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Summertime and the living is easy.

The spring weather has been superb this year prompting us to think of balmy evenings of barbeques and outdoor living, however, it has also made us aware of outside spaces neglected over the cold days of winter.  Power washing can transform decks, paving and houses removing grime and moss in preparation for a fresh coat of paint.

Painting your house is a big undertaking so do take time when selecting a paint colour.  If your house has remained the same colour for many years think of moving away from the existing tones for a complete new look.  In the past yellow tones were popular but I encourage a move to the more interesting colours.  Don’t restrict your choice to the ready-mix colours on colour brochures, exterior paint can be mixed in hundreds of shades from the colour fan at your local store. I suggest you always buy test pots and paint each colour on a large sheet of paper, place in various areas around the house to get the feel of the colours and take time to acquaint yourself with the colours before making the final decision. These images show how colour can change the appearance of a house. 

If you are lucky enough to have a wooden front door you can add your touch of magic using an individual colour.  I love an intriguing coloured front door, it says someone interesting lives here!

Repainting wooden furniture and sheds can make any patio or garden bright and attractive. Cuprinol Garden Shades has a vast colour range from muted to vibrant colours allowing you to experiment with mix and match for a fun cheerful space. These sheds would brighten up a dull corner of a garden on the bleakest of days. 

Add  plants and planters in abundance  and you are ready for the barbeque season.

Outdoor living brings out our fun side and makes us dream of balmy evenings, but unfortunately these evenings are sparse in Ireland so we may have to plan for a little bit of cosy cover. This is my dream pod for those long evenings.  Just imagine reclining here on a summer evening, just enough enclosure to keep cosy.  It is like owning your own personal sputnik for star gazing. 

Outdoor spaces don’t have to be big to make them exciting.  This semi-covered dining area would look amazing on any patio.  The gifted DIY enthusiast might like to tackle a project taking inspiration from this wheel pod. 

Lanterns with candles and strings of fairy light lanterns are a must for dusk while wireless speakers make it so simple to add music. Table setting for outdoors have never been so exciting with the availability of colourful dining ware in unbreakable melamine.  

You don’t have to spend large amounts of money to create atmosphere, use paper bag lanterns with night lights  lined along pathways for a magical effect.  Care should always be taken when placing candles to avoid fire risk.

Forget TV, computers and phones and make the garden a playground for children and adults. These giant wooden games will pass hours of  fun for family and friends so let your inner child run free. These games have also become a popular feature at summer weddings. 

Prepare your outside entertainment room now and enjoy the benefits through the summer months. 


May the sun shine brightly this summer.



Rita O’Driscoll

Interior Designer




Product Acknowledgments: The Wheel Bench, John Lewis, Dulux


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