Founder of Garden Club London, Tony Woods, gives you his top tips on how to create an outdoor entertaining space that opens out from a kitchen and/or dining room.
Harmony and Balance
When creating outdoor dining and entertaining space, creating an ‘outdoor room’ that works in harmony with the interior to maximize the feeling of space is an essential element of any garden design.
All too often though the finished product can end up feeling cold and stark, because the balance between the outdoor area’s ‘hard’ landscaping and the softer garden elements such as colourful flowers, foliage and planting have been overlooked. It’s important therefore to keep a both aspects in mind when designing your outdoor space, to ensure the perfect balance when the hard work is done.
Blurring the lines
The most successful examples of merging interior areas into the garden are those which achieve the most seamless ‘flow’ between the spaces.
Different properties can have different rooms which happen to have doors that open out onto the garden, but whether it’s a kitchen, lounge, dining area or even a bedroom, the key to ‘bringing the outside in’ is to use a consistent flooring material throughout.
The aim is to achieve a superb seamless visual effect that makes both the room feel more airy and ‘outdoors’, and the outside area more cosy and interior-like, all at the same time.
When refurbishing or extending a property always ensure the internal and external floors are on the same level. It’s all too easy to compromise by leaving a small step in the doorway, but this will create a jarring effect at odds with what you’re trying to achieve.
Instead make sure the floor has no difference in level between the room and the garden – it will further enhance the benefit of the flooring materials you’ve carefully chosen!
Resist the temptation to buy lots of bulky furniture that can’t be folded or stacked away when not in use. Larger pieces can seem like a great idea initially, but they can all too easily dominate the space, so it’s better to select adaptable pieces based on the area you have available, so that outdoor lounging and dining areas don’t end up feeling overly cluttered or small.
Featured images: Tatton Park RHS Flower Show 2013 winner of the RHS National Young Designer of the Year award 2013 and Gold Medal Escape to the City Designed by
Tony Woods Built by Garden Club London