Your outside space has the potential to be one of the most eye-catching and striking parts of your property. Whether you have a small courtyard or sprawling acres of green space, there are countless ways to create an inviting, functional and beautiful outdoor area perfect for relaxing and entertaining.
Every homeowner has preferences on what they do with their outdoor spaces, and you may already have a good idea of how you want to utilise your garden or courtyard. Even if the end goal isn’t to improve marketability and you just want to revitalise your space, making subtle property changes can be worthwhile.
However, you may be struggling for inspiration to transform your outside space completely, or have grown tired of its current setup and feel that it needs a much-needed do-over. It’s not surprising if you fancy including your garden in your property restoration plans.
With a bit of imagination, creativity, and forward planning, you can utterly transform your external space into a highly desirable extension of your home. Here are eight innovative garden and outdoor space ideas to transform a tired area into a beautiful and entertaining space that suits your needs.
A paved, tiled or decked terrace or patio is one of the most popular and effective ways to improve your outside area.
Opting for high-quality, durable materials like natural stone, concrete, quality composite decking or sustainably sourced timber will ensure it lasts for years without succumbing to the elements, withering or wasting away. It’s also a future-proof way to add value to your home, according to experts.
Consider the following when planning your patio or deck:
- Purpose – Will it be used for dining, sunbathing, or a dedicated play area? Consider how you plan to use the decking or patio area.
- Size – Scale it to your space; is it worth creating a patio for a few square metres if it dwarfs your grass and flowers?
- Shape – Square or rectangular spaces create even lines, while curves and angles create unique, eye-catching pieces.
- Furniture – Plan where garden furniture like tables, chairs, verandas, pergolas, or outdoor fireplaces will go.
Well-designed patios or decking create inviting, elegant spaces to enjoy your garden from.
A well-designed garden room or studio provides an idyllic outdoor living and entertaining space. Creating a bespoke garden room (or a ‘man cave’) to suit your space and needs, whether it’s a golf simulation suite or a purpose-built bar with pool tables, will give you a perfect place to retreat and treat yourself.
Garden rooms can be built with:
- Insulated roof and walls
- Electrics – lighting, sockets, heating
- Glazed doors and windows
- Tiled or laminate flooring
Position your garden room to maximise views and sunlight at different times of the day, depending on what you want to use it for. You can use garden rooms as a:
- Home office
- Gym, yoga or sports practice studio
- Playroom for kids
- Dining or chill-out zone
- Music or rehearsal studio
- Cinema or video game room
The possibilities are endless. Consult with a reputable contractor to uncover all sorts of possibilities.
The soothing sights and sounds of moving water can instantly elevate your exterior space. Stunning water features like the ones below can create stunning and striking feature points in any garden, regardless of size
- Ponds – Garden ponds can be any size and hold fish or plants, but will need maintenance to stay healthy.
- Fountains – From grand statuary water fountains to modern sleek styles with noise-cancelling pumps, these can suit spaces of any size.
- Waterfalls – Often built with rocks and pumps to create a cascading feature, with a reservoir at the top to hold water.
- Streams and rills – Mini waterways meandering through gardens create natural and relaxing spaces that also help wildlife.
Position your water feature where the sights and sounds can be enjoyed from seating areas or the house. You can even light up your water features at night to create magical effects.
Thoughtfully designed landscaping takes your exterior space to the next level. Whether you opt for a structured formal look or an informal wilder style, key elements include:
- Planting beds and borders
- Trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants
- Garden structures like pergolas, arches and trellises
- Paths, walkways and stepping-stone routes through the space
- Feature ornaments like sculptures, pots, stones and garden furniture
- Lighting like wall lamps, bollards and spotlights to create your preferred atmosphere
Work with a garden designer to create a landscape tailored to your taste and space. This transforms not just the look but the whole feeling of your outside area.
Outdoor lighting transforms how you enjoy your exterior space during the night, which can be special if you host events during the summer months when the nights run long and the weather stays warm. Manufacturers like Philips Hue have plenty of reliable, eco-friendly outdoor lighting products for consideration.
Consider the types of garden lighting you may want to use:
- Ambient – lighting like wall lamps creates a calming atmosphere and can illuminate pathways.
- Task – Targeted to focus light on outdoor cooking, food preparation, or dining areas or even relaxation spaces.
- Accent – Spotlights to highlight architectural or landscaping focal points and water features.
Take your outdoor lighting to the next level by integrating it with your smart home technology, timers, and voice commands for ultimate convenience.
Make the most of clear night skies by creating a dedicated stargazing zone. Ideas include:
- A canopy, pergola or arched structure gives shelter and clear views upwards.
- Comfy, tilted reclining chairs for relaxing while gazing up at the stars.
- Subdued lighting and red bulbs to preserve night vision without losing visibility.
- Fireplaces or patio heaters to stay warm.
With so little light pollution in many UK spots, why not enjoy some celestial magic?
An outdoor kitchen exponentially increases how you can use your exterior space for entertaining, parties and dining. Perfect for hosting BBQs, birthday celebrations or kids’ playdates, an outdoor kitchen can be the perfect investment for foodies.
- High-quality barbecues – such as gas or charcoal.
- Food prep zone – sink, chopping boards, knives, serving dishes.
- Fridge, ice machine, storage for cutlery, crockery and glasses.
- Serving counters, bar stools, wine coolers and speciality beverage dispensers.
- Ceramic tiled backsplashes and corrosion-resistant materials that withstand weather.
- Power supply – lighting, sockets for appliances like blenders and mixers.
Create the ultimate space for al fresco cooking, dining and summertime get-togethers with friends and family.
Imagine unwinding and treating your sore muscles in your own private hot tub – bliss!
An outdoor hot tub can be just what you need if you’re a fitness aficionado and need a soothing, relaxing place secluded in your home’s garden.
This can be surrounded by slip-free decking, plants or trellises that give you privacy, or ambient lighting to create a nighttime atmosphere. Be sure to make sufficient room for hot tub chemicals, cleaning accessories and pumps.
Hot tubs are brilliant for entertaining and relaxing. Just avoid locating them underneath trees and consider insulating covers to maximise energy efficiency.
With endless innovative possibilities, you can customise your exterior areas to suit your lifestyle. Whether going for a full-scale makeover or implementing smaller upgrades bit by bit, enhancing your outside space is tremendously rewarding. With these innovative ideas, you’re sure to create an inspiring, inviting extension to your home.