Give your backyard the magical touch with the latest in outdoor lighting – James Treble offers his expert advice.
Design expert James Treble throws some light on your exterior spaces.
OUTDOOR LIGHTING often gets overlooked but, if there’s one time of the year when it will make your place the life and soul of the party, it’s at Christmas and New Year. Lights create atmosphere and highlight features in your garden: doorways, pools, trees, water and architectural features. Having a beautifully lit outdoor space also transforms how you entertain, turning a simple barbeque at home into a sparkling event.
LIGHTS FOR ENTERTAINING
Once only seen at Christmas or at high-end resorts, festoon or ribbon lighting in trees is now a common sight in Australian homes all year round. However, it’s still a great way to add a festive mood with style.
The adaptability of this DIY-type of lighting means it can be easily wrapped around brick pillars, weaved along timber pergolas and draped over garden walls and fences, providing endless opportunity for you to individualise your space.
Lighting entry ways for your guests (possibly more essential on their way out!) not only ensures a safe journey, but allows you to make a dramatic entrance. Using bollard lighting, either in the garden or along the driveway or garden path, provides soft yet effective lighting. Deck lights can help you illuminate a path or stairs and, bonus, help revitalise tired-looking timber. Some LED options come with a remote control, allowing you to change the colours of the lights.
New-look garden spike lights shining up and into the foliage are great for highlighting the trunk and branches of a tree in the backyard. It really does look effective and will change a simple tree into an illuminated work of art.
BATTERY-RUN AND SOLAR LIGHTS
As no electricity is required, solar and battery operated lighting can be safely and easily positioned wherever you like around the home. It’s a great and quick DIY option as it’s easy to install and remove, which also makes it perfect for renters.
This kind of lighting has come a long way, with so many great products available for gardens and table settings. Some of my styling go-to’s include placing tiny strings of wire lights inside glass vases as a table centrepiece, or wrapped around potted plants to light up any dark corners.
LED battery operated candles allow you to enjoy the magic of natural flame without the danger, and look beautiful on a table or placed in clusters around the garden.
Lastly, my top tip if you have a water feature or pond is to use battery operated underwater lights – no electrician required!
Brighten your outdoor dining area with a light feature. Ikea has a great range this season. Mix up tea light candles in pretty holders with large pillar candles in tall glass vessels. Drape garden beds with solar-powered LED rope lights that turn on at dusk automatically.
Lanterns look fab hung up in trees – but what about stringing them across the garden?
GREAT IDEA Cluster wax or LED candles on steps and paths to light the way.