It’s no secret on my blog that I am forever changing the interior of my home so it’s no shock either that the same goes for our exterior. I am constantly moving our patio furniture around or buying different shaped hanging baskets and pots for the deck. We have been trying to make the decision whether to renovate the garden to create a better outdoor living space or to add an extension onto the house for a big playroom for the family. I have always done all the renovations in our house myself but this time since we decided to go for the garden renovations we called in the professionals.
I was sad at first to see our old garden gutted down to the frame and dirt of it because I spend weeks doing it myself about four years ago. In fact, I shared with you all my own DIY garden renovations on this very blog here, here and here. It was ok for a few years to give us something pretty to look out the sliding glass doors or the kitchen window. But it lacked the abilities for us to play in it as it was very swampy even days after it rained. One side of the plants always died because it was red clay underneath and as you can see after a few years my half moon stones started to sink and look uneven. The fence wasn’t a modern as we wanted. Our flags weren’t even wide enough for our outdoor table to fit on so it was half on flags and half on the grass. So one night I sat down with hubby on pinterest and me with a pen and paper and we designs a garden oasis. Everything we ever wanted in a garden from seating, lighting, music, to various areas to sit and host parties and fake grass for the kids to play on ten minutes after it rained. Our garden renovations began there.
We contacted a company to get a quote on our dream outdoor living space. Six months later, the job started and we were on our way to a new living space in our garden. It felt like it took forever but I enjoyed sharing all our daily up dates on my ig stories this summer. It was only sad to find out there was a delay and they had to finish it while we were in America so we didn’t have the summer garden party we really wanted before we left for the states. But it was worth the wait for us to return to the UK in September to it. There isn’t a day we don’t go out and use it at some point. I sometimes take my laptop out to the sofa with a coffee in the mornings after school drop off, if it rains it’s dry within 20-30 mins which is a huge bonus for us, if hubby comes home for lunch, we eat outside together. We have had numerous dinners outside with the kids too due to having a huge, outdoor patio heater (which is brilliant for all year garden use). I can’t believe how much we didn’t use our garden before because we were sick of the mud dragging in and out of the house. It wasn’t anywhere really to sit and enjoy it. With a south facing garden we get sun all day so we wanted to create various spaces for different parts of the day.
We are so pleased with the results. We weren’t disappointed at all with the fake grass and the sofa we ended up buying off ebay either which was miles cheaper than a garden center we went to. I love all the plants the company chose for us. They really captures the modern garden we were looking for. I think my favorite thing is the new fence though. It even transforms inside our house because we have two sliding doors and a kitchen window that looks out onto the garden. With the grey horizontal fencing it really makes a big different to the style of the garden and feel to it. We are still working on getting the BBQ area in the corner where the cushion storage is but we have all summer next year for that.
We also decided to use composite decking to build our seating and bench areas and garden gate door. It’s so durable and beautiful, it’s worth every penny. I won’t have to stain or up keep it, at all. It feels so warm under your socks because in this garden you don’t need your shoes. It’s one of the things I love so much about it. No way for the kids to drag endless trails of mud and me shouting, “stop going in and out”. Now we kind of have the sliding doors open all the time and we are always going in and out. The kids can now bring their soft toys outside too without risk of getting filthy and in need of a bath themselves before bedtime. My littlest especially always seems to have her blankies with her, cuddled up on the new patio sofa. We are climatizing ourselves a lot more now too. We go out in the garden half hour after it rains even when the sun doesn’t come out to greet us. We sit with the patio heater full blast if it feels too chilly, enabling us to still be outdoors together for fresh air.
I can’t wait until Spring when all the bushes and shrubs really start to bloom. I missed it this year as we were already gone to America for they got put in. I look forward to sharing with you some gorgeous evening lighting photos when I can too. It really does add such a great atmosphere to a garden with a little lighting. We got the Sony wireless speakers that we put in the middle of the kitchen window seal and it allows the music right from my phone to boom across the garden. Sorry neighbors, we are partial to a family disco or two.
For those that didn’t follow along my ig stories every day with my updates, please come see the entire start to finish process in our short but fun “Garden Renovation” video below. It takes you from gutting it down to the bones and building the fence inside another fence to adding the garden decorations at the end. Either way, we now have an extension to our home space outdoors where the kids can play to their hearts content while Mommy and Daddy can relax in the romantic evenings with the lights and recharge. We are so happy that we decided to do our garden as another area of our living space instead of adding an extension on to the house. It’s been the best decided we ever made and we have been out in it every chance we get in between rain showers. I hope you have enjoyed our garden transformation here.