Many of us are fortunate enough to have an outside living space, whether that be a balcony, city home rooftop, patio or lawned garden. So much outside space is currently redundant, when it should be used as an extension of the home. Outdoor space can really help sell your property and throughout the spring and summer months’ gardens can be a real deciding factor for buyers, so it is important you present this space in the best possible way, whatever the size. Here are a few simple ways to utilise your outside living space, ensuring you maximise its potential both visually and practically.
Make your outside space the perfect setting for a social gathering by including a variety of seating options. Benches, chairs, unusual stools - as many choices as you can include in an outdoor living space will help family and friends to enjoy it. Arrange outdoor furniture as you would in a living room with communication and interaction in mind. It should be an informal environment so that friends and family can relax and feel at ease. Why not also consider a scaled down children’s seating area? A great way to allow kids to seat themselves and have their own little space.
Shelter and access to the main house are important factors to consider. Connecting your outdoor space to the indoors makes your home flow and tends to mean the area gets used more. A clever idea for larger gardens is the use of paths to connect the different areas, encouraging discovery and exploration.
A focal point
This could be the tree in the middle of your garden, a pond, a large sofa on your decking or a statement flower bed – the possibilities are endless! A focal point gives the eye something to land on, the rest of the space can be arranged around this central gathering point to complement. For example furniture can be arranged to guide attention to the focal point.
An outdoor fireplace can be an excellent focus for your outdoor space. How about a firepit table? Firepit tables have grown in popularity over the last few years and are a great option for a tight space. When not in use, you can easily cover the firepit with an additional table top for some outdoor dining space. After dinner take away the table top, light up the fire and toast marshmallows for dessert.
It’s easy and relatively inexpensive to switch the outdoor living accents if you want a change of colour scheme or just wish to update your outside style. Covering outdoor furniture in a new fabric or buying a new canopy can make all the difference. Colourful throws and pillows are easy to change and also help to make the space cosy and comfortable. Outdoor rugs can be swapped depending on time of year or your colour preferences for a particular season.
Creating a container garden on a small balcony can be a beautiful and vibrant way to use your space. This just means keeping all your plants and flowers in containers or pots, giving you the flexibility to move them around freely to change up your space. Invest in new pots, or paint existing ones to a different colour when you’re ready for a change. Vegetable gardens can also be successfully grown in small-space gardens and gives the added benefit and feel good factor of home cultivated produce - good for both heart and soul.
Make it interesting
Boosting the visual appeal of your outside space with colourful flowers and plants can do wonders to make it feel more exciting. Interesting sculptures or water features can give these living spaces a more dynamic feel. If you are feeling bold, try painting your deck in a bright chic pattern, or painting a ‘rug’ to define your space is a fun idea.
Be inventive and come up with your own ideas, get painting and creating! Charity shops and car boot sales are full of cast offs that lend visual appeal without being too expensive. Or you can pick up some bargains and customise them yourself. Homemade pots or wall art can be used to add dashes of colour to your balcony or patio which can easily be moved around or bought inside for the winter. Use seasonal plants in your outside space to always stay with the time of year. Protect your garden in winter, then revive in spring ready to be enjoyed again.
Maximise the space
Hidden storage is a smart way to maximise your outdoor space – especially if you have a small/tight balcony or garden area. A storage bench, ottoman or a side table with storage are great options to keep pillows, throws or necessities in. On hand if you need them but also stored out of the elements.
Convert your garden shed into a children’s play den, an adult chill out room or even a man cave with a bar! Alternatively keep it practical as a tool shed – installing shelves and hanging hooks to keep tools on will make it look so much better. Get rid of the junk you don’t use or need, unnecessarily cluttering up valuable space.
Whatever shape your outdoor space takes, enjoy it this season and make the most of it!