The following is a guest post
(Photo courtesy of: http://roomenvy.wordpress.com)
Summer is most definitely here and the vast majority of us are looking forward to spending long days and nights in our gardens, socialising, playing and relaxing.
However, if your garden is in need of a little love and attention, you will find the following ideas perfect for helping to turn your patch of earth into an extra room of your home.
Garden hammocks are this season’s hottest outdoor accessory. They look cute and will add a touch of luxury to your backyard. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the world going by and can be improved even further with the addition of some brightly coloured cushions and a warm snuggly blanket.
Garden hammocks can be freestanding or simply tied between two trees or wooden posts. There are several online tuition sites demonstrating how to make garden hammocks, or they can be purchased relatively cheaply online or from most garden or DIY stores. Check out the Home and Garden section of the Promo-Codes website for more inspiration.
Regenerate your garden furniture
With the phrase ‘Make do and mend’ fast becoming the mantra of 2012, an increasing number of people are choosing to upcycle old items of furniture rather than splashing out on new.
PVC and plastic furniture can be deep cleaned and given a face lift by using a good commercial cleaner and then painted with a layer of primer followed by a second layer of exterior paint. Wooden furniture can be sanded down and treated in a similar way, paying special attention to any wobbly legs or loose seats.
Choose paints in soft, pale colours that blend with your indoor colour scheme, and then cover the seats with plump cushions and warm woollen or fleecy blankets, which will be perfect for keeping warm during the cooler evening as well as looking chic and inviting.
If you want to add a touch of vintage glamour to your al-fresco dining area, the addition of some garden bunting is a good choice. It can be made easily and cheaply using offcuts of contrasting fabric. A mixture of spots, stripes and floral prints in contrasting colours looks fantastic.
Simply cut triangles measuring 20cm across by 25cm long using pinking shears. Press a long length of 2.5cm wide white cotton tape in half lengthways then slip the tops of the triangles into the folded tape. Stitch the triangles into place once you are happy with their positioning.
If you get your garden lighting right, your garden will become a glorious, glowing living-room to be enjoyed long after the sun goes down. Different parts of the garden require different lighting systems – keep in mind lighting that will make specific activities easier. For example, brighter lighting is preferential along walkways and entrances, but seating areas will require more subtle ambient lighting.
Paint a pot
Purchase one or two terracotta pots or wooden planters and set to work transforming them with paints. This is something your children will enjoy being involved in, and they will love painting flowers, butterflies or simply adding handprints onto the pots.
Once finished, protect with a layer of weather-proof clear varnish and fill with cheerful daisies or marigolds. Simple, cost effective and fun.
This article was written by Kathrn Thompson, a freelance writer specialising in beautiful home décor on a budget