At what point does a house turn into a home?

This is one of those wonderful questions that has an indefinite amount of wonderful answers; each of those answers personal to the occupant (or homeowner … yes, there is a difference). For us, it was the garden. So two years after moving into our spacious five bedroom house, with an equally spacious garden to match, we made the courageous decision to tackle our problem area.

The problem area

Summer 2018 will always be known as the time where the whole of the British population spent ninety nine percent of their time in the garden, basking in the wonderfully unusual thirty-degree weather we were experiencing every single day. However, our garden patio was casting a huge cloud over our perfect summer. The dull grey slabbing, the worn-out pebbles of all different colours and sizes and the sky scaping, sun-blocking conifers surrounding this dull, worn-out slabbed mess running alongside the entire left-hand side of the garden. We needed a patio that made us want to sit out in it and invite friends and family to do the same. But, with it being the way it was, that simply wasn’t feasible.

The Transformation

Our first port of call was the Carvers Landscaping display to decide which slabs would make our clouds go away. We wanted something light, as we figured that it would make our garden look cleaner and bigger. However, as we continued our search for the “perfect” slab, we began to realise that we had to take into consideration the material we would choose. You see, our problem was our dogs – very loving and fluffy – but would their muddy paws agree with a paler shade of patio? So, although some of the slabs were our idea of perfect, they simply weren’t practical for a household with two filthy labradoodles – would look fabulous if not though!

The “Perfect” Slab

To fix the “dirty slab” problem, we were advised to go with porcelain. This was a material we hadn’t considered using before, but once we were shown a few samples we never looked back. It really was everything we were looking for to transform our garden and more! It was clean, light and “washable”. Yes, the dogs could run all over it to their hearts content and the mud would not stick. The wonderful guys at Natural Landscapes sorted us out no problem and our patio was transformed within two weeks. However, they did advise that although one might choose to lay a patio by themselves, porcelain does require an extra amount of care as the grouting can be difficult with this material.

The Finishing Touches

Although the slabbing on the patio was certainly enough to make the clouds go away, we were still looking for that little bit extra to make the sun shine. One thing to note about our patio is the quaint, flowing brook running alongside of it. Whilst we would never want to completely obscure our beautifully unique feature, we wanted a short fence to compliment it. The more we looked at the various fences that we could use, the more we realised that a few shorter machine posts would be just what we needed. So alongside our babbling brook is a line of perfectly levelled machine posts that gradually get higher and higher in size, as the brook becomes restricted from view. Next to the taller of the machine posts, we decided to install a fence, just a couple of panels to cover up the “less pretty” part of the brook. We chose a fence with a decorative trellis on the top that complimented our new patio just perfectly. We also replaced our rusty iron gate with the same fence panel, a wonderfully innovative way of keeping with the theme, but still ensuring a level of security and privacy.

The Great Wall

Not one for just having a garden area and a patio, no that’s just too simple. Whilst this would still look great, we felt that there was still something missing. We envisioned that a wall to separate the patio would a) make our garden area look bigger and b) make the patio stand out more, rather than it being just an extension of the garden. So, we set to work now finding our “perfect brick”, as to match the theme of the patio slabs and the decorative fencing. We chose a paler, rustic type of brick which was just in keeping with the clean, fresh look that we were striving towards. We even decided to make the side of the wall facing the patio lower, as to provide more seating area in our new favourite place; finished off with the slabs we used for the patio as the actual top of the seat! However, not wanting to separate the garden and the patio completely; a gate was placed in the middle of the curved brick wall to allow easier access to our wonderful new patio area!

The Perfect Summer

Update: The patio has chased our clouds away as we look forward to many more summers in our beautiful brand new garden!