As a baker, the kitchen is important to me! My stand mixer is right next to the window, overlooking the garden.
When making home improvements, many people leave the garden until last or forget it completely. In the winter months, this might be ok as you won’t be enjoying your garden as much but you have to think forward to those hazy summer days when you and the children will be yearning for some garden time (and some vitamin D!).
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden-facing kitchen in your home then now is the time to plan its revival before the frost thaws and you’re ready to get back out there! Here’s a selection of reasons to invest in your least thought-about space…
Landscape gardening DIY
Even with the smallest of gardens, you can make your outdoor space something worth looking at. With a little imagination and a creative use of space, your garden will become a joy to behold as well as a place to spend time relaxing.
Upcycling is an effective (and inexpensive) way to spruce up the surroundings. Simple ideas can make the space look larger such as well-placed mirrors dotted about. Use old, tatty mirrors you have or head to a charity shop/boot sale to pick up a few that are in need of a little TLC. Because they are in the garden – and subject to weather changes – there’s no need to restore them to their original state. They are there to give the illusion of more space and to catch the eye of those who look upon your garden.
Location is key with the placement of the mirror too, as you don’t want it reflecting back on to your property so be sure to test out a few locations before getting the hammer and nails out!
Using old pallets is a great idea too, especially if you want to store your plants and cuttings in a different way. There’s so many ways to use pallets in your garden and Pinterest is an excellent resource for providing inspiration. And, once the construction of your pallet creation is complete, you can get the children involved with decorating them.
Creating a changing space
Introducing bi-fold doors into your kitchen is a must-have. Simply a window or a patio door just doesn’t have the same effect as a folding door that can create such an open plan feel between your kitchen and garden. The doors will allow light to flood in, while keeping your heating (up to full blast in the winter) secured in your kitchen so you can appreciate your garden without the winter chill that comes with it.
Kitchen as party venue
As the well-known song from Jona Lewie – which had a recent revival in an IKEA advert – says, ‘You will always find me in the kitchen at parties’. With this in mind, it’s worth thinking of your kitchen space a place to entertain people when hosting gatherings. Even with a smaller kitchen, you can open it up on to your garden to create more room to mingle and offering several sections of your house to congregate in.
The open-plan effect of making two separate spaces into one is an excellent way of boosting your available space and being able to invite more than a handful of friends. This is also great for family parties, bringing the down the cost of hiring a venue and giving you the chance to entertain at home.
Dinner with a view
If you can fit a dining table in your kitchen, it can afford you the luxury of dinner with a view. The view, of course, is your wonderful garden and the hope is that you can make the hour or so at this table for family time that is tech-free. All phones, tablets and TV should be out of sight, and in its place should be actual conversation and the view of your garden. This sort of setting can provide the opportunity for a real catch up with your nearest and dearest whilst munching away at a tasty dinner. What is better than a tech-free family?
A cosy view of the changing weathers
Whether rain, sun, hail, sleet, snow or wind, your garden-facing kitchen will provide a view of the changing seasons while tucked up nice and cosy in your kitchen. Starting your day in the kitchen will determine your outfit choice for the day – as you get to view the weather while waking yourself up with coffee. In sunnier weather, the sun’s light will warm your kitchen and in the winter you can still enjoy the view of snowy branches and a blanket of white across your lawn while staying toasty-warm behind closed doors. And, if you can get up early enough, you can enjoy the morning peace and quiet before the little ones awake!
Happy garden times!