Tips on European Outdoor Styling for Spring

Published on Updated on STYLE GUIDES by Joe Gregory

Nothing says style, grace, and elegance like European outdoor design when spring first starts to show its face. Many of the springtime classic designs that we are used to seeing are reflective of the deep cultural and historical influences in Europe, such as the rustic furniture in the Classic English Cottage approach. Latticework, open spaces, and fresh greenery are key features, as are neutral, simple colour schemes and a focus on sitting and eating areas, where al fresco life can truly be enjoyed. These colours beautifully complement the hues found in the natural world.

We see a strong focus on nature when we look at European outdoor styling for spring; blooming flowers and vibrant greenery are incorporated heavily into all outdoor designs, making sure that spring’s beauty is celebrated. Spaces without plants will seem lacking in character, cold, and unattractive.

However, there’s also a focus on sophistication, with intricate garden designs showing care and thoughtfulness. Furniture tends to be simple and classic, using woven wicker or wood to continue the natural theme. Sofas, chairs, and tables all tend to be low, often kitted out with cushions to make them more comfortable and truly immerse you in nature.

Modern white Auto Outdoor Wicker Dining Chairs with intricate wicker detailing on the seat and backrest, arranged around a matching white table on a balcony, surrounded by blue sky and plants.
Modern white Auto Outdoor Wicker Dining Chairs with intricate wicker detailing.

Colours are generally neutral, allowing the green of nature to shine particularly brightly, and blending with the outdoor environment. We see a lot of grey, brown, beige, and other neutral tones. 

Finally, the atmosphere strives to engage the senses and invite relaxation; furniture will allow you to sit back and relax, with tables available for drinks and snacks. Everything feels welcoming, informal, and comfortable. 

The top European styles we’re going to look at today include Italian Sophistication, Scandinavian Chic, Spanish Villa, Spanish Finca, and Classic English Cottage. These will bring different elements that you may wish to play with in your space. European outdoor aesthetics are timeless and breathtaking, and can create a cultured outdoor space that invites everybody to sit down and enjoy the glory and warmth of spring as people venture back into the garden. If you’re looking for outdoor decorating ideas, we’ve got some great options for you. Let’s look at outdoor space style tips for spring in Australia!

How to use different European Styles

Style Colour Material Function
Italian Sophistication Bright colours and terracotta accents Bare tiles or rugs Social gatherings/outdoor dining
Scandinavian Chic Neutral palettes Mats and rugs Relaxing, quiet moments/outdoor dining
Spanish Villa Bright blue, yellow, or green Bare, neutral tiles Family gatherings
Classic English Cottage Floral patterns, with pastel hues, especially blues and pinks Stone or tile Intimate family gatherings

 

Italian Sophistication 

Italy is famed for its elegance and luxury, so if that’s your style, this is a perfect option for European outdoor styling for spring. Its spring gardens are rich in colour, with bright blooms and backdrops of lush greenery. We see many terraces and courtyards, outdoor dining, social gathering spaces, and a low-maintenance approach to springtime. Let’s understand a little more about how to create this sort of space.

Stylish Anthracite-Rose Nardi Komodo armchair with a geometric resin design, on a grey rug and green grass, near a garden and pool.

Chic Nardi Komodo Outdoor Resin Armchair in a striking Anthracite-Rose hue

Italian-style designs often incorporate bright colours and terracotta accents. We see neutral tones for the majority of spaces, using stone hues and creams for the most part. These colours work together to harmonise the space they are used in, and are accented with brighter pops, such as touches of blue or yellow. Azure and olive green are further options.

What Outdoor Space Is Suitable For Italian Sophistication? 

Most Italian designs work well on terraces and courtyards, but a balcony can also be styled to suit an Italian look. A wall often makes a nice backdrop, especially if it’s terracotta, but a similar effect can be achieved with trellises or archways, making the space feel enclosed and cosy, without losing the natural effect.

What About Accessories For Italian Sophistication? 

You may wish to place a rug under the table to provide a comfortable surface for feet, but many people also opt for bare tiles in this space, keeping it simple and fresh. Mats can help bring colour and coziness to the space, while bare tiles are more natural. 

Don’t forget to include rustic accessories: large planters are a top favourite, but unique vases and stylish table accessories such as glass olive oil bottles or attractive salt and pepper shakers are also key when achieving true Italian Sophistication.

What About Plants? 

Plants are another must-have, and the Mediterranean options are the best here. Olive trees and bay trees in pots give lovely height, while wisteria can provide a climbing option that fills your space with colour and blooms.

What About Lighting? 

Lighting is a must for any outdoor space, and to keep the natural theme going, this is often woven in among plants, so a string of dim lights can be perfect. Overhead strings can also work well if there aren’t plants available. 

Of course, outdoor spaces can be used however you choose, but if you’ve got a balcony, it’s likely to be for more intimate gatherings, while a larger terrace can be used for social gatherings and outdoor dining.

How Should You Furnish For Italian Sophistication? 

Furniture is the key to a beautiful space, so it’s critical to choose with care. You want products that are of excellent quality and look amazing. Remember, seating is key, so the Nardi Bit Outdoor Resin Dining Chair could make an excellent start. It comes in a variety of shades, allowing you to align it with your other choices and the setting you decide to style it in perfectly.

Scandinavian Chic 

Celebrated for simplicity and functionality, Scandinavian chic brings clean lines and natural materials to a space, and it’s particularly perfect for spring. Scandinavia is known for celebrating the return of warm weather and sunshine through its airy, bright outdoor spaces. With a combination of cosy textiles and an emphasis on nature, it’s perfect for outdoor styling. 

Recycled Teak Bar Table in Natural finish, 150 cm wide, with matching stools on a balcony setting, complete with wine glasses and a plant, inviting relaxation and socialising amidst an urban backdrop.

Recycled Teak Bar Table in Natural finish, with matching stools on a balcony setting.

Again, we see neutral palettes here, usually without the bright pops found in Italian style. Stick with natural materials, such as teak and pine, and browns and whites for the colour palette. This will create a cohesive appearance that is calming and relaxing.

What Outdoor Space Is Suitable For Scandinavian Chic? 

Open spaces are best for this style; if you can create a wide, breathing area, it will work well. Smaller spaces can be used, but efforts should be made to maximize openness and spaciousness. 

What About Accessories For Scandinavian Chic? 

Mats and rugs are commonly used to provide interest and aesthetics, but plain, neutral-coloured tiles (such as white or beige) can also be utilized. Circular rugs are particularly effective when paired with the right furniture!  

Accessories should otherwise be kept to a minimum to avoid detracting from nature. Most people depend upon their lamps and cushions for interest, in keeping with the Scandinavian minimalist vibe. 

What About Plants? 

Plants are key to the celebration of nature, and should be abundant. Tulips are commonly seen, along with pansies and vibrant fruit bushes, including blueberries. Potentilla is another popular flowering plant, as is oregano. 

What About Lighting? 

Lamps can be used to light up the space, often featuring clean lines and simple shapes. They bring warmth and cosiness. Many will be spherical or curved, but lanterns are also an option, and geometric shapes are sometimes seen. Fussy or complicated lamps should be avoided. 

These spaces are perfect for enjoying spring in quiet moments. Although they can be used for outdoor dining, they are often more appropriate for relaxing with a book, gazing at the world, meditating, or simply unwinding in the tranquility of nature. 

Natural Teak Outdoor Daybed adorned with dark gray cushions and decorative blue-gray pillows, set against a backdrop of sunlight and greenery, perfect for serene relaxation.

Natural Teak Outdoor Daybed adorned with dark gray cushions.

How Should You Furnish For Scandinavian Chic? 

With its emphasis on relaxation, furniture should be chosen for comfort and tranquility. The Ottawa II Outdoor Teak Daybed is particularly well suited for those who wish to lie and read, or close their eyes and listen to the sounds of nature. With clean lines and natural colours, it will fit the space and the theme of Scandinavian Chic perfectly.

Spanish Villa 

Spain brings rustic charm to spring, incorporating vibrant hues, bright greenery, and wrought iron into the scene. Spanish villas in spring are full of life and energy, with many outdoor gatherings taking place in shady spots. This outdoor styling trend is perfect for celebrating the return of the sun. 

Splashes of bright blue, yellow, or green can work very well. Ceramic tiles are popular, bringing class and coolness to the outdoor space. Rustic red or orange can also work beautifully, and offer feelings of warmth. These are complemented by wrought iron railings or window frames, or other iron detailing.

What Outdoor Space Is Suitable For Spanish Villa? 

Tiled patios are particularly suitable for this approach, as are courtyards. Shady spots are favoured in Spain, and can be achieved through natural shading such as plants, or through awnings. Umbrellas above tables can also work, as can an overhead trellis. 

What About Accessories For Spanish Villa? 

Keep accessories natural; colourful drinking glasses, a vase of flowers, or fountains are frequently seen. Large, interesting pots are intrinsic to many designs.

Auto Dining Chair in rope or twist wicker, available in charcoal/white, lightweight for outdoor furniture

Modern white Auto Outdoor Wicker Dining Chairs with intricate wicker detailing.

Tiles are the mainstay of the Spanish villa aesthetic, with fabrics rarely appearing. Avoid rugs or other fabrics unless they’re needed to make the space comfortable. 

What About Plants? 

Bright, bold plants often fill these patios. Geraniums are a particularly well-loved addition, and are usually present in a multitude, creating a cohesive, attractive look. Other plants can also be chosen, but vibrant splashes of colour are a good approach. 

What About Lighting? 

The wrought iron theme can be continued into the lighting, with lanterns being a popular addition to most Spanish patios. Fancy or plain, both can work well in this space, and will lend an attractive glow as dusk falls 

These spaces are generally intended for vibrant family gatherings and celebrations, so include plenty of seating. The chairs and sofas should be comfortable, with multiple tables for drinks and snacks. Work to maximise the spaciousness of the area.  

How Should You Furnish It? 

Furnishings should be comfortable and inviting, but also unique enough to please visitors. The Bari Outdoor Wicker Hanging Egg Chair offers all elements, with sufficient elegance to look wonderful on a patio. It works for all outdoor styles, but particularly enhances the Spanish Villa aesthetic.

Chic Bari Outdoor Wicker Hanging Egg Chair with black cushions, suspended on a rooftop patio with green plants and lattice walls, offering a cozy nook for relaxation.

Chic Bari Outdoor Wicker Hanging Egg Chair with black cushions.

Spanish Finca 

More laid-back and elegant, this approach is reminiscent of rural country estates, and makes use of cosy textiles, weathered wood, and warm tones. Spanish Fincas embrace spring by celebrating natural materials and are perfect for relaxed gatherings. 

Hues tend toward earthy for the Spanish Finca look; we see textures and tones that blend with the environment. Opt for browns, earthy reds, stone-greys, etc. to maintain the natural colour theme.

What Outdoor Space Is Suitable For Spanish Finca? 

This kind of space is often created on a shaded veranda, where the air is cool and enjoyable. With excellent vistas of the surrounding landscape, what could be better? 

What About Accessories For Spanish Finca? 

Wicker accessories can add an attractive finishing touch; some people opt for wicker lampshades (instead of iron), or wicker bowls. A glass vase of flowers may also work well. 

As with the Spanish villa approach, rugs and mats are not generally utilised in the Spanish Finca aesthetic. The focus is on the tiles instead; these are often terracotta, and you may see mosaic tiling, in keeping with Spanish heritage. 

What About Plants? 

Oleander, agapanthus, and hibiscus are popular choices, and a climbing vine can complete the picture. Box may bring evergreen colour to the space. 

What About Lighting? 

Again, lighting will often take the shape of iron lanterns, often hung from overhead. More rounded shapes are frequently seen in this particular style, but rectangular lanterns can work too. 

Family gatherings are at the heart of the Spanish Finca approach; you don’t need as much space, but the seating should provide intimacy and comfort. 

How Should You Furnish It? 

Furnishings should make the most of nature’s warm colours, like browns and beiges, and provide a weathered, outdoor look. The Richmond Outdoor Teak Square Side Table offers a particularly excellent start, embodying simplicity and beauty in its natural tones.

Classic English Cottage 

For quaint cosiness, rustic charm, and timelessness, the English cottage style is one of the go-to outdoor styles. You can make the most of flowers, whimsical accessories, and quintessential British charm here. The English spring is resplendent with rich blooms, timeless décor, and cosy spots to sit and enjoy the sun, while immersing yourself in nature. 

Comfortable Noosa lounge set with cream cushions on wicker armchairs and a sofa, centered around a round wooden table on a terracotta-tiled patio, complemented by a light green wall and hanging greenery.

Noosa lounge set with cream cushions on wicker armchairs and a sofa.

Floral patterns and vintage-feel pieces make up the English cottage approach. Pastel hues are more acceptable than bright splashes, with deep blues and pale pinks being particularly popular. 

What Outdoor Space Is Suitable For Classic English Cottage? 

You ideally want to choose a cosy spot, surrounded by an English-style garden, to achieve this approach. Many English patios will nestle alongside a wall or receive some shelter from the buildings, making them snug and cosy. That makes them an ideal option if you’re looking for a small outdoor space style for spring. 

What About Accessories For Classic English Cottage? 

Accessories may take the form of a planter or vase in the centre of the table, or possibly a gnome. Stone spheres and wicker baskets can bring a rustic atmosphere to the space. 

Many people also include garden water features in their outdoor spaces to create a British ambiance. Outdoor areas are commonly stone or tile in the English cottage aesthetic, but a rug can be added for comfort and warmth and to maximize outdoor styling. 

What About Plants? 

Hollyhocks, aquilegia, phlox, and geraniums are all popular choices. Lupins can be used to add spikes of colour, while campanulas provide a low, spreading carpet of attractive bells. 

What About Lighting? 

An old-style lantern can make an in-theme lighting option, but string lights may also work well, brightening up the surrounding flora and lending a beautiful atmosphere to the evenings. 

For people looking to enjoy a little solitude or an intimate family gathering, this space is perfect. Generally small, it’s not suited to large parties, but can accommodate a friendly group beautifully, or provide a soothing retreat. 

How Should You Furnish For Classic English Cottage? 

Furnishings should be kept simple and attractive; wrought iron is a common option, often painted white to show off the latticework. However, concrete is in theme with the simplicity and rustic approach, and offers increased durability. The Zen Outdoor Concrete Round Dining Table is a particularly suitable option for this reason. 

Zen Outdoor Concrete Round Dining Table set for four in warm sunlight, with elegant place settings and a central decorative arrangement, offering a tranquil dining experience

Zen Outdoor Concrete Round Dining Table, offering a tranquil dining experience.

If that’s not for you, why not try some cottage style outdoor furniture in weathered wood, or go for farmhouse style outdoor furniture? Teak is a particularly popular wood option for the British cottage style. 

Conclusion 

Hopefully, our range of European outdoor styling tips will have given you plenty of inspiration and ideas, along with some product selections. This will allow you to create a space that you can fall in love with, whether you plan to spend quality time alone with your book, or create lifelong memories with your family and friends. Your outdoor space is your very own oasis, and with our tips, you can enjoy it to the full. 

Once you’ve decided which of these amazing styles to choose from, you can put the foundations in place to make your outdoor space truly beautiful. The world is your oyster when it comes to decorating and accessorising, and you can choose from an incredible range of products. You might like the Bobby Outdoor Aluminium Lamp for casting a warm glow over any outdoor scene; no matter which style trend you opt for, this is a versatile and attractive product. 

Europe offers breathtaking outdoor styles, stunning approaches to patios, verandas, balconies, and courtyards, and the sophistication of rich cultures. Whether you choose rustic charm, colourful pops, wrought iron accents, or coastal style outdoor furniture, you have brand new ways to fall in love with your outdoor space. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed our outdoor styling ideas to the full.

Reference Sources 


Share this

How to Refurbish Wooden Outdoor Furniture?
A hand holds a bottle of Magic Stain Remover in front of an Alora 3-seater lounge on a wooden deck, with a charcoal round table adorned with a plant and decorative pieces.
Aluminium
 The image shows a patio dining setup with a table, chairs, and a large umbrella on a wooden deck, surrounded by greenery and a decorative screen. An orange banner reads "Maintaining Your Outdoor Furniture for Longevity".