There is a crisis in gardens across the world: we are seriously underutilizing them. If you feel like your garden doesn’t get the love and attention it deserves, it might just be because you haven’t found the right use for it yet. Here, we’re going to look at how you transform your garden from a passive space into an active and used one. Here's how to turn your garden into an awesome social space for outdoor dining, partying, and relaxing with friends and family.
CRITICAL GARDEN COMFORT
Begin by selecting the right kind of garden furniture for the social space you want to create. Do you want to build it around a table that could be perfect for dining? Do you want a more open setup with seating organized around a spacious middle ground with smaller side tables and a bar cart? The layout is your choice, but choose furniture that offers a little more comfort than standard garden metal or timber, whilst also choosing materials that are able to handle constant exposure to the outdoors, to heat, wind, sunlight and a little moisture.
CREATING THE OUTDOOR ROOM
Building a patio or a decking area may be crucial to creating a comfortable outdoor room in your garden. Choosing the place for it and ensuring it has the right cover requires some consideration. You don’t want your guests to be left in direct sunlight, nor do you want them sitting in a draft as the sun goes down. Figure out which portions of the garden get the most exposure to sunlight and choose an area that offers shade without being completely in shadow. You can also look at roofs and awnings for patios that allow you have a little more control over the climate in your garden social space and even have windows or pull down 'walls' to keep the wind and weather out at the sides.
OUTDOOR PRIVACY PROTECTION
One of the issues of socializing outdoors is that it can feel a little more open to the surrounding homes or passersby. Your guests might not feel inclined to converse at ease and truly relax around one another if they’re worried about being overheard, or if you’re concerned your neighbours might be annoyed about the noise. Adding a little privacy to the garden in the form of a green wall, outdoor acoustic tiles, or even installing a running water feature can help maintain that little layer of privacy that helps everyone better enjoy the space you have created. Make sure the features you use provide a little visual cover as well as sound protection. Nothing spoils the mood like unwanted attention.
AMBIENT OUTDOOR LIGHTING
The garden might seem like the perfect hangout spot when the sun is high in the sky, but what about when it gets darker? Instead, think about garden lighting you can install to keep things comfortable and cosy or into the night. You don’t have to light the whole garden, simply installing a few LED lanterns around the patio or recessed lights within the underside of the home’s roof can be enough to provide visibility and a little ambiance as the sun starts to set. Candles, string or fairy lights and upward lighting nestled in water features or plants can also create a whole new dynamic night mood.
ALL-WEATHER PROOFING YOUR GARDEN
Light isn’t your only concern. If you really want the most use out of your garden’s social space, a little weatherproofing goes a long way. The aforementioned patio roofs and awnings can help protect you from the rain to a great degree, but it’s the cold that can really end up driving everyone inside. There are a wide variety of patio heating options worth considering, but one that really excels in social spaces, both in providing warmth and wonder, is the humble fire pit. So long as you make sure that the smoke isn’t going to get trapped by any walls or roofs, a roaring fire can make the perfect centerpiece of your social hub and can even be used to make a little comfort food for those parties that go on long into the night.
INSIDE OUTSIDE FLOW
For larger gatherings or social events like barbecues, creating an indoor outdoor flow that is easy for people to move through the spaces is important. To that end, try to open the kitchen to the garden as much as possible. Bi-fold doors work perfectly with decks and patios, making it easy to open up the kitchen seamlessly and beautifully. People can filter from one part of the party to another and it’s much easier to hop inside to grab more supplies and food when needed. It can also make it much easier to get some light from the inside facing out if you don’t want to install too much exterior lighting.
THE MAKING OF THE MOOD
The perfect social space isn’t just about the practicalities, it’s about creating an atmosphere that encourages people to relax and enjoy themselves. Feel free to give the space a little bit of a decorative flair. Make use of the unique advantages of the garden, as well. Potting some fragrant plants and creating a light, but pleasant landscape of scents can help make the area feel fresh and relaxing. You want your outdoor room to feel a little separate from the garden, but not entirely closed off from it. Adding a dash of greenery can set the scene perfectly without making it too much of a hassle to maintain.
Weather your garden is an open acreage, a simple concrete slab or even a small balcony, use these tips to ensure
it's your favourite place to hang, be social and enjoy the great outdoors!