The British summertime never lasts long, so it won’t be long before we see the trees shed their leaves, greenery begins to brown and the air becomes colder. But after so much time and effort has been put into making our outdoor space an extension of our homes, it seems a shame to only enjoy them in the warmer months. Many people have been embracing the trend of bringing the indoors out, with an increase in the number of homeowners embracing outdoor living, so there's no reason why you can't too!
Whether your garden fire pit is the social hub of your outdoor space, the patio sofa is the perfect spot for a peaceful morning coffee, or you've gone all out with a garden kitchen, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your garden is ready for Autumn. 'The luxury of having a garden has really been highlighted these past few years, and I don’t think their importance will be forgotten any time soon” Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Cuprinol, explains. “That’s why it’s incredibly important to not only keep the gardens we’ve invested in looking beautiful, but protected too.'
Marianne has shared her top tips on how to keep your garden protected with paint during autumn and winter, as well as some creative decorating ideas...
Prep your garden fence
With heavy rain and blustery winds a guarantee, it's important to make sure you tend to your fences to keep them protected. With a beautiful colour, you can make sure your garden looks the part while making it last. 'Here, we’ve decorated the fence in the Cuprinol Ducksback shades Silver Copse and Black, with the deeper shades allowing the colours of any autumnal flowers or greenery to shine. To keep the summer vibe alive, contrast the darker Forest Oak with the more vibrant Autumn Gold' advises Marianne, adding 'not only will painting with Cuprinol Ducksback look brilliant, it will also help to protect your fence from being damaged by the sun’s UV rays or rotting from water damage.'
Before painting, it's worth considering the colour palette of your interiors so that your home flows from the inside out. 'Create cohesion between house and garden by matching your interiors colours and textures with the ones in your outdoor living space' she says, adding 'spaces decorated with homely heritage hues would benefit from leading into a garden decorated with fences in Forest Green or Rich Cedar, while rooms with sleek and neutral colour schemes should open onto gardens with accents of Silver Copse or classic Black.'
Add a stylish pergola
A garden must-have during the autumn and winter months, a pergola is a seamless way to add a shelter that doesn't look hap-hazard or temporary. Not only will you be protected from the elements, but so will your garden furniture. Whether it's your garden seating or an outdoor kitchen for alfresco dining, it's certainly a structure you'll want to consider. 'When painting your pergola, using a dramatic, dark colour like Cuprinol Ducksback in Black allows the golden hue of decorative fairy lights and colourful decor to pop' suggests Marianne. 'Painting with Ducksback also not only ensures the protection of the furniture or equipment underneath the pergola, but the wood it’s crafted from as well.'
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Don't forget about the garden office
Part of the outdoor living trend has inspired many of us to take our office spaces outside, with our sheds becoming far more than a home for spiders and garden tools. 'If your home office is in your garden shed, experiment with decorating in red, as this colour is known to boost productivity' Marianne says. 'Use Cuprinol Ducksback in Rich Cedar to decorate the inside of your office shed; either all over, on feature walls, or for eye-catching accents such as borders to outline your workspace.'
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Create a cohesion with colours
Garden painting need not start and finish with fences and sheds – wooden garden furniture also needs a bit of love. 'Matching the paint you use for your shed and fences to your wooden furniture elevates the sophistication of any garden” Marianne explains. Opt for a neutral shade for all-year-round suitability, such as white or earth tones - the seasonal decoration you add throughout the year will be sure to match.
If you have left over paint from your various garden projects, don't throw it away or let it go to waste! Marianne suggests using the paint for seasonal decorations for your garden - think baubles and garlands to hang on the pergola or tree hangings for the greenery.
Consider eco-friendly furniture
“The changing of the seasons from summer to winter doesn’t mean it’s time for you to pack the garden furniture away – in fact, watching your garden evolve from the comfort of your own outdoor all-weather sofa is a great way to appreciate the raw beauty of autumn every day' says Marianne. A lot of shop-bought furniture is often unsuitable for all weather types, recommending a covering or being stored during the winter months, which is no good if you want to spend time outside throughout the year. So, what is the alternative?
'Pallet sofas are an easy and eco-friendly way to make the most of old wooden pallets. Instead of taking them to the tip, clean, sand and screw together four of them to create an L-shape. Attach heavy duty castors underneath and apply two generous coats of your favourite paint shade to keep it weatherproof' she suggests. Topped with large, comfy seat cushions, you have yourself an affordable, comfortable sofa. You can make the cushions at home, or buy them online - Etsy has some lovely options, much like the water-resistant cushions pictured.
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