6 ways to turn your garden into a cosy outdoor cubbyhole

This year, our gardens have become places of solace where we can escape daily stresses and enjoy some fresh air, nature and green fingered activities. As nights draw in, leaves start to fall and season change, we can still make the most of our precious outdoor spaces by turning them into warm and welcoming garden rooms.

a bunch of items that are on display: With fire pits, blankets and mood enhancers

© Various
With fire pits, blankets and mood enhancers

“People want to give their garden a cosy feel this year, truly making it an extension of indoors,” says Jonny Brierly, CEO of Moda Furnishings. “With the introduction of softer outdoor-use upholstery, lighting, accessories and fire pits, they are applying the same interest in the design of their homes to their gardens.”

So, on that note, here are some great ideas for extending the season and turning your garden into an outdoor haven.

1. Create shelter

a statue of a person

© Cuckooland.com

If you’re going to enjoy your garden whatever the weather, you’ll need a place to shelter. A stylish pop-up tent or gazebo neatly bridges the link between indoor and outdoor living space and can be put up at a moment’s notice and stored away in a shed or garage.

An arch or pergola planted with an evergreen climber such as Clematis Armandii offers protection from howling winds and helps create a sense of privacy. An arbour structure with storage is even better if you need to fold away those essential garden blankets.

But for the ultimate hideaway, embrace the outdoors all year round with a garden pod. It’s a see-through space to entertain, work or simply enjoy nature.

2. Sociable seating

a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: garden outdoor room

© Kettler
garden outdoor room

The key to all-weather garden furniture is durability and it’s worth investing in a decent weatherproof combination set.

“We have been seeing a huge increase in sales of our garden furniture during lockdown, with people spending generously on their gardens rather than holidays,” says Siobhan Lancaster at garden furniture company Sitting Spiritually. Their Swinging Day Bed has been particularly popular. Accessorise daybeds and outdoor sofas with colourful tasselled quilts and cushions.

3. Let there be light (and warmth)

a close up of a picnic table: CHIMINEA

© Garden Trading

When the sun sets, it’s crucial to add light and warmth to an autumn/winter garden. The chiminea, an all-weather alternative to the fire pit, is gaining ground, according to curated online marketplace Notonthehighstreet.com: “Three out of our five top-selling items are currently chimineas,” says spokesperson Phoebe Ede.

Candles and tealights cast a warming glow over any socially-distanced gathering. “Outdoor lighting is now an important consideration when creating a seamless flow from home to garden,” says Marketa Rypacek, managing director at Industville Ltd.

Achieve this with strings of festoon bulbs in warm white, cool white or multi-coloured. Opt for LED or, even better, solar, where you can.

4. Add colour

garden outdoor room

© Wayfair
garden outdoor room

Nadia McCowan Hill, resident style advisor at online retailer Wayfair, says we’re channelling our wanderlust: “We are reflecting destination style in our exteriors. The boldest trending hues include Pantone’s ‘Palace Blue’, which evokes the modernist magic of the exotic Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech.”

Intricate patterns, especially blue and white, reflect this exotic influence, as seen with the delicately-patterned bird bath above.

Meanwhile, Pantone’s ‘Langoustino’, a soft pinkish terracotta, conjures up Mediterranean serenity. Weave in accent shades through smaller pieces such as a statement outdoor rug. Or take inspiration from Dulux’s Colour of the Year, ‘Brave Ground’ and seek solace in a muted colour palette, balancing crisp whites and neutrals with putty undertones.

5. Set the mood

a bunch of food sitting on a wooden table: garden outdoor room

© Denby
garden outdoor room

Think of decorating your outdoor space as if it is a tapestry this season. Neutrals, earthy tones and natural objects such as leaves, dried fruits and gourds create a welcoming look. For warmth and comfort on those chilly autumn evenings, choose snug quilts and blankets. Or enjoy the simple luxury of a sheepskin rug.

Bring earthy autumn cheer to your alfresco dining table with Denby’s Studio collections, as seen in the image above.

As a very on-trend finishing touch, you might add a dried flower wreath to complete your autumn outdoor look.

Key words include ‘artisan’ and ‘handmade’. The perfect place to shop this look is at our Country Living Christmas Artisan Pop-Up Market. Register to shop now and head over to our Outdoor Living section on the market weekend (6th – 8th November). REGISTER NOW

6. Perfect planting

water next to a tree: garden outdoor room

© Crocus
garden outdoor room

Containers brimming with pansies, primulas, cyclamen and ornamental cabbages are the perfect solution for adding seasonal colour and interest.

They also bring instant life to turn-of-season flower-beds; try taller containers planted with interesting perennials such as cloud-pruned conifers. “These will provide a degree of shelter and are very contemporary,” says Angela Slater, gardening expert at Hayes Garden World. “You might also try Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens). It’s very stylish and will live happily in a large container for many years.”

Practice the art of ‘potscaping’, arrange several containers together to create an eye-catching feature. Bring in natural materials such as bark and cork.

“Don’t forget that pots and urns can look very good grouped together even if they don’t have any plants in them, which may be the case in autumn and winter” says garden blogger Alexandra Campbell at The Middle-sized Garden.

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