With a complete national lockdown now in force, we’re all preparing to spend more time in our homes this winter. During the first coronavirus-related lockdown earlier this year, the hot weather and bright evenings meant that many of us spent long periods in our gardens. However, now that the nights have drawn in and the mercury has started to plummet, we’ll need to give our gardens a bit of a spruce up if we want to do the same again.
Thankfully, with the right touches and finishes, it’s easy to transform your garden into a cosy space where you can enjoy a winter lockdown. To help you learn more about how your garden can become a lockdown-friendly retreat this winter, we spoke to several experts:
- Emma Hooton, Design Director at Studio Hooton
- Nicola Clements, Marketing Manager at Haddonstone
- Jasmine, DIY and Home Interiors from Oh Abode and Co-Founder of The Female DIY Collective
- Steph, Creative Director and Founder of La Di Da Interiors
With their tips in mind, here’s how you can make your garden lockdown ready.
#1 Add Heaters
If you’re going to brave the winter months outside, you’ll need some form of heat.
When choosing a heater, remember that your heat sources can also double as cooking stations. Emma Hooton believes that log-burning chimineas are a great option for pizza cooking, while fire pits are perfect for toasting marshmallows while you have a chat.
If you’d like to cook indoors but dine al fresco, then she believes that patio heaters are a great solution for keeping you cosy as you eat your lunch.
#2 Let there be Light
Emma Hooton also believes that properly lighting your garden will bring the space to life on a dark evening. She recommends that you consider both internal and external lighting to lift the mood and create an appealing vista. In the garden itself, solar-powered lights will bring life to the space and adding uplighters to trees will create a magical effect.
In addition to this, Steph from La Di Da Interiors thinks that fairy lights can create an instant atmosphere. She particularly recommends starburst fairy lights because they’re delicate and offer a contemporary take on a traditional look.
#3 Bring Protection Against the Weather
Although heaters will protect you against the cold, you’ll also need some form of shelter to protect you against Britain’s winter rains. As Emma Hooton points out, creating a little sheltered area in your garden will help you make the most of the winter rays. It will also mean you can make the most of your garden even if the rain is threatening.
#4 Choose Seating that Suits Your Needs
Nicola Clements of Haddonstone thinks that a garden seating area is the perfect addition to any garden or outside space.
Plus, she told us exactly how you can choose garden furniture that suits your needs. She thinks that simple wooden benches and stone seats are perfect for busy gardeners, while sofas and rattan furniture are great for patios. Whether you’d rather buy permanent seating that is built into garden walls or foldaway furniture that can be stored away depending on the weather, you’ll find thousands of ideas to suit your individual taste.
#5 Add Furnishings and Decorations
Once you’ve purchased your furniture, you’ll need to add some homely furnishings and decorate the space around it. As it’s winter, Emma Hooton suggests picking some heavy wool throws or faux fur throws you can use as wraps.
This is also a tactic that Jasmine from Oh Abode will be following this winter. She renovated her garden during quarantine and has built a decking and planters from scratch. Now, she’s planning to add lots of cushions and furs to make it cosy.
Image Credit: Oh Abode
In addition to this, Emma Hooton also suggests adding some planting pots and filling them with contemporary plants that will flower in spring. This way, you’ll also add year-round interest to your space.
If you have the budget, Nicola Clements recommends adding carefully selected stone statues and pieces of art to create a talking point. You can also add interest, movement and a beautiful focal point by installing a water feature.
#6 Consider an Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchens are incredibly popular with clients of Studio Hooton. Emma told us that this is because they extend the use of the garden and bring functionality outdoors.
Although we have to stay in our households for now, adding an outdoor kitchen to your garden will mean it’s perfect for hosting parties next year and beyond. This is because you can cook and serve cold drinks without needing to constantly go back into the kitchen. Many of her clients also include a full bar with their design.
#7 Include Outdoor Entertainment and Technology in Your Plans
Finally, Emma also told us people should look to include entertainment options in their outdoor spaces. She said that hot tubs had their best summer ever this year and they’re also likely to perform well this winter. This is because sheltered hot tubs are a particularly appealing place to be on a wet or snowy day. Plus, she also told us that her company recently even created a putting green on a roof terrace for one of her clients. So, if you have the budget, let your imagination run wild.
If you don’t have the budget for a hot tub or a putting green, then instead think about investing in some smart technology. Smart switches, innovative lighting and robot lawnmowers are all popular pieces of tech. But, you could also make your outdoor area the perfect place for a party by adding smart music speakers and an outdoor, weatherproof television. The new national lockdown provides us with the perfect opportunity to switch things up at home. By following these expert tips, you’ll have no problem turning your outdoor space into a cosy hub where you can enjoy the winter. Plan your space correctly and it may even become the perfect party and hosting destination when the virus subsides.