During the past couple of years, the regular press conferences and rigid social distancing regulations transformed our lives, our relationships with our homes, and the way that we interacted with people. Thankfully, those restrictions are now a distant memory for most, but there were some great take-aways from the experience which have enriched our lives as a nation.
The many online zoom quizzes, virtual get-togethers and eventual reunions helped us to have a greater appreciation for the homes we live in, allowing us to better focus our energies into upgrading and improving our existing space. As a result, many homeowners have begun to create better facilities for hosting families and friends, making up for lost time away from our loved ones.
Spending on DIY sky-rocketed during the early months of 2020 and a large proportion of this was spent on improving outdoor facilities to enable better facilities for social distanced meetups. Now the lockdowns have ended, this trend has only continued to gain momentum. Here is a collection of popular ways to expand your existing space, to help you to appreciate more of your homes and gardens. Let’s take a look…
One of the top trends throughout lockdown was the installation of garden rooms, to allow families to reunite outdoors without going against the restrictions, or to make working from home easier. Now the lockdowns are over, garden rooms offer a well-ventilated outbuilding for entertaining within your outdoor space, as a perfect extension to your home.
An outdoor room allows you to create a great place to be with friends and family in the summertime. If you are feeling ambitious, why not add a bar for that perfect spot to have a drink in the sun, or accessorise with a gas barbecue, pizza oven or hot tub? An outdoor room can be personalised into any bespoke area to suit your lifestyle. Additionally, they are perfect for the storage of outdoor patio furniture during the winter.
Incorporating a decking area within your garden has been one of the top trends that homeowners have been installing recently. There are many different options for decking boards, including timber, aluminium, and composite. Composite decking experts report that they have seen a year-on-year increase in sales over the past 5 years, as many homeowners have decided to choose a composite deck over the alternatives that will last them for years to come.
The benefits of using composite decking for your outdoor space is that it is relatively low maintenance and long lasting, making it easier to enjoy your garden space without much fuss. This easy clean quality helps homeowners to appreciate their garden more, rather than spending their time labouring and straining to make their decking boards spotless. Composite also offers a child-friendly, splinter-free alternative to timber, and is slip-resistant, making it ideal to surround hot tubs, swimming pools and paddling pools alike.
Summerhouses, much like outdoor rooms, have become a regular sight in larger British gardens. The perfect installation for your outdoor space, a summerhouse provides you with an area for entertaining friends and family for that much needed catch up. To give your summerhouse a homely feel, you can surround it with flowerbeds, hanging baskets and colourful planters. Get creative: Don’t feel obliged to stick with the standard brown wood stain treatment. Instead, you can paint on some colour to add a bit of life to your space. More neutral, understated colours help to convey a more natural look.
Summerhouses don’t have to be flashy or expensive purchases, as seen in premium outdoor living catalogues, renovation TV shows, or on influencer’s social media profiles. Instead, simply adding some pretty curtains, shabby chic furniture, soft furnishings, or a lick of paint can add a rustic charm to an existing garden shed, turning it into a premium, eye-catching summerhouse. Lockdown has not only made us appreciate our own space more but see the existing possibilities for homes and gardens we already have.
Many have taken to exercising and getting fit at home, seeing the financial benefit when compared to paying membership at a gym. To store all the equipment, lots of people have chosen to create home gyms, exploiting any space in their houses, such as an unused garage or spare room. Many have even converted their garages with a little vinyl flooring, cladded walls, and spot lighting to create that luxury home gym aesthetic.
However, home gyms can be incredibly simple, with many making do with just a bench and a set of dumb bells placed on the concrete floor, and populating the space with second hand gym equipment, such as rowing or running machines.
Another trend to continue since lockdown is the renewed demand for a conservatory. Extremely popular in the early 90’s, they have seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to improved technologies and the additional option of a tiled roof. Like outdoor rooms and summerhouses, the conservatory offered a perfect space for working from home during the lockdowns. Now the world has regained a semblance of normality, many homeowners are being extremely creative with how they use their new conservatory spaces.
A popular design for conservatories on social media has seen them adopt a neo-industrial theme with copper fixtures and bulkheads. In keeping with this aesthetic, Edison bulbs are proving enormously popular as alternative lighting. Similarly, incorporating interesting furniture for dining or relaxing and unusual décor finds from quirky junk shops helps to create a cosy, individualistic, unique space for entertaining.
To conclude, lockdown introduced more ingenuity and creativity regarding maximising the most out of our own private spaces. The demands of home working and home educating created a need for more room in both indoor and outdoor areas. Outdoor rooms and summerhouses especially helped to make a more secluded escape from your home, turning the garden into more of an extension of your living space. Decking areas further blur the lines of this separation between home and garden, whereas conservatories and home gyms have created new ways for us to enjoy the inside of our houses. Since the lockdown has ended, these extensions and improvements have instead been used for more leisurely activities, helping us to better appreciate the space that we have.