Four ways to bring the garden into your home

Spring has sprung, but the heat of full summer is still some months away. It’s a sad fact that in the UK the best way to enjoy the garden is often from inside, so why not make the best of it and find ways to open up your home a little to the great outdoors. There are lots of ways you can do this, from simple tricks to full-on structural work. Whichever is more suited to your budget, here are four great ways to bring the garden into your home.

Add a conservatory

Image from David Salisbury

After suffering a bit of an image problem, the latest generation of conservatories are once again highly desirable add-ons to your home. Provided you are planning a modest-sized addition you can probably do the work without needing to go through expensive and time-consuming planning. Check to find out whether your scheme would fit within permitted development and therefore be planning free. You could build out from the back of your property, add on to the side, or create a sun room that cleverly uses a wasted bit of space – the side return on a typical Victorian terrace is the obvious place for this. Before finalising your plans think about how you want to use the space – will it be a reading room, a study or a breakfast room? The more practical use you want to get from the room the more useful a design detail like half-height solid walls, rather than floor-to-ceiling glass, might be. To get the best out of the space make sure you also plan in ample double doors linking the room to the rest of the house and a generous door out to the garden too.

 Invest in glass doors

Image from Marks & Spencer

Still one of the most popular ways to make-over a kitchen or living room, adding a set of full-height folding or sliding glass doors [LINK:] to your space will not only let in so much more light, but will also frame your view of the garden as a feature during the whole year. Your taste and your budget will govern how big you go – a full wall of sliding glass will turn your kitchen-living space into a great indoor-outdoor space for entertaining, but in busy houses with kids and pets a more manageable two or three-panel system might be more advisable.

Decorate inside and out

Image from BHS

A smart way to make the garden more like a part of the house is to mingle materials from both spaces. If you have doors out to a patio then using the same type of stone on the floor inside will make it feel like an extension of your living room. A wood floor inside can be translated into a deck outside. You could even use an accent colour inside your garden-facing room and on a wall or furniture outdoors too. Similarly a cheap and simple trick like using the same plain linen cushions on your sofa and your garden bench can help unify the two spaces so you can feel at home in any weather.

Bring nature indoors

Image from Next

Botanical prints are all the rage at the moment so if your living room looks on to the garden then why not bring that view inside – literally. Palm prints, leaf prints, floral motifs… all are available on hip homewares in abundance. Team them with natural wood furniture and flooring, and fabrics in natural stones, greens and yellows and your room will feel like it’s half outside already. Add an array of pot-plants – another home decorating feature that are having a hipster-led renaissance – on window sills, side tables or even in hanging planters. Add a large-scale mirror or two angled to reflect some of the view outside and your space will instantly feel more organic and spring-ready.