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Through The Looking Glass; Top Tips for Creating a Serine Outside Space

Summertime… a time when all you want to do is kick off your shoes and find a quiet, meditative and peaceful outside space to relax.  A place to unwind and forget about the stresses of everyday life.  A little sanctuary, bringing you closer to nature, promoting calmness and a positive aura.  Being outside can decrease stress levels, increase your confidence, and elevate your mood.  How can you create this ZEN space?

What Style?

Create a space, which flows with the interior of your home,  you could include the same colours used within the interior.  Ask yourself, what materials will help you connect with nature, creating that calming environment, promoting your mental and physical wellbeing?  What kind of landscaping do you want to include, decking, gravel, paving.  consider colours and styles that flow throughout the space.  What plants will complement the design?  Greenery has a positive effect on your mental health and wellbeing, easing the effects of stress and making us feel content. Choose plants, which will complement your design.  Embrace nature and its calming influence.

How to Create your Zen Space

Whether you live in an apartment or house, you can create that zen space.  For instance, privacy is so important to us all, especially if you live in an apartment block.  There are many options to enhance privacy including grass, bamboo and reed screens.  When designing your garden think practically, will it seat all family and friends you want to entertain?  How do you want to use the space?  Do you want to create sections within the garden to fulfil everyone’s needs who will be using the space?  In a recent garden design I completed, I divided the garden into three sections, each flowing from one to the other.  This included an area for dining (seating 8-10 people) with built in raised flower beds.  A built-in U-shape seating area, comprising decking, fire pit, ornate planters and a space to do yoga. Lastly a space for the client’s teenage children to chill out, which included a small room.

Reserved – Table for 2?

Select table, chairs, and sunbeds made from sustainable materials.  For instance, wood and rattan.  This will add style and intrigue to the design.  However, consider how the furniture you select flows with the overall design of the space.  If you have a small balcony you can use recycled pallets to create furniture, a great sustainable approach.  Why furniture?  You could create an outside seating area, including a sofa, using cushions, accompanied with a low-level table.   All options will help to create that ultimate space for chilling out and relaxing.  For those with the available space, why not include a spa?  Don’t forget to include some shade, perfect for lounging around under during those hot summer days.  This can be achieved by Including a pergola, made from sustainable and humane materials.  There are a number of different styles available, eg pergolas covered in foliage or draped with waterproof fabrics.  This will also protect you from any sudden changes in weather, allowing you to enjoy your outside space even if it is raining.


Ask yourself what works with the space?  Adding ornate planters, statues, (for instance Buddha’s), and free flowing water features, will help create that serine and meditative space.  However, if you are like me and have a loveable hound who loves water, a water feature may become their new playground.  Ornaments and planters can add character and charm, personalising this space to you.  However, too many could make the space look too busy and not aesthetically pleasing.  Consider a space which is minimalistic, this may enhance your relaxation and enjoyment of the space.  Include cushions and throws to soften the design, making it a cosy place to retreat to.  Select soft furnishings, which will promote your health, made from sustainable and vegan friendly materials.

Add a Touch of Magic

Why not add a chandelier or two, depending upon your design style.  Vegan candles, whilst creating a warm and soft ambience, will promote a healthy air.   With an array of lights to choose from including, light emitting diodes (LED) string lighting, spot lights, smart lights (lights set on a timer), up lighters and spike lights.  What will help you create that dreamy, tranquil and relaxing space?  Include lights, which have a warm glow.  If you have a garden feature, illuminate it with soft glowing spot lights.  This will add to creating that cosy chill out space.  If you have an area for the children, add some coloured fairy lights.  This will create a magical space for the children to enjoy after dark.

Adding a Spark

We all want to enjoy our outdoor space in the evenings.  Snuggling up with our loved ones, drinking a nice glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate.  There is nothing cosier than sitting around an outdoor heater, fire pit or chimenea.  The warmth radiating from your outdoor heating will create a calming and zen ambience.  Make sure, when installing your outdoor heating, that it is a safe and will not cause any harm to you, your family (including pets), friends and surrounding properties.

Winding Up

Creating a mindful and serine space outdoors allows you and your family to be close to nature, whilst promoting their mental and physical wellbeing.  Life can be stressful at times, so why not create that perfect outside space to escape to and unwind enabling you re-connect with your inner self.

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