Sun 12 Jun 2016
Be prepared for a typical British summer, enjoy outdoor living even when the sun’s not shining.
Check out Houzz’s design tips to add shelter and warmth to your terrace, so you can enjoy alfresco evenings whatever the weather:
Grow a green canopy
Use foliage to form a natural shelter from wind and rain. The easiest way to do this is to erect an arbour for plants to grow up. Most large DIY stores sell ready-made versions. Plant some climbers around it, such as vines or sweet-smelling jasmine. Be patient, and eventually you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful space dappled with sunlight that will double up as a shelter on cooler evenings.
Cover all your bases
Use fences and hedging to provide shelter from all angles. This decked terrace is surrounded by hedges and shrubs, as well as a wooden fence. It feels like a warm, inviting nook that can be enjoyed even if there’s a sharp breeze. Hint: choose scented shrubs, such as the rosemary to make it even more inviting.s
Warm up by the fire
Fire pits have transformed our gardens in recent years, giving us the opportunity to stay warm and snuggly on chilly evenings.
Put up an umbrella
Garden parasols are a great option for adding shade in strong sunlight, but they also provide an easy way to keep the rain off. Opt for an overhanging model, as it will give you more flexibility. You can move it to different areas of the patio and swivel its canopy according to your needs.
Create an instant chill-out zone
Can’t face buying garden furniture only to never use it? How about some comfy floor cushions instead? Choose ones in bright fabric to give them an exotic feel and put them somewhere indoors to create a relaxing den. As soon as the sun comes out, you can move your cushions on to the terrace for an instant entertaining space or a perfect spot to unwind and relax on a balmy summer evening.
Construct a garden room
Still not convinced your patio will provide enough cover? It might be worth considering a summerhouse. It doesn’t have to be a large construction, just big enough for a couple of chairs and a table. Add some lighting to give it a really cosy feel, and run inside when the weather turns bad.
Raise the roof
Create a room outdoors with a patio roof or canopy. There are various options, depending on your budget. You could splash out on a specialist company that will attach a retractable glass version, which uses electronic sensors to open and close.
For a simpler, more cost-effective alternative, you can buy a polycarbonate model. Some companies even offer a DIY kit with instructions, so you can erect it yourself.
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