When renovating your home, the undertaking can become something of a juggling contest. Each of your rooms can vie for your attention, with different benefits emerging from priority renovation.
The sooner you spruce up your kitchen, the sooner you can enjoy cooking in it again. The sooner you address your lounge, the sooner you can host with pride. But an often-overlooked part of the house is technically not part of it at all: the outside. Addressing your garden can feel a step too far, and especially so in the wintertime. However, the sooner you design your ideal outdoors, the sooner you can avail of the spring and summer weather alone or with friends. How should you approach this project, though? Here’s how to design the outdoors of your property.
Add a Patio
One of the better ways you can engage with your outdoor space is to make it more useful as well as more aesthetically pleasing – that is, to install a patio. Patio spaces are at once great vessels for design and aesthetic expression, and useful areas for social engagement and quiet reflection.
The patio can itself reflect your own aesthetic leanings, too, dependent on how you choose to construct it. A paving-stone patio can effect a modern but natural feel while keeping your patio relatively easy to clean, where old-school flagstones can make for a much more rustic feel.
Speaking of materials, diversifying the materials you use across your garden can have a powerful impact on its overall design. For example, you could contrast the sleek and isometric design of a paving-stone patio with more rustic wooden-sleeper flowerbeds along and down your garden.
Pathways could use cobblestone, to match the colours of existing patios or side-paths, and metal planters could set off against them for added texture. Even gravel or pea-shingle can be used to great effect, where gravel areas can be contrasted with metal arches, themselves home to climbing or hanging plants.
Of course, a patio is not the only option available to you when it comes to creating social spaces outdoors. Indeed, patio spaces can be difficult to arrange when space is at a premium, let alone the state of your landscaping budget. In these situations, decking may be an accessible and sustainable alternative.
Decking can be made multi-level, allowing you to step your garden up to meet a raised back door. Or, even create a raised social space above your garden, functionally increasing the amount of room available to you and your guests. Decking can be just as easy to maintain as a patio, and can be used for just as many things.
We’ve already touched on planters, with regard to materials and the creation of textural contrast in your garden’s design. But some more nuanced thinking about the type and placement of your flowerbeds and planters can bring your garden to life for relatively little cost. Wildflower beds marked out with stone can create a wonderland feel at the foot of your garden. While built-up sleeper beds can hold crops and make them much easier to harvest.
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