Aug 16, 2013

Create an Outdoor Oasis

Your garden is your own patch of outdoor space and greenery; so do not let it go to waster. Turn it into a personal oasis and enjoy those rare sunny afternoon all the more.

1. A Living Room Outdoors
Who ever said outdoor furniture had to be metallic and uncomfortable?
You can buy a range of luxurious waterproof seating, including beach like deckchairs and swinging sofas. Hammocks are another great option, covered in squishy cushions and pillows covered in outdoor fabric. Arrange all this seating as you would in a lounge to encourage good conversations and relaxation.

2. Cobbled paths
Make a wobbly, cobbled garden path, inviting outdoor adventures.

3. Prepare for parties
An outdoor shed complete with fridge is perfect for chilling the beers for garden gatherings. Always have a dedicated bbq position, with space around it to admire the sizzling burgers but far enough away from the door inside and washing lines.

4. Lighting
For a pretty festival inspired lit area, cover trees or patio with outdoor fairy lights.  Solar lights are a more environmentally friendly option, that store light during the day to light the garden at night. Finally, a low cost DIY idea is to hang up lots of jam jars with tea lights inside.

5. Butterfly area
Encouraging butterflies into your garden will not only help these beautiful winged beasties but will also give you a great deal of pleasure watching them.
Fill an area of your garden with nectar-rich flowering perennials such as lavender, cowslip, honeysuckle and buddleja.

6. Build a beach
Sandpits can be for grown ups too. Just fill a corner with sand, add a few buckets and spades and enjoy your own private seashore.

7. Extend the Indoors out
French doors will extend your interiors outward, letting light and air into your home and bringing you closer to the lovely sights, sounds and perfumes of your garden.

8. Poolside hangouts.
The best of being on holiday is surely chilling out by the pool. So why not bring a slice of sunny Spain to your garden?

Caroline Harrowby is an expert exterior designer with extensive experience in creating informal poolside spaces for dining and entertaining. She has had clients from the south of France and Italy, to rooftop balconies in London.

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