29 Escape to a colourful corner
Create a summer retreat in a secluded area of your garden. A corner-shaped arbour will seat three or four comfortably and provide ample shade for sunny days. Jolly up the mood with a colourful collection of scatter cushions, pretty hanging baskets and planters bursting with bright blooms.
For a similar arbour, try
23/29 Reclaim the garden shed
Ditch dull paint shades and give your garden shed a colourful makeover. Try a pretty palette of pastels, with a soft mint green on the exterior, teamed with pale powder blue on the inside. Kit it out with comfy wicker furniture, floral scatter cushions and a pretty voile at the doorway, finished off with a soft rug underfoot.
For a similar garden shed, try
24/29 Make space for summer entertaining
Create a corner seating set-up for family gatherings and summer entertaining. Simple wooden banquette seating can be tailor-built to suit any outdoor space, with lift-up seats to incorporate hidden storage underneath. Brighten the mood with colourful seat pads and scatter cushions and bright tie-top curtains to provide some summer shade.
25/29 Pretty up your garden table
Dress up your garden table for entertaining outdoors. Fresh flowers are a quick and easy way to add colour fill mini buckets or tumblers with bright blooms and line up along the centre of the table. Choose tableware and seat cushions in a co-ordinating cheery shade.
26/29 Try an easy colour update
Party up your patio area in an instant. Hang colourful paper garlands in swags and tails to frame your seating area and set the party mood. Team with colourful paper plates and cups, bright scatter cushions and hanging lanterns.
27/29 Brighten up the terrace
Create a shady area that you can retreat to when the suns at its hottest. Decorate with warm, sunny colours so that the area doesnt look too dark and gloomy upholster seat pads in cheery stripes and pile with zingy cushions, then surround the area with flowering plants in tubs and boxes.
For a similar rattan corner sofa, try
28/29 Set up a serving area
When youre entertaining outdoors set up a serving area where you can store drinks and glassware and free up table space. An old chest of drawers or wooden trunk can double up as a counter top brighten it up with a bright table runner made up from a spare remnant of fabric.
For a similar table runner, try
29/29 Create a sports zone
Dedicate an area of the garden to play, so little ones can do their thing without the adults getting in the way. Zone the space with cheery bunting, provide sturdy plastic seating that will stand up to lots of rough and tumble and stock up on plastic storage tubs so kids can tidy away their sports gear afterwards.
For similar plastic stacking chairs, try
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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