Taking your home design from the conceptual stage and making it a reality is a very satisfying process and one which can be refined with practice. However, many home designers, both amateur and professional alike, tend to view the garden as an entirely separate area requiring a completely different skillset to tackle. This need not be the case. In fact, the garden should add to what you’ve done in the house. It should adhere to the same style and tastes and cultivate a similar atmosphere. Below are some design tips to help you build upon any interior design work you have previously undertaken and to apply those same skills to your garden.
As tempting as it may be to jump in the car, speed on down to the hardware store and start buying up the place, it really pays off to take a more considered approach. You should start by asking yourself what exactly it is you want to achieve with your garden. Do you want your patio to serve as an extension to one of the rooms inside or be a self-contained area with a different focus? How do you want to divide the focus of your garden? Do you want the focus to be on plants, furniture, or outdoor lighting fixtures? By deciding beforehand on what you’re looking for and where you want your garden to end up you’ll be able to focus your efforts on finding the necessary components to make your idea a reality.
When it comes to outdoor lighting and furniture you will have to try and strike a balance between function and decoration. Function refers to the practical applications of lighting and furniture. For example, a stone bench or chair might look very striking and bring something desirable aesthetically, but it is unlikely to be comfortable to sit on for extended periods. Conversely, something softer and more comfortable will be more pleasant for you and your guests to use but might clash violently with the rest of your design choices.
When it comes to lighting, you have a choice between focused lighting, sometimes referred to as spotlights, and ambient lighting. Focused lighting is usually used to illuminate a specific area whereas ambient lighting projects light in all directions and is softer and less luminous than a focused beam. By incorporating small lights, fairy lights, for example, you can mark certain areas when it’s dark as well as achieving some interesting effects aesthetically. However, these lights are more decorative than functional and they illuminate only a small area.
Increasingly, home designers are looking to smart home solutions to create environments that can be manipulated and altered at will using a smartphone. By combining lots of small lights together and linking them up to a central system (see here for an explanation on how smart homes work) you can play with all manner of different combinations of colour and luminosity, as well as setting up custom on and off sequences. You can even allow your guests to control the lighting around them to suit their mood and needs.
Gardens are wonderful things that too many of us take for granted without ever thinking about them. Having an outdoor space of our own is a great way to reduce stress. The satisfaction of designing and putting together such a space for yourself only adds to its charm.