With many of us spending more time than ever at home, maximising outdoor space has become a lifeline. If you’ve devoted all your time and energy to interior makeovers, you’ve never got round to revamping your garden, or you’re short on ideas to make the most of the exterior of your home, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re keen to maximise space, here are some additions to consider.
Creating a more versatile garden
Our gardens have become spaces where we hang out, teach classes, work, entertain, dine, drink, play and unwind. At a time when it’s difficult to get out and about, having a garden is a godsend, but how do you go about creating a space that works for the whole family? Adding external structures and designing different areas is a brilliant idea when it comes to maximising outdoor space.
One of the best ways to make your outdoor space more versatile and family-friendly is investing in additions that give you more options. Structures like a gazebo, an awning or a patio cover enable you to make use of your garden come rain or shine. With a cover over your head, you can take shelter from the rain or enjoy a refreshing break in the shade if the sun is beating down. Shelters are also ideal for young children. If it’s hot, or there’s a passing shower, you can carry on playing, reading or chilling out without worrying about the weather. You can also use structures to separate different segments of the garden to make child and adult-friendly spaces. There will be times when you want to play, have fun and relax together, but you might also want to use your garden to enjoy a glass of wine and a good book or to hone your horticultural skills. By sectioning off different zones, you can cater to everyone’s needs.
Another idea to consider for your child-friendly areas is a playhouse. Wendy houses are great for rainy days, and they give kids a safe, secure spot to play games, have fun with friends or siblings and enjoy some well-earned downtime. If you don’t already have a playhouse in the garden, and you’re feeling creative, you could embrace the trend of upcycling. If you’ve got an old shed, or you can get hold of one via an auction or second-hand site, you could create your own doll’s house, woodland cottage, castle, ice cream shack or beach hut. There are some fabulous ideas and helpful tutorials online.
Safe, weatherproof parking
If you don’t have a garage, or your garage is currency moonlighting as a bike or outdoor toy store, there are ways to provide safe, secure, weatherproof parking without taking up a huge amount of space on your driveway. Car shade sails are an excellent, affordable way to utilise your outdoor area to keep your car safe from the elements and maximise usable space inside your garage. Another option to explore is a lean-to or a retractable awning. Building a garage is costly and it will eat into your plot, affecting the size of the garden and driveway and limiting internal living space. With these alternatives, you can save money and space while lowering the risk of damage to your vehicle.
Solving internal space shortages
Many homeowners reach a point where they run out of space indoors. If your family has grown, you’ve started working from home more, or you’ve added pets to the fold, you might be considering ways to create more space or even thinking about moving. Extending and converting attic and basement spaces are options that are worth exploring if you don’t want to move, but it may also be possible to solve internal space issues with exterior additions. Garden rooms, log cabins and summer houses are becoming increasingly popular. If you have room in the garden, you can add an external building to give you more usable living space. Garden rooms, man/woman caves, summer houses and luxury log cabins make excellent offices, studios and playrooms and you can also use them for entertaining and unwinding. Create your own pub in the garden or design a relaxing, soothing snug to retreat to at the end of a busy day.
With more and more people working from home, garden offices provide a fantastic solution for families that are short on space inside, and looking into maximising outdoor space. The beauty of this kind of structure is that it not only gives you extra space, but it also provides a quiet hideaway, which is separate from the house. If you’re making calls or joining meetings, you can focus and get through your to-do list without any worries about noise or unexpected visitors. The trend for remote working may also mean that adding an external structure, which is geared towards working or running a business from home, will add value to your home and make your property more appealing if and when you choose to sell.
The glorious garden shed
Garden sheds are a staple, but their value should never be underestimated. A shed may seem like a basic addition to your outdoor space, but it can make a huge difference, especially if your garage is packed to the rafters, or you’re currently storing tools or toys under the stairs or your outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements. Sheds are extremely useful for storage, and they can free up space inside and help you prolong the lifespan of tables, chairs, barbeques, outdoor toys and soft furnishings. There’s a vast array of designs on offer, from simple, small wooden sheds to structures that have all the bells and whistles.
For many of us, our gardens have become sanctuaries in the last few months. If you’re keen to make the most of your outdoor area and maximise the space, it’s worth considering adding structures or features that create more room and enhance versatility. From functional, space-saving car shades and gazebos to provide shelter from the elements to summer houses and garden rooms to add usable living space and useful sheds, there’s a raft of options to explore for your home.