Until recently the term outdoor living was only ever heard on tv programmes about people buying homes in Australia. This term has somehow migrated its way into our culture, and now everybody is looking to upgrade his or her back green into a contemporary and stylish outdoor living space. Just when did gardens become so fashionable and aspirational?
Not so long ago I grew up with a shared garden that consisted of a clothesline for hanging 'the washing' and a bin shed. There was no fence boundary which meant we could easily access the garden next door. As a child, this was great for playing. We had plenty of space to run around and much to my parents dismay myself, and my friends insisted on making 'a den' out of the bin shed at least once a month. It wasn't glamorous, but it was functional and catered to our needs. I very much doubt that my experience would have been enhanced with the use of a bi-fold door, a porcelain patio or a handcrafted cedar pergola. However, time does move on, and fashions do change.
The evolution of the outdoor living culture happened at such a fast pace; I am sure the that the boom in home & gardening television programmes in the late 90s is accountable for our growing desire to transfer our once humble gardens.
One of my favourite memories from my childhood was sitting with my Grandad on Friday night watching The Beechgrove Garden. He used to have a small notebook where he would take notes with a pencil. He was a keen gardener and used to grow the most fantastic rhubarb. Until the late 90's The Beechgrove Garden was one of only a few home and gardening programmes available on television. With the expansion and accessibility of cable and sky networks, this soon changed. People appetites for home shows exploded, and by the early 2000s, numerous television programmes were advising you on exactly how your garden should look. Fast forward to the digital age and the trend has continued. Instagram and Pinterest now showcase the very best of aspirational outdoor living spaces. How very desirable.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to have something better than what you have. We all do it. Every few years we trade in cars, homes and jobs generally for something bigger and better. Why shouldn't our gardens be the same? We have assisted many customers to transform their backyards into outdoor living spaces in the last year. Its extremely rewarding to be able to help make our customers ideas and plans come to fruition, especially as the projects usually come around after a considerable number of years of planning and saving. In fact, the outdoor living trend serves the business very well.
If you are thinking about creating an outdoor living space our advice to you is simple; think of functionality over fashion and substance over style. An outdoor kitchen might be an excellent idea for your summer garden, but how are you going to maintain it in the long, cold and dark Scottish winters. Likewise, a handbuilt fire pit is a lovely idea when entertaining but probably not the best idea if you have little ones around. Having collapsable furniture that you can store away is perhaps better than designer swings and chairs that although very stylish need to be cemented to the ground and then painstakingly removed when they go out of fashion. Consider if you can grow with your garden or if you will need to make drastic changes in a few years when the kids move out our as you get older and begin to struggle with mobility. Moreover, make sure you keep your overall objective in mind, whether it is to have an outdoor dining space that flows from your kitchen or to have a deck that lets you soak up the sun, try not over complicate your project with too many aims.
If you're in need of some inspiration for your outside, then take a look at our image gallery below.
If you would like to discuss any plans you might have for designing your dream outdoor living space then get in touch to arrange a consultation. We have the knowledge, skills and expertise to be able to help design, plan and complete your project.