It might be winter, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor space should go forgotten until the spring. And, while now might not be the best time to start working on any renovations, it’s certainly a great time to get planning.
With spring just around the corner, our attentions are turning to outdoor entertaining and long, sunny evenings outdoors – and creating a space that caters to your every need is a great way to make the most of the season ahead.
Over the past two years, we’ve seen a growing trend for bringing the outdoors indoors, allowing home dwellers to reconnect with nature and breathe new life into their luxury abodes. But for 2022, the trend is being flipped on its head, with an element of your indoor environment continuing into gardens and outdoor spaces.
From floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open out onto beautifully styled patios, complete with a stunning dining set-up, to adding lamps, chairs and other accessories strategically throughout to create different ambiences and environments, it’s time to have fun with design – but first, you’ll need to take care of the practical stuff.
Here, we take a look at some easy ways to upgrade your outdoor space in 2022 – from the basics to the finishing touches.
Start with the essentials
The key to creating the perfect blank canvas from which to work when designing the outdoor space of your dreams is to address any existing issues that could ruin the end result. Broken fencing and gate posts, leaky garden rooms and sheds and stained paving stones can quickly detract from what is meant to be a luxurious and beautiful space, so be prepared to do some essential maintenance to get your garden ready to go.
Nothing has the power to spoil the look of your garden space than a rotting and decaying decking area, so if yours needs replacing or requires some TLC, then invest in some Trex flashing tape to shield the foundation of your timber deck from moisture and ensure it stays looking as good as new for as long as possible.
Trex Protect high grade butyl-based tape helps deck screws hold longer and stronger than acrylic or asphalt-based tape and it also acts as a barrier between timber and galvanised metal such as joist hangers. Finally, this miracle tape will reduce splitting from freeze and thaw and in the process help to extend the life of your deck. For many, the deck is the focal point of a garden and often, the area you’re most likely to use for socialising with guests, so don’t leave this one to chance.
Repair garden furniture and seal gutters, and get the pressure washer out to clean your patio and get it looking brand new again. If maintenance isn’t your forte, then be prepared to hire in some help to take care of it for you – then, the fun can start and you can bring in your designers and landscape gardeners to begin the transformation.
Select your social areas
Depending on the size of your garden, you may wish to create more than one environment in which to entertain – from a large, lavishly-styled outdoor dining area for dinner parties and special occasions, to a pretty, wisteria-draped pergola for tea and cake with one or two friends.
When choosing the main area for entertaining, be sure to consider which part of your garden gets the most sun throughout the day, and where is most sheltered from the wind. A sunny spot where guests can stay warm is a good choice, but avoid cold corners that are cast in shadow for much of the day.
Combine style with comfort
Your garden furniture is one of the most important things you will have to choose for your new outdoor space – so don’t fall into the trap of prioritizing style over comfort. While to maintain a luxury feel, it’s important to create a modern and on-trend set-up, doing so at the expense of comfortable seating and cushions could mean your guests are unable to relax – and that you are, too.
To get it just right, see if you can try out your outdoor furniture before you buy to make sure that it lends itself to the relaxed yet sophisticated style you’re looking to create. If this isn’t possible, then you can make some simple tweaks yourself at home by adding some extra cushions in the same colour family, or choose some chic patterns to add flair and interest.
And be sure to consider the layout of your furniture to ensure that it provides the right setting for social occasions. A long, wooden table with benches is great if you’re hosting a large number of guests for dinner, while placing sofas and chairs so that they face one another for more laid-back occasions will make conversation all the easier.
The perfect outdoor space should flow continuously as a natural extension of the interior, so be sure to choose fabrics and furniture that create harmony between the two. By aiming for a seamless transition, you’ll create a more spacious and sophisticated feel that makes guests feel welcome, and that you’ll love relaxing in yourself when they’ve gone home.
Ensure that essential amenities, like wine coolers, a sink and toilets, are all easily accessible to ensure the utmost in convenience – you might consider having an outdoor kitchen put in so that you never have to venture far when you, or one of your guests, needs a top-up.