If you’re looking for an atmospheric spot to chill your evenings away, then try running string lights back and forth across the ceiling in a zig zag pattern. You can also do this with no roof, as long as you have something to hang the lights from on either side.
If you’re lucky enough to have a tree overhanging the patio area then you can create a magical effect by attaching string lights to the lower branches of the tree.
Fairy lights can also be used in a number of enchanting ways. Try hanging lanterns stuffed with fairy lights, or wrapping them around logs in a fire pit. They also look great draping down a wall or fence in lines.
For a tropical vibe try getting a large potted plant with sword-like leaves such as yucca, cordyline or phormiums, and stick five or six solar tiki lamps in the pot with it at different angles.
Fire pits and chimineas can provide a fabulously warm and natural light if you’re willing to keep a fire going. They also provide a great focal point when entertaining outdoors, and warmth that allows you to extend the outdoor season a little.
And don’t forget the simple beauty of candles. You can hang them in jam jars from tree branches and along walls and fences to dazzling effect. But their versatility means you can place them just about anywhere – and they’re cheap too.