Feel at Home in Your Garden: Top Tips from Expert Outdoor Living Space Designers


Think of your garden as you would your home, with different areas for different activities at different times of the day. With a good design from an outdoor living space designer, you’ll soon feel right at home in your garden…

When it comes to our homes, we’re happy to consult interior designers so that we can create a home we love. But when it comes to our gardens, it seems many of us are happy to just make do. And sadly, that means we never get to see the full potential of our outdoor spaces. If your garden makes you want to hide inside, it is well worth consulting an outdoor living space designer who can transform your garden into a number of wonderful spaces you’ll never want to leave. Here’s how:

Think about how you want to use your outdoor spaces


This is the most important stage of the garden design process, and it is really worth spending some quality time thinking about it. How do you see you and your family using your outdoor space? Will it be for entertaining or for growing vegetables, for planting colourful flowers, or for attracting wildlife? Do you need separate areas for children and teens to amuse themselves away from the adults? Are you hankering after a quiet alcove to create a relaxing sanctuary where you can read books and listen to bird song? Or would you prefer a social space with a hot tub, an outdoor kitchen, and a firepit to sit around late into the evening? 


Keep it practical

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Of course, it would be great to have everything you want in your garden, but it is important to remain practical. A practical space is a useable space, and if you use your garden spaces regularly, you’ll be more inclined to keep them in top condition. To help you see the wood through the trees, an outdoor living space designer will look at the available space you have and design your wish-list areas accordingly. With a trained eye, they will be able to see what will work, and design your outdoor spaces in such a way that you will want to use them on a regular basis. For example, positioning your sanctuary away from the house but where it catches the sun at the right time of the day; placing the hang-out space for the teens out of sight of the main entertaining space; stationing a hot tub where you can plant around it to create a floral screen, designing your vegetable patch with seating to make it an inviting space to work. With their expertise, your garden will become a rich mosaic of useable areas that you will want to spend time in. 


Scale back the lawn

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Believe it or not, the lawn is the most high maintenance plant in your garden. And yet, we seem to think that if we have a big lawn, it will be easy to look after and that we will want to spend time relaxing or playing on it. In fact, quite the reverse happens! So often, the lawn causes the most frustration and prevents people from enjoying their garden as much as they should. If a lawn is full of moss, weeds and bumps, it is not a welcoming space. Add the fact that it needs regular mowing and maintenance and it becomes very apparent why you’d rather not set foot in your garden at all! Reducing the lawn size by creating lots of ‘mini gardens’ is a much more practical and transformative way to enjoy your outdoor space. Don’t be afraid to cut back the lawn to make way for planting borders, laying patios for entertaining, and designing areas for outdoor living. This will help to create lots of different areas of interest within your garden, giving everyone the spaces they need to relax and spend time outside. With clever design of course you may be able to have a good size lawn to play on as well as all the above. 


Bring the garden into the home

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It’s something we’ve all been guilty of, but putting your patio right outside your back door will prevent you from exploring all the other wonderful spaces that you could have in your garden. Of course, it is practical to have some hard standing when you step outside, but don’t let that be your main outdoor area. Instead, create a visual journey that takes you into the garden, so the garden and house flow as one. Put in pretty pathways using climbers and other plants to entice you out of your home and through the garden into hidden areas. Use screening and planting to create different ‘garden rooms’ and add water features, statues, seating or other objects to create visual focal points within these areas. Think of your garden as you would your home, with different areas for different activities at different times of the day. For example, you could have a number of entertaining spaces, one under the shade of a tree with a large table for lunch-time dining, another with a firepit and low-level seating for relaxing and another with a bistro table for morning coffee and the newspapers. Don’t be afraid to explore hidden areas and use all parts of the garden to create these special places.  


Need help with your outdoor living space design?

At Gardens by Keltie & Clark we specialise in transforming lives through garden design. Our outdoor living space designers will work with you to incorporate all the elements you want so that you can enjoy being in your garden. Contact us to see how we can transform your outdoor space.