If you still think the garden is simply a place to train roses, sow salad and propagate perennials, you may have missed a few changes in our home-making habits of late. An increasing number of us are now breaching the threshold of our indoor spaces, with everyday activities moving out into the open for summer.
Guy Hollaway, the architect founder of Hollaway Studio, built his own luxuriously proportioned outdoor living space a few years ago when he extended his Kent cottage. The concrete kitchen floor now flows under a sliding glass wall and out to a recessed sofa area. Nearby is a vast dining table – as close to the working parts of the kitchen, once the doors are open, as the indoor table. “In the summer, we live out there,” Hollaway says. “Invariably, clients want something similar. They want the kitchen really close to the outside, and we are putting pools closer and closer to the house, too, so that the exchange between indoor and outdoor living is made easy.”
Design brands, from tiling companies to furniture- and lighting-makers, are evolving their portfolios at breakneck speed to feed the need for hard and soft furnishings that are not only rugged enough to cope with wind and rain but also, increasingly, align aesthetically with our interior effects.