A few weeks’ back I went on a morning workshop for patio decor and also decorating outdoor rooms. I’ve been itching to do some sort of decor course – just something small – so when I saw this workshop was on the go, I had to sign up.
Well, I thought “outdoor rooms” referred to “things like patios” i.e. places where you put furniture. Turns out I’m a bit of a pleb when it comes to interior design terms. “Outdoor rooms” actually refers to creating different spaces (or rooms) within your garden. The aim is to avoid having a garden that is one big solid mass; but, rather create various areas and people can stroll through your garden as if it were a house. Oops.
Well, let me at least share some of the tips that I found useful with you.
Tips for Designing Outdoor Rooms and Patios
- With interior design, form always follows function. In other words, first you must look at your lifestyle and what is needed before you look at furniture and placements. For example, do you have a busy lifestyle? Then it is probably no good having a garden that requires a great deal of work. Do you have children with grubby hands and dogs with muddy paws? Perhaps white furniture will not be a win.
- Then consider your personal style as well as the style of your house. The design must flow from the house to the patio and garden. There should not be a distinct difference in style.
- Bring the colour of your lounge through onto the patio and then into the garden.
- Remember that patio furniture may need to be covered or bought inside in order to maintain it in good condition.
- When designing outdoor rooms, always decide on and position the “big things” first e.g. trees, water feature, patio furniture etc. Then work from there, planning all of the way.
- When planting trees, be sure that there is enough space for them to grow.
- Create layers and rooms so that you don’t see the garden all at once, but it comes over to you gradually. For example, have trees at the back, then shrubs, then smaller shrubs in front of those, then your perennials and then you annuals and ground cover. Have a few fillers in between.
- An important point when designing outdoor rooms is to repeat various plants for a calmer effect.
- There must be sufficient balance between weight (large plants and small), levels (tall and short) as well as texture (smooth or rough plants, bark etc.)
- Focal points can be created around a specific plant, an arrangement of plants, a statue, a water feature, a gazebo and more.
- Remember that many items can be re-purposed with a coat of paint and placed in your garden for effect. Benches, chairs, doors and I’ve even seen bed springs on a garden wall!
- Garden lighting should be subtle and the lights themselves should not stand out.
Want to learn more about interior decorating, go to Learn Decor for some fun! Get their free eBook on avoiding the top 15 most common decorating mistakes.
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