Want to make your outside space really sing this summer? You don’t need a huge terrace or sprawling formal lawn to get creative! Bath city centre apartment or country residence: here are five clever garden design ideas to help you get the most from your garden or patio, regardless of its size. Which one will you try first?
1. Style the same outdoors as you would indoors.
Even if you only have a limited amount of space to play with, you can still integrate your garden into your home by treating it just like another room in your house. If you’re starting from scratch, incorporate a set of bifold doors and try to keep everything on the same level, ideally with the same flooring throughout; that way, you’ll create an uninterrupted flow between the inside and the out. Add a canopy over your patio or terrace, and you’ll also have an outdoor room you can use in all weathers. If you don’t have the appetite (or budget) for a major remodelling project, then there are other options. Treat your terrace or patio as another reception space and furnish it as you would your lounge. Carry your internal decor through to your garden with sofa-style garden furniture, outdoor rugs, neutral-coloured cushions, plenty of candles and even a contemporary-style outdoor floor lamp like this one from John Lewis to add a warm wash of light.
2. No matter the size of the space you have to work with, try to create a focal point.
A beautiful fig tree incorporated into a small paved terrace in central Bath, or a series of modern sculpted ceramics set against the calming backdrop of a Wiltshire country garden, whatever appeals most to you. Water features come in all shapes and sizes and can really help soften a garden scheme. Use them to create the illusion of space or muffle intrusive city sounds if you live near a busy road. Tight on space? Think about introducing a mirror: as well as creating a centre piece, it will reflect the light and make smaller patios or roof terraces seem more expansive than they really are. Just another one of our clever garden design ideas!
3. Introduce some mood lighting.
Thanks to our wonderful British weather, you probably won’t get to use your Bath garden half as much as you’d like, but the benefit of decent outdoor lighting is that you can switch it on even when it’s cold and grey outside, and still create some ambient views from inside your property. Outdoor lighting should be subtle. Aim to highlight just one of two features – a specimen plant or an unusual tree, for example – to spark interest, and don’t forget the obvious: a string of twinkling solar-powered tea lights draped across some trellis, or a few tea lights placed in recycled jars and hung from the branches of a nearby tree can look really effective…better still, no electrician required!
4. Think about outside heating
Even in the height of summer, a sunny lunchtime barbecue in Bath can quickly turn into an evening wrapped in your winter coat or even worse, a full-on decamp to the warmth of the living room. Introduce some form of heat source, even if it’s a simple fire pit, and you can ditch the coat and hopefully extend your garden soirée too. A patio heater is a good all-round bet, but perhaps surprisingly, gas models are not the greenest of options when compared to their electric counterparts. The average carbon footprint of an electric patio heater is just 15% of a gas model, so if you’re buying new and have got one eye on the environment, opt for an electric one. They come in all shapes and sizes, but we like the Garden Glow – definitely not subtle, but big on design and looks good in most settings. If you prefer a real fire and have the space, then why not go the whole hog and install a feature fireplace as the focal point for summer nights? Great for creating drama and ambiance, you can even use it to cook on. Check out some of these great ideas for inspiration.
5. Finally…be clever with your outdoor furniture
Opting for easy-to-store or multi-purpose pieces that work hard for their money is another of our clever garden design ideas. Quality garden furniture takes up space, so unless you have plenty of that to play with at your Bath property, think outside the box – cladding a raised flower bed, for example, and adding a small seating area on top means that it can double up as a bench next to a table – plant it out with fragrant lavender and rosemary, and it’s even lovelier to sit next to. Only got a Bath city centre balcony to play with? This neat little balcony table attaches onto almost any railing and can be folded down out of the way when not in use. Another ingenuous, space saving idea is to swap pots and planters for a vertical garden like this – not only is it perfect for small spaces, but you can plant just about anything from herbs and perennials to hearty annuals. Build it up over time and you can create something truly unique that looks good too!
So that’s our clever garden design ideas to help you get the most out of your Bath property this summer! For more inspiration, click on our blog How to Make the Most of Your Outside Space and get planning your dream garden or terrace! Got some ideas of your own you’d like to share with us? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter pages – we’d love to hear your suggestions! Happy garden makeover!