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The Best Outdoor Living Ideas for Your Garden

The popularity of multi-functional gardens are on the rise as more and more homeowners are embracing the idea of transforming their gardens into versatile and inviting living spaces for relaxation, dining and socialising.

Due to the events that have occurred over the past few years and the increase in people working from home, our gardens are becoming a popular safe space where we can relax and enjoy nature. And in addition to this, studies have shown that there are numerous physical and mental health benefits of spending more time outdoors, too. For example, it can decrease the levels of stress hormones in your body and ease your muscle tension, while also increasing energy levels and improving mental clarity. 

So, with that in mind, we have compiled a list of our top ideas to transform your garden into the perfect outdoor living space. 

Here are 5 of the best outdoor living ideas for your garden:

  1. Outdoor kitchen
  2. Al fresco dining
  3. Comfy lounge areas
  4. Fire place
  5. Outdoor lighting 

1. Outdoor Kitchen

Having an outdoor kitchen in your garden is a fantastic way for all you foodies & cooking enthusiasts to bring the fun of cooking and entertaining outdoors. Outdoor kitchens are typically designed to replicate many of the key features and functions of an indoor kitchen while taking advantage of the natural surroundings and enjoying the outdoors. 

Some key features of an outdoor kitchen might include a grill, countertop, skink, storage, refrigeration and ventilation. You might even decide to add in a pizza oven – a family favourite! 

Benefits of Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Here are some more key benefits of an outdoor kitchen in your garden:

  • It’s a fantastic way to entertain the family/ guests – Outdoor kitchens are a convenient space to entertain people as you can cook, socialise, and enjoy the company of everyone around you without having the burden of going back and forth between the indoor kitchen and garden. This makes hosting much more enjoyable and stress free!

  • Reduced indoor heat – Cooking inside the house during the summer months can quickly heat up your home, however cooking outdoors eliminates this issue and keeps your space indoors cooler.

  • Reduced indoor smoke & food smells – Cooking and preparing food outside also prevents food odours and smoke lingerings inside the house.

  • Increased home value – Building an outdoor kitchen will typically enhance your property’s value and boost appeal when it comes to selling, making it a valuable investment as well as all the other benefits that come with it.

This brings us nicely onto our second outdoor living idea…

2. Al Fresco Dining

Al fresco dining goes hand in hand with an outdoor kitchen and refers to the practice of eating meals outdoors, typically in your garden. Whether it’s a relaxing morning breakfast, a leisurely lunch or a romantic meal for two, al fresco garden dining offers a whole range of benefits that combine the pleasures of outdoor living with the enjoyment of a delicious home-cooked meal. 

Raine Garden Design outdoor dining
Al fresco dining is typically a much more casual and relaxed atmosphere than that of indoor dining as the tranquillity of your garden creates a relaxing ambiance, as well as enjoying benefits of fresh air while savouring your meal.

On the topic of eating in your garden, many people believe that food actually tastes better outside. Some say that eating outside provides an elevated sensory experience i.e. it improves your sense of taste. Others say it’s related to the fact that while at one with nature, you’re less distracted by work and other things that might cause you stress.

3. Comfy Lounge Areas

Another key component of an outdoor living garden space is a comfy lounge area. This area is designed to provide a comfortable space for you and guests to unwind, relax, socialise, nap, read and do whatever you want to do while enjoying the beauty of your own garden. 

For a little inspiration, here are some of our top garden longing ideas:

Garden Lounging Ideas

  • Comfy chairs 
  • Sofas 
  • Beanbags
  • Hammocks
  • Cushions & pillows
  • Outdoor rugs
  • Coffee tables

The Best Outdoor Living Ideas for Your Garden
Remember to choose weather-resistant furniture that can withstand the elements, and if you can, get protective sheeting that can be popped over the furniture when not in use for long periods of time.

4. Fire Place

For those of us that live in the UK, we’re used to cold winters and warm(ish) summers, which is why installing a toasty fire pit or fireplace into your outdoor garden will allow you to relax outside all year round, regardless of the temperature.

There are several types of fireplaces you can incorporate into your garden, including:

  • Wood burning Fire Pit: Wood burning fire pits are a popular choice and add a cosy rustic camp-like atmosphere to your garden.

  • Chiminea: This type of fireplace is a freestanding, clay or metal structure with a chimney. It directs smoke upward, reducing the amount of smoke that reaches those surrounding it.

  • Gas Fire Pit: Gas fire pits use propane or natural gas as fuel and can be ignited with a switch or remote control – a super convenient option that also produces clean and smokeless flames.

  • Fire Bowl: Fire bowls are decorative bowls designed to hold firewood or other fuel and can be made up of various materials, such as metal or concrete.

  • Wall-Mounted Fireplace: These are mounted on a wall or tall structure, such as a garden wall or pergola, great for saving floor space if you have a small garden.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting plays a crucial role in enhancing the functionality, aesthetics and of course safety of outdoor living spaces. 

Without well-placed outdoor lighting, there would be a much higher chance of accidents, especially where there is uneven terrain. Properly lit pathways and walkways however make it easier to navigate your garden at night, reducing the risk of trips and falls.

The Best Outdoor Living Ideas for Your Garden
Outdoor lighting also allows you to host evening/night-time gatherings even when the sun goes down.

The best part about it is that there’s a huge range of outdoor lighting options to choose from, from string lights and solar-powered lights to wall-mounted fixtures and spotlights, all catering to different needs and budgets. You can also choose certain types of lighting to create a specific ambiance and mood of your garden. For example, warm lighting can create a cosy and inviting atmosphere, while brighter whiter lighting will create a more upbeat, energetic atmosphere. It all comes down to personal preference. 

Discover how lighting can extend the serenity of your outdoor space here.

How Raine Garden Design Can Help

If you want to transform your garden into a multi functional outdoor living area but are not too sure where to start, we can help. At Raine Garden Design, our experts will work closely with you to understand your preferences, lifestyle, and functional needs, and help to create the perfect outdoor living environment for you.

Learn more about the benefits of hiring a professional garden designer here, or get in touch on 07702 042559 or by emailing studio@rainegardendesign.co.uk to discover more about our garden design services.

Written by Kate Jones for Raine Garden Design.

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