Room to improve

Want to add living space without the stress of an extension? A garden room could be the answer as you can make it be whatever you want it to be – a home office, a yoga studio or somewhere to stash the kid's toys.

Lap it up

Taking the plunge on a pool? Maybe even one like this that you can jump into from your bedroom! Without warm weather all year, you’ll need to plan how to take the chill off. ‘Oil and gas boilers and electric heaters may springto mind but don’t forget heat pumps, heat exchangers and solar panels, which are more environmentally friendly,’ says Sallie Leslie-Golding of the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association.

Palm court

Tropical is topical in urban settings where a slice of escapism extends the holiday vibe beyond the summer months. Invest in large pots for your plants, and think along the lines of yuccas, agaves and olive trees. In this snug courtyard, a pergola provides extra growing space as well as shade forthe tropical-inspired sofa.

Check out these cooloutdoor updates for your garden or terrace.

Swing low

Recreate the ingredients ofa relaxing holiday in your garden with a hammock in a sunny spot. Vertical planting maximises the space and is a good way to green up a city setting. Add painted planters for a dash of drama. ‘Plainer gardens can benefit from a bold splash of colour while those full of flowers might suit more subtle shades,’ advises Sue Kim, senior colour designer at Valspar.

Lounging around

Transform your garden into an oasis of comfort and style with colourful cushions, outdoor rugs and soft throws. ‘Mix colour, pattern and texture to inject personality,’ suggests Elena Paparozzi, furniture buyer at Heal’s. Here, the various elements are anchored by a rug, while the living wall is the star of the space.

Back to nature

With gardens increasingly serving as extensions toour living spaces, outdoor showers are no longer justfor those living in exotic climes. ‘When installing an outdoor shower, I would always advise a fixed drain that connects to existing waste pipes,’ says Annabel Williams, designer at CP Hart.

Dining out

Stylish outdoor furniture is essential for alfresco dining. ‘We recommend handcrafted teak because of its timeless style and how it mellows with age,’ says Paul Allen of Luxury Outdoor Living. ‘For a more modern look, seek out robust, powder-coated aluminium frames and weatherproof fabrics and finishings.’

See more ideas for cooloutside spaces.