Posts Tagged ‘Design Tips’

It’s time to refresh your garden furniture

0 Written by Lisa on 21st Apr 2017 in Design Tips, Garden accessories

After a few weeks of dry, sunny days, I can safely say that the world has woken up and started to think about their gardens again.  It’s funny how we “park” all the jobs outside over the winter months, even if we didn’t really intend to.

One of the things I was reminded of when we sat outside last weekend is that our garden furniture is really on its last legs.  But it’s lasted 12 years so I don’t think it’s done too badly considering.

The furniture you choose for the garden can really change the way it looks and feels and there are so many options to choose from now that you’re almost spoiled for choice.

One thing I am clear about is that garden furniture should be on show at all times of the year. Sure, put your cushions away when you’re not sitting out, but it’s important that your terrace has a sense of purpose, even on rainy and wintry days.

I understand that it’s important to preserve your furniture for as long as you can, but you have to remember that it’s made to be outdoors and will be pretty robust. Timber furniture may need a bit of TLC every now and again, but if you buy a decent hardwood set then it will last for years without treatment.

One of my bug bears (up there with leaving the rotary washing line in the middle of the lawn!) is covering the furniture with tarpaulin over the winter – who wants to look out of the window and see a big green lump on their terrace. You need to see the essence of the garden all year round otherwise you just won’t want to venture out in the winter at all.

Essentially your garden furniture acts as a focal point. It entices you outside and makes you want to venture out into the garden. A bench at the end of the path or under a tree may rarely be sat upon, but if it draws you outside then it’s absolutely done its job.

What furniture you choose will obviously come down to personal style and the size of the garden. Remember if you’re choosing a table and chairs set for dining that you need to allow 1.5m around the table so that you have enough room to navigate around the terrace when people are sitting there.

If you’ve got a really small garden, but still want to entertain large numbers, think about a flexible arrangement of furniture. For example, if you regularly need to seat 4 people, but occasionally 8, then why not have two smaller tables which can be moved around. Extending tables are also available so this can be useful.

More and more I work with clients who have opened up the back of the house with bi-fold doors or lots of glass and often the dining table is positioned just inside them. When the doors are open, it feels as though you’re sitting outside anyway so it can make more sense to choose some more comfortable seating for the terrace.

The key really is to think about how you’d like to feel when you’re sitting outside. A simple wooden bench against the house wall could be all you need to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning sunshine, but if you want to sit out and read a book for a few hours on a Sunday afternoon then you’ll probably want to feel a lot more comfortable, much as you would if you were spending time indoors.


(Images: Lisa Cox, Oxenwood)


5 design tips for new lawns

0 Written by Lisa on 24th Oct 2011 in Design Tips

Most people in the UK, especially if they have young children in the family, would consider a lawn to be an essential element to be included within the design of their garden.  Lawns aren’t considered to be a low-maintenance element of the garden, after all they need to be attended to at least once a week in the summer, but they are a quintessential part of the English garden. Read more

Making the most of ugly corners

2 Written by Lisa on 28th Sep 2011 in Design Tips, From the drawing board

As you know, I’ve just spent the last 6 days planting up the project near Woking.  It’s all coming together now and I’ll be meeting with the client and landscaper later this week to sign everything off.  When I was designing the garden, one of the considerations was an area near the garden shed as it could been seen from the lounge window and was really unattractive… Read more

Designing Your Own Garden: Working up the design

0 Written by Lisa on 14th Sep 2011 in Design Tips

If you’ve been reading my recent blog series about designing your own garden hopefully by now you’ll be feeling much better equipped to take the brief, survey and analyse your site and start work on a concept design.  Once you have a sketchy conceptual idea and the design of your new garden is really starting to take shape, it’s time to start thinking about the details. Read more

Designing Your Own Garden: Creating the design

0 Written by Lisa on 9th Sep 2011 in Design Tips

So, you’ve carried out and drawn up the survey of your garden and analysed the site.  You’ve also made a note of your own brief – what you want to include, how you want to feel when you step out into the garden and you’ve got a good idea about your personal style and how this will be applied to the garden. Read more

Designing Your Own Garden: Surveying & analysing the site

0 Written by Lisa on 7th Sep 2011 in Design Tips

Hopefully you saw my post last week about taking the brief and you’re now ready to get started with the design.  Before you can put pencil to paper you need to spend some time looking at the site so that you know its possibilities and constraints. Read more

Designing Your Own Garden: The planning stage – taking the brief

0 Written by Lisa on 31st Aug 2011 in Design Tips

Last week I met with a new client to take the brief for their garden project.  They are having building work done on the house and the front and back gardens will need to be modified so that they work with the new configuration of the house when it’s finished. Read more

New Terrace? Which Paving?

6 Written by Lisa on 26th Aug 2011 in Design Tips

I’ve written before about designing yourself a gorgeous terrace, when I gave you some tips to help you to get the most from your entertaining space. But what about the finer details? How do you make sure they’re right too?  What material you use on the terrace will of course affect the whole look and feel of the space so I thought it would be helpful to give you a few tips about choosing which to use. Read more

How much does a garden cost?

0 Written by Lisa on 10th Aug 2011 in Design Tips

Most clients I see don’t normally have a budget figure in mind for the garden, mostly because they just don’t know how much they need to be spending but also, I think, because they don’t view the garden in the same way as they would a house building project. Read more

Thoughts About Chelsea Flower Show for the Surrey Advertiser

0 Written by Lisa on 13th Jul 2011 in Design Tips, Inspiration

When I was recently invited to Loseley Park for a special tour I met Rebecca Younger, Features Editor for the Surrey Advertiser.  We got talking about the Chelsea Flower Show and she asked me if I would like to contribute to the next House and Garden Supplement with my views about Chelsea and how the readers might be able to recreate some of the design ideas in their own gardens. Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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