Making an outdoor living space in your garden gives you the best of both worlds – a place to enjoy being in nature with all the comforts of your living room on hand! There are many ways to turn an outdoor area into an extension of your home and here are a few of our favourite ideas.
- Decide how you want to use your outdoor living space – whether it’s a space for entertaining family and friends, or somewhere you can escape to when you need some time to yourself. Think about how much space you need, and what sort of furniture you want. Spend some time watching where the sunlight falls in your garden throughout the day to help you decide where to make your outdoor living room.
- Make a small space feel bigger by hanging a mirror on a fence or wall. The mirror acts like a window into a new part of the garden, reflecting areas you wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. Choose a mirror designed for outdoor use.
- Layer up benches and comfortable chairs with cushions and rugs to add softness, texture and colour, and give your outdoor space an air of cosiness.
- Place outdoor rugs over decking to define a seating area and add a splash of colour. Made of durable, weather-proof fabrics, these will cope with summer rains, although they’ll last longer if you bring them indoors over winter.
- Add a parasol, umbrella or shade sail. This not only provides a shady retreat on sunny days, but also makes your space feel more intimate and private.
- Look for furniture that would suit being used indoors (for example, in a conservatory) as well as outdoors – this helps create the feel of an outdoor room and also means you can use the furniture indoors in winter! Stylish bamboo and rattan furniture is perfect for outdoor living rooms.
- Create a boundary for your outdoor room – you can do this very simply using screening plants such as bamboo in pots, or a trellis covered with flowering climbers.
- Lighting lets you extend the use of your outdoor room well into the evening. Strings of fairy lights create an atmosphere of celebration, and solar stake lights are ideal for marking pathways and boundaries.
- Create a focal point for your outdoor room. This could be a water feature, a fire pit or even a small ornamental tree such as a Japanese maple in a large container.
- Link garden and house with outdoor plants that replicate the look of those indoors. Ferns and bold-leaved canna and arum lilies are ideal for creating an indoor/outdoor connection. You could even move indoor plants outdoors in summer, but remember to bring them inside again before the first frosts arrive.
Create the perfect outdoor room with our extensive ranges of plants and outdoor furniture. You’ll find everything you need in our centre!