So how many rooms/entertaining spaces does your house have? … 1, 2, 3, 4? Whatever your answer, you are not, quite right… Pause for thought…
Yep you’ve probably guessed that I am alluding to… The Garden, The Outdoor Space.
‘The Garden’ is often one of the least/last considered ‘rooms’ when designing the home and living space and, with the summer we have just had, here in the UK, the desire for us all to ‘live a little more’ outdoors has become ever more appealing.
Desirable or appealing?
Whatever the size and layout of the internal spaces of your home, the garden/gardens surrounding your property may be larger and have more usable space than anything inside, but even if this isn’t the case, whatever size and shape your outdoor space is, it should still serve as another all-important outdoor room.
There are myriad ways in which a garden can be designed and used; from what we all consider a ‘traditional’ garden to be; a space filled with lawn, trees and flowers to perhaps a more contemporary space with a hot tub, outdoor shower, living area, dining area, outdoor kitchen – spaces that reflect what goes on inside, but in ‘The Great Outdoors’. Or of course designs anywhere between.
How will your garden look?
So let’s take a look at some inspirational spaces and what makes them work.
If you are the kind of person who likes to get their sleeves rolled up and do some ‘pottering’ (or have a gardener) then a space filled with trees, shrubs and flowering perennials might be the garden style for you. These gardens often provide; year-round colour, scent, movement and sound in the garden. Just imagine the vivid purples, soft greens and sparkling whites catching your eye as you sit on your terrace sipping your favourite tipple (mines a G&T!), scent wafting around on a summers evening, grasses and wiry stemmed flowers gently swaying about in the breeze or the rustling of autumnal leaves on a crisp, blue sky day.
Or how about…
A more contemporary space. Still some planting to provide colour and shape, but much lower on the maintenance front! The cosy fireplace and outdoor sofas and coffee table certainly make this space feel like an outdoor room; perfect for a morning coffee and the papers/magazines or a glass of something in the evening. The fire casting warmth and light around ‘the room’.
If evening entertaining is your thing then a well-lit garden should be considered to create that party vibe. Up lighters, down lighters, spike lights, posts… the list is long when trying to choose lights to suit your style!
Alfresco dining anyone? Of course, there is the good old BBQ (Which I love), but have you ever considered a full kitchen? Sink, storage cupboards, hotplate, stove etc – save running in and out of the house on long sunny weekend afternoons with friends and family. For those of you who love Italian why not a pizza oven! You could even cook the Sunday joint in one of these!
If you (or your family and friends) are water babies, then how about a quick dip. There is of course the outdoor swimming pool for those of you who might be looking to get in the daily laps. Or with a more natural feel a swimming pond; beautiful to look at and to swim in. If it’s a warm bubbly hug with a glass of something, at the end of a busy day then a sunken hot tub might be your thing.
Last but not least and for year-round use how about an actual garden room; an escape, a sanctuary, a party space, a hobby room or an office. Your outdoor space could be whatever you want it to be.
A well-designed garden will not only provide you benefit and pleasure when spending time out in it, but if well considered will provide that same benefit and pleasure when viewed from inside the house – indeed bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out, creating a home that flows well throughout both your internal and external space.
With the RHS and the NHS promoting the health benefits of spending time outdoors it might be time to get planning!