How To Make Your Garden an Extension of the Home

Veranda Surrounded by Green Cactus and Pink Bougainvillea
Photo credit: Pexels

Summer is inching ever closer. Now’s when many of us dream of lazy days outdoors and whiling away the time before the sun sets in the garden. 

If you’re thinking of ways to revamp your garden in time for the warmer months, one theme to build on could be making the space an extension of your home. A well-designed garden can blend seamlessly, merging the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. 

Here are some ways to reimagine your garden for the summer and beyond. 

Focus on design continuity

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You may have spent some time ensuring that your chosen décor is cohesive. Perhaps you’ve introduced a color palette that flows into every room or used similar textures in every space. 

This element of continuity can also be introduced outside. Consider colors, materials, and architectural style to teach the aesthetic aspects of your indoor space in a way that flows into the outdoor environment. 

For example, if your home features clean lines, you could carry that minimalist design into your garden with contemporary landscaping and understated additions. Or if you’ve kept to neutrals inside but with pops of color, introduce those neon pinks, fuzzy peaches, or rich blues in your choice of garden furniture.

Outdoor living

To make your outdoor area an extra living space, consider building a patio or introducing some decking. This could then be the platform on which you base comfortable outdoor furniture, such as lounge chairs, dining sets, or cozy seating areas. 

These spaces should promote relaxation and be a place where you can entertain guests. Incorporate features like pergolas, awnings, or umbrellas to provide protection from the elements, allowing you to use your outdoor space beyond the summer. Built-in benches or fire pits can also encourage outdoor living.

Consider al fresco dining, too. Barbecues might be a firm favorite for eating outdoors, but you could always go one step further and build an outdoor kitchen. This may be a more permanent fixture, but if you’re set on treating your garden as an additional room in the house, this could be the ideal addition.

It’s possible to set up an outdoor kitchen in gardens and yards of all sizes, but this will depend on how much room you want to give and what you have in mind. For instance, do you want to install a fully functioning kitchen space or keep things basic?

Add a herb garden

One of the most practical ways to integrate your garden with your home is by incorporating an herb garden. Not only does it provide fresh ingredients for cooking, but it also adds texture, fragrance, and visual appeal to your outdoor space. 

Set aside a sunny spot for growing herbs in raised beds, containers, or vertical planters. Plant common additions to many dishes, such as basil, thyme, rosemary, and mint. 

Natural light

Maximising natural light in your indoor and outdoor spaces can enhance their sense of continuity. When setting up your seating areas, consider the orientation of your garden.

Inside, strategically place windows, doors, and skylights to frame views of the outdoor space. Choose light-filtering window treatments that allow sunlight to stream through while maintaining privacy. 

Additionally, strategically placed mirrors around your garden will reflect natural light into shaded areas, creating a brighter and more expansive feel.

Make functional zones

As well as being a space for entertaining and relaxing, your garden could also be a practical space. Just as you would divide the rooms in your home into functional areas, your garden should be organized into distinct zones for different activities. 

Create designated areas for dining, lounging, and gardening, for example. Use hedges, planters, or decorative screens to separate these sections, but keep in mind that you want the areas to be open, so you’ll need to build in a sense of flow. 

If you’re working from home often, consider setting up an area where you can work outside. You could transform your shed into a mini office, leaving the doors open to maximize the sunlight. 

If your budget allows you to have the room, you may want to build something more permanent, such as a garden room. This solid structure lends itself to being an area where you could have an outdoor home office, a comfy sofa, and even a bed. 

Install outdoor lighting

Outdoor lighting is practical for extending the usability of your garden into the evening and adds a magical quality once the sun sets. It also enhances safety, acting as both a guide if you’re staying outside for a little longer and a security light. 

Combine overhead lighting, wall sconces, and landscape lighting to illuminate pathways, seating areas, and architectural features. Pretty fairy lights and solar-powered festoon lighting are also beautiful additions. 

Consider incorporating innovative lighting systems, too. These allow you to control brightness levels remotely.  

Include water features

Integrating water features into your garden can create a sense of peace and natural beauty, further blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Water elements add movement and sound, whether it’s a fountain, pond, or stream. 

Position water features strategically to complement the design of your home and create focal points within the garden.

Are you reimagining your garden? How will you bring the indoors outside? Take a tour of your home and start creating a list to update your outdoor space. 

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