Words by Bronwyn Baines, Interior Designer and studying Architect – We have brought Bronwyn in as a guest blogger for FPL, and are so excited to share her outdoor landscape design ideas each month!
The cosy outdoor nook in the garden is making a comeback and small wonder why. We live in turbulent times, and we tend to turn to nature for soothing, reflection and rest. Anyone who enjoys a private space in their own landscape knows the pleasure of simply connecting with nature amidst the greenery. Whether the greenery consists of potted plants on the patio, a manicured grass patch in city apartments, large areas of planted blooms or vast gum trees on a block of bushland in the Mountains.
What could be more soothing than carving a spot in the garden to enjoy alone, with kids and family or whilst entertaining friends? A secluded garden nook can provide a refreshing space to help you relax, rest and recharge.
Creating a secluded space doesn’t have to be a hard task. A bit of imagination and some practical ideas to help define your space will have you reaping the benefits of the outdoor garden nook in no time – cuppa and book in hand!
Fence Me In
The areas that we entertain and relax outside are where we want to feel the most safe and secluded. Fencing helps to break up space, define functions of the area and provide an overall sense of depth to the zone. Fencing helps to control privacy preferences within your outdoor nook (protection from neighbours, pets or small children).
With a bit of imagination, outdoor seclusion zones can easily be created with a combination of both low and high-level barriers.
A mix of natural materials, textures and colours can work simultaneously together to help define the function of your nook. Whether it be a pruned hedge at knee height defining a small seating area, a vigorously bushy ‘climber’ arbour along a secret pathway, a line of feature rose bushes against an existing fence to define an outdoor nook for reading, or a simple strip of delicately planted flowers leading the eye along the edge of a water feature.
Raise the Roof
When considering the idea of an outdoor entertaining zone, the space overhead is often overlooked. Yet, the overhead space of an outdoor nook is important in defining the activity of the zone, creating an atmosphere and, most importantly, shelter from the elements.
A pergola is a functional solution for the outdoor shelter, providing year-round protection and aesthetic beauty. Hanging blinds for weather protection, flowing transparent material screens and natural aesthetics such as climber plants can be used to soften and blend the zone into the current landscape.
Reclaimed kids’ cubby houses can offer a unique solution for seating shelters or garden houses. Add a simple chair and table, or fill them with colourful hanging pots and fairy lights for a magical play on the senses.
Personal touches such as a favourite cushion, piece of art, candle or warm throw always add comfort to a private space. The layout of existing outdoor furniture, with a few cosy accents, can help to create a specific outdoor entertaining zone once coupled with typically interior elements such as cushy pillows, textured outdoor rugs and warm throws.
Personalising your cosy outdoor nook by choosing colours and fabric styles that replicate your interior space, provide an external extension of the current interior style. Textured rugs are ideal for distinguishing and ‘anchoring’ outdoor living and dining areas.
Consider the overall atmosphere of your space: floor, wall and ceiling spaces, and work to ‘warm’ up each area. The area can be defined further by adding overhead lighting such as lanterns, chandeliers or fairy lights. Always take advantage, and never underestimate the allure of the romantic, ambient light that candles can offer to your personal outdoor space.
We turn to nature for soothing. What we smell is connected to a myriad of current and past emotions, and can be a powerful tool for linking these emotions with our natural environment. Take advantage of the natural, soothing scents your garden can provide by adding these scents to your personal nook.
Potted plants, big and small, are perfect for mixing favourite scents and are easily portable. Popular scented plants include lavender and jasmine, citrus trees, gardenia bushes and strings of wisteria.
Your very own outdoor nook, a personal green oasis, will provide a true connection with your garden and surrounding landscape, allowing a space to comfortably relax and reflect.
With the above ideas and some added imagination, the reality of your own private garden, cosy outdoor nook is just around the corner! Time to grab that cup of tea (or a cheeky glass of wine!)…
“With a lifelong history dabbling in all things creative, I have come to the conclusion that “design” and “living” are one and the same…I’ve always been encouraged to live spherically – in all directions – and my curiosity and interest in all things visual – art/craft/nature/children/photography/family/books/animals/storytelling/cooking/drawing/building/parenting has helped me gain an understanding of how we best utilise space, inside and out, to reflect our own ideal, happy lifestyles” – Bronwyn Baines
Who needs a cosy outdoor nook? Give Luke a call to book your FREE initial consultation, chat about your design ideas and reinvent your outdoor experience today!