Make a statement with this emerging outdoor trend every small garden needs to know about

Is your garden missing character? This eccentric new trend will change that

Garden Architectural Salvage, exterior space with antique furniture
(Image credit: Future)

While we all spend an unending amount of time curating our interior decor to reflect our style and personality, there is one important space that is sometimes overlooked - our gardens. 

These exterior spaces are, very often, an entirely blank canvas - complete with a fresh and airy aura and drenched in natural light - they offer everything you could ever want in a room. 

It is, therefore, unsurprising that we are on the brink of a garden revolution - an eccentric garden trend, led by the antique restorer and Founder of Renaissance London, Owen Pacey. 

In encouraging us to embrace our gardens as a continuation of our interiors, Owen explained the benefits of garden art - an ever-growing trend - that allows you to inject your style beyond the four walls of your home. The restorer focused most specifically on garden architectural salvage, a technique that rejuvenates old treasures and brings them to life in a contemporary garden.

Garden Architectural Salvage, table and chairs in a garden

(Image credit: Owen Pacey)

Searches for garden architectural salvage have recently jumped by 72%, as a growing number homeowners recognize the benefits to this eccentric, eco-friendly craze. 

‘Using architectural salvage as pieces of art can add character to outdoor spaces. It has the ability to draw the eye, or it can be cleverly designed to blend in with its surroundings and bring out the background,’ Owen began.

‘The trick is to use salvage sparingly - focus on a few carefully chosen pieces to avoid a cluttered feel. Vintage and antique materials can work well alongside modern accessories, creating a harmonious blend of old and new.’ 

See: 24 Small garden ideas - how to be stylish no matter how little your outdoor space

Garden Architectural Salvage, exterior space with art and table

(Image credit: Owen Pacey)

Notably, the restorer explains how architectural salvage can lift a garden of any size, declaring these pieces have the ability to make the smallest of gardens feel as attractive as a ‘ living room or sitting room.’ 

Owen suggests that small garden owners should begin with a ‘statue’ or a ‘sundial’ that catches your eye and ‘gives the outdoors a full look.' 

'Even if your garden isn’t that big with large trees, nestling a statue among plants can create vignettes in your exterior,’ Owen added.

‘My top tip for adding garden art to a smaller garden is to keep a consistent theme. Antiques and art are a way of expressing personality, and by including a treasure trove of found objects in a small garden or courtyard can help create a space that is full of character and brings a sense of history to a newer home.’

Garden Architectural Salvage, balcony with art

(Image credit: LisaSarah - designs in steel)

Though architectural salvage sounds like the extravagant antidote to our bland garden this spring, we still felt like we needed a little more encouragement before dashing to the next vintage fair. 

‘Indeed, garden art is important, as it offers a focal point in the garden,’ Stefano Marinaz, Agronomist & Landscape Architect and Patron of Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, reassured us. 

Garden Architectural Salvage, seat in a garden

(Image credit: Essential Home)

See: Modern Garden Ideas: 37 modern design ideas to transform your outdoor space

‘We have used garden art in many projects and have even introduced them to a client who didn’t have any art in the house - they were still happy for us to install it outside. It doesn’t matter how big, or small your garden is - a sculpture is always something interesting to consider,’ Stefano added. 

The landscape architect then offered his tips on injecting art into your garden. ‘You need to consider the size, the material, where it is located, and whether you should light your art at night. I often consider pairing art with a water feature, so that is maybe something to think about.' 

It looks like we’ve got all the approval we need - may S/S '21 be the season of many overdue garden parties, filled with all the architectural salvaged goods you can find. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.