8 outdoor living room ideas to maximize outdoor living

When it comes to garden buildings, we’re really thinking outside the box this year, using garden rooms in our outdoor spaces to make our homes bigger and our lives better.

The garden room goes far beyond what we expect from a traditional summer house. Luxury in price and quality, a garden room offers a high specification multi-layer construction including insulation, durable glazing and electrics. Low maintenance, it’s perfect for year-round use, is built to last for decades, and can increase the value of your home.

“Many of our projects are the realization of a vision,” says Justin Williams, director of Nordic garden buildings, where prices start from £10,555 for a 2.1m x 3.3m Madison studio apartment with sliding doors. “It could be, ‘having my own bar, my own music studio or even my own health spa.’

In addition to providing additional space, investing in an outdoor room could be a smart long-term decision. “Property inflation means that finding an extra room while moving can involve a six-figure investment, while exceptional space can be added to your garden for less than half the amount,” says Martin Lawson, director of Swift Garden Rooms. “Look for long warranties, planning consent and compliance with building regulations whenever necessary, and use long-lasting materials to make the investment sound.”

Outdoor Living Room Idea 1: Emotional Escape Room

Have you heard of an outer building being used as an emotional escape room? Karen Bell, Creative Director at Bespoke Garden Room, Orangery and Conservatory Company, David Salisburysays a popular trend this year is to designate a space for self-care: “Think comfortable furniture, plants, built-in bookcases, candles, oil diffusers. The peaceful surroundings and abundance of light nature offered by garden furniture means that they perform this function particularly well.You are separated from the rest of the house to enjoy privacy and disconnect from daily anxieties, and closer to the garden and nature.’

Echoing this trend, Martin Young, founder of sit down spirituallysays he recently worked with a client on creating a semi-outdoor bedroom with a swing-out daybed: “It’s an area flooded with natural light and the ability to open lovely folding doors, creating this feeling of being outdoors but sheltered from the weather.’

garden room ideas emotional escape room

Backyard Living Room Idea 2: Home Spa

We love the idea of ​​using an outdoor room as a custom home spa. If you want to use a hot tub all year round, a sauna or steam room is ideal.

However, you can also create a cocooning space adapted to your needs. The Homebase gardening team says that framing your outdoor hot tub with fragrant, relaxing plantings can help you achieve bliss nirvana.

“Keeping your garden color scheme neutral is an easy way to create a calming atmosphere for your outdoor spa,” says Stephen Pitcher, Homebase’s commercial manager for garden and season. “Using soft, subtle pops of color, such as light yellows and blues, will keep the decor from feeling overpowered.

“Or limit your plants to green and cream tones and opt for a simple layout – green is the ultimate color for relaxation and it’s a great color all year round.”

hot tub garden furniture ideas

Garden furniture idea 3: Gym and fitness room

Many of us have never really had time to return to the gym since lockdown restrictions eased, preferring to exercise at home. Using a garden room as a gym or fitness room is the ideal solution. It saves money on travel expenses and time, and provides the perfect framework for creating a personalized fitness program.

Rob Clarke, director of pattern8a national gym consultancy, says you need to pay particular attention to bringing in as much light as possible by ensuring windows in a backyard gym are generous: “We also find that the use of mirrors is essential to maximize light and create a welcoming atmosphere. environment.’

inspirational garden room used as a home gym

Outdoor Living Room Idea 4: Home Office

The pandemic brought us WFH (work from home) and helped set the trend for patio rooms to be used as offices, and manufacturers responded quickly. Tormar, for example, designed the profiled wooden Melton Pod, from £10,000 plus VAT for the 2m x 3m size (it’s also available in a larger 3m x 4m), which can be fitted with a custom desk and shelving. The full-height apex window at one end floods the interior space with natural light.

“The Melton pod, like most good designs, was born out of necessity,” says Tormar designer Alex Adgar. ‘Our homes, for many, have become our offices and with that our need for space has increased. Working from home is less unusual, businesses are adapting and becoming more flexible, leaving many longing for a space of privacy, solitude and a place where they can be less distracted.

garden furniture ideas home office melton pod

Garden furniture idea 5: Reading corner

If you don’t have space for a reading nook indoors – like the greedy bookworms Sophie Dahl and Jamie Oliver, who have both added one to the house – why not look for space at the outside? You’ll find more than enough space to set aside some quality reading time in a garden room, or you can even opt for a circular garden pod.

It’s pretty simple to create a cozy retreat with a few well-chosen pieces of furniture, lighting and textiles, says interior designer Bex Massey, founder of the lifestyle and Hygge store, Bramble and Fox. ‘I would suggest a trunk or large basket containing a quilt or woolen blanket, a pair of cozy socks, a hot drink in a cuddle mug, a floor lamp or Anglepoise lamp, a small side table to put your drink on , fairy lights, maybe a small dish for snacks and of course, something nice to read.

As a finishing touch, bringing in a large garden mirror is a great way to ‘borrow’ light and bounce it around smaller spaces, and it will add an interesting sense of grandeur to your hideaway.

garden room ideas garden studio

Garden furniture idea 6: Studio

Companies are developing modular buildings perfectly suited to creating bespoke studios for art, photography or music, or a home-run business, such as consulting or dog grooming. Justin Williams also has a high-end hygge-inspired air-conditioned modular range called Garden Retreats, from £25,000 to over £85,000 for the roof terrace and full spec, which can be configured to suit these types purposes, or even be used as an Airbnb, subject to insurance and building permits if required. A reputable garden furniture company will always advise you on the legal side of things.

“You need an insulated, weatherproof space with electricity and lighting to create a warm, welcoming environment that also ticks all the health and safety boxes,” says Justin. You may also need to budget for soundproofing, privacy blinds, and additional security features such as a remote-controlled intruder alarm.

garden furniture ideas studio

Garden furniture idea 7: Bar/pub

Things have moved on since the sheds were designated “man caves” and stuffed with neon signs, battered armchairs and a fridge full of beer. Online liquor retailer Clink says 2.7 million households have set up their own home bars since March 2020, a 51% increase since before the pandemic.

If you fancy using your patio room as an outdoor bar or pub, there are a few things to consider.

Consider the position: do you want to be an easy distance from the kitchen, or tucked away in a quiet corner of the garden? Think about the shade. If your garden faces south, install an awning so you can comfortably sit outside on sunny afternoons. Choose flexible modular outdoor furniture that can be configured in different ways depending on your number of guests, and to maximize floor space, install modular shelving; String Furniture has an outdoor range from £80 which can be used both outdoors and indoors.

garden furniture idea bar

Outdoor Living Room Idea 8: Multigenerational Living

The flexibility of garden furniture allows several members of a family to live together and share care and support, while maintaining their independence. Martin of Swift Garden Rooms says he is getting “many more requests” from clients who want a comfortable, secluded semi-detached living space in a high-quality, self-contained exterior building.

“It’s usually for the elderly parents, but definitely not for the heavily dependent grandmother,” he explains. “We often see younger parents living in the same place and having their grandchildren looked after, as well as an increased demand for housing for adult children, a reflection on the challenge of home ownership for the first time.”

Where garden parts are intended for permanent residence, planning permission rules may apply, so always speak to the supplier for advice.

garden room ideas

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