Over the last few years, as many of us spent more time in our homes and gardens than ever before, a common thought circled the minds of many - how do I improve all that I have?
As the surge in DIY projects and home renovations continues, we are readily embracing the challenge of ensuring we are getting the most out of our spaces.
A key consideration when embarking on a process to improve our spaces is how we enhance the connection between our homes and gardens. Instead of being two separate spaces, how do we integrate them to create a well thought out space which enhances the capabilities of both?
It is important that homeowners engage in a holistic process of studying their site’s characteristics. This allows the site’s key attributes to be identified and showcased. Considerations should include orientation, sunlight, views, materials used and movement through the spaces.
This holistic approach of designing and weaving spaces together is applicable to a wide variety of architectural projects both within the home and externally within the garden.
With gardens usually occupying the largest area of the site and providing views over cityscapes or landscapes, the connection between
home and garden becomes a critical factor in sustaining and encouraging healthy family and social activities.
Open plan living with expansive glazing is as popular as ever, but often important considerations are overlooked. Considerations such as, do lift and slide doors rather than bi- fold doors provide more uninterrupted views?
Is it possible to level the access from the home to the garden and recess the joins to create a seamless connection? Can you use the same flooring, such a porcelain tiles, from the living area to the patio to encourage the eye to be drawn to the outside?
Can you bring your garden right up to your house by planting around your access points and even bringing similar colours and plants indoors? Do the components in your living space create an aerodynamic flow, so that you are pulled into the garden, and not stumbling over furniture to open the doors? Can you create an external dining area, immersed in planting and orientated to catch the sun, to ensure you are encouraged to make good use of your space? It is evident that there is opportunity in all projects to create enjoyable moments just by better understanding the potential already available.
Often these types of considerations can seem overwhelming for homeowners, however by using the services of an architect, helpful and meaningful dialogue can take place and creative solutions which often go overlooked, can be proposed.
By committing to this process, which isn’t tied to expensive budgets or certain scales of work, each home and garden can be created or recreated for homeowners, ensuring they have a lasting and meaningful space in which to live, well into the future.
James Purdy is the managing partner of JP Architects & Landscape Design and a member of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects. To speak about recreating your home or garden or for initial advice visit jamespurdyarchitects.co.uk or visit rsua.org.uk