This year we have been blessed with warm weather and a long summer, which is just as well after enduring a full-blown lockdown. Not all of us feel ready to travel just yet so, like most, I have been keeping busy in the garden, which is now fit for my very own home staycation.
If you’re looking for a getaway without having to leave your home, look no further than your own back yard. With the autumn whether making its stamp, fear not as you can still enjoy your outdoors with the help of some outdoor heating and a little shelter to truly extend your living space.
Here are a few ways you can create designated outdoor spaces to enjoy year-round.
1. Entertainment space
The perfect entertainment space should be designed in a way that it can be used year-round, after all, there is no better place to entertain than your own back garden.
The seating area should be at the forefront – a deck or patio is the ideal place for your guests to congregate – so it’s worth investing in a good table and chair set that will last for years to come. You’ll need one which can fit more than two people if you are looking to host, and one that extends is even better.
To ensure the area can be used in wetter months you could build a pergola and, from this, you can hang a sail or add a bespoke awning to keep you dry. Just throw in an outdoor heater for the cooler moments and you are all set. Lighting will help to create a welcoming ambience, so make sure your area is well lit – opt for stylish outdoor lights, twinkling fairy lights or opulent candles and lanterns.
All that’s left is to provide the cheese and wine!
2. Outdoor cinema
Outdoor cinemas have never been so popular; they are fun, sociable and easy to create, and you don’t need a huge space to enjoy them, though investing in a good projector is key.
One of the most common misconceptions is that a projector won’t be as clear as a cinema screen but the latest models are bright enough so you can see the screens even when the sun is out. You don’t need to be technically minded either, just plug it into an extension lead, use your phone to stream and away you go. Projector screens can be picked up at a reasonable cost and are easy to store away when not being used.
All you need to do is add some comfy outdoor seating, we opted for deck chairs as these are also very easy to fold away when not being used. Add finishing touches like this canopy of fairy lights, outdoor rug, plus solar lanterns to light the way and, of course, popcorn and you’ll be all set.
3. Kid’s activity area
Encourage your little ones to venture outdoors by creating their very own play area. Creating a kid’s zone in your garden can be an excellent way to help them get outside more. Play is such an important part of a child’s early life and by ensuring they have access to a variety of play spaces they will feel comfortable to explore each day.
With everything from sand pits and climbing frames to chalkboards and slides, you can design a fun-filled place to allow their imaginations to run wild. You want a space that’s warm so they’ll want to go out, but also one that has plenty of shade so they’re protected from the sun.
4. Chill out zone
To create the perfect chill out zone, make sure you choose an area with plenty of shade, so you can escape the sun when you need to, but don’t opt for a completely shaded area as there will be times when you will want to relax in the sun.
Decorate this space with items that give a sense of calm, such as a Buddha statue or water feature and place the features among your different shades of greenery to give a sense of tranquillity to your zone.
A comfy sofa will allow you to put your feet up, stretch out and soak up the sunshine. Combine this with a natural rug and potted plants and you will have a great spot to lie back and watch the world go by.
You could even convince your husband or wife to give you a little foot rub – who says you can’t create your own bit of zen?