Even the least green-fingered gardener can create an enticing outdoor oasis, simply by introducing a dash of colour to their garden, terrace or balcony. You don’t have to keep the furniture covers on and shun these areas while the mercury levels remain high; instead, create beautifully designed and decorated spaces to look out upon all year round. Use the guaranteed sun to your advantage and treat these areas of your home as an extension of your chic interiors, whether you want to create a relaxing retreat or a social hub. Al fresco lounges and kitchens are popular, encouraging everyone to get outside for friendly gatherings and family meals, and provide the perfect chill-out spot at the weekend.

No matter what size or condition your outdoor space is, there are a number of easy solutions that can add personality and vibrancy, from colourful home accessories to blossoming perennials. Some simple ‘evergreen’ elements, like a brightly painted wall, colourful focal feature, eye-catching pool mosaics and sun-loving shrubs can create a sense of comfort all year round. As we look ahead to cooler climes, add layers of cheerful soft furnishings and invest in some bright tableware to start tempting people out. There’s a kaleidoscope of colourful exterior applications to choose from, each with their own unique way to add energy and new dimensions to your garden. Here, we showcase eye-catching elements across three core outdoor topographies – wall features, lounge areas and accents – to inspire you to go beyond the pale.

Wall Features 

Painting a fence in a rainbow of colours makes a fun, playful statement.

Garden canvas
Create an uplifting focal point by painting the length and breadth of a wall or fence. Buy exterior paint from a regional manufacturer, as their ranges have been specially developed to withstand high temperatures.

Local talent
Stained glass and murals will be a trending wall feature for AW17/18; why not commission a local artist to create something bespoke so it’s special to your home and family.

Plot change
If you don’t have scope for flower beds, look to your fences, walls or balcony ceilings as an alternative plot for a hanging floral display.  

Try picking a wall colour that contrasts with the flowers around it; here, teal is an uplifting background shade that stands outs from the vibrant blooms and white garden furniture.

We love the eco-friendly gardener who thought of using old pipe parts to grow plants in Malacca, Malaysia (in Dubai, Sustainable City recycles plastic bottles to grow lettuce).

Lounge areas 

While royal blue and crisp white evokes coastal connotations, mashrabiya detailing gives this typically Grecian pairing an Arabesque twist.

Feeling blue
For a simple and tranquil palette, highlight the colour of our cloud-free skies and clear waters of the Gulf with shades of blue, from pale pastels to rich cobalt.

Pick and mix
Inject a bold palette with a mix-and-match approach to dining chairs and throw pillows, buying the same design in a rainbow of shades for feel-good vibes.

Camouflage vs colour
While seating in neutral shades hides the desert dust that persistently coats anything outdoors, add personality with colourful cushions and throws that can be easily washed when needed. 

Introduce colourful items that also have a calming effect, with Thai triangle pillows and meditation mats; place them underneath a shaded canopy so they don’t fade in the sun. 

Layer fabrics in floral and foliage shades to brighten up neutral decking.

Accent pieces such as a daybed and cushions in red are the perfect way to introduce colour.

Accent items

Pretty petunias thrive in the UAE winter.

Quirky corners
Brighten small porches or balconies by filling eccentric items such as watering cans, old shoes and boots with native varieties, such as the tropical hibiscus.

Colour wheels
Create an eye-catching feature by painting your kids’ old bicycles and filling the baskets with cacti or vibrant perennials like hyacinths or the Peruvian lily.

Pretty petals
Colourful plants that grow well in the UAE include caladium, which loves shade and humidity. The ipomoea tricolour climbs fences with distinct aqua-marine petals, while the striking sapphire blue and dark red leaves of coleus thrive on balconies. 

An old bicycle painted in clashing colours livens up a dull pathway. Pretty petunias thrive in the UAE winter.

Glass candle holders or coloured lightbulbs are an easy way to brighten the night; hang them from branches so the soft rays of light sway gently in the breeze for a cosy atmosphere.

These vibrant bird feeders create a cute display and encourage wildlife to visit.

Be inspired by the crafty gardener who turned old wellington boots into unusual hanging flower pots; painting the fence white is a simple trick to make the colourful wellies and blossoms stand out further.