How to create an outdoor room that is perfect for summer

Get out to the garden and create an alfresco living room and dining room.

Learn how to create an outdoor that is perfect for summer, as well as expanding your current living space.

Creating an outdoor room is all about using what you’ve already got, then adding the little finishing touches to make it homely and comfortable. Where you position your table is important as you may want direct sunshine or dappled shade but always remember – keeping it near the kitchen means you don’t have too far to go when entertaining.

Global interior designer Katharine Pooley has pulled together her tips for turning your garden into an extra room – whether that be for exercise, home-schooling, or a home office.

How to create an outdoor room

(Image credit: Katharine Pooley)


Now, more than ever, we find ourselves turning to our gardens or outside spaces as a means of escape, or more practically, as an additional space to be utilised. Here are some tips for using a garden and turning it into an extra room outside of your house:


That forgotten garden shed can become a home gym, an office, or a kids play room, with just a spring clean and some tweaks. A deep clean will no doubt be necessary, but once that’s completed you can simply lay a yoga mat down and some incense, and you have a lovely zen area ready for your yoga session. If your home WI-FI extends that far, why not use it as your office; it’ll separate home from work in a decisive way which is something I encourage where possible. I have a greenhouse and can’t think of anything better than sitting in there to relax and have a change of scenery.

Garden home office

(Image credit: Simon Bevan)

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Outdoor dining, especially if you have children, is something more crucial than ever during lockdown, especially while the weather is so lovely. You get some much needed fresh air and can appreciate this sunny time we’re having. If you don’t already have a dining set in your garden, and don’t want to splurge on buying one, bring some lounge cushions outside and sit on those! It’ll create a lovely relaxed, easy vibe in which to enjoy some al fresco dining. If you wanted to reinvigorate the set you currently have, have a go at repainting them with a splash of colour, or add some textured cushions for flair.

Turn your garden into an extra room

(Image credit: Katharine Pooley)

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Your garden can be a mecca of learning experiences, if you’re home schooling your children. Explore the garden together and teach them about the flowers, the animals you’ll find there, the insects. Also, being outside is the best time to get messy, and play with painting or drawing. The same can be said even if you don’t have children – go outside and try your hand at painting, this is the perfect time to learn a new skill.

Turn your garden into an extra room

(Image credit: Katharine Pooley)
Jennifer Ebert
Deputy Editor (Digital)

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.