Our Garden Renovation
(AD- I am a VELUX ambassador and will be chatting about VELUX later in the post)
I’ve been excited to share our garden renovation and makeover. But first let’s go back to the beginning. Our children would be outdoors all day long if they could. They have been known to go outside and play football in the garden before school in the morning, and will be back out there straight away when they come home. Therefore our garden was a really big priority to us when it came to doing our house renovations. We started work on it in October 2018 and this summer we pretty much completed it, bar a few decorative bits and bobs like plant pots which can wait until next year.
What we wanted from our garden
We had quite a lot of requirements when it came to our garden. The main thing is that we wanted to create a space that was family friendly, where our children could play and have fun. But we also wanted to create a modern space that was minimal and easy to look after- Jon and I aren’t particularly green fingered, so we wanted our garden to be easy to maintain. We also wanted it to be a sociable space where we could host BBQ’s for family and friends (on the three days of the year where the weather in the UK is nice!).
We knew that we wanted artificial grass. We had it in our last house and it was one of the best things we did renovation wise. While it’s not for everyone and I know that people either love it or hate it, for us it is a must have with three children who play football 365 days a year. We just find it so practical, obviously it is easy to maintain, in fact there is no maintenance apart from the occasional brush, and it just means our grass isn’t constantly worn away and muddy, and our children aren’t bringing mud and grass into the house every day.
We really wanted the garden to feel like another room in the house. We wanted it to feel like a space that we wanted to spend a lot of time in. Jon and I both work from home in our garden office and therefore we spend a lot of time looking out into the garden. We wanted it to feel welcoming, cool and stylish.
Our conservatory extension
The first big project we did when we bought our home was our conservatory extension. It’s still very much the hub of our home and where we spend 90% of our time when we are downstairs. We had a vision for the room when we were planning it- that it would be bright, full of natural light and modern with lots of glass, and I think we have definitely achieved that. By using VELUX roof windows, bifold doors and lots of floor to ceiling glass windows, we have created a stylish and modern family space that has completely transformed our home.
Our extension really feels like we are letting the outside in and the inside out as well. In the summer time we can open up all the doors and the extension can sort of flow out in the garden. We open up the VELUX roof windows and let so much air flow through our home. But likewise on the dreariest and grey day all the glass from the roof windows and the doors, means that the room lets in as much natural light as possible. It is always bright, even when the weather isn’t brilliant.
We therefore wanted our garden to feel very much like an extension of our conservatory, where it would feel like it would flow together nicely.
The Garden Before
So this was our garden previously, after we had built our conservatory extension but before we had done anything else to it, bar renovating our garden office that the previous owners had built but not finished. As you can see it was pretty plain and inoffensive, but as I mentioned above we aren’t green fingers and we really wanted a modern space that would be more practical for the kids running around and playing.
I look at these photos and it doesn’t even feel like the same garden. It isn’t the biggest garden in the world, but the perfect size for us and I just knew we would be able to create something low maintenance and stylish in this blank canvas.
The Garden After
And this is it! This is a view of our newly finished garden when standing in our extension and looking out. I think we have definitely achieved what we wanted to in regards to making the two rooms flow together nicely. With the glass and VELUX windows in our extension, combined with the modern garden, I think it really feels like we are bringing the outside in and the inside out- the garden feels very much like another room in our house.
Work started on our garden in October 2018 when we had the artificial grass laid and also put down decking too. I can’t explain how much we love the grass and it now means that the children can go outside and play come rain or shine, it is just so practical. We went for a composite decking, rather than a tradition wood decking as we had heard that it was easier to maintain and you didn’t need to treat it like you do with wood. So far so good, we really like it- the only thing is it does show quite a lot of marks and scuffs. Jon just has to keep reminding me it’s an order space and is never going to look perfect.
The initial ground work to get the garden ready and flat to lay the artificial grass and the decking was probably the hardest part of the whole garden project. We got a local company in to do this as it involved a fair bit of work- they used a digger to remove most of the debris from the existing garden and then used another machine to make the ground flat, before sanding it ahead of the artificial grass.
I had so much fun designing our garden. I chose a lovely wooden table for our decking from Maisons du Monde, combined with mismatched chairs from made.com (they are sold out I think). This outdoor rug gets lots of questions over on instagram, it’s a sort of plastic material meaning it can be left outside in bad weather- however I think will take it in over winter.
It’s become such an entertaining garden and we have enjoyed some lovely BBQ’s over the warmer weather. I love how everyone can just mingle between the extension and the garden with ease.
My mum actually bought me this hanging chair as a present, I love it and have always wanted one. It’s in the perfect spot for it there on our decking as it gets the sun pretty much all day until late afternoon. I have spent many a weekend sitting here reading my book while the kids play on the grass.
Jon built the railway sleepers in our last house and did such a good job that I knew I wanted the same thing here. I think they add such a minimal but stylish touch to a garden. We filled it with modern, easy maintenance plants and slate that matches the slate stones around our garden and patio edges.
We lay some grey patio stones and added a corner sofa from made.com to this back corner of our garden. It’s a great space as it actually gets some shade in the early afternoon, whereas the rest of the garden is a bit of a sun trap.
Overall we are thrilled with our new space. It was something we did gradually month by month, but now it is finished I look back at the old photos and can’t believe it is the same garden. It compliments our conservatory extension perfectly and is such a great space for our family of five.
Check out all my interior and renovation posts here.
Check out my first VELUX post here.
Check out my second VELUX post here.
I am a VELUX ambassador over the course of the year where I am creating a number of different posts across my social media chatting all about VELUX roof windows and how they have transformed our home. All opinions and content is entirely my own.