The right garden design can expand the living space of your home. Whether you have a small or large home, an outdoor living space gives you somewhere beautiful to relax and unwind. Here are some garden design ideas to create a living space that you can enjoy for years to come.
1. Create Indoor-Outdoor Space
Expand your living space into the garden by creating a transitional area that brings the two together. Do you have, or could you build, a conservatory? This is an ideal way to combine the inside and the outside.
If you cannot add a conservatory, consider French windows or bi-fold doors. They are a great way to open up a room and connect it to your garden. Additionally, use window furnishings of warm colours to keep the cold out in winter but pull these back in summer to reveal the garden and make somewhere you can easily go in and out. Make this space part of your home design, and the garden will automatically feel more like part of the house, not just an extra bit stuck on.
A patio or decking is another great transitional space. Cover part of your patio to offer some shelter, so you can still be outside, even if the weather isn’t co-operating with your plans. Trellis, plants, awnings, umbrellas all work well to give shelter to an outdoor space.
2. Make A Room
Got room in the garden? Build a summer house! There are lots of amazing summer houses on the market, with options for just about everything you could want to use an outdoor room for. For instance, one that you can open the whole front of to create a shady place to relax on hot days. Or, one with a playhouse attached for the kids to play in. Or, one with options for heating, so you can add a sitting area, or perhaps an office or craft room outside the house.
No budget to buy a summer house? DIY one! Get creative and build one yourself, or even convert a large garden shed. If you go down this route, make sure the shed is properly sealed and insulated so the space stays dry, and anything you keep in there is protected from problems like damp. Inside, you can keep things cosy with heating and using warm textures of furniture, curtains and poles. Just make sure that if you want to run electrics or water to an outside room that you bring in a professional to do this, so you know it’s been done safely.
3. Create Zones
The average garden can be a pretty hard-work and should offer different things to different members of the family. Think about what you want the garden to be. Maybe, for example, you want a space for barbecuing and entertaining. Maybe you want a private corner to lay out your yoga mat, or just to sit and unwind. Or you want to grow vegetables or herbs. Or maybe your children need space to play.
Thus, when you know all the different jobs that your garden needs to know, separate it into zones. A patio or decking next to the house is ideal for putting out a barbecue and comfortable furniture for you to relax alone, to host friends and family. Lawn at the bottom of the garden is a good space for kids to play. Clearly mark out zones with the slabs of the patio and the grass.
If you want to grow food, then you have a few options for those zones. Fence off an area at the end of the garden to create a mini-allotment. Use raised beds near the patio to show off the things you’re growing. If you’re pushed for space, grow herbs and some vegetables in pots and hanging baskets. In fact, if you plant aromatic herbs, put them in pots on the patio. They will smell amazing when you’re entertaining friends in the garden.
4. Get Furniture
What do you want to do in your garden? Are you creating a space to relax with book and a cup of coffee? Get some sun loungers or comfortable garden chairs that you can relax in.
If you like to entertain, choose outdoor sofas, so you have plenty of room for everyone. To eat outside, you could put out a small bistro-style table and chairs, for you and your partner to drink wine in the evenings. A picnic table is great for family dinners, and a larger table and chairs for having friends round for dinner. Choose permanent furniture or items to fold and store away when you don’t need them to give you more room.
5. Grow Plants
The right plants can go a long way to creating a beautiful living space in your garden. You can use tall plants or climbing plants on trellises to create your garden zones or offer privacy. If you use your garden a lot in the evenings to relax after work or to host friends, choose plants that are especially aromatic at night like honeysuckle, sweet rocket or night-scented stock to create an even more relaxing atmosphere.
Consider whether you need to make sure plants are safe for pets and children who may be tempted to snack. Do you need plants that are hardy and tough, or can you handle something a bit needier that needs more skilled care? Do you want mostly flowers, or would you prefer greens that look good year-round? Or maybe you want to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs or even edible flowers? Ask for advice at a garden centre if you aren’t sure what will work best for your garden design.
Do you have other ideas to create a living space in the garden? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below! And subscribe to our Newsletter so you can always be inspired with interior design ideas!