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Steal This Look: An Indoor/Outdoor Dining Space in London

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Steal This Look: An Indoor/Outdoor Dining Space in London

July 4, 2023

For a lesson on how to create a charming indoor/outdoor dining area for summer nights, we take you to a small backyard in London’s Crofton Park neighborhood. There food writer Mina Holland and musician Freddie Denham-Webb have created an oasis in the city—complete with an American-style Big Green Egg grill.

What prompted the American barbecue invasion? “We’re on a street of what I figure were quite experimental Victorian houses. Ours is a purpose-built maisonette, and opposite there are cleverly laid-out cottages. It feels like it was a bit of a testing ground for small-space living,” Holland told The Modern House.

Here’s everything you need to get the look:

from inside, a view of the dining table and benches is framed by the open doorw 17
Above: From inside, a view of the dining table and benches is framed by the open doorway. The small garden also has a storage shed at the edge of the property. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.

See more of the house’s interiors on Remodelista.

big green egg mina holland south london refurbish the modern house 10   733x489
Above: The industrial-style light fixture above the door came from a friend: “He and his partner moved to a very stylish Sixties development in Hatfield, and this didn’t quite go with their refit. We love it, though,” says Holland. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.

Exterior & Facade

the brick facade and trim is painted with pure brilliant white by dulux to refl 19
Above: The brick facade and trim is painted with Pure Brilliant White by Dulux to reflect light and make the space look clean and bright.

Dulux has a collection of exterior paints resistant to UV rays and tailored to the surface you plan to paint. For brick, see the range of rainproof Dulux Paint Mixing Weathershield Smooth Masonry Paints.

the back door and transom window are painted in farrow & ball&#8\2\17;s 20
Above: The back door and transom window are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Green Blue.

Farrow & Ball’s exterior paints are available in both eggshell and gloss finishes.

Lighting

with a galvanized finish, the original warehouse gooseneck light can be customi 21
Above: With a galvanized finish, The Original Warehouse Gooseneck Light can be customized with five sizes of shades, a straight or gooseneck arm (varying lengths are available ) and a wire cage. Prices start at $255 at Barn Light Electric.

Garden Shed

a similar \10 by 8 foot peaked from wooden traditional garden summerhouse with  22
Above: A similar 10-by-8-foot peaked from Wooden Traditional Garden Summerhouse with shiplap siding has double doors with four window panels; it’s currently sold out, but a similar version can be found via Handy Home Products.

Paint the shed to match the house, as Mina Holland did, to give the garden a cohesive look.

Fence

painted black, horizontal fence privacy panels are tall enough to provide a neu 23
Above: Painted black, horizontal fence privacy panels are tall enough to provide a neutral backdrop to the garden. For similar, a five-pack of Grange Contemporary Slatted Fence Panels is £470 from DIY.

For more stylish fence panels, see 10 Easy Pieces: Privacy Fence Panels.

Furnishings

the big green egg charcoal grill is available in seven sizes, including a mini  24
Above: The Big Green Egg charcoal grill is available in seven sizes, including a Mini Max intended for countertop use. Included is a “precision temperature gauge that provides accuracy up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit/400 degrees Centigrade,” notes retailer Green Acres.
a bier garden set includes an 86.6 inch long table and two benches. it is avail 25
Above: A Bier Garden Set includes an 86.6-inch-long table and two benches. It is available in nine finishes including natural with black legs as shown; from $699 from Beer Garden Furniture.

The table seats sits comfortably. Says Holland: “We have a lot of friends over, but we tend not to invite more than four at a time, so there’s six of us. That might change in summer because the garden feels like we have an extra room.”

galvanized watering can haws buy at goop
Above: Made in the UK, Haws’ galvanized Slimcan Metal Outdoor Watering Cans start at $80.
a six pocket terra cotta strawberry pot has openings that make it easy to pick  27
Above: A six-pocket Terra Cotta Strawberry Pot has openings that make it easy to pick fruit; $48.60 from Build Club.

Are you furnishing an outdoor space? See:

N.B.: This story is an update; the original post ran on April 27, 2021, and is reappearing here as part of our Summer from the Archive issue.

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Frequently asked questions

Where can I find the outdoor dining table in the London patio?

The outdoor dining table is from the retailer IKEA.

What type of outdoor seating is used in the London patio?

The outdoor seating is a combination of wooden benches and folding metal chairs.

Where can I purchase the wooden benches and folding metal chairs for my backyard?

The wooden benches and folding metal chairs can be found at various outdoor furniture retailers or online marketplaces.

What type of flooring is used on the London patio?

The flooring on the London patio is made of affordable concrete paving slabs.

Where can I buy concrete paving slabs for my outdoor space?

Concrete paving slabs can be purchased at local home improvement stores or online retailers that specialize in outdoor materials.

What kind of outdoor lighting is installed in the London patio?

The outdoor lighting in the London patio consists of simple string lights.

Where can I find similar string lights for my backyard?

You can find string lights at home goods stores, hardware stores, or online retailers that sell outdoor lighting.

How can I create a similar greenery wall like the one featured in the London patio?

To create a greenery wall, you can use a combination of potted plants, trellises, and wall-mounted plant holders.

Where can I purchase the plant holders and trellises for my greenery wall?

Plant holders and trellises can be found at garden centers, home improvement stores, or online retailers specializing in gardening supplies.

Can I recreate this budget backyard dining patio in a different location?

Yes, you can recreate this patio design in any location by sourcing similar furniture and decor items that fit your budget and available space.

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