Even though we are in winter and many of us have snowy yards, today I want to discuss making our gardens useful places to visit. For many of us, our gardens often feel like a separate outdoor space that isn’t used that often. The problem people have is that perhaps they find that their outdoor space isn’t really a user friendly space. You may have a large lawned area, perhaps planted a few plants at some point, and maybe it is good for sitting out when the sun shines or watching your children play. Now consider how it can be a space that can be used for all kinds of things.
With that in mind, here are some of the ways that you can make this a reality. With a bit of planning and creativity, you can transform your garden into a useful and comfortable extension of your home. Think of useful areas you can create, and then you’ll want to spend time enjoying it throughout the year.
I. Make a Plan
Look at your garden and think about how you actually want to use it. If you are lucky enough to have a decent sized garden, then perhaps you are not making use of all of the space. A great suggestion would be to consider creating zones in your garden. It may be a grassed area where you know children can play. It might be that you have a patio or decked area for sitting and eating, an area to socialize near your home, or simply even a space to craft, or start your own herb and vegetable patch. Consider which parts of the garden get the most sun at different times of day and take this into account when deciding where to position key areas. Go to Garden Planning Guide With Printables to find forms to use to plan your garden zones. Include everything that is currently there and add your future goals of additions and subtractions.
If you have a small patio off the master bedroom, include it and consider does that meet your families need? Perhaps there should be a larger patio for the whole family and friends. There is a marvelous post at Within The Grove, Creating A Patio That’s An Extension of Your Home. Remember to be sure to extend the materials used inside your home to the outside. Think flooring, stones, fabric, style, and picking furniture similar in texture, shape, or color. Consider an outside kitchen, a fire pit, and a play area.
II. Make Access Easier
If you are want to spend more time outside, then you need to make the access to the garden space easier. A great tip to bring the outside in is to change the doors leading outside. If you were to install large sliding doors, you may find that there is a big difference. You can open them up and feel like the garden is an extension of your home. It will also let a lot of light into your home so it can actually be an amazing interior feature for your home styling as well.
III. Have An Outdoor Kitchen
Many people love the idea of using their gardens for cooking and eating. An outdoor kitchen could be the answer. You could make it very simple, with just a space for a BBQ or grill, or you could create a big working area where you could fit other things such as a pizza oven or a hob. If you can hook up electricity outside, you could even install a wine cooler or fridge. It could definitely be an added feature and may encourage you to use the garden more.
IV. Think Where You Could Eat, Relax, & Socialize
If you have a place to cook then maybe you need a place to eat, relax and perhaps even socialize and entertain. Near where you have put your things for cooking you could extend the patio or decked area and create a big enough space for chairs and a table. Cooking outside is great but eating al fresco is really relaxing. But this eating area doesn’t always just need to be for eating. You could then use it to relax in the sun after a hard day, eat breakfast or drink a morning coffee and even things like socializing and inviting friends round.
V. Keep Warm on Cooler Evenings
While you may love the idea of sitting outside to eat or even cooking outside, one thing you may just want the option of is to sit and enjoy the fresh air. You may want to read your book, or use the space for socializing. As the temperature drops or it gets to the evening time, this is often a time where you will retreat to your home. But if you had something like a copper fire pit, then this could be a great way to keep warm on the cooler evenings. It also makes a great feature and is lovely and calming to be sat around while enjoying a nice glass of something or even a hot cup of chocolate.
VI. Have Great Storage Options
Gardens and outdoor areas can look and appear untidy at times. It might not even be the fact that grass needs cutting or flower beds need attention, it could be to do with the amount of stuff you have in your garden space. Children’s toys, garden tools, more chairs than are needed. So this is when good storage options in your garden could be the ideal resolve for this issue. Whether you choose a shed big enough for everything or one of those garden storage boxes it could make all the difference. Furthermore, you could paint a garden shed to match the rest of your garden so that it doesn’t stand out as much.
VII. Add Lights to Make Your Garden Useable At Night
Having lights in your garden is a great feature and makes your garden more usable at night. Solar lights can be a real inexpensive way of lighting up your garden without the fuss of wires or electricity. You can pick up some great designs, and they can be as simple as sticking in the ground. When the sun goes down, they will light up automatically. Another lower cost option is adding lanterns around your patio, deck or pool. If you plan a full outdoor kitchen with electricity, it makes sense to add lights. A professional can design a light scheme for your outdoor spaces, and you can add different types of lights.
I hope that I’ve given you some inspiration to look at your garden with fresh eyes. To consider the ways you can extend your home to outside spaces.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.
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