Using Colour to Transform an Outdoor Space

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, the reddish orange of creosote was the brightest thing in many a UK garden- especially during the winter months.  Not only is this coal tar based preservative a garish colour, it can be harmful to pets, your family and the environment too- just one of the reasons so many creative homeowners are looking for another way to protect and colour the wood in their gardens. Over the past few years, wood paint has become a really popular part of exterior design, but many people are still a little scared about how to approach it.

If you’re considering adding a splash of colour, our advice is to go for it- paint is never long term so if you change your mind it’s always easy to go back. Assetgrove says, “If you are brave enough you can really go wild, creating an outdoor space that’s unique, inviting, and truly reflects your home from the outside in.”

As with any change of décor, it’s always a good idea to seek a little inspiration first. Spend time at horticulture shows and open garden events, do some online research and create a mood board to identify the colours you really love. If you’re looking for a really coordinated look, use shades from your interiors to create a sense of space and unity, accessorising with cushions and throws in the same materials if possible.

Using wood paints can really create that “extra room” feeling popular with designers at the moment; creating an outdoor space that’s attractive even during bleaker times like January and February. Andrew Reeves suggests making the most of your garden as often as you can- “If you invest in some outdoor heating there’s no reason at all why your garden can’t be enjoyed all year round, and adding a splash of colour is the perfect motivator.”

A far cry from the orange wood stains of the 80’s, there’s a huge amount of choice of paints today. From neutrals and pastel colours all the way through to bold primary colours, you can expect to find up to 200 shades of external wood paint in the average DIY store.  If you’re not quite ready to go the whole hog with a bright fence all the way along your garden start small- a few planters here and there will add a real pop of colour which will can transform even the saddest looking garden. If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can turn the humble garden shed into a beautiful haven complete with matching bunting for a stunning English country garden effect. Proskips says “Bird boxes, children’s play areas and garden chairs can also join in the fun- remember, a garden is to be enjoyed by all the family and you can always change it at a later date.”

If you’re concerned about the environment there are plenty of eco-friendly paints out there these days.  A quick Google search will point you in the right direction, and you’ll recognise some familiar names in there including Farrow and Ball and Cuprinol as well as some exciting new brands.

Plaza Estates has the last word- “Your garden should be a little safe haven where you can escape from the rest of the world and relax. Adding a splash of colour will make it feel that little bit more special.”