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A complete guide to transforming your outdoor living space

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor living space as part of your property, you want to ensure that you’re making the most out of it!

Not only are granny annexes stylish, cosy and convenient spaces indoors, they also offer a fantastic way for families to fully embrace the great outdoors. What better way to invest in your outdoor living spaces?

With the sunshine upon us (kind of, at last), now’s the time to really celebrate your garden, and relish in the warmer weather of late summer. Socialising, spending time with your friends and family, gardening and eating good food – this is what gardens are all about, after all!

So, to help you rejuvenate your garden, and create a comfortable, usable and stylish space for you to enjoy all summer, we’ve shared our complete guide to transforming your outdoor living spaces.

8 quick ways to enhance your outdoor areas

  1. Adding more plants – choose plants that offer a range of different colours, heights and textures, to create interest.
  2. Investing in outdoor furniture – as well as making your garden more usable, outdoor furniture also helps to make your garden look more inviting.
  3. Installing outdoor lighting – soft mood lighting makes a garden look infinitely more modern and cosy. This could take the form of solar-powered fairy lights, LED lanterns, or a few well-placed spotlights.
  4. Defining your pathways – although your instinct might be to keep ‘adding more’, you need to contrast busy areas with clean, sharp areas. By keeping your paths clear and well-defined, you can keep your garden from looking too chaotic.
  5. Adding a fire pit – fire pits are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to see why. They create an immediate focal point, bring a charming ambience, and keep everyone cosy long into the evening.
  6. Selecting some personal touches – take your garden design one step further, with extra finishings and accessories. These can include outdoor cushions, rugs and throws, as well as sculptures, hanging signs, and even outdoor artwork.
  7. Get crafty – DIY is a cheap and environmentally friendly way to create a unique garden design. This could include painting a feature wall, decorating some custom planters, or repurposing old wooden crates into rustic furnishings.
  8. Adding some wildlife-friendly features – this is a wonderful way to attract more wildlife to your garden. Butterfly gardens, bee hotels and bird feeders are all fantastic examples of affordable, easily installed features.

What is an outdoor living room, and how can you create yours?

An outdoor living room is a relatively new design concept, which has been rapidly growing in popularity over the last few years.

In essence, an outdoor living room is designed to bring all of the comforts of your living room, outside. It involves choosing one designated area of your garden, and then making it as comfortable and usable as possible.

This means making the space cosy, installing outdoor furnishings and connecting up a few key gadgets. The concept is entirely flexible, and will be unique to each person, depending on what they want from the space, and what would give them the most enjoyment.

The core aim of an outdoor living room is to give you all the joy that comes from being immersed in nature, with all the comfort of relaxing in your living room.

The most common features of an outdoor living room include:

  • Seats – these could be chairs or benches, or even outdoor sofas or sectionals
  • Cushions and pillows
  • Rugs
  • Tables
  • Lighting
  • Firepit
  • Decorative plants and hanging baskets
  • Entertainment systems – this could include a TV, a movie projector, or an audio system
  • A small outdoor kitchen
  • A drinks area

Just like the interior of your home, your outdoor living space can reflect your own personal design style.

There’s a huge range of outdoor furnishings out there, in an extensive variety of sizes, styles and budgets. So, you can easily create a completely unique outdoor living space, which seamlessly links to the interior design of your indoor areas.

Then, whether it’s for summer evenings with the family, or fun-filled BBQs with your loved ones, your garden will be the perfect spot to celebrate the sunshine.

Top tips for styling your outdoor living space

When designing your outdoor area, one of the key things to consider is achieving harmony with the rest of your garden.

Family in their outdoor living space beside their annexe

You need to strike the right balance of reflecting your personal style, without clashing with the natural beauty of the rest of your garden.

So, to help you tick all these boxes, our top tips for styling your outdoor living space are:

  • Determine its purpose – how exactly do you want to use the space? Think about what you will primarily use it for. Then, use this to help you decide what you will need, and the best places to locate everything. For example, if dinner parties are more important to you than movie nights, then a large table should take centre stage.
  • Start with a focal point – like the interior design of most rooms, an easy way to start decorating is by anchoring it around a central focal point. This could be a fire pit, a large table, a water feature, or another large piece of furniture.
  • Create a consistent colour palette – this should be used consistently, throughout your garden. Plus, try to pick colours that not only match the rest of your garden and its natural colours, but also tie into the colours inside your home, too.
  • Ensure everything is weather-resistant – make sure that either all your chosen furnishings and materials are weather-resistant. Or, that they are covered and protected from the elements.
  • Don’t forget about comfort – although it may be tempting to choose the boldest, most stylish pieces you can find, don’t neglect the comfort factor! On this note, cushions and throws make a great addition to your outdoor seating.
  • Maintain regularly – this includes your outdoor furnishings, any wooden elements, and any potted plants. By regularly treating and maintaining these features (as required) you can preserve your items’ lifespan, and keep the space looking neat and sleek.

The beauty of an outdoor living area is that it is completely flexible. You can fill it with whatever furnishings, devices or decorations that suit your style and intended usage.

But, whatever you choose, it’s critical that you protect your living area from the elements. Otherwise, this space will only be usable for a handful of sunny days a year, and your furnishings will quickly be weather damaged.

Complement your Annexe and Outdoor Living Space

An annexe will allow you to absolutely maximise the usability of your garden – and don’t forget they can fit in almost every garden space. They enable you to bring all of your home comforts outside – including everything from entertainment systems to fully functional kitchens – into one secure, weather-proof and attractive outdoor living space.

Whether it’s hosting a summer garden party, or just enjoying an afternoon outside with a good book, it’s hard to imagine a more practical and comfortable way to spend time in the garden.

Get in touch with our team

To find out more about the benefits of garden annexes, or to start designing your brand new outdoor modern living spaces, book a consultation with the iHUS annexe team. Or, get inspired, and take a browse through our gallery of past projects.

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