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and relax – and have the advantage of being incredibly low maintenance. • All you really need is a couple of chairs and a small table. If they fold up out of the way, so much the better. • Alternatively, cleverly designed built-in furniture can maximise corners and any awkward spaces. • Furniture that doubles as storage (a chest used as a table, for example) is invaluable for holding gardening equipment or picnic paraphernalia. • Make the most of vertical space with tiered and hanging planters, even a living wall. Paint the walls bright white and, if your plants are in pots, choose reflective containers. • Avoid dark corners by installing a variety of lighting, from battery-powered string lights to solar torches stuck into pots. • Increase the sense of space by hanging a mirror on a sheltered wall to reflect the light.

• Don’t mix too many different materials. When choosing hard landscaping, pots and furnishings, stick to a limited palette to avoid a jumble of colours and textures.

Katherine Sorrell is the author of 17 books on design and interiors

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Photo: Rattan lounge chair - idyllhome.co.uk

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