Gardens are set to become a most desirable asset and extension of the home, as climate change kicks in.
To help you make the most of your outside areas and ensure they blend seamlessly with interior rooms, Anne Haimes, design director and founder of Anne Haimes Interiors, shares her top tip;.
Lighting can make or break your outdoor space and you need to consider both natural and artificial sources.
Ideally, your space will offer both a bit of sun and shade. If not, you’ll need to create this yourself by either adding a foldaway umbrella, or you could install an awning.
Alternatively, pergolas have become a popular option and can be installed yourself. Either drape weather-resistant floaty fabric or train some climbing plants such as wisteria, roses or jasmine to filter the light.
And you’ll need a way to light up your seating area come night-time. Solar string lights create clusters of light that make a space feel more intimate. A firepit will provide heat as well as a soft light for those colder summer nights.
The most important part of indoor-outdoor living is having a comfortable place for you and your guests. And this space should be as welcoming and relaxing as your living room.
Low L-shaped sofas are back in vogue for the ultimate lounging experience, as are hanging egg chairs and large daybeds with smart rattan weave.
The position of your seating is key to how the space functions too, as with furniture indoors.
For social outdoor spaces, seating should face inwards towards each other to encourage eye contact and conversation. For relaxation, point lounging chairs, daybeds, or deck chairs away from the house towards a focal point in the garden.
True indoor-outdoor living should feel like stepping outside is just an extension of your home.
One way to create this blurred effect is to continue your flooring or echo your wall tiling on the ground.
Porcelain tiles are a practical option for their tough, weather-resistant properties and offer a lot of variety: some have a timber effect for those that prefer wood.
Bi-folding or sliding pocket doors can help foster the cohesion between indoors and outdoors.
If your budget doesn’t stretch as far, indoor to outdoor rugs that continue your interior design theme can work well and can be stored away during the winter months.
A home bar
What better way to entertain guests and make the most of the long summer evenings than with your own home bar...
Whether you convert an unused garden shed or build your own structure, home bars don’t need to be expensive.
From repurposing a potting bench to installing a custom wall-mounted bar with a fold-down table, home bars can be created in the smallest of outdoor spaces.
Get creative with decorating your bar and don’t be afraid to transfer items from your kitchen or dining room to make it feel more authentic and inviting – just avoid using any precious dinnerware.
Key to making your outdoors feel like home are the finishing touches.
Throws, pillows and blankets not only make a space comfier and keep you warm on chillier evenings but will soften your seating area to make it more inviting.
Be sure to have a weather-proof place to store soft furnishings when they’re not in use – a space in your garage, shed or even an outdoor storage box.
Decorative pieces can be used to introduce more personality. Candles or floral centrepieces on a coffee table make an interesting focal point.
Strategically placed outdoor mirrors can help to make a small space feel bigger while livening up an unused wall or fence, and reflecting the best of your garden.