Boho-style garden makeovers have been popular this year, but this one has given us some great outdoor living room ideas.
When homeowner Laurie Davidson teamed up with Wayfair to create a transitional space that she could enjoy all year round, she knew she wanted to continue her relaxed interior style outside. Dried flowers, wood furniture and plenty of tactile textures were key, as was a garden bar that she could enjoy with boyfriend Wayne.
'I wanted it to be a cosy spot where we could sit and have drinks, whether during the day or in the evening,' she says. 'We'd built the tiki bar a few years ago, but it desperately needed revamping.'
Outdoor living room makeover
The decked area at the back of the garden was the perfect spot for some garden bar ideas. The couple had built the bar themselves using 18ml marine plywood and 100mm x 10omm fence posts. A fence was put up to create a border at the back of the garden, but the area still needed a lot of work.
'Wayne did all of our garden himself,' says Laurie. 'From digging out all the earth and landscaping it, to laying the decking and faux lawn, building the bar and a cabin. We're lucky he's so good at DIY as it would have cost us a fortune!'
The finished look is a complete transformation, with wooden furniture, snuggly sheepskins, a cowhide rug and a wall of faux foliage at the back to hide the fence panels.
'The faux foliage came in square panels that hook together and after attaching them to the fence I added some extra foliage sprigs in to make it really textured,' Laurie says. 'It's made a huge difference and because we hung a fairy light net behind it, it sparkles at night – it's really pretty.'
The foliage is complemented with lots of hanging plants in rattan baskets, for a lush effect that's easy maintenance, while a huge wreath was made using a hula hoop and dried grasses.
The pair used a vintage fireplace a neighbour had left out for removal as a focal point for the garden.
'We collected it, but it was huge,' she says, 'even taller than the fence, in fact. We cut it down and repainted it, then attached it to the foliage wall. Aside from the fact that I love how it looks, it's actually really useful as guests can put their drinks on it!'
The mantel has been styled up with candlesticks and tapered candles, ornaments and vases from Wayfair to create a 'living room' feel, while the raffia mirror above is a real statement piece.
The couple covered the base of the bar in bamboo fencing to get the look of a rustic beach bar and it fits the look perfectly. You can pick up the same bamboo facing at Wayfair.
It was really easy to do and took no time at all,' says Laurie. 'Wayne used a staple gun to attach it and then just trimmed the top of it to make it the right fit. I love how it looks and it's an easy solution if you're looking for a weatherproof covering for a bar.'
Inside the bar, a narrow shelf was hung to hold bottles and display trays, while the walls are decorated with woven baskets and a large feather decoration from Wayfair too.
Laurie also transformed some terracotta plant pots by whitewashing them and then adding some gold leaf. 'It's a really inexpensive upcycle idea,' she says.
At night, when there's a chill in the air, the firepit is turned on for some extra warmth, the lanterns and candles lit, while the fairy lights sparkle at the back and overhead. 'I love theming our drinks to the weather,' says Laurie.
'In summer it's piña coladas and fruity gin cocktails, while in the colder months we have Bailey's hot chocolate and warm hot toddies. We couldn't be happier with this space and it shows that gardens really aren't just for the summer months.'
Have you been inspired to turn your garden into an outdoor living room?
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Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.
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