Need more space? Try looking at your garden. The trend for uniting your garden and home has never been more popular but now you can take it one step further and create a whole extra ‘room’. Whether you use it for dining, lounging or cooking, there’s a huge array of outdoor ideas to personalise your patio.
Image source: Ronseal
Take surfaces from drab to fab
Outdoor paints once came mostly in neutral shades but now there’s a great choice of colours, from hot pink to zesty greens. Use it to revitalise any surface that needs a bit of love, from fencing to walls and even metalwork. You’ll even find specialist decking paints to instantly refresh tired and cracked boards. They’ll help protect decking against the weather while covering imperfections.
Image source: Ronseal
Keep it cosy
You’re probably wondering how much use you’ll get out of an outdoor space when it feels like the sun has hung up its hat for good. The answer is to supplement whatever the season brings, just like inside. Extend your summer months by making sure there’s a source of heat, whether that’s a brazier, heat lamps or an outdoor fire, and some lighting. Basic solar-powered lights and candles are handy during the summer but for autumn and beyond, you’ll need some permanent outdoor wall lights to brighten up your evenings.
Similarly, breezes can be a problem, especially if your garden is exposed, so try adding a glass screen for an instant suntrap. A remote-controlled extendable awning is also great for keeping you dry during showers.
Image source: NIM
Soften the space
The principles behind designing an inviting outdoor space are almost the same in your home, except that you can get a bit more creative. For example, try disguising ugly partitions with plants or to create a natural divide within the space. Thick foliage is also ideal for muffling sound from a nearby road or neighbours.
Image source: Ikea
Be sure to choose furniture that’s similar to what you enjoy inside, such as a wooden coffee table, outdoor chairs and sofas with plenty of cushioning and some freestanding shelving. Many designs can also double as conservatory furniture, so you can use them inside during winter. If space is limited, look for foldable designs and add a set of hooks inside a shed or garage, so you can store it easily.
Don’t forget to decorate your space – outdoor art, wirework sculptures, a barometer or a clock all make the space feel more personal.
Image source: Coco Wolf furniture at Lillingston Living
Cook and dine
If you’re enjoying sitting outside, why go inside to cook or eat? The latest barbecues aren’t just for grilling, and many can now be used to roast, bake or have hob-style burners for pans. For real alfresco devotees, an outdoor kitchen is perfect. It takes the concept one step further, including storage, sinks and even appliances. You can even add a pizza oven for authentic stone-baked breads. Some will be mobile, while others are more permanent, often supported with masonry and powered via an armoured cable running from your home. Pizza ovens can cost as little as a few hundred pounds while full outdoor kitchens can cost up to and above £20,000.
Image source: Fire Magic