With summer just around the corner and the evenings getting longer and warmer, spending more time outside is becoming tempting. Making the most of your garden and transforming it into a comfortable extension of your existing home could be just what you need. Although it’s probably not feasible to kit your garden out with a sofa and a couple of armchairs – especially when you consider the UK’s temperamental weather – there are a few things you can do to really reap the benefits of having an outdoor space.
To ensure that you, your family and your friends remain warm into the evening, patio heaters or fires really are the best option. As soon as the sun goes down it tends to get a little chillier in the UK, so having an outdoor fireplace means you can stay outside later and star gaze for longer. And there are many options to choose from, including elegant stone-built fires, chimineas, fire bowls, fire pits, for those who have the space, and patio heaters that warm from above.
Although a garden bench may not be the most comfortable seat to while away the hours on, a cushiony soft sofa can be heavy and awkward to take in and out depending on the weather. Finding the perfect balance can be tricky. Luckily, though, it has become easier in recent years to find garden furniture that is comfy, stylish, and practical. This rattan sofa range from Oakita is perfect: the base and cushions make it highly comfortable, while removable cushions and a water-resistant base mean that it’s easy to maintain and versatile too.
A shelter from drizzly days is a must-have in any British garden. Although temporary gazebos are easy to store when they aren’t being used, a permanent shelter will withstand the breezes and can create a perfect setting for al fresco dining.
Solar powered lights are great for highlighting walkways or illuminating your prized roses, however, they are often less powerful than their electric counterparts. Candles and an open flame can provide the necessary light, but if you’re dining or reading a book into the evening, outdoor fairy lights or larger outdoor lamps are better.
From blankets to keep you warm to candles that set the mood, you want your garden to be somewhere you enjoy spending time. Just as in your home, there’s no reason you can’t add personal touches. Bright cushions and throws, blankets, and even a splash of paint to an outside wall can create an outside living area to be proud of.
If you usually entertain in the kitchen while you cook, a BBQ and a good garden table may be all you need, but don’t let the fact that you’re outdoors limit your ambitions. With the right kind of planning, you could develop your outside space into an elegant dining area, a quiet reading corner, a dance floor complete with choice tunes, or even an outdoor cinema.