I can’t be the only person who has been trying to spend as much of my life outside as possible in the past few weeks, rigging up a (safe!) power source and a sturdy table so I can work on my laptop in the garden.
Interior designers often talk about bringing the outside in – choosing rattan furniture so you can use it outside, or giant, leafy plants which are happy living indoors or out.
And because we all expect our homes to work harder for us, more people do want to use their terrace, garden or even their balcony as another room – especially during this incredible weather.
The good news is that it can be as easy as buying new chair cushions or a few items, such as a garden mirror (Waitrose does a great one for £34) that create an instant room effect.
One of my favourite tricks is to use Sunbrella products. The company has perfected fabric that doesn’t bleach in the sun, is waterproof in the rain, doesn’t go mouldy and looks just fabulous. Perfect for an orangery or conservatory space and for the garden, too.
Hanging chairs, like this one from Cox and Cox, can be moved continually from indoors to outside and they are wonderful for year-round lazing.
Given that you can also buy waterproof rugs and cushions, as well as bean-bags, you can create the most amazing outdoor room in less than an afternoon. Add in a fire-pit or splash out on an outdoor range and you’re all set to spend the summer al fresco.
Of course, there are two reasons why you may just choose to stay indoors – Wimbledon and the World Cup!
But perhaps you won’t have to as you can now get outdoor TV’s. ProofVision (proofvision.co.uk) has a range of outdoor screens, which have greater brightness to counteract the additional light, at prices which won’t break the bank.
Or you could consider Elite Screens (elitescreens.com) who sell outdoor projector screens so you can watch the football, the tennis – or even your favourite movie – in the comfort of your own outdoor space and then pack it all up for later.
Other products which enhance outdoor living are a mini-cooler for your drinks and a laptop hood to cut down on glare if you do have to work, although it’s never a good idea to leave or use your laptop in direct sunlight.
If you’re looking for a more permanent way of getting more out of your outdoor space there’s one trick that will achieve this seamlessly – bi-fold doors.
Bi-folds have almost become shorthand for the way we live – or would like to live – now. They are something requested by many of my clients and I have seen the way they can completely transform a space – even a way of life – for some families.
If you’re spending on a lifestyle change like this, it makes sense to ensure that everything else in a room or the adjacent outdoor space will work in harmony, allowing you to get the very best from your investment.
*If you’d like to know more about the ways bi-folds, an orangery or an outdoor room could work for your home, contact us on 07784 469 334