Nothing really beats a lazy afternoon in the garden or patio, sipping lemonade from a glass whilst friends or family mill around, admiring your floral displays. As more and more homeowners explore the trend for outdoor living, adapting backyard space for comfort and visual pleasure, there’s no better time to jump on the bandwagon than the summer season. A couple of luxurious items can help your garden achieve new levels of beauty, enjoyment, and social ambience. Here are just a handful of ideas to consider: Chewing the scenery When your nearest and dearest are stopping by, you’ll probably want to eat outside in a full sheen of sunlight. Garden and patio meals seem to have a quality that’s all their own, relaxing anyone, no matter how hard their day has been. For this reason, investing in a gorgeous dining set will give your outdoor area a focal point for catch-ups, casual drinks, or spontaneous spreads for the family. Steel frames will never go out of fashion, thanks to their sturdiness and easy cleaning properties. However, choosing a thick, wooden table instead, complete with folding chairs in rich acacia, adds a rustic feel to mealtime. Cocooning yourself away Once, hammocks were the Next Big Thing, offering a gentle alternative to deck chairs for chill-out sessions. Now it appears that hammock pods have trumped them – far more private and enjoyable, they’re a great choice for heavy readers looking to escape for a while, or kids dying to whisper secrets to their friends. You can hang them from a tree branch or wall hook, as long as the latter extends a couple of feet. One or two-man pods are available, as are specialised hanging frames for gardens without natural suspension features. Seeing as most providers of these items have a stunning range of colours in their arsenal, the pod can be as eye-catching or subtle as you like. Light and shade As good as a scorching summer can be, we all need relief now and then. Parasols can never be bested for mixing up an outdoor space. Flexible tilt positions, along with options to angle a canopy for changeable weather and sunbeams, means you’re never short of shading that does exactly what you tell it to. Furthermore, waterproof materials will save your frolics from a premature end if rain sets in. Luxury parasols really can fit to any other garden or patio piece; try placing one over an al fresco buffet on the grass, or above an outdoor sofa, positioned just-so for a sliver of heat to find you. Take this advice, and run wild with it. There’s no reason why your outdoor space should resist the attention you put into living rooms, bedrooms, and social hubs of the home. To find out more about our high-end, domestic parasols, browse our full collection, or call +44 (0) 1925 819 608 for a chat with our Instashade team.