Transforming your home into a staycation retreat
With holidays in many countries still looking uncertain, many may be spending even more time at home this summer. Even with the ban on international travel set to potentially lift in May, it’s not a sure thing, and many summer holiday options are already sold out! Here’s some ideas and inspiration for transforming your home into a staycation retreat.
So, with no beach stays for the foreseeable future, what can you do to make your own outdoor space a treat to spend time in? It may be easier than you think to create your very own attractive al fresco area to while away the summer hours, whether basking in the sun or enjoying the long evenings. With spring now (just about) upon us and good weather hopefully on the horizon, let’s take a look at four outdoor trends we expect to see this year that will help make houses and homes into luxury staycation retreats.
Invest in the outdoors
As the covers come off this spring, we expect homeowners to once again prioritize their outdoor spaces when it comes to home improvements. Summer lockdown in 2020 saw a DIY boom with online sales of garden and home improvement materials tripling, and this year looks set to be no different.
Whether it’s building a new set of planters or digging new flowerbeds, we Brits love to garden – in fact, 42% of us regularly partake in gardening. Working in the fresh air of the garden is well known to reduce stress and boost your mental and physical well being, giving you a renewed sense of purpose and achievement (which we can all agree is much needed this year).
We all now have a golden opportunity to spend more valuable time in the garden, and for many, that will mean rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck into jobs like recoating our deck and repainting the garden furniture.
The natural charm of timber decking
Timber remains the classic choice for outdoor decking, despite advancements in alternative materials, and it can certainly enhance the look of any garden. Choosing the right timber decking to complement your outside space is critical though, and there are some considerations to bear in mind including a budget, maintenance and style.
Wood is warm and beautiful and can give your garden a natural charm that you just can’t achieve with plastic. It is easily cut and shaped to work around your existing garden features and can be stained, treated or colored with a vast range of coatings and textures to suit your look. Installation costs tend to be lower than other materials, and depending on your budget, there are plenty of different options, such as softwoods, hardwoods and modified woods such as Accoya®. When it comes to maintenance, more durable species or modified wood are good options with less regular upkeep required to keep your deck looking pristine all year round. Finally, don’t forget that sourcing environmentally friendly timber decking should always be on your radar, so look for the FSC® certification if in doubt.
Escape to the garden office
There’s no doubt that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we work. Although permanent home working is likely to be gradually replaced by a flexible hybrid office/home model as restrictions ease, there will still be thousands of us tapping away on laptops at home this year. So, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing demand for garden offices soar as workers seek a quiet space outside away from the noise of the house.
Garden offices tend to be entirely separate from the house, fully insulated with heating and built for all weather conditions. Depending on space, they can range in size from a single person room to a fully kitted out office with a built-in kitchen and bathroom. Cheaper than a house extension, garden offices also come with significantly less environmental impact, particularly if built from or clad in sustainable timber.
Get outdoor cooking
A year of stay-at-home restrictions has elevated the need to fully maximize any outdoor space you may have, improving both functionality and aesthetics. According to Google Trends, searches for ‘outdoor kitchen ideas’ have surged by 60% since the start of the year, and they’re a great way to extend your available interior space for alfresco dining with friends and family. If you’re missing that feeling of cooking outside on a barbecue in the early evening sunshine on holiday, this might be one for you.
Outdoor kitchens can be anything from a simple built-in barbecue to a full kitchen with a sink, preparation space and even a fridge. They can be built as a DIY job or made fully custom, but when buying make sure you consider durability just as you would with any outdoor furniture which may come under attack from the weather.
Instead of more vulnerable materials like scaffolding wood, try a kitchen built with Accoya wood or Tricoya MDF board which have both been preserved through a unique acetylation process and will last far longer in wet (and dry) conditions – perfect for an outdoor kitchen that will last for many more summers to come!
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