Get their look: Chilled garden

Jo Whiley's chilled gardencredit

This chilled garden belongs to BBC radio and TV presenter, Jo Whiley. You’d expect something this relaxed and comfortable from the Glastonbury Festival veteran.

It’s a perfect candidate for Through the Keyhole – there are so many clues. Bales of hay for that Worthy Farm vibe? Check! Superstar DJ disco ball? Check! Fire bowl for sitting around playing or listening to music and toasting marshmallows? Check, check, check!

Strings of outdoor festoon lights and lanterns complete the easygoing ambience and, according to a recent article in House Beautiful, they’re very on-trend for this summer.

  1. 20 warm white LED connectible festoon lights
  2. 300mm silver disco mirror ball
  3. Hot lips cushion
  4. Black cage battery wax candle lantern, 20cm
  5. Outdoor battery flickering candle lantern
  6. Barley straw bale
  7. Metal double sun lounger
  8. Original recycled Kadai Fire Bowl®

Get their look Jo Whiley's chilled garden | H is for Home

How to create a stylish indoor outdoor living area

Modern deck area with canopy

There’s something very special about an indoor/outdoor space. They convey an air of exclusivity. An indoor space, whether it’s a kitchen, living room or bedroom, blending seamlessly with the outdoors can be seen as a luxury allowed only to those living in exotic locations with an exotic budget. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth and creating your very own indoor/outdoor slice of heaven may be easier than you think!

We’ve included a few tips below to help you create the perfect indoor/outdoor space for your home, so you can realise your al fresco dreams:

Function & features

Before getting into the design nitty-gritty, it’s vital to ask yourself a couple of very important questions.

Where will this space be? This may seem obvious, but it’s an important decision to make. In order to make your space as fluid as possible, you should choose a room that’s adjacent to your garden or balcony. This not only gives you a bigger area with which to play, but it means that you can take advantage of the natural décor that your garden gives you.

The second question you may want to consider before you start your project in earnest is for what you want this space to be used. If it’s an extension to your kitchen, then you may want to create a seamless kitchen-diner, where a meal can be prepared inside and then enjoyed on a large dining table al fresco. Or perhaps it’s a living room, so you’ll want to ensure all the electronics reside indoors whilst the outdoors provides an area for socialising and relaxing.

Whatever the room or the purpose, answering these questions will give your project focus and make many of the other decisions you need to take easier.

open plan kitchen diner with folding doors out to the garden

Doors & windows

Doors and windows are the interface between your indoor and outdoor spaces and so are key to creating a cohesive flow for your new room. Generally, the larger the window or door the better – as reducing the amount of solid wall will remove the feeling that you have a clearly defined separation between the two areas.

If your budget allows, floor to ceiling bi-folding or accordion doors are often the best option. Opening these essentially allows you to remove one side of the room and facilitates a more natural transition between the indoor and outdoor space. Of course, sliding doors or French windows can also produce this effect but may not have quite the same wow-factor.

If your room is on the corner of your house then you may also want to consider corner windows. This creates an uninterrupted view outside, even when the doors are shut, making the internal room feel part of outside.

Modern grey sitting room

Flooring & design

To create the illusion that the outside and inside areas are one and the same, it’s important to create a cohesive design throughout both spaces. The most effective way to do this is via the flooring.

Choose a floor that can be laid throughout both the inside and outside areas, making sure that your chosen style is weather resistant. Or, if you don’t want the exact same flooring, try to find two styles that complement each other. For example, paving stones come in a variety of styles and can marry well to interior wooden floors. Likewise, decking, with the lines running away from the house, can create an illusion of continued space from interior to exterior.

This same continuity of design should also be applied to your choice of décor. Decorating both areas in the same styles, i.e. colour palettes, furniture and soft furnishings will create the impression of one unified space.

Greenery is also a useful tool when linking spaces. Similar plants can be used on both the inside and outside. During the bitter winter months, this will help create the illusion of being outside even when the doors and windows are firmly shut.

Dark brown patio seating with turquoise cushions


To ensure that your new slice of paradise is practical all year round, you may want to consider some options which overcome some of the natural challenges that the outdoors present.

Ensure that the outside area is covered, so that the space can be used come rain or shine. You can invest in a sturdy, solid roof structure or go for a simpler (and cheaper) canopy.

You may also want to think about a specially designed fire pit or similar – this could provide a focal point for the outdoor space and help keep it useable for social situations even during colder months.

In association with Quickslide


Get their look: Vibrant patio garden

Pink vibrant patio gardencredit

This vibrant patio garden may be pink, but don’t think it’s all girlie – there’s a fabulous BBQ installed which would please the most manly of grill masters!

The design makes great use of limited space with numerous spots to sit and separate cooking and dining areas. Again, space is used to the maximum by incorporating the vertical in the planting scheme.

To complete the look, the garden is almost completely white-washed to expand and bounce light around the enclosure. The pink of the seating is picked up in the choice of flowering plants.

  1. Handmade patchwork cushion
  2. Pink floral print cushion cover
  3. The Original Chaise indoor/outdoor beanbag
  4. Gardman Hampton candle lanterns (55cm tall)
  5. Napoleon LE 485 BBQ with side burner
  6. Re-Trouvé outdoor chair by Patricia Urquiola
  7. Re-Trouvé outdoor dining table by Patricia Urquiola

Get their look: Vibrant patio garden | H is for Home

Get their look: Sociable patio space

Sociable patio spacecredit

We’ve had a couple of really lovely sunny days in the past week and we’ve been making the most of them. We’ve tidied up our back garden and planted the first few bulbs and seeds on the allotment.

This sociable patio space is just the type of thing we like. It’s not huge, but the white-painted fence and decking as well as the split level areas makes it appear much larger than it actually is. The patio is cleverly ‘zoned’ with separate places for eating and lounging. The collection of mirrors bounce light around and, along with the artwork, bring the inside out.

  1. Wrought iron garden set
  2. Striped cushion cover
  3. Brass flamingo sculptures
  4. Circular mosaic mirror
  5. Frosted high ball glasses
  6. Poly-rattan garden furniture set

Get their look: sociable patio space | H is for Home

5 reasons you should invest in decking for your home

'5 reasons you should invest in decking for your home' blog post banner

garden decking with metal bistro furniture

With the recent run of horrendous winter weather, thoughts don’t immediately turn to decking; but it’s actually a great time to give it some consideration. An opportunity for a bit of unhurried thought mulling over options in terms of position, design, materials and finish. There’ll be a few months to put money aside… and also the chance to get a reputable & professional company such as EnviroBuild booked in before the spring rush. Then you can sit back and look forward to your lovely new decking being installed and ready to use the moment sunshine reappears. Here are five reasons to invest in decking for your home.

decked extension surrounded by trees

1. It can increase the value of your property

Decking can add considerably to the value & saleability of your house – providing it’s well planned and well executed – it needs to feel like an integral & coherent part of the house/garden scheme. Simple, timeless styles are preferable – and products with a long life expectancy and accompanying guarantees are most desirable. Poor quality decking with cheap, poorly installed materials will never add value.

decking boards

2. It’s eco friendly

Wood plastic composite (wpc) decking, which is the material used by EnviroBuild, is made from 60% recycled wood fibres and 40% recycled high density polyethylene. Both products which would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

Decking with osteopurmum flowers

3. It’s practical

This composite material is easy to maintain and comes with a reassuringly long guarantee. It doesn’t need to be stained or treated. It won’t split, splinter, warp or rot and the composition inhibits mildew growth. It’s also safe as it’s slip resistant.

Decked area with deckchairs

4. You can do it yourself

You can get the professionals in to install the decking, but if you’re practical and handy with tools, then it’s definitely a potential DIY project. There is lots of information online to help you successfully install decking yourself.

Decking with far-reaching views over countryside

5. It’s good for you!

Having a decked area in your garden encourages you to spend more time outdoors; with all the benefits of relaxing in the fresh air, pottering in the garden or watching the nature around you. It might do wonders for your social life too… all those parties you’ll be hosting on your new decking! 🙂


Create the perfect World Cup atmosphere with Birstall

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yellow football against a blue skyImage credit: Joe McCarthy

The World Cup only comes around once every four years; here we take a look at the top three garden accessories from Birstall Garden and Leisure Centre to help you make the most of the worldwide football celebration while it’s here.

Whether you’re creating a World Cup haven in your garden with the television outside, or watching the games inside and continuing the party in the garden afterwards, these top three products will make sure you enjoy every moment!

Weber Spirit Classic e210 gas bbq

With all of England’s World Cup games kicking off in the evening, the Weber Spirit Classic barbeque will keep all your guests satisfied with some top-notch food flavour; with two stainless steel burners the compact design has a 26,000 BTU per hour input giving a sleek yet powerful grill capable of cooking all your favourite food to perfection.

Camelot hexagonal easy-up gazebo

It’s impossible to guarantee the British weather, but you can be sure that you’ll always be dry when you’re enjoying your World Cup party with the Camelot – hexagonal easy-up gazebo. The pull down mesh nets, weatherproof frame and UV resistant canopy offer complete comfort and guarantee your World Cup celebrations won’t be called off because of the rain.

patio heater

With many of the World Cup games going on into the early hours of the morning, a patio heater is a much-needed garden accessory to keep you cosy all the way through until extra time. A ThermoFilm gas patio heater uses a high-grade stainless steel burner which heats an area of up to six metres while making only a quiet whisper, so you’ll be toasty warm without being distracted by any excess heater noise.


Get these World Cup garden must-haves now and enjoy them all summer long!

Established in 1969, Birstall has 45 years’ experience kitting out gardens & outdoor spaces and was the first online garden retailer in the UK, 15 years ago.