To help you utilize your outdoor space all year round, the home and property experts at Living Cozy have put together their top 10 tips to help transform your garden.

Ash Read, home and property expert and founder of Living Cozy, comments: “Many of us have spent a lot of money making our outdoor space a lovely area for the whole family to relax in summer, but why spend all that money just for a few months of the year? These tips will help you to utilize your outdoor space all year round, from frosty cold mornings, to when the sun sets on a summer’s day. From weatherproof furniture to cozy accessories, we want your outdoor area to become an extension of your home.”

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10 Expert tips to transform your outdoor space and utilize it all year round

1. Weatherproof Furniture

Weatherproof furniture will allow you to use your garden all year round, whatever the weather. This doesn’t mean to say the furniture has to be fully waterproof, it just needs to keep water from being absorbed into the surface of the: furniture. 

Another factor to consider is thermal conductivity. You’ll need furniture with a low thermal conductivity so that when it’s hot and sunny during the summer it won’t be too hot to touch or sit on and this will also prevent cracking and fading of the materials in the long term. The most useful material for garden furniture is wood as it’s weatherproof, water and rot-resistant, meaning it should last a long time. Investing in wooden, weatherproof furniture will be well worth your money.

2. Lighting

Different types of lighting can be used all year round in the garden to give a more homely feel, while also making your outdoor area seem like a seamless extension of your home. Whether it’s lighting in the winter to light up the long dark nights or lighting in the summer as the sun goes down, there are endless amounts of options for outdoor lighting. 

3. Add Warmth

Making your garden warm can be a great way to utilize it all year round, whether it’s for the colder winter months or summer nights after the sun has gone down. 

One of the best ways to heat your outdoor space is a fire pit. Ash says: “Fire Pits are an affordable option for warming up your garden, as well as being easily portable, it can also bring an expensive look to your garden. Another affordable option is infrared/patio heaters. These types of heaters create masses of warmth for outdoor spaces, although you may need a power source to use the patio heaters, Additionally, you’ll only need to turn on infrared heaters when heat is needed and they’ll automatically switch off when you aren’t outside to prevent unneeded energy usage.”

4. Make it Cozy

Lights and warmth do make an area extremely cozy, but there are also other items you can add to your outdoor space. One way to make it cozy during the cold winter months and on late summer nights is to layer up. Ash suggests: “Warm blankets and throws will keep you nice and warm whilst outdoors and these can even be kept outside in the drier summer months to add decoration to your furniture. Another way to add coziness, and even comfiness, is to add cushions and pillows to your outdoor space. Some garden-specific cushions can be left out all year round, as they’re made from a specific fiber which quickens the drying time if they do happen to be left out in the rain and bad weather. Additionally, you can add a pop of color to your outdoor furniture with scatter cushions.”

5. Evergreen Plants

Evergreen plants are a great way of keeping your garden alive and colorful all year round and some of them don’t require much maintenance at all! Five of the many best evergreen plants are; Camellia, Holly, Magnolia Grandiflora, Lavender, and Siberian Iris. The majority of these plants bloom from any time during the start of spring and into summer, and the foliage stays attractive till the end of August/early September, with the leaves staying a vibrant green throughout the winter months.

6. Shade & Shelter

Shade and shelter can be used all year round – ideal in summer and winter. Shade is extremely helpful in the summer months to protect you from sunlight, Ash comments: “Having a sheltered area can protect you from wind in all months of the year so you can relax in the garden. Some examples of the best shade and shelter options for gardens and outdoor spaces include umbrellas, gazebos, canopies, built-in parasols, and pergolas.”

7. Dining Area

Dining can always be enjoyed outdoors through the use of outdoor furniture such as; barbeques, outdoor ovens, outdoor furniture, and plastic crockery and cutlery. Ash explains: “Barbeques and outdoor ovens are an amazing way to bring the kitchen outside right into the comfort of your garden. They can be used all year round to cook up a storm no matter what season it is.” Outdoor furniture such as tables and chairs adds to the effect of bringing your dining experience into an outdoor space, as well as adding plastic crockery and cutlery which ensures nothing will smash in your outdoor sanctuary keeping everyone safe and leaving less mess to clean up! 

8. Decking Area

Decking can be a useful garden essential all year round. The two main types of decking are wood decking and composite decking. Wood decking is made out of timber, which means decking oil is required every year for this type of decking. On the other hand, composite decking only needs an occasional gentle brush and wash. When the deckings are covered in rain or snow, snow melting cables or portable heating mats can be used to dry them so they’re able to be used all year round. 

9. Attracting Wildlife

Attracting wildlife to your garden creates an additional lease of life in your outdoor space. Ash says: “There are many ways to attract wildlife into your garden, including; bird tables, bird feeders, ponds, and leaving a gap in your fencing. Bird tables and feeders are an excellent resource for attracting numerous species of birds into your garden. Ponds also attract many different species and are easy to set up in your outdoor space. Leaving a gap in your fencing will allow wildlife such as hedgehogs and frogs to be able to move from garden to garden. Attracting wildlife to your garden is an amazing way to have a mini wildlife sanctuary just on your doorstep.”  

10. Entertainment Area

Consider setting up an entertainment area in your garden, this could mean installing an outdoor bar area to wow guests on their arrival, or for a more lavish option, installing a hot tub! Ash comments: “An outdoor bar doesn’t have to be big or costly, either you can find a bargain online, or even consider building your own! Once drinks have been served from the bar, the outdoor furniture can be used to lounge on with your guests.”