As the weather gets warmer, days turn longer and we move into Spring, many of us look forward to spending more time outside.
Over the last year, more and more people are realising the importance of gardens and outside space.
As part of our series #newhomechallenge which celebrates all that is great about owning a new build home, we teamed up with Instagram influencer and Dukeswood resident, Jen Stewart (@lifewithjen_) to share how she’s made the most of her garden space – just in time for Spring!
During the last lockdown, after her summer holiday plans to Jamaican were cancelled, Jen decided to reinvest her holiday savings into her own summer project - her garden.
Carefully planning how she wanted to use the space, Jen decided on a selection of features she wanted to add to make the most of the outdoor space that came as standard with her Dukeswood home.
She added a hot tub, barbeque, outdoor furniture and repainted her fencing to turn her outside area into the perfect summer staycation destination.
A garden for all seasons
Jen said: “Something that was important for us was making sure our garden was a space for all year round, not just the couple of weeks of sun we get in summer!
“We wanted to do this by making it more comfortable and homely, so it felt like an extension of our home, instead of an outside space you didn’t want to use when it gets cold.
“As the UK weather is so unpredictable, we bought a gazebo to go over our hot tub. We got our one from Garden Oasis and it cost £646.99. It is made from a good quality fabric with curtains for doors so makes it a lot warmer when the wind comes in at night!
“We wanted to make sure the gazebo really stood up against the elements as it will protect the hot tub, but I would say for anyone looking for a gazebo to use for things like drinks in the garden, there are lower cost ones out there from places like The Range, Wayfair and Homebase.”
A splash of colour…
“We love colour and in anticipation of the warmer months, we’ve opted for a yellow colour theme to really brighten up our outdoor seating. We found eBay was great for reasonably priced soft furnishings like the rug (£16) and cushions which came to £18 for all the covers and inserts. We also got some yellow artificial plants from B&M (£25 each) to match the colour scheme.
“As an extension to our great lawn, we decided to add a foliage wall to our garden. This looks great and provides a stylish backdrop for Instagramming, and because the foliage is not actually real, it is really easy to maintain.”
The perfect sunset spot…
“By adding a few different kinds of lights, we can enjoy our garden at night as well as in the daytime.
“We have added fairy lights on our foliage wall and gazebo, as well as floor lights from the backdoor all the way to the decking area (where the outside furniture is) and hot tub. This illuminates the whole garden so we can really enjoy it late into the night.
“My favourite feature is our amazing pink neon ‘Love’ sign from eBay (£15) which we’ve placed above our seating area to really add a WOW-factor to the garden. It is great fun and cannot wait to have my family and friends round when we can to really make the most of the space!”
Jen’s Dukeswood is a four-bedroom detached home which features an attractive living room, kitchen/dining/family room and upstairs with four spacious bedrooms, family bathroom and two en-suites in the master and guest bedrooms.
Because of the Dukeswood’s kitchen/dining area which stretches the full width of the house, the large, private enclosed garden provides a perfect backdrop from through the stylish French doors.