Author: Catherine Collins

During the summer, we all crave nothing more than to get away from the city concrete and into nature, to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather summer provides. You can always take a trip to the countryside, but if you have a tight schedule, relaxing in your garden is much more practical. Summer houses provide you with just that: the freedom to relax, enjoy sunny days and cool nights, but still stay at home. If you want to spend your summers like this, here’s how you can design your summer house.

Location, location, location

One of the most important elements of your summer house is the position.  You want to create a peaceful oasis and a retreat from all the noise and stress of modern living, so your best choice would be the far end of your garden.  If you place your house in the middle of your garden, the space will look much smaller than it really is.  Plus, the further you are from the street, the more peaceful it gets.  If you can place your summer house somewhere where it would be surrounded by trees, that would be great.  Trees really add to the feeling of seclusion and create that in-the-middle-of-the-woods feel.

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Make an inviting path

If you want to direct attention to your summer house, the best way to do that is with a stylish garden path that leads right to the front door.  You can make a traditional gravel path with stone edging to keep the gravel in line or opt for rustic slabs of stone.  You can also go with smooth stepping stones that always create that fairy tale image.  Make sure to use layer planting along the path to create a sense of intrigue about the garden and the grounds beyond.  Also, consider installing some garden lighting features for safe evening walks.  Think solar lanterns, garden post lights or spike lights.

Mix and match furniture and accessories

You want your garden to be relaxing, casual and cosy, so bring in a mix of furniture styles, from comfy sofas you might find in a living room to painted wicker pieces in all sorts of hues.  Whatever you do, make sure to keep the theme light and airy with sheer curtains and furnishings in neutral tones and soft, pastel colours.  Op shop finds are great for summer houses, because you don’t neccessarily need top-quality furniture.  Also, don’t forget to upcycle.  This way you’ll produce less waste and create new uses for old and unloved furniture pieces.

Make space for outdoor dining

Meals always taste better when enjoyed in nature, so provide your summer house with a deck where you can have all those tasty summer brunches and dinners.  Place an outdoor fire pit for cosines, some trendy director’s chairs and fold-up tables.  These are great for outdoors because they can be folded and taken inside easily and quickly if the weather takes a bad turn and you always have place for quality time with your family.

Go with garden prints and natural decor

Having a summer house is all about enjoying nature and the peace it provides, so choose furnishing and decor to reflect that.  Think natural materials and floral prints.  Also, consider introducing fresh greens, bright pinks and an occasional splash of yellow, since these are the colours found in the garden and will create a soothing scheme.  Also, feel free to bring in some greenery from your garden right into your summer house.  Choose lush indoor plants and put them in some eye-catching designer pots to additionally attract the eye.  If you decorate your space with such natural elements, you’re not going to need many other accessories.

If these ideas look super attractive to you, then don’t hesitate to create a summer house for your garden.  You will get a perfect place where you can relax and cherish summer with your family and friends.


Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne.  She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people.  That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog.  Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.