MOVE INTO OUTER SPACE
Afew short years ago the term ‘outdoor room’ was just market speak for having the nicest plastic BBQ suite on a few concrete pavers, under a wilting brolly.
However, fully-weatherproofed indoor/outside seating, fabrics, real flooring and even decorative ambient lighting, is now being realised in Irish gardens.
We’re simply not going to be intimidated by our erratic, changeable, if mild climate. Now, portable products closely matching interior pieces and intended to slough off drizzle with quality, are all over the place.
Kya de Longchamps suggests creating a whole new, comfortable living space in the great outdoors
How far you want to run away down the garden with this is up to you. The standalone home studio or garden room presents a variety of gorgeous, high-spec additions to the home.
Also hot are contemporary cubes (popular as independent offices), rustic shepherd huts, old caravans, and upcycled containers and polypropylene igloos — the choice is huge.
If the budget is tight and your garden modest, a gazebo framed in dedicated box hedging, perennial flowers and flanked by container planting is an economic, elegant prospect.
The notion of an outdoor room started in Australia and no one does it better. No matter where you live, the aspect and wind direction of the site will influence where you can best enjoy the outside spaces.
This property has two decks, one sheltered from the north-east wind and the other sheltered from the south-west.
Picture: Sam Zaher Architects (AUS)
Style matched to bold modern lines is more or less what the Me Pad offers to those looking for an office or summer house in the back garden.
Irish firm Shomera says the Me Pad comes in three distinct styles with left and right orientation. With the new expanded range, there are ten sizes available. Other options include the terrace, separate storage area and WC/ shower room. Prices range from €13,000 and go as high as €40,000 for the largest size with small kitchenette. Shomera.ie.
ABOVE: The Senri-Sentei Garden Garage designed by Kazuyuki Ishihara at Chelsea Flower Show last year, shows how imagination, horticulure and a little metalwork can transform a small garden into a lush, green paradise — even with a car.
BELOW: Turkish designer Cagla Alemdar experimented with various materials and designs for her Garden Igloo. Her aim was to create a convertible, year-round greenhouse which looked fabulous. The geodesic design and materials proved to be best for optimal temperature and resilience in all weather conditions. €811 Cuckooland.com.
LEFT: : Oversized outdoor lighting in singles or multiples create gorgeous features after dark all over the garden. These Kanpazar lights by B.Lux mimic glowing poplar trees and can be used on paths, patios or to flank your entrance doors or to light a terrace. Wire them underground to retain their magic. Available in 80150 cm from €681.42 inc Vat for the 80 cm version from williedugganlighting.com.
ABOVE: Sliding doors open directly from the kitchen to the patio here, allowing spontaneity in changeable weather. Food can be cooked in the handmade pizza oven / BBQ and eaten indoors, if rain spoils play. A split-level garden solution for family life.
Engineered to look good all year round, Neptune offers this all-weather willow Tuscany armchair (€410) and Bordeaux rectangular table for summer dining from €1,720 If you want your boards to silver, don’t stain or paint them, just treat the timber with a good weather resistant oil and leave to fade out. neptune.com
Create a new dining space in a corner outside of the living room and decorate with natural, summer colours and fresh linens to create that south of France feel. Accessories all Laura Ashley. BELOW: Indoor/outdoor rugs are a must-have as the doors are thrown open to the warming weather. Drag them to the conservatory or right out out onto the patio, for stolen spring lunches. Samode rug in coral and white from €46, dashandalberteurope.com