• Define your space into different areas by selecting the functions that will take place, such as dining, relaxing and entertaining. Then use a variety of elements to differentiate these spaces and create a sense of enclosure. A combination of both soft and hard landscaping materials such as gravel, paving, stone, pebbles, wood paving, shrubs and plants will induce a colourful array of textures.
• Think about those special spots that nurture and soothe, a hammock, a herb patch, the sound of flowing water or perhaps a bird feeder should entice you to spend hours of enjoyment in your outdoor space.
• Consider the benefits of sun orientation in relation to your space, if you mainly use your dining table in the evening it might be an idea to position it in order to capture the last rays of sun. Use umbrellas, lightweight retractable awnings or screens to shield from the hot summer sun.
• If you decide on a bbq take note of the direction of any prevailing winds most notably north west , this will save you from inhaling cooking fumes.
• Wireless solar lights are a good solution to enhance your space and create atmosphere with the bonus of no electrical preparation required.
• Use paint to unify or segment your areas. Blue and purple work best against greenery .Whilst browns and green can be used to disguise any obtrusive objects.
• Make your contribution to the environment and grow turf on your roof: it provides you with a naturalistic outdoor space and keeps your house well insulated. They keep the heat in during the winter and the heat out in the summer months. You would have to ensure that your roof is water tight and that structurally it can with hold the weight. But what a pleasant urban landscape we would have!
Invest time and energy into your garden and the rewards are plentiful, quite literally you reap what you sow!
Davina Preca Interior Architect & Designer (BA) Hons UK