A Garden Room – bringing the inside out

garden design

A Garden Room

The idea of a garden room an is very much á la mode in garden design. Bringing the inside out and creating  a garden room has become a growing trend as more and more people want to utilise their garden as an extension to their house interior. In order to get the look there are a few must haves:


This should be generous and luxurious. Dress your seating area with outdoor cushions to make it as inviting as possible. Integrated seating should be as deep as possible to allow the user to lounge around, or even lay down if desired. It is worth oversizing this area of the garden of you can spare the space.


Adding a heat source will extend the usability of the garden past sunset and in cooler months. Gas heaters are convenient but have a high negative environmental impact. Infra red heaters are more efficient – they only heat objects (and you) rather than the air around them – so have less impact , although they still consume a fairly large amount of energy. I prefer a real fire every time and a brazier works a treat in an outdoor room setting, providing a focal point and speaking to the primeval instinct in us all!


Be bold with your choice of materials. Break up decking with pebbles or stone. Use creeping plants, sedums or alpines on the less trodden areas of the space. Place contrasting textures adjacent to each other to add interest, for example smooth cobbles with riven paving. Using shiny surfaces will add glamour and luxury. Mix up the textures and materials to energise the space and hold the users interest. Accessorise with decorative ornaments as you would an interior – vases, statues and lanterns all work well in a garden.


Adding screening helps break up the space and can actually make the garden feel much bigger. It allows you to define areas and hide away unsightly utility areas. Screens become the ‘walls’ of your outdoor room, adding height and personality. They also increase privacy and make the enclosed space more intimate and personal. A pergola can be used to support a sail or canopy to make the space even more secluded.


Scale is the game changer here. Use big leafy specimens such as Dicksonia Antarctica and under-plant with evergreen grass or leafy heucheras to make a statement. Plant in pots to re-inforce the garden room theme and repeat formal patterns to give your design a structured feel.