Creating A Stylish Garden Space

Your garden is probably the last thing on your mind right now. After all, we are now at the end of Summer, and with a few days respite in between, it’s been a rather wet Summer at that. The rain probably means your garden is still looking pretty good in terms of the lawn and plants, but as gardening enthusiasts will tell you, looking after your garden is an all year round full on job. The urge to have a stylish garden, a beautiful outdoor space is always there, it is an extension of your home and can be enjoyed whatever the season.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is as your garden needs to look its best three-hundred and sixty-five days of the year. To make that happen, take a look at the tips below.

Seek Professional Help

If you love your garden, but don’t actually enjoy gardening, or find the job too big, you can find a professional gardener to help with the job. You can find a whole range of gardening professionals that offer a wide type of garden service, from landscaping on a grand scale, to simply coming and cutting the lawn and weeding every few weeks. This is great if you work during the day and feel that your garden is neglected during the Winter months.

Add Colour

A garden without colour is a garden that is missing a spark. The colour is essential because it brings everything to life and makes it look as vivid and as rich as possible. When it comes to style, you want people to look at your garden and think ‘wow.’ Well, with the right colour scheme, they will do exactly that as the shades will blow them away. Concentrate on the plants to begin with as they are the supplementary colours, and make sure they mix with the lawn. The green of the lawn should dominate, so everything needs to play second fiddle and merge seamlessly. One of my favourite blooms is the tulip, which can come in a range of stunning colours and are pretty easy to grow (just find a sunny spot that is protected from the wind and has good drainage.) Your tulip bulbs should be planted in late Autumn (November time) in soil that has good drainage and will then flower as the ultimate Spring Flower that can help create a riot of colour in your garden.

 

Buy Garden Furniture

Again, garden furniture is practical, but it also takes up a lot of space. It is important to note that filling space is hard as you need to get the right balance. Fill too little and there is something missing, yet fill too much and it looks untidy and messy. The key is to buy a small amount of large furniture. That way, you don’t look as if you are using too much, but you are also filling the space. There are plenty of options, but rattan garden furniture is among the best.

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Invest In Lighting

Gardens are not just for the daytime – they are also for the night-time. To enjoy your garden when the sun goes down, you need to be able to see what you are doing! Obviously, you need light for a practical purpose, but it also has another purpose. Garden lights are brilliant at creating atmosphere, and atmosphere goes a long way to setting the perfect style and tone. The key is not to put them down anywhere on a whim. You should think about it strategically and place them where the dark is most prominent, and where the most colour is in the garden. That way, you can illuminate the best areas of the garden and create contrast.

lihtsFollow these tips and you will have the most stylish garden in the neighbourhood.

How To Create More Space In Your Current Home

It is a common problem, particularly when a couple become a family. That dream home that you found is suddenly not big enough. As your family grows, you find that you need more bedrooms, more living space, a bigger kitchen because the space you have is no longer big enough to accommodate your needs. The answer seems to be to move to a bigger house, but you may not wish to do that, you may love your current home and like the area that you live in. In these cases the answer may be to extend your home.

Here are some of the ways that you could keep your dream home and make it work for you.

Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory dwelling units are a brilliant way to create extra space in your home.An adu could be anything from transforming your garage into a new room, fixing the currently unused basement for living rather than just for storage, or actually creating a new dwelling in your garden space – maybe a granny flat for elderly parents to live on site and still have their own living space, but in the confines of your land and property.

If you are in the United States and are thinking of adding to your current building, you need to ensure your property can take the additional weight in the event of an earthquake or tremor. In these cases you can still add on, but would need to look at soft story seismic retrofitting to ensure any addition to your property was structurally safe.

A Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is a great idea if you are looking to create extra bedrooms and/or another bathroom. You are using a dead space in your roof and making it earn its keep. Loft conversions can be super spacious and also luxurious, and they can be bright and airy with the addition of Velux windows and blinds. A loft bedroom could be a fabulous space for a child’s bedroom, or a haven for a master bedroom, complete with an ensuite bathroom.

A mezzanine

If you don’t want a full loft conversion, you could create a large master bedroom in the form of a mezzanine. This is an intermediate floor that extends over a room, with the downstairs open to the double height ceiling. This is a brilliant idea if you are currently short of storage space in your bedroom as you then have a two tier bedroom, leaving a space for your bed, and lots more space for storage.

This is a great way to add a wow factor to your home.

An Extension

Moving downstairs, an extension to create extra rooms, or to expand current rooms like kitchen and living areas is a popular way to extend your space. Dependent on space, you could expand onto the back or the side of your home, maybe creating that family kitchen that you have always wanted, or adding another living room to make a space for the children to watch tv and play. Another popular use for an extension is to create a utilities room to house the washing machine/tumble dryer etc, thus freeing up space in your current kitchen.

A Conservatory

Conservatories do seem to have a sort of love/hate reputation, but I personally love them. A conservatory is a great choice if you have a beautiful garden and want to make the garden an extension of your home. Conservatories also make lovely dining rooms, again with the bonus of overlooking the garden. But a conservatory doesn’t have to be a large space, or limited to a large house. We have a conservatory on the side of our Victorian terrace that we use as a utilities room and this has been very useful.

Have you extended your home?

Making the Most of your Garden this Summer

Although the great British Summer is notoriously unpredictable when it comes to the weather, the warm, sunny spells we had last Summer, and also this April do give us a chance to make the most of our garden or outdoor space, whilst we can.  Due to being neglected during the winter months and the lack of sunshine we are often faced with, even in British summertime, many people are unsure how to make the most of their gardens when it begins to warm up. The thought of cutting bushes, potting plants and mowing lawns can be pretty daunting to some and many of us don’t have the money to go all out on the garden furniture, the built in BBQ’s and the hot tubs, but there are definitely simpler ways of enjoying the outdoors during a rare bit of British heat.

Dining Alfresco

No matter how big or small your garden is, when the sun is shining there is nothing better than taking your dinner to eat outside, with a nice cold drink. Whether you set out the table with a range of salads, cold meats and bread, or simply just cook your dinner inside and bring it out, there is something about dining alfresco that soothes the soul. If you haven’t already, it is definitely well worth investing in some garden furniture. It doesn’t have to break the bank, it can even be a simple little wooden or plastic set for two, but sitting out and eating at night, or enjoying a nice brew in the fresh morning sun is definitely a great way to utilise your outdoor space.

BBQ it up

Following on from my last point, eating outside in the warm weather is a dream, and cooking in it is also a great change. You might already have a fancy BBQ where you can cook all kinds of fancy and yummy meats and fish, but even if you just buy a small, disposal one and cook a few sausages, it still counts! Everyone loves a hot dog so bbq on a budget can be a simple task and a great excuse to get the family and friends together. ‘Build your own buns’ are a great, purse-friendly way to feed the five thousand. Cook a load of sausages on the BBQ, give everyone a hot dog bun and set out different ‘stations’ for the toppings (onions, mustard, ketchup, beef chilli etc). Fill a bucket with some ice and beers and voila! Everyone is happy – except maybe the veggies but there is always Quorn for that!

Get the Essentials

One of the great things about hot, summer days is sitting out late into the night and it still feeling warm (ish). However, if you want to make a habit of this (or do it as often as possible) there are some essentials that you will need to invest in. First of all, some outdoor lighting, from fitted lights with sensors to solar powered lamps, your lighting options depend on your budget and the size of your garden – so get researching! Secondly, small, mini fire pits are a great way to keep everyone outside once the sun goes down. You can buy them from major supermarkets for next to nothing and sitting around a campfire either toasting marshmallows or playing a few games is a welcome change from the TV indoors! Thirdly, bug spray – because they always try to spoil the fun.

Enjoy Some Fish

One way you could definitely improve the look of your garden is by adding a Koi pond. Koi are beautiful fish and a Koi pond is actually one way of owning pets that actually adds value to your home. But as well as this point, for those who have struggled with their mental health during lockdown, watching Koi and listening to the gentle movement of the water is actually a brilliant way to relax and de-stress.

This is not just an old wives tale, but one that doctors are now also alluding too.

Some doctors have begun to voice their opinions about the benefits of having a personal Koi pond. They have gained these opinions by witnessing improvements in such medical conditions as high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, and some heart conditions in patients known to have their own personal Koi pond. Stress can exasperate these conditions and doctors are always looking for ways they can recommend to their patients for reducing the amount of stress in their lives for better health. Doctors have even found that many stroke and heart attack sufferers recover sooner when they have an area they can access frequently for relaxation, such as with a Koi pond. – (from http://www.elertgadget.com/palert/the_benefits_of_koi_ponds_1120.htm)

If you decide to opt for a Koi pond, look to somewhere like Absolute Koi so you can sort all your Koi needs in one place.

Grow some Goodness!

You don’t need a huge space to grow a little of your own fruit and veggies this summer. A lot of us have been meaning to try this for ages but never get round to it – so now is your chance! Find a raised patch of soil and get planting some summer seeds. Nothing more rewarding than enjoying a salad with tomatoes you’ve grown yourself or a crumble with freshly picked raspberries and blackberries! You’ll be a domestic goddess in no time.

Outdoor Games

If you have grass in your garden, there is nothing better than a few good old fashioned games with family and friends to while away the hours. The games you can play even with just a single ball are endless and I’m sure everyone will enjoy unlocking their inner child for a good game of Piggy in the Middle – especially after a few drinks! A cricket set or a Rounder’s bat also cos very little from budget stores and can provide hours of (competitive) fun. If you’re more civilised or simply a little restricted on space, a pack of cards outside is the perfect entertainment!