anniversary gifts for couples Summer Interior Design Design for Outdoor Living Spaces- Courtyard Chic funny cushion covers

The last post this week focusing on Summer interior design ideas for outdoor living spaces turns out attention to courtyards. This small spaces are perfect for catching the summer enabling you to enjoy the great outdoors even if you live in the heart of a busy city or town. Tea for two, a leisurely Sunday breakfast or a romantic evening meal is just what's needed to help you unwind at the end of the day and at week ends – what could be nicer than having your own sanctuary to get away from it all.

Victorian terraced houses, Georgian mews and modern refurbishments of old tanneries, mills etc. typically have courtyards which can be transformed into your own private oasis. If you don't have a courtyard area the ideas can be taken onto a balcony and you'll achieve a similar effect. The great thing about courtyards is that they can be created relatively easily to suit the style of your home and budget. Wrought iron tables and chairs can salvaged or bought newanniversary gifts for couples, pretty table cloths and seat pads can be bought or made from Chintz or floral fabrics – there's plenty of patterns and colours available from an online fabric warehouse to choose from.

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If you're not a flowery type of person checks or striped wholesale fabrics would work just as well. You don't have to have everything matching either, just use the same interior design principles as you would inside your home to create a little niche in your garden or courtyard which is full of chic style and you own favourite creature comforts. Courtyards are more intimate than patios or decked areas, if you don't have a hide-a-way near your house take the ideas to another spot in your garden – a wooden gazebo or even an old potting shed can be transformed to accommodate your courtyard ideas, and these will also give you some protection from a sudden rain shower!

Think along the lines of the small gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it's surprising just how stunning a small space can be; and of course these 'special' places are bang on-trend and gaining in popularity as many people are turning their backs on high-tech living and returning to a slower and more tranquil lifestyle when and wherever they can. This week we've shared 7 outside living ideas with you, so why not take a look at your garden, patio or courtyard and be inspired to turn it, a small piece of it, into a place for some well deserved R&;R.

An old step ladder makes a great support for board to make a free standing shelving unit. You can also use an old fashioned ladder as a cool place to keep your shoes.

Purchasing chair covers can be expensive, especially if you have an entire set of chairs to cover. Fortunately, you can make your own for very little money. You can use pillowcases to cover dining room chair backs and seats, make fancy chair covers for special events, or create a custom one-piece slipcover for an armchair.

1. Start with the right rug and make a big, bold statement.Color and pattern are crucial, but don’t forget to maximize the impact by selecting the right size and shape. Go long and lean with a runner if your room is narrow, or maybe something round to dress a square space. Let the proportions enhance your decorating scheme; fill the space with a single rug, or use multiple rugs to selectively highlight design elements.