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Designing for Outdoor Living

Covered day bed and pond

If you want to maximise on outdoor living, especially in the spring and summer months, then there’s no time like the present to plan and prep your garden landscape.

Time spent thinking about how your outdoor areas could become more inviting, usable spaces now, could mean that as the warmer months roll onto the horizon your garden is transformed, ready for you to throw open the french doors and start living outdoors. By the same measure, thoughtful design can also allow you to enjoy the fresh air of a bucolic lifestyle even in the depths of winter, no matter how great or small your patch of ground.

Sweep away the cold, minimalist look that’s been popular over recent years and chuck out plastic furniture. This season, it’s all about natural materials and retro styling with warm, soothing materials. Feed your imagination with our rundown of the latest in outdoor living and let us inspire a garden re-vamp.

Inside Out

Let your indoors spill over into your outdoors. This is a trend that’s really caught our attention, it focuses on the transition from your home to your outdoor space using outdoor rugs, ottomans and tables. More and more we’re seeing items made for outdoor use masquerading as indoor accoutrements or furniture.

Outdoors sofas are no longer hard moulded plastic with pillows and cushions that have to be removed and stored and are only really seen on the odd summer’s day when it’s ‘nice enough to sit out. Modern garden sofas are big, squishy and soft, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d just been dragged out from the living room. But surely you can’t leave them outside? Well, thanks to new generation waterproof fabrics such as weather-resistant canvas, these sofas can be left in the garden, so no more dashing outside to retrieve your cushions at the first hint of rain.

There are also affordable and stylish all-purpose rugs made using durable recycled plastic fibre for outdoor use. Now, that might conjure up the impression of a scratchy or rubbery doormat, but these are far from it. Handwoven with a soft feel and gorgeous designs they wouldn’t look out of place indoors, yet amazingly these rugs are water and mould-proof and can be cleaned by water and mild soap.

Sleek Shelters

No matter how squishy the sofa or how soft your waterproof blanket it is, we’re sure you’re still not going to want to sit outside admiring your new green wall in the middle of a storm. But what if you could enjoy the outdoors in any weather without getting soaked or buffeted by gales?

Outdoor structures can allow you to enjoy your outside spaces even during inclement weather and they don’t need elaborate. A simple wooden gazebo with a roof and open-sides can provide protection from the rain and allow you to sit out all-year round. Or perhaps give cover to a table-tennis or football table? How about walled area with a glass roof and a fire-bowl, perfect for stargazing on cold winter nights?

Perhaps by now, you’re thinking bigger? Invest in a summerhouse or outdoor room that can double as an office or entertainment hub. What about a verandah where you can not only enjoy evenings with friends but which can also provide extra growing space for tender plants. Pergolas can provide structure for climbers to entwine, whilst also offering shade from the baking heat of the summer sun; making al fresco lunches more fun. There are so many clever and creative ways to make your landscape more beautifully usable and invitingly comfortable regardless of the weather or time of year, so why not get ahead of the game and start musing on how you’d like to live better outdoors?

Piqued your interest in designing your garden for outdoor living?  We’d love to talk over ideas for bringing your garden to life with landscaping solutions for all weathers.

You can find us here.

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