Design research and inspiration for my garden ‘exterior decorating’ project

As you may have read in my blog post last week, I’m currently working on landscaping my garden. As such, my thoughts have turned to the finishes I want around the exterior of my home. I thought I’d share my research with you today in case you too are working on a garden revamp this year…

planter in a garden

LIGHTING

Firstly, it’s become apparent that we need some lighting in the garden. The rural nature of our home means there’s hardly any light outside at night (unless you count the moon!) so we’ve been struggling to see anything in our garden from about 5pm onwards. We have to get out torches just to find the gate and to avoid tripping up the path when we come home after dark, so we’re definitely going to install some outdoor lighting.

exterior of a home illuminated by an LED outdoor light

I’ve been searching for budget outdoor LED lighting options and found some sensor lights from Lights.co.uk. I prefer the kind of designs that detect motion in the garden with a sensor that turns the light on. It’s not just handy for lighting our way to the door when we return home late, it’s also a handy security measure as it’ll illuminate anyone or anything that comes into the garden. It’s also handy to light up the garden if we want to spend more time outdoors in warmer weather so we’re going to add lights around the patio too. Which leads me nicely on to…

PATIO

We’ve been to-ing and fro-ing about our patio area for a couple of years now and can’t really decide what to do. We’ve got a great space outside the kitchen that’s ideal for a patio area with a lovely picnic table or BBQ space. However, we just can’t decide what surface the patio should be. The garden is sloped, so it would be easier to level it off by building a raise deck. Plus, I think we could make some decking using pallets or offcuts of wood, so it would be a thrifty venture too. That said, I’ve always like the idea of a stone patio but have never really had the budget for it. I’ve seen plenty of gorgeous tessellating stone slabs on Pinterest but can we really stretch to that?

a paved patio

Image by pavingsuperstore on Pinterest

DOORS

We also want to change the front and back doors of the house to make it look a little more contemporary and more in-keeping with the 50s style of the property. I’ve been looking all over the internet to find suitable doors and I spotted some budget one external doors on Wayfair. They’re basic wooden doors that are unpainted and need door ‘furniture’, but I can already imagine how cool they’ll look with a coat of colourful paint – perhaps like this one I found on Pinterest.

Image source

I like the idea of keeping it simple with a single colour that can be used throughout the garden for plant pots, bench cushions and candles. It’s kind of like interior décor but for the exterior of the home instead! I might not go quite as far as the photo above, but it’s a nice idea to add pops of colours (through flowers perhaps) around the garden that can coordinate with the doors.

Do you have any tips for sourcing low-cost paving, decking or external doors? How have you illuminated your garden? Let me know your advice in the comments below so that I can make changes to the garden design before we get too far into the build haha!



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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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