offbeat outdoor spaces

Offbeat Outdoor Spaces

Create offbeat outdoor spaces that fit your garden and you.

Modern gardening requires a holistic approach. Gone are the days of carefully curating a garden bed and perfecting a lawn, only to throw a metal table or bench in the corner and call it a day. These days your garden’s hardscaping elements are just as important as the plants themselves and are often the spaces that get the most use. Choose your favourite from these categories or combine them to complete your offbeat outdoor spaces.

When designing a garden, outdoor entertaining areas are not merely places to sit. Choose furniture and decor carefully, with a combination of textures and colors, to turn your outdoor space into the highlight of your garden. This outdoor space combines the structure of arty concrete furniture with soft furnishings and plants for a modern, offbeat design.

Combining flashes of red and pops of yellow in decorative elements like blankets and pillows provides colour without overwhelming the space. These elements can also be easily changed for a new look in a few minutes.


Gardeners go crazy with colour when it comes to plants, so why shy away from using colour in entertainment spaces? Your garden will not be overshadowed if you go bold in hardscaping – using complementary colours will only highlight your precious plants. Pops of red are the popular choice but other primary colours blue and yellow also feature often. Contrast bright colours together or choose one to highlight your entertainment space as a vivid garden feature.


The bold, funky garden aesthetic is not for everyone. Some gardeners may prefer to tone it down and blend hardscaping with the comforting ambience of the surrounding garden, using muted tones and soft furnishings to create a harmonious and welcoming space. However, toning it down should not equal boring garden design. The key for cosy spaces, especially undercover ones, are the small additions like layered throw pillows and blankets. (Despite what some may tell you, when it comes to cosy you can never have too many pillows.) Throw in a campfire pit or small water feature and you are bound to be sighing in relaxation as soon as you sit down.

Accent smaller spaces with table decorations and design the surroundings to complement the seating area. This will ensure the space does not look lost in the landscape.

Layering blankets and pillows of different textures can turn an ordinary outdoor space into a welcoming one. Use contrasting prints and complementary colours for a diverse garden design.


For many gardeners today, outdoor space is limited. Precious square metres of usable land are usually devoted to plants in lieu of entertaining areas, especially in cities where green spaces are diminishing. However, a small space should not prevent the prioritisation of seating. How else are you going to enjoy your garden? Smaller seating areas can gain an offbeat character with a few furnishings, pots and a surrounding design that directs the eye straight there. This will make your small space feel larger than life, rather than like an afterthought.


Contemporary design that pushes the limits of gardening is a hallmark of offbeat gardens. Contemporary spaces utilise materials in new ways and emphasise modern furnishings to bring entertaining into the 21st century and beyond. Add some futuristic elements using lighting, gas fireplaces or water features to complete the look and prevent a minimal design from looking sparse.

These contemporary spaces are clean and uncluttered. By using small decorative elements and carefully selected artistic accents, a simple outdoor area becomes a modern garden feature.

The Gardener