This may not be an option while temperatures outside are lodged firmly in the negative, but it’s something to think about for spring next year; expanding the design ethos of your home or business into an outside area is a fantastic way of instantly gaining more space, as well as having the effect of drawing some of the openness and nature associated with the outdoors, into your interior rooms.
Taking advantage of natural light and increased space by utilising a garden, patio or courtyard is something that many interior designers would love to be able to do, but it’s difficult to extend a design outside when the weather is refusing to cooperate. Rain, wind and snow are all factors which keep most of us inside and the fading and damaging effects of the weather prevent any outdoor furniture that’s more ambitious than plastic or wooden garden sets.
When it comes to reclaiming an outside space for design purposes, one option to consider is a canopy which would maintain the open spacious attributes that you want to take advantage of, while protecting whatever design features and furniture you place outside from the impact of the weather. This also makes your outdoor area more accessible and presents new opportunities for combining interior and exterior design elements. Reclaiming these spaces for use, even when the weather is bad, can also add value to your home.
The second thing you have to think about when recovering an outdoor space is the temperature; it’s no fun being outside if you’re shivering with cold! Patio heaters, fire pits or heating lamps can help with this. Personally I prefer a fire pit – there’s nothing better than an open flame and then smell of wood smoke to make an evening spent outside feel cosy. It’s also a more environmentally friendly option than using gas or electric heaters.
Having a fire can also help with lighting; it’s difficult to enjoy an evening outside if it’s too dark to see your hand in front of your face! There are several ways to light up a garden at night, including solar powered lamps which store up electricity during the day and light up when the sun sets. Once again, these lamps are a green choice for those wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.
When it comes to furniture consider durability, comfort and convenience. You’re much more likely to keep using your garden as an extra room if the seating and furnishings are easy to maintain and you enjoy being out there. It’s also a great idea to purchase some soft-furnishings like bean bags and cushions which you can easily move in and out with you, meaning that when you’ve finished using them outdoors they can be kept safe and clean inside.
This post was written by James Armstrong on behalf of Canopies UK – Britain’s leading supplier of canopies and carports.