Hello Everyone, I hope you’ve all had as good a summer as you can despite the horrors of 2020! I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s nothing nicer than sitting in your garden at the end of a busy day and switching off from everything. Don’t have a garden? Fear not! Smart design ideas are the key to deal with small spaces like courtyards or terraces. Given the importance of social distancing and the ever increasing trend for spending time outside, this month I’m talking about how to achieve this without the need for a garden even in the autumn & winter months.
Heating will be essential in the cooler months. I love fire pits and chimineas. Both provide an ambient glow from the flame as well as keeping you nice & warm. Either of these can be used as a focal point. Be aware that fire pits will throw out much more smoke than a chiminea so check this out before you decide which to go for.
Decide what you want to do in your new outdoor haven. Is it to relax and enjoy a warm cuppa, a glass of the stronger stuff or do you intend to have barbeques or more formal dining with a table & chairs? Factor in what you think you might want to do in the summer months as well. Whatever your plans, don’t be tempted to go into the first garden centre and order random pieces that catch your eye. This will almost definitely result in an expensive mistake! Do some research before you decide to buy. It’s essential to plan your space.
Measure the space you have & check out the dimensions of the furniture you intend to buy to confirm that the proportions are suitable for your space.
I’m a huge fan of fluffy cushions and throws and I love this gorgeous design below which really warms up the terrace.
Your outdoor space will be transformed & brought to life by warm ambient lighting. As well as the main outside light, you can install uplighters under a tree or foliage. Accessorise with fairy lights & candles but be careful not to overdo it!
For a streamlined look, keep it uncluttered. This will make smaller spaces appear bigger. If you’re concerned about privacy, you can install a nicely painted fence behind some shrubs, or just install tall established plants. Having your seating facing away from neighbouring properties as seen below will also help with privacy.
Again, it's all about good planning so do your research into what sort of flooring will be suitable for the space you have. Your existing flooring may determine what you can or can’t put down. Take photographs into the flooring specialists who will advise you on what can or can’t be used and the best way to install.
If you like decking, softwoods such as pine and spruce will be the less expensive option, but this must be properly treated with a wood preservative. Cedar is an ideal softwood choice, being naturally weather-resistant.
A solid bench option instead of chairs will work well in small spaces & can accommodate more people. Plants & shrubs can be used for decoration, creating borders or covering up a bad view. Unless you're a super enthusiastic perennial gardener, go for low maintenance plants or stylish artificial plants. If you have a particularly small outside space, use portable or collapsible furniture such as lounge chairs & small coffee/dining tables. These can be easily stored away in a small shed or indoors.
Stick to neutral earthy colours for the expensive installations as these are safer colour options long term. If you want to add a splash of colour, do it with the less expensive and more replaceable accessories such as cushions, throws and coloured plants in the summer.
Hope you're inspired. Thanks for tuning in and see you again soon.