Summer maybe over, and your thoughts are probably turning to cosy nights in by the fire. But don’t forget about your garden – now is the ideal time to plan ahead. Think about what worked in your garden this year and what didn’t and how you want to use it in the future and you can design your perfect garden for the summer of 2010.
Whether you have a small town garden, or an acre of green, you can make your outdoor room into something quite special with a few considered design tips. Simply take what you know about designing your ideal living room and kitchen and put that knowledge to use outdoors.
In your garden, you probably want to do the same things as you do indoors: relax, eat, cook and play. And the same basic design principles apply – be consistent in your choice of materials, use simple geometric shapes, a blended colour palette and repeating patterns and think of house and garden as one project.
For example, when you’re planning an extension, look at the kitchen-dining room and your garden as a whole. If you are having folding doors that open out the whole width of the back wall, consider the flooring as one overall surface. Some types of stone will suit both exterior and interior use and it makes design sense to create a smooth visual transition if you want to achieve that seamless outdoor room effect.
When you’re choosing furniture the same forward planning applies. Many people opt for outdoor tables and chairs that will sit on a terrace or in a shed for half the year
unused. It might seem radical, but what about investing in a well-designed kitchen or dining table, that you can use outside as well? You’ll get a full 365 days use out of a beautiful, lightweight hardwood table that can be easily lifted out to the terrace.
Lighting outdoors can make a huge difference to the atmosphere of your garden. Use it to highlight special features and plants, and even in winter, a well-lit garden makes for a stylish view from the house. Spotlight a focal point such as a structural plant, water feature or sculpture to draw the eye outdoors. Planting is a feature that is unique to your outdoor room, but can have an impact indoors too. These are just a few ideas that you can use to turn your garden into a showpiece, but the most important lesson is planning ahead. Consulting with a designer who can advise you how to plan your project and guide you through the process of creating a garden that will suit your needs. So if you want to make the most of the summers at home, think about your garden now and plan the ultimate outdoor room.
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