If you're not yet on board with the idea of having an outdoor rug in your garden, we think it's time you reconsidered. Our gardens are increasingly becoming an extension of our living spaces, so it makes perfect sense to design them in a similar fashion to the inside of our homes and ramp up the style and comfort factor.
The latest outdoor rugs are hardwearing, super durable and will happily survive a summer downpour, which, let's face it, is always a distinct possibility. Still not sure how to use an outdoor rug to best effect? Check out our top five ways to add one to your outside space, then head to our outdoor rugs buying guide to find the perfect one for your garden.
1. Create an outdoor living room vibe
Chances are you already have an outdoor sofa or two in your garden, but throw a rug into the equation and you'll be surprised by the difference it makes to the overall look and feel of the space. A rug helps to zone this spacious seating area and draw people into the space. What we really love, however, is how these Weaver Green outdoor rugs from John Lewis (opens in new tab) have been layered up to create added interest. Cosy outdoor living at its best.
2. Make your dining space a focal point
Placing a rug underneath your table will highlight an outdoor dining area to create a more intimate atmosphere, as well as add some comfort underfoot for your dinner guests. Choose one in a bold accent colour and then team it with accessories such as tableware in similar tones to bring the whole scheme together. Made from hand woven recycled materials, this Fab Hab San Juan outdoor rug in dark blue from Cuckooland (opens in new tab) is reversible so you can opt for bold blue or the more subtle white and blue colourway on the reverse.
3. Add pattern to a patio
Landscaping materials are a big investment so it often makes sense to opt for a classic, neutral paving design that won't date. But all that beige can run the risk of looking a little bland at times, which is where a patterned outdoor rug can come to the rescue. Even a subtle design such as this Art Deco geometric outdoor rug from Lime Lace (opens in new tab) can add interest to a neutral patio and liven up the space as and when required. This stylish design is available in three sizes, so there'll be one to suit patios big and small.
4. Cosy up a fire pit area
The evenings might be getting a little cooler, but that doesn't mean you can't still get outside and enjoy your garden. Create a relaxing spot in a corner of the garden with a few colourful rugs thrown on the floor, a liberal scattering of cushions and a fire pit in the centre of it all. This Ignis fire pit from Morso (opens in new tab) is made from cast iron for a durable finish and is a great buy for small spaces. Simply add marshmallows for fun evenings alfresco.
Top tip: you might want to move your outdoor rugs and seating area slightly further away from the fire pit than this if young (and unpredictable) kids are also enjoying the fire pit action!
5. Introduce colour to a small garden
In small gardens it can be tricky to find ways of introducing lots of colour without bold tones completely dominating the space, but a vibrant outdoor rug can work wonders for adding a splash of colour underfoot. To enhance the feeling of space in a narrow courtyard garden such as this, a longer outdoor rug design that looks more like a hallway runner will help to visually lengthen the space and can be a better choice than a more standard rectangular option.
More outdoor living advice:
Beth's first journalism job was working for Real Homes magazine more than 18 years ago. It cemented her love of all things homes- and garden-related and she's never looked back since. She's worked for and contributed to a number of leading magazines in the UK, including Ideal Home magazine, Period Living magazine, Grand Designs magazine and Good Homes magazine amongst others, before returning to Real Homes magazine as editor. Now the editor of Gardeningetc.com, Beth's attention is firmly outdoors, and she's constantly inspired by how people make use of their outdoor space.
Her own garden is a really important part of her family's home, and they were lucky enough to inherit a space with lots of lovely mature planting when they bought their 1930s property.
Since then, they've built several raised beds for a veg patch, increased the size of the flowerbeds to find room for yet more of her favourite David Austin roses and her husband's collection of hostas, created an outdoor living room complete with comfy sofas and festoon lights, and not forgetting the biggest challenge of all – trying to fit in the ever changing assortment of trampolines, climbing frames and outdoor toys that are inevitable when you have two young kids!
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