home garden & outdoor

How To: Create a Garden Room on a Budget

Slowly, slowly the days are getting longer and the weather’s getting warmer. We’re firmly stepping out the other side of winter, and while there may still be cold spells ahead, summer is on the far horizon! With a few months to go, now’s the perfect time to be thinking about how you can prepare your home and garden for the summer season.

Whether you enjoy hosting get-togethers or simply want a relaxing outdoor space where you can unwind after a busy day; a garden room is a perfect way to finish your backyard - and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Whether you plan to purpose-build a wooden frame shell or simply furnish a patio or terrace area, you can make your garden a place of calm and joy without breaking the bank.

Read on for our 7 top tips on how to build a charming and practical garden room on a budget.

1. Design Your Space

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Before you whip out your credit cards and start shopping, the first step is to take a look at the bare bones of your garden room and decide how you want to use the space. Is it purely for entertaining? Will it only be a summer room? Do you want it to double up as a home office?

How often do you want to use it? Must it be cosy or weatherproof?

There are so many factors to consider, so if you’re on a tight budget, having a clear plan can help you narrow down which are the most important products to buy.

Rooms to be used all year round will benefit from soft furnishings (and a space to store them!) while combination spaces used for multiple purposes will require adaptable furniture. If you’re planning on entertaining then units on which to prepare food or drinks might come in handy.

2. Invest in the Staples

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Whatever the intended purpose of your garden room, then chances are you’ll want at the very least somewhere to sit and a surface to eat off. You can choose a pre-existing garden set, but we love the Bohemian feel of a table and mix-and-match chairs.

Browse our range of garden tables and choose a piece you love, then create a charming, quirky style by finishing it with mismatched chairs or benches that you can collect from all sorts of different places; local charity shops, family donations and Facebook marketplace are all fantastic places to source pre-loved items.

Or, for something less formal, our range of garden sofas includes cosy, comfortable seating options. The Honolulu rope and acacia corner sofa is the perfect mixture between contemporary and archaic due to the contrast of materials used to create the design.  

3. Create an Ambiance
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Outdoor lighting is one of the most important aspects of a garden room, it can make the difference between a dark, unfriendly space and a bright, welcoming place to hang out. Choose lighting that can be flexible - those with sensor capabilities are great. Pick a steel shade to compliment brick for that industrial look. 

We love classic fairy lights to add a magical touch - or why not adapt yours by adding faux leaves or flowers for a garden twist? Another way you can add to the ambience of a garden room is through texture and colour. Stick to natural materials, such as the acacia dessert trolley when it comes to furniture for a calm, relaxing and sophisticated space. Just add a rich colour pop using vibrant shades and shapes, such as this traditional South American flavour, for a room that’s wonderfully charming and original. 
“We went down into the silent garden. Dawn is the time when nothing breathes, the hour of silence. Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.” ― Leonora Carrington

4. Prepare for All Weathers

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Here in the UK we always need to be prepared for whatever the weather throws at us. Even if your garden room is planned for summer use only, investing in an outdoor heat source is probably a wise choice so you can enjoy those long, light evenings in warmth and comfort. The Umlo outdoor fire pit in earthy terracotta will sit well with rough textures outdoors, such as slate patios and trees. 

Plus, if your room is for year-round use you’ll never find yourself shivering. While it happens less often than most of us would like, the weather in the summer can get extremely hot, so investing in adjustable parasols with LED lighting or sun shades is an easy and affordable way to create a ‘room’ feeling if your garden space is roofless. 

5. Add Plenty of Greenery

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Ok, ok, so this one might seem like a given (the clue’s in the title; ‘garden room’) but many garden spaces can end up feeling a bit devoid of nature if you’re not careful. Wooden structures with bare, raw walls can feel like vast expanses but look fantastic when decorated with natural touches.

Similarly, patio areas will always benefit from potted plants, flowers, herbs and even raised vegetable beds to add focal touches. If you aren’t green-fingered, or you want your garden room to look green all year round, choosing artificial plants and decadent dried florals is an excellent and affordable alternative.

6. Enjoy the Finishing Touches

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So, your furniture is in, the lights are up, the plants are settled and you have heat and shade ready to go whatever the weather. Now it’s time to add those all-important finishing touches. Whether it’s a woven straw artwork to adorn the walls, throws and pillows to create cosy nooks for reading or relaxation, lanterns or even candles. There’s always space to add in personal touches to build your very own piece of paradise.

Why not add a few shelves for your favourite books - you can also decorate them with photo frames or keepsakes. The scent is also a big part of a garden room, in the summer planting flowers with beautiful perfume near the entrance is a great way to have your space fragranced. Use scented candles or outdoor diffusers to either reminisce about the smells of summer or indulge in a rich, wintery perfume to embrace the long nights.

7. Celebrate in Style

Followed our first six steps? Congratulations, you now have a garden room that’s ready to celebrate! Housewarming parties can be for garden spaces too - it’s time to get together your friends and family for a gathering to show off your new space.

Finding a place for a BBQ grill is a great way to collect everyone together, and investing in a drinks trolley or mobile cart helps create a party atmosphere while offering a practical way to serve your guests (or let them serve themselves!) Kick back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

Browse our garden collection and create a zen space, fit for any weather. If you're looking for more outdoorsy-inspiration, take a look at our blog on how to bring the outside-in trend into your home!
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