Dragging a tired-looking table and set of chairs out onto your lawn or your patio is hardly the right atmosphere for relaxing and really getting to experience you garden – whether it’s in the warmth and bright colours in spring, or in the slightly brisker autumn weather. Since decorating and creating an outdoor space for relaxation and socialising is very different from doing the same inside, this post runs through some key design elements that you need to consider before you get started.
A Stand-Out Paved Area
Even if you already have decking, a patio or a paved area in your garden, simply utilising this space won’t really be enough. To ensure that you create a separate and secluded natural outdoor space, you’re going to need to design a paved area that really stands out as a separate space. As we’re going for a very natural, subtle theme with this space, the best thing to do is go for natural options such as wood, or ‘raw’ and unfinished materials such as re-used concrete or reclaimed brick and stone.
The use of any of these kinds of materials can create a great natural basis for your space that stands out, without looking too ‘clinical’ and unnatural. They’re readily available and environmentally friendly, too, so fit perfectly with our theme!
Subtle, Neutral Furniture Options
We want to create a space that fits in perfectly with our garden – it’s got to be eye-catching, but it can’t stick out like a sore thumb, so that’s why it’s got to fit in with the natural look of your garden. This is what makes nice and neutral furniture a great option, so opt for very inclusive-looking pieces like wicker chairs, wood-framed sofas and tables, and pieces made from natural stone.
Obviously, you want it to all be practical and comfortable but it’s best to remember that you are decorating this space outside, so it’ll need to co-ordinate with the rest of your garden.
Utilise Plants For Style & Privacy
Plant life is going to have a dual purpose in the design of our outdoor garden living space, but both work to the same end in creating a nice secluded and natural area for relaxation in your garden. First and foremost, you’re going to want to choose a few focal plants to aid with the design of your space – choose a few colourful flowers like angelonia and lantana, and some great greenery like small trees and shrubs.
You may also want to include some small shrubs or hedges, or perhaps even climbing plants and vines on a trellis or a pergola. Not only can this help with the natural theme, but it’s great for creating a bit of privacy and giving an overall look of seclusion to the whole area.
Make It Universal Across Seasons
This is a bit of a tough one, since there will be a point in the year when an outdoor space becomes far too cold an option, but you can do a lot to make sure it’s usable for a vast majority of the year. For winter, it would be worth investing in some form of outdoor heat – whether it’s an electrical heater that’s connected to your home mains supply, or something a bit more self-sustaining and natural like an oil, wood or coal burning fire. While not much use when your garden is coated in snow, it can really help to keep your space useably warm in the chillier weather.
It’s also worth installing some form of retractable/removable coverage – this is easy if the space is very close to your property, as some form of awning can be attached to the building, but freestanding options can also work if it’s some way into your garden. Not only can this help stop rain, drizzle and rain in the horrible weather, it can provide great shade in the summer to stop the area being unbearably hot – and can help protect some of your precious plants, too!
Armed with these top tips, your own flare for design and the knowledge of exactly the kind of natural space you want to create, you’ll easily be able to create a stunning outdoor area for your garden. Get started now to ensure you have a great space ready for the warmth of spring – you’ll be glad you did!
This guest post was written by Tom McShane – blogger, garden enthusiast and nature love. Tom loves spending time in his outdoor area in his garden, and would recommend reclaimed York stone from Cawarden Reclaim as paving for anyone looking to create their own natural space.