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10 Stylish Outdoor Dining Ideas

north london terrace garden

When the sun’s shining and the temperatures are soaring, a garden, terrace, or courtyard is the perfect place to be. By embracing al fresco dining, you can extend your home beyond the property’s four walls and make the most of the space you have available. Of course, you’ll want to expand your interior design to the exterior of your property too! To get started, take a look at these 10 ideas to enjoy stylish outdoor dining this season:

1. Mimic Indoor Flooring

Creating an outdoor dining space requires practical considerations, as well as design choices, and adding robust, durable flooring will create a level space that helps to avoid accidents and prevents your outdoor furniture from sinking into the grass! When you’re selecting flooring for an outdoor dining space, mimic or complement your indoor flooring to extend your interior design throughout the entire property.

2. Add Soft Furnishings

Don’t let the thought of bad weather prevent you from adding extra comfort to an outdoor dining space. Instead, choose soft furnishings and accessories that are designed for outdoor use. Outdoor rugs and cushions are a great way to enhance the design of an outdoor dining area and they will increase your comfort levels too.

3. Consider Outdoor Cooking

If you really want to embrace outdoor dining this summer, why not take things a step further and install an outdoor cooking station too? This will give you the opportunity to impress your guests with your cooking skills and make it even easier to make the most of your outdoor space. From pizza ovens and built-in BBQs to standalone workstations and integrated kitchens, there are endless options to consider. With a range of styles available, you can complement your garden design with a traditional feel or opt for an uber-contemporary style to modernise the space.

4. Beat the Heat with a Canopy

Getting too much sun isn’t something you often have to worry about in the UK, but it’s important to protect yourself from the rays if you want to enjoy al fresco dining. Whether you’re designing an outdoor dining area for your home in London, a holiday home in the south of France or a villa in Tuscany, you can increase the functionality of the space by adding a canopy.

5. Fuse Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

In many homes, it’s possible to create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors by removing an exterior wall of the property and replacing it with sliding or folding doors. This creates a unique indoor-outdoor environment that can be enjoyed whatever the weather and it can also increase convenience for outdoor dining. When you have a bar or entertainment space that leads directly into your garden, for example, it’s easy to entertain guests and host light refreshments indoors before moving outside for a more formal feast.

6. Add Table-Top Heating

When you’ve been enjoying the sun throughout the day, evening temperatures can feel a little chilly. With table-top heating, however, you needn’t let this prevent you from enjoying al fresco dining well into autumn. Self-contained table-top fire pits are a top trend this year and it’s easy to see why. As well as keeping your guests warm, a table-top fire pit makes for a spectacular centrepiece on your tablescape and enhances your table design.

7. Update Outdoor Furniture

If you’re upgrading your outdoor dining area, it’s a good time to update your outdoor furniture too. From classic wooden furniture with soft, sumptuous cushions to sleek, brushed metal and ornate wrought iron, you’ll want an outdoor dining set that complements your design and reflects the style of your home. When you pair an outdoor dining table and chairs with outdoor armchairs, daybeds, and side tables, you can enjoy flexible and functional garden living at any time.

8. Illuminate the Space with Outdoor Lighting

As the days get longer, it might not seem necessary to add lighting to an al fresco dining space, but you’ll soon realise the impact it has. In addition to increasing functionality as dusk draws in, outdoor lighting adds ambience and atmosphere to your dining area. To create the ultimate outdoor dining space, use soft lighting to create a sense of warmth. From table-top candles and string lights to hidden uplights, there are a variety of ways to enhance your design with the right lighting.

If you have a water feature nearby, for example, be sure to showcase it with underwater LED lighting. This will ensure it remains a statement feature at all times of the day and night – even when you’re enjoying a late-night meal in your new outdoor dining space.

9. Use Screening for Discreet Dining

Garden screening is a fast and effective way to add ambience to an outdoor dining space and it can be an effective way to increase your privacy too. If you’re green-fingered, you can rely on shrubs, hedges and climbing plants to create a natural screen that will separate your outdoor dining area from the rest of your garden. However, if you don’t want to wait for plants to mature, consider using container plants, artificial green walls, or freestanding room dividers as garden screens.

10. Create Stunning Tablescapes

When you’re entertaining guests in your home, a tablescape can set the tone and really showcase your interior design – and the same applies when you’re hosting guests outdoors. By choosing a spectacular table design, you can give a temporary outdoor dining area a sense of permanence and reflect your broader design choices in the finer details. Use decorative table linens or runners to add colour to the space, for example, and add accessories, such as candleholders, vases, or barware, in varying heights to add visual interest.

Enjoy Al Fresco Dining All Year Round

With the right design and materials, an outdoor dining space can be functional at any time of year, which means you can enjoy al fresco dining throughout every season. Combining stylish design choices with practical additions, like heating and overhead coverage, your new outdoor dining area can become a permanent and much-loved part of your home.

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Irish Examiner

Revealed: The interiors trends that will transform your home

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shalini misra chelsea house entrance

Entryway Design Tips: 9 Ways to Make an Entrance in Your Home

entrance foyer by shalini misra

The entryway of your home is somewhere you’ll pass through multiple times a day and it’s the first part of the interior that your guests will experience, which is why it’s such an important part of your interior design. By making the most of this space, you can set the tone for the rest of your property and create a welcoming feel that extends throughout your home. To get started, take a look at these nine entryway design tips:

1. Select a Bold Colour Palette

While neutral shades can work well in a foyer or entryway, don’t feel you have to stick to muted tones when designing a hallway or entrance. Using vibrant colours gives you an opportunity to make an impression with your interior design and a bold shade can lift the space. When you choose a bright or empowering colour, such as yellow, you can add a sense of warmth to this welcoming space and transform a transitional area into a feature in its own right.

2. Use Floorboards to Amplify the Space

If your entryway is a little on the small side and you want to make it feel larger, consider using real wood floorboards. Orienting the floorboards so that they run into the home from the entryway can make the space feel significantly larger and will draw the eye further into the property. Alternatively, lay rectangular tiles leading into the property to create a similar effect.

3. Add Seating

No matter what size a foyer is, seating can be an excellent addition to this space. Many people assume that seating isn’t necessary in an entryway, particularly if the area is relatively small and you don’t plan on spending much time there. However, entryway seating can play a functional role, as well as an aesthetic one. While bold, statement furniture can work well in larger foyers, a slimline bench or a sleek, contemporary chair can enhance smaller entryways while minimising the amount of space that’s used.

4. Use Feature Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important components in any interior and this is true of entryways too. The right lighting will illuminate a foyer effectively and create a welcoming feel that instantly puts guests at ease and makes you breathe a sigh of relief every time you arrive home. You can make the space feel warmer with soft lighting, for example, or give the entryway a modern feel with cool, overhead lighting. Whether you opt for a spectacular chandelier, hidden recessed lights, or eye-catching drop lights, make sure the accessories you choose turn functional lighting into a noticeable feature.

5. Consider Form and Function

How you use your entryway will depend on the layout of your home, so consider the many purposes the space may need to serve. If you don’t have a separate cloakroom, for example, your hallway might be somewhere where you store coats, outerwear, bags, accessories, and shoes. If so, you’ll want to ensure that these items can be kept neatly and that they don’t detract from your carefully curated interior design.

Adding furniture to an entryway can enhance its functionality considerably and is an effective way to combine form and function. A well-placed coat rack, storage chest, or cupboard can give you access to the space you need while reflecting your preferred style, for example.

6. Use Vertical Space

chelsea home entrance shalini misra

When you’re designing an entryway or foyer, be sure to use wall and ceiling space to accentuate the area. Statement pieces, such as sculptures and suspended artwork are perfect in large, vaulted foyers and will act as a focal point. Alternatively, smaller entryways can be enhanced with artwork on the walls, shadow boxes, and even custom murals.

By making the most of the available vertical space, you draw the eye upwards and create a centrepiece for your design. Furthermore, using the vertical space well in smaller entranceways will make the area feel more spacious and expansive.

7. Reflect the Light

As well as using statement lighting features as part of your interior design, aim to reflect the light to prevent entryways from feeling dull or drab. Strategically placed mirrors will reflect the light and make any entryway feel brighter. Whether you have windows and door glazing that allow natural light to flow through or you’re relying solely on artificial light, use mirrors to maximise the feeling of brightness. With endless styles and sizes to choose from, it’s easy to find mirrors that complement any interior design, so you’ll have no problems incorporating a brightening mirror into your theme.

8. Add Definition

If your foyer is particularly large or part of an open plan space, it might not be well-defined. This can make it tricky to determine where the entryway ends and where your living space begins. However, effective interior design can add definition to the space and create a distinction between the different areas in your home.

Using different colours is one way to transition from an open-plan entryway to the living space, for example. Alternatively, add a rug to the floor to signify where the entryway ends or differentiate between the varying spaces by using wallpaper in the entryway and paint in the living area.

9. Make Staircases Spectacular

hallway and stairs

Most entryways include a staircase of some kind, and this gives you a great opportunity to turn a standard feature into something truly spectacular. A dramatic curved staircase or a contemporary suspended staircase can give large entryways a touch of glamour, while tiled stair risers, stylish runners, or glass balustrades can transform a regular staircase into an eye-catching entryway.

Take Your Entryway to the Next Level

The entryway is one of the most important parts of your interior design, yet many people overlook the foyer or hallway design in favour of other areas, such as kitchens or living rooms. By using these top tips to enhance your entryway design, you can ensure that this critical part of your home is a core component of your interior and somewhere that exudes style.

WOWHouse Table interior design


console table

Shalini Misra reveals details of design for WOW!house at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour examining the aesthetics of interior design through the life of a fictional family across hundreds of years.

Using a several 100-year-old room as its canvas, Generations, the entrance foyer of WOW!House by Shalini Misra Ltd, will examine our constantly evolving relationship with the aesthetics of interior design as it ebbs and flows through time.

The room will offer insight into the styles of the various fictional inhabitants who have occupied it over the course of its lifetime while considering how interior design can marry the traditional and the contemporary to create a meaningful, welcoming space that honours and elevates period features. Shalini Misra’s concept is intended to create a dialogue between the antique and the modern, bringing traditional craftsmanship together with innovation to explore how each can elevate a visitor’s experience of the other.

Shining a light on themes at the heart of today’s generation, the space will feature Transmutation 1, a chandelier by French master craftsman Thierry Jeannot created from thousands of carefully selected, precisely cut pieces of waste P.E.T plastic bottles that, at first glance, appear to be crystal. This exquisite central piece will encourage visitors to revaluate their preconceptions of material value, purpose and waste.

AI Petals, NFT Crypto Art

Further exploring the contemporary, Interpolating AI Petals, an NFT artwork by conceptual artist and pioneer of crypto art Sarah Meyohas, will also be displayed in Shalini Misra’s entrance foyer. The work is a result of Meyohas’ performance, Cloud of Petals, at the former Bel Labs complex in New Jersey, which saw sixteen workers photograph 100,000 individual rose petals, compiling a digital database of their findings. Using the information gathered, the artist developed an artificial intelligence algorithm that generated new, unique petals.

sarah mayohas ai petals

AI Petals by Sarah Meyohas

Best In Handcraftsmanship

Championing the best in handcraftsmanship, Generations will feature the Ava Dining Table by British furniture designer Tom Faulkner sitting centrally. The distinctive sculptural table features a surface that appears to float above two intriguingly linked tetrahedrons. The table will sit atop Big Bliss Undyed, the Memphis movement inspired rug by Mae Engelgeer for CC Tapis. To the side, exquisite materials continue with the Wave Console by Staffan Tollgård for The Refined Workshop. Elegant in form and impeccably carved from one of the most prized natural stones in the world, the Wave Console’s sculptural underside highlights the importance of every surface within a design - a sentiment shared by Shalini Misra’s own practice. Ceramic sculptor Abigail Ozora Simpson’s large scale clay pieces continue the celebration of material and form - Salmon Pink Column is over 180cm tall and hand coiled in a pink stoneware clay. It sits next to ‘White Sculpture’ also from clay at 140cm tall.

WOWHouse Table interior design

Ava Dining Table by Tom Faulkner

Period Architectural Joinery

Bringing the history of this fictional several 100-year-old room to the fore, Shalini Misra Ltd has worked with period architectural joinery firm Atkey and Co to provide skirting, mouldings and architraves and with Jamb to present a carved Bath stone fireplace in the early George III manner. Above the fireplace will be a mirror by world celebrated Studio Peascod, made in Gloucestershire from sumptuous surfaces using atmospheric textures and materials. Adjacent, the Art Deco inspired Faro wall sconces and the romantic Clair de Lune pendant by the sofa by one of the world’s most exclusive decorative lighting companies, Bella Figura, will illuminate the space.

Seating in Shalini Misra’s entrance foyer will bring one generation together with another. An eye-catching 120-year-old vintage No.10 Bentwood cane rocking chair in black lacquer by Thonet, supplied by Sigmar London, will sit alongside a modernist design sofa and side table by New Delhi and New York firm DeMuro Das.

A Richly Layered Textural Space

British wood flooring company Havwoods’ Pureplank Oak Lattes Herringbone timber flooring is featured throughout the space while the walls are covered in Chinon by Fromental in the Henson colourway. The Chinon design depicts a European style rendering of an Asian garden scene, hand-painted using a relief process to mimic raised lacquer work. Dedar Milano has provided jacquard curtains for Generations, which are inspired by traditional Japanese "Obi" belts and masterfully depict wandering clouds.

A richly layered and textural space, Generations will offer a warm welcome as visitors begin their journey through WOW!House, realised through the exquisite attention to detail and curatorial eye that the practice is known for.

Interviews and informal meetings with Shalini Misra can be arranged throughout the month of WOW!House.

entrance foyer by shalini misra

House & Garden

What To Expect From WOW!house And Its 17 Brilliant Schemes

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entrance foyer by shalini misra

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Architectural Digest

Step Inside Wow!house, The Inaugural Designer Showcase From London’s Design Centre

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