Written by Lisa Proffitt | 4th August 2020

Lifestyle

Alfresco dining at home - How to make the most of your garden

One of the positives to come out of lockdown is that our gardens have probably never looked so beautiful. The many hours spent planting, watering and pruning mean that buyers who view them now will see them at their glorious best.

How to make the most of your garden

The timing couldn’t be better - along with the increase in demand for properties for sale with a home office, another effect on the housing market post lockdown is that buyers are prioritising outside space.

We’ve all got used to socialising outdoors now, gathered under a gazebo or around a fire pit, and anyone with an outdoor kitchen or pizza oven will really be enjoying the benefit of them this summer. So with an emphasis on space for outside entertaining, what are the top five tips for quickly and easily maximising the value of your garden to enjoy alfresco dining at home? 

  1. Whatever the size of your garden, create an outside dining area and dress it beautifully. If you don’t already have outdoor furniture, buy some. The summer sales are in full swing and you can snap up a bargain. Any investment made now will be worthwhile as buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in your garden, drink in hand, soaking up the last of the evening sun or chatting over a socially-distant dinner with friends. Make it easy for them.
  2. Outdoor dining areas will need more than a few tea lights if they don’t benefit from light streaming from the house. Strings of solar powered lights are a quick and easy solution if you don’t have a handy power point in the garden. Create visual interest and expand the feel of the space by up-lighting trees and focal points in the surrounding garden area.
  3. Pallet furniture. Along with sourdough and banana bread baking, upcycling was all the rage during lockdown and pallet furniture is in vogue. Without even having to wield a screwdriver or hammer you can build a permanent seating area in your garden using standard wooden pallets. Sand them down, paint them in a Scandi grey and add brightly coloured cushions, throws and rugs and you’ll have an outdoor seating area that’s both stylish and comfortable. Choose water-resistant or fully machine-washable textiles so you won’t need to worry about the occasional downpour. Pallet cushions are available to buy off the shelf from some large garden centres and from online retailers like Etsy.
  4. Talking of British weather, consider some outdoor heating for when the sun goes down and the temperature drops. Nothing beats the magical atmosphere that a crackling fire creates and a fire pit is the perfect way to enjoy real flames in your outdoor entertainment area. Chimineas or fire baskets are both great rustic alternatives and may create less smoke, while a gas patio heater is a very practical alternative. Bear in mind that outdoor heating will keep the party going for longer, so choose your guests carefully.
  5. Jazz up existing garden furniture. Tired garden benches can be revitalised by a quick coat of paint and the addition of a couple of cushions and throws. If you have a large garden, guide buyers in the right direction. Make the most of any views by strategically positioning benches and seats so that visitors can fully appreciate what the garden has to offer.

If you need inspiration, why not start by looking at the three Michael Graham homes for sale below, all with great gardens for entertaining.

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