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Even in colder climes, people now want to be able to use and enjoy their gardens year round.
Well-designed outdoor lighting is a big part of the equation, being both functional and creating a mood. Uplighting on trees and other features can create focal points, colour can be cleverly implemented . . . the right lighting can add a whole new dimension to your garden.
Outdoor fires of various kinds have become almost mandatory, be it for warmth, cooking, or ambience. Braziers, firepits, chimenea, and others can all be used to negate the cooler southern nights.
The outdoor lounge concept can incorporate technology in other places than the kitchen.
Entertainment can also be offered, with audio, or even a large-screen TV. With some good design, your outdoors can truly become an extension of your interior.
Water is another element at home in contemporary landscaping, with water features making a welcome return. Adding both peace and energy, water can be a beautiful addition to most gardens.
Interior-design ideas can be successfully exported to the outdoors. Different textures can be used to create interest and drama.
Use variations of one material to create different feelings; for example stone slabs and cobbles. And feel free to accessorise — shrubs are great for layering, screening, and adding character.
Asymmetry is a current interior trend that has also migrated to the outdoors. Think less structured and more natural lines, to provide a different focus for the eye.