Things to consider when planning your ideal outdoor living space

Garden design planning kent sussex

September 16, 2019

Top things to consider when planning your ideal outdoor living space

Designing gardens is about providing a get-away space. It’s an aspiration people normally have after turning their house into their ideal home, but once you get to the stage of planning your outdoor space, things are a bit different. Your garden isn’t just a day-to-day living space, it’s somewhere to escape to, in which you can ultimately relax. That’s why it’s so important to plan your garden with functionality in mind before starting the building work of your garden design.

Thinking about how you use your garden

When you sit in your home looking outdoors into the calm and tranquillity of your garden thinking about how best to utilise the space you have, it can be quite common to have visions of a patio area, a nice lawn and some simple garden furniture. But if you really want to explore the different ways you can use your outdoor space and assess all the available options, you need to think “What is my need?”.

At Dewlands Garden Design, we take a practical approach when it comes to this side of the planning process. We take an interest in your lives; firstly, it’s about finding out who exactly the garden is being designed for, whether you have pets or children and what ages they might be. Then it’s about understanding your passions, interests and hobbies. Maybe you enjoy playing family games, hide and seek, exploring and messing about. Or maybe you enjoy the peace and quiet of your garden and like nothing more than to relax with a good book or set up your easel and paint a masterpiece.

Garden features to consider in your plan

Even if your garden’s small, you can fit plenty of things in it that you’ll use throughout the year. Remember to think about what your interests are and what you enjoy doing day to day, planning what you want to include in your garden design to match your interests. Here are some ideas:

  • Cooking area: One feature that is becoming more and more common in modern gardens is an outdoor cooking area. Whereas before, families would want a nice place set aside for a BBQ, now you might want an outdoor kitchen complete with a fridge-freezer or pizza oven.
  • Outdoor games: If your family has a competitive edge, you might want to think about including garden games into your plan. If your budget allows, a tennis court, swimming pool or freshwater swimming pond might tempt you, or you might like to stick to the classics: a croquet lawn, giant Jenga or giant chess.
  • Pergola: If you just enjoy relaxing, a pergola might be the best thing for you. During the summer, your garden can be the most glorious place to sit and enjoy the sunshine. But if we experience a heatwave, then you’re going to want to a bit of shade. And in the colder months when the heavens open, why not sit under the pergola with a blanket, cup of tea and a book – cosy!
  • Bar: If you consider yourself a gin or whisky connoisseur, why not invest in a place to enjoy your favourite spirits outdoors? Garden bars can look stunning and provide a focus for weekend nights al fresco in the summer – particularly underneath your pergola!

Sensible budgeting

Understanding how your garden will be used is the first step to creating a garden plan, but to balance it out, you need to think about your budget. As a rule of thumb, a lot of property owners keep their budget between five and ten percent of the property value. That sort of figure, however, may be beyond some clients’ comfort zones – see our blog on not breaking the bank and flexible solutions. When we visit a property, we get a sense of its potential as we walk around. It’s not about setting an immediate budget constraint, but about thinking sensibly about what can be achieved for the budget available and what will add the most value for you and your home. Then we’ll consider how we approach your garden project to bring your personal goals to fruition.

Thinking about your garden design as an investment

When designing a garden, there can be lots of things we’d love to do, but ideas have to be realistic. We encourage you to invest prudently in your most treasured asset; if it’s the right investment, then the value will be transferred when you come to move.

If you are investing in professional garden design purely to improve the value of your property, your aim is to build cost effectively to create something beautiful that will hold value for the next buyer. If you’re creating a living space that you and your family can spend time in,  you’ll want to invest the right amount of money into the project, so that it gives you all the things you want. Then, in years to come when the kids have grown up and you think about moving, the next buyer will think “Wow! What a lovely garden!”  Sometimes, though, the garden design is purely for the pleasure of the homeowner; in these cases our motivation is to design something special that you’ll want to enjoy for the rest of your life.

When you come to plan your ideal outdoor living space, it’s about balancing budget with practicality. Enlisting the help and expertise of a professional garden designer is a great way to help you achieve your garden dreams and plan your garden effectively.

To discuss how our garden designs can add value to your home

call 01892 577371 

or send us an email using our online form. 

Based in Crowborough, Sussex, Dewlands offers garden design and maintenance services across:  

Kent: Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, Kings Hill  

Sussex: Crawley, East Grinstead, Lewes, Battle, Hailsham in Sussex  

Surrey: Redhill and Oxted in Surrey.   

You can read a more comprehensive list of the area we cover here.
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