Why Garden Rooms Are a Growing Trend — And How to Design Your Own

Nifelle design Showroom - garden rooms design ideas

The garden rooms booming in popularity right now are a fresh and welcome change from more traditional ones of the past. While many people still imagine these spaces as the insulated sunrooms often attached to houses, there is a new kind of outdoor decorating on the rise, all about using nature to your full advantage. By creating a room entirely outside, you can truly make the most of all the spaces in your home.

Whether you’re using your landscape for entertaining or casual leisure time, garden rooms are a great way to fully enjoy the warmer months in a beautiful, curated environment that feels both natural and private. 

When you create an outdoor entertaining space, you have the opportunity to make it completely your own. While it can match the mood of your house, you can also go a little wild with your choices. It’s entirely up to you. 


How to Design Your Own Garden Room


Create Shapes

One of the best tricks to make your space feel more like an engaging, put-together environment is to create shapes, lines, and boundaries with your decor. While this can involve putting up barriers and walls, it’s much more visually pleasing and spacious to rearrange your furniture and fixtures creatively to mimic the feel of a structured room.

blue and white garden outdoor living room by lucy interior design
Design by Lucy Interior Design

You can even go for a plush, comfortable setup that offers abundant seating — like a living room meant for entertaining, moved to your porch or yard. Placing an outdoor couch and chairs in a square-like position where they face each other or lining the room layout with plants, string lights, or shelving are all great options in creating casual structure in your space. 

Lighting Is Key

Even if you already have lighting on your porch or deck, bringing in lighting as a decorative fixture can introduce a newfound warmth and cohesion to your space. Extra lighting also ensures that you can use your outdoor space to its full potential even into the nighttime hours. You can get creative with your lighting, using fixtures like string lights, tiki torches, and rock salt lamps to offer a mix of decoration and function.

outdoor dining room with star lighting San Miguel residence designed by Michelle Nussbaumer cylon et cie photo douglas friedman
San Miguel residence designed by Michelle Nussbaumer
(Photo by Douglas Friedman)

You can use posts, walls, or trees to hang your string lights or hanging lights to create a whimsical, magical environment. If you have a fire pit, that’s an even better way to soak up all the warmth on chilly spring evenings.


black and gold round dining table with glass top - intuition dining table by koket

Embrace Plant Life

While the feeling of a structured room is great, the point of a garden room is to find the balance of blending the refined and the naturalistic. Decorating your garden room with lush flora and fauna can enhance the spring and summer feelings, making it naturally beautiful. You can involve hanging plants in your decorating plan or line your space with raised gardens for a bit more structure. 

Stunning garden rooms by Nifelle Design
Stunning garden rooms by Nifelle Design

Choose Natural Finishes

Garden rooms need to blend the beauty of the outdoors with the comfort of interior spaces. One way to achieve this design is to opt for natural finishes as structural or accent pieces. The most popular options in modern design include reclaimed wood and bamboo, but homeowners might also consider stone and masonry for a classic look.

Materials aren’t the only way to reflect a natural look. Accent pieces can also incorporate nature motifs such as branches, leaves, vines, and flowers to evoke environmental beauty. Look for furniture pieces with these design elements in order to bring your garden room to life with stellar interior design.

Dining terrace designed by Colette van den Thillart for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach 2020
(Photo © Nickolas Sargent Photography)
Dining terrace designed by Colette van den Thillart for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Palm Beach 2020
(Photo © Nickolas Sargent Photography)

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How to Create Your Dream Outdoor Living Space


Invest in Waterproof Fabrics

Even if your outdoor furniture isn’t directly exposed to the elements like regular patio or deck furniture, it’ll still be outside when the wind and rain roll into town. Finding furniture and fabrics that work for the elements can make your space sturdier and help it last longer. Finding waterproof cushions, rugs and curtains are all great ways to liven up a room and give it more dimension, while still remaining practical.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Perennials outdoor fabrics
Outdoor fabrics designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard for Perennials

Looking for fun patterns, colors, and textures in your outdoor textiles can be a great trick in making the space look more interior-inspired, especially if you keep coordination and cohesion in mind.

Find Shelter and Shade

Outdoor living spaces that offer the sun on your face and clear blue skies above have their benefit, but finding solutions for shade and shelter in your garden room can make it a much more versatile and comfortable place for you to spend your time. Sitting out in the sun can get old and getting sent indoors by a light drizzle can be a total bummer. 

Whether you find a set of sweet umbrellas, invest in a pergola, or install a retractable awning, putting a roof over your head can offer a bit more structure and function to your room so you can get the most use out of it.

Banyan Tree Tamuda Bay Resort garden pool designed by Arjitec
Banyan Tree Tamuda Bay Resort garden pool designed by Arjitec

Embrace the Garden Room Design Trend 

Patios, decks, and yards often go unused these days, but creating a beautiful garden room can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your home. These lovely landscapes offer an extra taste of the outdoors during the spring and summer months, which can feel especially unique for entertaining guests and spending time in your home. 

Design your garden rooms to fit you and your preferences and lifestyle as you discover a new space in your home and all of the amazing opportunities that come with it!


About the Author:

Holly Welles runs The Estate Update, a home improvement blog with décor & design tips for the newly initiated. You can check out more of her work (and other random thoughts) on Twitter @HollyAWelles.


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