Sorry we haven’t blogged in a while. May was such a busy month for both of us we just didn’t find the time to get creative! When we first started this blog in January, we naively thought we would be able to blog every 2 weeks. However the reality of having a full on day job, a family, running a home and having a life means there’s not much spare time.
At the beginning of May we had a short trip to Ireland to attend Lucy’s brother’s birthday bash. I (Rachel) have never been to southern Ireland before – what a beautiful part of the world, can highly recommend!
This month’s blog is all about outdoor spaces. We hope to inspire you to make the most of whatever outdoor space you may have. Gardens are no longer a bit of grass and some plants, they are spaces to dine, chill, cook, play and socialise. As our children have transitioned into teenagers, we have passed on paddling pools and slides (although the trampoline is still with us) to make room for more sociable spaces.
Lucy – I created an outdoor ‘room’ on an unused bit of patio outside my living room. I wanted a comfortable seating area to chill and relax, on a very tight budget. The starting point was to paint the wall in pale grey and to choose a reasonably priced sofa and chairs, which was a challenge as many of the nicer sets are well over £1000. This set is from Jysk (it is currently on sale for £550 at the time of writing this blog) it includes the sofa, chairs and 2 tables – wow!! Additional seating is provided with a fab pouffe from Aldi!
The outdoor rug from Wayfair adds a splash of colour and also helps to define the space. This colour theme is continued with a blue linen cushion from H&M Home and a candle from B&Q. Lighting is provided overhead with string lights from Amazon and also a lantern from Jysk. The planters are from Ikea and are ideal for planting easy maintenance plants such as geraniums and lavender for more colour and scent.
Outdoor rug – Wayfair £49.99
Pouffe – Aldi £29.99
Planters – Ikea £15. and £30
Cushion – H&M home £8
Lantern – JYSK £16.99
Furniture – JYSK
The big investment in terms of outdoor space is my Garden room. With limited space inside my house, the challenge was to respond to growing teenagers, who wanted their own (adult free) hang out space. So, with a generous contribution from Grandparents the purchase was made. Having looked at a lot, including some that completely blew the budget, we went for an insulated log cabin from Dunster House ltd, £4789.00, which we installed ourselves. We decided to build it at the back of the garden, which was under used, so this seemed to be the perfect spot. I have added bits over the course of the last two years as I’ve found them (see below for details). It now has heating, lighting, a TV and Wifi, so we have an extra space for teenage get-togethers (gatherings as they call them as opposed to a party!). A little oasis for anyone who needs it and new possibilities once the girls have moved on.
Stars – Cox and Cox £60
Sheepskin Rug – Homesense £29.99
Cushions – £8 each from B&Q
Bunting – £20 Notonthehighstreet
Corner Sofa – Ikea
Eames style Rocking Chair – £50
Rachel – About 3 years ago we created a large decked area at the back of our house. Previously there was a ramshackle small concrete patio with a sloping rock garden and a concrete ramp leading down to the main part of the garden. Outdoor dining always involved carrying food etc from the kitchen down treacherous shallow steps and the ramp to the garden, as the patio was far too small to accommodate a table. The rock garden was difficult to maintain and very ugly! Shelter was previously provided by a succession of gazebo’s that all succumbed to rain or wind.
We designed the deck to cover all the concrete and rock garden and decided to accommodate the palm tree which would provide interest and shade. A perspex roof was a ‘must have’ to provide shelter and meant that all cushions and blankets could be left in situ whatever the weather. Built in seating also doubles as storage as the lids lift off. Once the builders had constructed the deck from treated timber, we set about painting the whole structure grey and building in various lighting sources. The table and benches are from John Lewis. The seating cushions are made from foam ordered to fit and then covered in fabric from Ikea. The fire pit is from Amazon.
This outdoor space has transformed the way we live during the warmer months and is a great ‘hang out’ for growing kids. We hope to add more comfortable seating soon and my daughters are pestering for a jacuzzi pool!!!
If you are planning an outdoor space, our top tips are:
- Make a wish list of all the things you want to use the space for, before you start
- Outdoor electric plug sockets – essential if you want to incorporate lighting
- Wifi – a ‘must have’ if you want older kids to use the space!!
- Storage – if you plan to use a lot of cushions, blankets etc to make the space comfortable, think of easy ways to stow them all away for times when the weather is not so good
We hope this blog gives you some ideas. Let us know about your outdoor spaces. If you need some advice message us!!!