Archive for the ‘Outdoor’ Category

How To Create An Outdoor Space You Can Use All Year Round

Friday, December 6th, 2013


Many people put so much time and effort into their garden to make it comfortable, visually pleasing and entertaining, but it is usually extremely short lived due to the very few summer months most of us receive. However just because the summer’s gone doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your outdoor space all year round, and make the most of the area. With a few simple changes, you could turn your garden into an impressive outdoor space that can be used whatever the weather.

Create A Platform

It helps to create a space where the majority of your relaxing and socialising will take place. Whether you decide to lay down some decking, a patio or some stone slabs, you need to ensure that you have a hardwearing foundation for your tables and chairs to go on.

You should also consider building a shelter to go over this area in case it rains or is overly hot in the summer.  The open sides will still allow it to feel like you are sitting outside, and the fact that it is only partially covered means in nicer days you can move out into the rest of the garden where it is a bit sunnier.

Outdoor Heaters

In order to be able to comfortably sit outside during the colder months you may want to invest in a few outdoor heaters. You can pick up a few freestanding or wall mounted patio heaters that can help you and your guests to feel the warmth, despite sitting outside. They can be fuelled by propane, natural gas or electricity, so there are plenty of options to suit your set-up.

Another option is an outdoor fire pit or chimney, which can create a warming and glowing ambience which is extremely relaxing. There is usually the option of wood-burning, coal-burning or gas fuelled systems.


As the daylight starts to disappear, alternative lighting to illuminate the surroundings helps bring your garden to life. Rather than choosing bright and unnatural lighting, it may be better to opt for softer and more subtle lighting. Battery-powered fairy lights and solar powered lights are a great choice as they won’t cost you anything to run. You could also add a few candles for ambience, as well as lighting citronella candles to repel insects during warmer weather.

You could also use path lighting to illuminate any areas where people may be walking to provide them with a clear line of sight, preventing any accidents.

Hot Tubs

A hot tub is the perfect addition to any garden; not only do they act as a great form of entertainment when you have guests, but they also are an ideal way to relax and unwind after a hard day at work. Unlike swimming pools and jetted bathtubs, hot tubs are always set to the optimum temperature so are ready to use whenever you want, without having to prepare them or wait for the water to heat up.

The temperature can be adjusted so that during the summer you can cool off and during the winter you will be warm and toasty with the crisp air providing a breath of freshness. You may want to consider placing your hot tub under the covered area you have created, or you could use a gazebo type cover, so it can still be used if it rains. When looking after your hot tub it is essential you use the correct products from a quality supplier, such as Pool and Hot Tub Supplies, to ensure your hot tub is kept in the best condition possible.

Now that you have a garden that can be enjoyed all year round, you can make the most of your outdoor space whenever you please, whether you want to sit back and relax, or host your own garden party.

***This guest post was written by Ekta Mair on behalf of  Pool and Hot Tub Supplies. They specialise in providing high quality swimming pool and hot tub supplies, from cleaning chemicals to inflatables and games.*** 

How to Choose the Perfect Colour for your Front Door

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Front door colour tips

As the main entranceway to your home, your front door is important as it provides guests with the very first impression of your abode. It’s also something you use every day, so it’s arguably one of the most important things to get right when embarking upon home improvement projects.

A new trend emerging is coloured uPVC doors, but with so many available on the market, how do you choose the right colour for your home? There are 4 main steps you can take to help you decide what to opt for.

1. Explore for inspiration

Take a walk around the neighbourhood and have a look at the colours and styles other people have gone for. This is not only a great way for gaining inspiration, but it will also help you quickly realise what colours you like, and which ones you aren’t so keen on.

Keep in mind styles and tastes of the neighbourhood so your home doesn’t stand out too much, or contrast too harshly.

2. Choose a colour that suits your home

Choosing a new front door

If your favourite colour is flaming fuchsia, consider how it may not quite work for a front door in your traditional cottage.

Aim for a colour or shade that works with the rest of your home’s exterior, such as brickwork and the roof so that all of the elements works in harmony to give the impression you want to create for your home.

If you have bold door furniture such as ornate handles, door numbers or letterboxes, ensure that these are taken into consideration too.

Or if you’re going for completely new double glazed uPVC doors, think about if you are going to add extra details to the door later, and how they will impact on the colour.

3. Choose a colour that illustrates your personality

Adding colour and personality to your home

Just because you should select a colour that matches the rest of your exterior, it doesn’t mean that you have to opt for something boring.

In fact, statement colour doors can work really well to contrast other aspects of your exterior in a positive, interesting way. If you want to choose a statement colour for your door and are unsure which one to go for, consider that the most fashionable ones include red, orange, yellow, blue and green.

4. Visualise the new door in your home

You may have finally chosen the colour you’re going for, but what happens if you take the plunge and then it doesn’t look anything like you’d imagined?

Some companies and door manufactures provide technology to show you exactly how the door will look as part of your exterior, so hunt around for those.

If this isn’t available, there’s any easy way to do this yourself. Take a photograph of the outside of your house, making sure that you get all of the elements in it. Then, cut out the door and replace it with the design and colour of the one you are considering.

You can do this a number of times with as many doors as you like until you find the perfect combination.

***This is a guest post from Anglian Home Improvements***

Fab Friday Bargain: Melamine outdoor dining and picnic bowl set

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Durable outdoor picnic dining bowls

With the summer holidays in full swing, and sunny days (hopefully!) in action, here’s a fab Friday bargain for all your outdoor dining, barbecues and picnics.

This set of six melamine bowls are hard-wearing and practical.  Melamine is a wonderfully durable material that is practically unbreakable, so you don’t need to worry about damaging your favourite china when eating outside, or carrying it around in a picnic bag.

The bowls come as a set of six in assorted colours and are ideal for serving dips, nibbles or desserts in. They’re now reduced to just £9.50 in the sale at Oliver Bonas.

How to Add Value to Your Property

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Contemporary home paving tile ideas

Selling your home is never an easy task. There are the viewings, the offers, the negotiating, not to mention the waiting game.

In a competitive market, you need to put yourself in the greatest position on the property ladder, and the best way to do so is by making sure your home stands out from the rest on the market.

One of the key ways to do this is by adding value to your property. Whether it’s by adding some outdoor paving slabs or getting an extension, here some tips and ideas to help you boost your home’s selling power.

Give The Outside of Your Home a Makeover

The first thing to address is the look of your home. Ask yourself, when looking at the exterior of the building, does it really give the impression that you’d like it to?

First opinions are essential as it only takes an instant for a person to decide whether they like a home, so it’s important that you make that decision for them. Give the outside of your house a bit of a makeover. What condition is your garden in, does it need bringing to life a little? Is your drive looking worse for wear? Then why not treat it some new paving slabs? Aspects such as these are the perfect way to add value to your property.

Tailor Your Property to The Market

Now we’re not saying go crazy, but it’s always a good idea to try and think outside the box a little when it comes to making your home more attractive to those looking for a new place. Think about where your property is located and who will most likely be viewing it, and then tailor it to this particular audience.

Based in a more urban area? Then make sure that your home looks sharp, modern and on trend, ready to catch the eye of buyers searching for the house of their dreams.

Perhaps it needs to be more family orientated, or more environmentally friendly? No matter which route you take, small updates such as these can really give your home that added advantage.

Consider Having an Extension

Another means of gaining the attention of potential buyers is to give your home that certain something which others don’t have, like an extension for instance.

An extension not only adds more space to the building, but it could also make it more appealing to those who view it (so many ideas for that extra room!).

This isn’t necessarily a quick fix solution, as you need to seek planning permission first, have plans drawn up and make sure you can afford to have the work completed to a good standard. What’s more, you need to ensure the extension will add value to your home when it’s finished.

Why not try a loft conversion to create an additional bedroom? Or invest in a conservatory to give your place that element of style which other homes lack? Whatever you choose, opting for an extension is definitely worth thinking about.

 ***This is a guest post***

Nefos contemporary hanging cloud chandelier

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
Contemporary outdoor garden light

Cloud chandelier

Looking for lighting that’s different from the norm? How about a cloud chandelier?

Proving the point that chandeliers certainly don’t have to be serious, the Nefos cloud chandelier is a fun and eye-catching contemporary light.

The cloud is designed by Paolo de Lucchi for MyYour and is made of polyethylene.

The added bonus of this design is that it’s actually suitable for use both indoors and out in your garden, so your cloud could be used to light up your garden or outdoor space for parties or barbecues too.

The Nefos cloud chandelier is available in medium or large sizes and as transparent, light blue or yellow colours. They can be ordered from Garden Beet.

If you like clouds, then also check out the cloud design coffee table we featured previously.

Perfect picnics: Matilda tableware from Zara Home

Monday, May 28th, 2012
Melamine picnic tableware

Melamine tableware

As picnic weather is now in full force, here’s some pretty tableware to liven up your picnic or outdoor dining experience.

The Matilda tableware, in summery shades of pink and white, is made from long-lasting melamine.

The mix and match range includes dessert plates, bowls, tumblers and dinner plates, with the items being sold in sets of six and prices from £5.99.

This fresh contemporary tableware range is available to purchase from Zara Home. A matching laminated tablecloth is also available.

Charcoal kettle barbecue for outdoor dining

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Affordable budget kettle barbecue

Compact kettle barbecue

There are some swish and stylish barbecues on the market, but if you don’t have a massive budget to spend, there are plenty of more economically priced, and smaller sized, barbecues available.

This charcoal kettle barbecue is one good value, affordable option (and even more so at the moment, as there’s an additional 20% off!). It’s made from porcelain enamel with a chrome plated cooking grill, drip tray and lid.

You do need to do a bit of self-assembly, but it’s a nice compact size  and is perfect for a budget barbecue.

The charcoal kettle barbecue is usually priced at £32 from John Lewis.

Grillslinger bbq tool set

Friday, June 3rd, 2011
Barbecue tool cooking set

Expert tools for the bbq

As it looks like the weather may be improving again, it’s time to get the barbecue back out!

Any keen barbecue chef needs the right tools for the job, and this Grillslinger BBQ tool system provides all you need to get grilling.

Perfect for men who want to take control of the barbecue cooking, the Grillslinger tool system is designed to be worn around the waist,  so that the tools don’t take up valuable space around the edge of the barbecue.

You can get your nifty barbecue tool kit from Heal’s.

London map picnic rug

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
Outdoor eating summer picnic rug

Sit back and relax on London...

Whether you live in London or not, you’ll find plenty to look at when you’re sitting or lying on this picnic rug.

The rug design features a map of London, so you can while away the time picking out your favourite locations or planning trips you’d like to make.

The picnic rug is a good size, measuring 140cm x 140cm, and comes with its own matching bag, so you can easily carry it with you. It’s also got waterproof backing on it too, making it extra durable.

The London map picnic rug costs £39 from Just a Joy on Not on the High Street.

You can check also check out more of their products on their own website.

Amazonas globe wooden swing seat

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Stylish swing seat

Stylish swing seat

If you like the idea of a swing hammock-type seat, but haven’t got any trees to hang a hammock from, then a swing seat with a frame is the perfect alternative.

This round, Amazonas globe shape swing seat is a modern take on the garden swing seat idea and is made from sturdy spruce wood. The frame makes it safe and secure for sitting on and it comes with comfortable cushions covered with soft, but heavy duty, cotton covers. You can choose cushions in either cream or green fabric.

When you’re not using the seat outside in the garden, it can easily be taken indoors and used inside your home.

The Amazonas globo swing seat is sold by Garden Chic.

All rights reserved 2009-2014. All content copyright © FreshDesignBlog.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin Google