We may be coming into the autumn/winter season but that doesn’t mean we have to shut ourselves away from the great outdoors until springtime. At View Point Developments’ Ferry Quarter, Strangford, Co Down, not only do they have beautiful new properties along the shores of Strangford Lough but, with their unique, communal, BBQ, area they are keen to showcase that an outdoor lifestyle can be enjoyed - whatever the weather. With this in mind, View Point Developments teamed up with well known Northern Ireland Interior Designer Maureen Collins to reveal how the changeable weather shouldn’t stop you from entertaining outdoors at The Ferry Quarter.
Maureen Collins advises that with a few simple tips, outdoor entertaining and dining can be a year round pleasure:
* Take Cover: Yes it does rain all year but a large waterproof parasol, a gazebo or even a trendy sail can provide cover. There are lots of great bargains around if you want to buy but for that special event Maverick Marquees has some really useful marquees for hire – www.maverickmarquees.com
* Keep warm: A chiminea or outdoor fire basket is a great way to keep warm outdoors and also creates a really intimate atmosphere. It may sound a bit obvious but wrap up well too. Cosy, fleecy throws make great decorations but are also brilliant to cuddle up in when it gets colder. Choose bright colours and make sure they are washable.
* Take a seat: Gum tree and charity shops are great places to pick up old outdoor benches and tired garden furniture. You can revamp with spray paint, even dingy, white plastic garden furniture can be livened up with specialist spray paint. Again there are loads of bargains about too.
* Chill Out: I like to have loads of brightly coloured floor cushions to create a festival vibe; you can easily store these and your throws, when not in use, by putting them in vacuum storage bags. Just make sure everything is clean and really dry before storing. They take up much less room, stay fresh and don’t smell musty even if you are storing them in a damp shed.
* Let there be light: Solar powered fairy lights are available in lots of places now and create a really magical feel when the sun goes down. Little jam jars with tea lights can also help create the right feel. Copy the trendy bars and use these to serve cocktails too!
* Let there be Craic: The best ingredient for outdoor entertaining is fun, so just relax and don’t fuss too much, put some good music on, keep food simple, use colourful, paper plates and don’t forget to tell the neighbours… better still invite them!
Northern Ireland interior designer, Maureen Collins, said:
“Outdoor entertaining, whatever the weather, can be so much fun. My advice is to keep it simple, think colour, warmth and light. Showing this in action at the beautiful Ferry Quarter and their communal BBQ was delightful and the stunning views across Strangford Lough only added to my inspiration. My tips can apply to any place or space – so enjoy!”
Justin McClay, from View Point Developments, said:
“With our collection of very unique homes at Ferry Quarter we want people to love where they live and enjoy the fantastic outdoor lifestyle on offer including our, unique communal BBQ area, overlooking the stunning Strangford Lough – whatever the weather. We were delighted to have Maureen Collins on board to show how this can easily been done with minimal fuss but with lots of fun. We hope that people who come to see the development will feel inspired with what we achieved at the site and consider making Ferry Quarter their home.”
For further information on the Ferry Quarter visit www.ferryquarter.com