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How to turn a small garden into a sanctuary

By Andrew Bell

Those of us that are lucky enough to have gardens, don't always have acres to play with, or consider ourselves blessed with green fingers. But that's no reason not to get creative with even the smallest of outdoor spaces and maximise full potential. 

Here are some ideas for turning your small garden space into a relaxing oasis that the whole family can use and enjoy.

1) Make it an extension of your home

Make your garden useable and practical by mirroring the spaces you use the most in your home. Obvious options are to create a comfy outdoor lounge or a relaxing open dining space. It can become your go-to space during the warm Gold Coast summer, styled to accommodate the needs of your family.

2) Add a theme

When you think of the most relaxing outdoor space you can imagine, what do you see? Perhaps it's tropical Balinese luxury, or rustic Morroccan sandstone? Whatever you prefer, use it as base for how you style your garden. You might choose colours, plants or accessories that suit your theme, such as water features that are evocative of that Balinese garden or warm reds and oranges synonymous with Africa.

3) Stay warm with wood, rugs and comfy seating

Wood creates a warming effect and can be used in all kinds of designs. As well as wooden furniture, use it to create plant beds or beams from which to hang plants or lanterns. 

Rugs and blankets are another way to stay warm well into the autumn months. Use them to cover cool surfaces so you don't have to sit on cold furniture, and cover up when it gets a little chilly. They also retain heat much more effectively that other objects. Rugs specially designed for outdoor use are great for surviving changing weather conditions, and in any case most should be brought indoors overnight. 

And don't stick to sitting upright, opt for loungers, hammocks – any type of garden seating that encourages you to wind down. A good mix of cushions make your space even more comfy, and can be chosen in colours that create the look and feel you find most relaxing. 

4) Lanterns, lamps and fairy lights

Light has a big effect on the ambience of a space. Getting the right lighting that is both practical and relaxing will help you enjoy your space after dark. Lamps, lanterns and fairy lights are good gentle options for when bright lights won't cut it.

5) Pick the right plants

Before you buy any plants, assess what kind of weather your garden will be exposed to. If it receives lots of sunshine or spends most of the day covered in shade, that'll impact which plants will flourish. 

Mixing colours and types of leaf can bring a nice range of tones into the garden, and make a small area look more spacious.

6) Create some privacy

If you feel a little close to your neighbours and want some extra privacy in your garden, make the most of limited space by using elevated beds filled with tall plants. They don't take up loads of room but they do provide a little more seclusion by extending the height of your fencing or whatever separates your space. Hanging plants are another option if your garden is more suited to filling extra space from the top down, or try plant boxes attached to or on top of the boundary wall to further increase your privacy. 

To find a home with an outdoor space that you can turn into your sanctuary, get in touch with the Ray White Surfers Paradise team today.

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