6 Tricks to Turn Your Garden into an Extra Room

Rattan corner sofa with matching coffee table and white cushions

We could all do with some extra living space, right? And with the sun shining and most of us spending more time at home, why not take the opportunity to organise your outside space and take your living and dining rooms outdoors? Whether you have a humble balcony, small patio, sunny courtyard or large garden with these tips you can create somewhere calm and beautiful to while away your days and nights. Let’s take it outside…

Wood framed garden sofa set with white cushions and coffee table

Work with what you’ve got

If you have a favourite tree, flower bed or even a potted plant, you want to make it part of your outdoor living room and arrange your furniture around it.

Rattan garden sofa set next to a tree

A garden sofa set under a tree will enjoy dappled sunlight or how about an outdoor corner sofa or rattan bench next to a large terracotta pot filled with lavender on a patio for a Mediterranean touch?

Zone your space

Just as you would in your kitchen, dining room or living room, use furniture to create a comfortable and sociable area to relax and dine.

Rattan sofa set with matching coffee table

An L-shaped settee or garden corner sofa has multiple benefits – ideal for seating a large group or lazing about on your own. Add a pair of armchairs, a matching coffee table and anchor with an outdoor rug and you have an instant outdoor area.

Keep it simple

An outdoor sitting room doesn’t have to be grand and elaborate or cost a fortune. A modest corner can be made into a snug hideout, whether that’s in a suburban garden, a sunny terrace or small city balcony. Create a cosy nook with soft throws and piles of cushions, and add a hanging pendant light or a simple string of fairy lights to take your space from day to night.

Large blue floor cushions with orange terracotta wall

Create a ceiling or canopy

For a romantic and bohemian vibe outdoors, nothing is more dreamy than an overhead covering shading an area. What’s more, it can work in whatever size outdoor space you have, be it a balcony, patio, decking or lawn. If your outside space is lacking colour, choose a bright fabric or for an exotic Bedouin style covering, a sheer muslin drape gently blowing in the breeze will transport your imagination to faraway destinations. A natural slatted wood ceiling gives a beautiful dappled light – paint white for an instant Balearic vibe.

White wooden outdoor roof with bamboo furniture

Go au naturel

Wicker and rattan is a favourite for garden furniture, and not just because it’s super durable and easy to look after. The natural texture works seamlessly in both classic and modern settings, blending in with the natural surroundings rather than competing with it. Another natural and sustainable alternative to wicker or rattan is all-weather bamboo and reclaimed wood furniture. Style with soft, neutral cushions, throws and table linens to achieve a chilled yet elegant atmosphere.

Rattan corner sofa with neutral cushions

Dine al fresco

From long lazy lunches to dinners lasting late into the evening, nothing feels more like summer than eating al fresco. A stylish garden dining set instantly transforms your outdoor space into an elegant dining room and with a few added touches, it could well become your favourite room in and out of the house. Apply the same level of detail to your outdoor table as you would to your dining table indoors. Dress with natural linen, style with jugs filled with fresh flowers and accessorize with pretty festoon garden lights or hanging lanterns for a cosy, rustic look.

Reclaimed wood dining table with blue glasses

If space rules out an outdoor table and chairs, how about creating an outdoor drinking spot with a bar table? For a chic outdoor bar, add a high reclaimed wood table with an integrated ice bucket, like the St Mawes Bar Table, and a set of wooden or bamboo stools to bring happy hour to your outdoor space any hour you please.

Wooden bar table with ice bucket intray