Outside space is an extension of the home, so the same decision-making process can be employed when it comes to selecting furniture and designing a great garden. No longer simply a green patch to be used occasionally, gardens can be developed creatively to make an impact all of their own.
When it comes to designing effective outside space, there are a number of factors that come into play, including space, budget and individual preference. By thinking about these factors from the outset, it's easier to focus on getting the end result perfect.
From children's playhouses to orangeries and conservatories, there are a number of buildings that can all become a focal point and have an impact on outside space. Before purchasing a garden structure, first consider the area and make sure it fits comfortably. A greenhouse or conservatory can be a welcome addition but should not dominate the area.
If space is an issue, there are plenty of ways to be creative and many sheds and garden buildings are neat and modern, allowing for the best use of any garden. No longer just constructed from wood or glass, a range of materials can be found, including resin and acrylic. With so much choice, it's not difficult to find something that blends in or stands out, depending on preference and which will make the most of the space.
Garden furniture can be difficult, especially since the choice available is somewhat overwhelming. Added to that, tables and chairs need to not only be functional, but also fulfil a range of purposes, from al fresco dining to relaxing in the sun. As a major investment, garden furniture must be durable, fit for purpose and aesthetically pleasing. From sleek aluminium and glass to natural wicker and wood, there is something for every taste and budget, but it can take some deliberation to get it right.
Consider the overall effect you are hoping to achieve and decide what style of furniture will fit in best. A contemporary or oriental garden will require a modest, uncomplicated garden set, while a traditional English garden would suit something altogether different.
Gardens can be wild or manicured, but every garden can benefit from accessories. From flamboyant water features to ornate bird tables, each and every garden can find its way through creative accessorising. When opting for a piece that will take pride of place, look at any existing features and structures before choosing a complimentary item.
A modern trend is to compartmentalise gardens and in these cases, it's nice to choose something for each section. For example, an oriental area could include bamboo chimes, while in the same garden, a planted area could make room for attractive pots.
Whether you desire orangeries and conservatories, or a smart garden set, outside space is important and should be seen as a continuation of indoor living space. By looking at a garden critically, it's easier to design it appropriately with an injection of creativity to make the space come alive.
Alyson McGraw writes regularly on many different subjects, including decorating and design, for a range of home and garden websites and blogs. She is currently gaining inspiration for her garden from Breckenridge, who she writes for in this instance.