A worldwide lockdown and some reasonably good weather has made us appreciate our gardens like never before. And the prospect of staying at home all summer long, has prompted a surge in interest in this often neglected ‘outdoor’ room. Because it is a room! One that can fulfill a range of possibilities from alfresco dining, to outdoor lounging, to sunbathing (weather permitting), entertaining the kids, or simply just relaxing surrounded by nature. We all know that nature and plants are good for our wellbeing, so the added benefit to creating the ultimate garden room, is an all-round boost to our mental health, our moods and (not to mention) our tan.
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Image Credit: Dobbies
What Will Your Garden Room Be Used For?
Before you rush out or order new furniture online, you first of all should decide exactly how you want to use your garden room. Is it simply going to be used for dining, or do you anticipate spending hours lounging with a good book? Will the entire family need to fit around the table, or is it just you and the odd cup of coffee? Consider how it will be used in the future too. This lockdown won’t last forever and one day you may want to use your outdoor room for entertaining too.
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Choose The Location of Your Garden Room Carefully
It may be that you have a tiny garden and the position of your garden room is decided for you. But if you have a larger space I’d always advise positioning it in a sunny spot. Or at least the corner that gets the sun for some of the day. Proximity to the kitchen should be a consideration if you are going to use it for dining of course. You won’t want to be carrying food too far. But consider also the view when you are sitting down, how sheltered it is from draughts and wind, and how private it is too.
Image Credit: Dobbies
Create Privacy if You Have None
Privacy might be an issue in city gardens which are generally smaller and more overlooked by neighbours. Carefully positioned screens and trellises can go a long way to remedy this. Plus they provide a climbing frame for plants and scented flowers. Hedges and trees will also provide privacy, although they take longer to establish and you might want something additional while you are waiting for them to grow. Or why not erect a pergola? Not only will it provide privacy, a climbing frame for plants and shelter from the elements, it will also create shade from the midday sun.
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Heat and Light
There’s no getting away from it, a garden room in the UK will need heat and light if it is to used for more than 2 months of the year. There are lots of patio heaters on the market but a firepit is much more romantic and atmospheric. It not only provides much needed heat on chilly evenings but also a centrepiece to gather around. There’s something mesmerising about watching dancing flames and it will be a talking point. Not to mention handy for toasting marshmallows.
Image Credit: Annie Sloan
As for lighting, this is one of the easiest ways to make your garden room look like a real room when the sun sets. And as you would for any other room inside the house, a mixture of lighting is key. You will need task lighting over the barbecue and softer lights along the dining table. A string of lights hanging above is always effective and if you choose solar powered lights they will come on as daylight fades. A line of lights along pathways will not only look good but are practical too, and candles flickering in storm lanterns will create a lovely atmosphere.
Image Credit: Limited Abode
Finally, your garden room should be just as comfortable as any room inside the house. Choose seating with padded cushions and add extra cushions and bolsters for an extra layer of luxury. A pile of thick throws will be appreciated as the night lengthens, and if you have created an outside lounging area don’t forget low tables for holding drinks.
Now just sit back and enjoy.
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