9 October 2020

Building the connection between your home and garden

Traditionally, the home and garden are seen as two separate spaces, each serving a distinct purpose. However, creating a connection between them can unify the internal and external areas of your home, leading to a cleaner overall design concept and a more enjoyable living experience.

Here are some ways to build the connection between your home and garden.

Maximise your windows

One of the most obvious ways to connect the areas both physically and visually is through the considered use of windows and doors. This also has the added benefit of bringing light into the home and creating a more spacious, airy feel.

Floor-to-ceiling glass and large picture windows are perfect for allowing an uninterrupted view of the outdoors, bringing it into the indoor space. Sliding or bi-fold glass doors allow you to literally open up your home into the garden, creating a shared space between the inside and outside.

If your home’s layout doesn’t lend itself to sliding doors, consider placing a window that  enables a view of the garden or showcases a distinctive piece of outdoor feature. For example, you might wish to direct the eye towards a tree at the end of the garden or a beautiful pond. Using outdoor lighting to highlight these features will create a sense of connection to the garden that you can still enjoy at night.

Bring the outdoors indoors

Adding greenery and natural materials to your interior will help to link the indoor and outdoor spaces on a conscious and subconscious level. In particular, focus on the areas around connective walkways or visual sight lines that lead into the garden.

Place some of the same plants and flowers inside, physically bringing the garden into your home and creating a multisensory bond between the two spaces. Make use of materials like wood, bamboo, terracotta and stone, and play with colours, textures and patterns to mimic natural elements like flowers, leaves and bark.

Create a physical connection as you cross the threshold between by using the same materials in both spaces. This could be natural stone, wooden decking, or colourful Mediterranean tiles. You could even incorporate garden ornaments, wind chimes or a water feature in your interior design to really emphasise the link to the outdoor space.

Create a room outdoors

Strengthen the connection between your home and garden by creating an outdoor space inspired by interior design. Instead of a traditional patio, opt for a kind of outdoor room, offering a blend of shelter and open space.

Combine a canopy or other cover with sliding doors that open out from the kitchen to create a zone that straddles the line of indoors and outdoors. Partial walling can provide protection from the elements and demarcate the area, while pendant lighting and a hardwearing floor will give it the feel of an indoor space.

This is a great option to increase the usable space in your home without the cost of a building extension.

Speak to an architect

Whether you’re looking to update your current space or you’re creating a bespoke architectural design for a new-build project, get in touch with me to discuss how you can make the most of your home and garden.

11 May 2020

How the lockdown can help you to optimise your office space

During the current COVID-19 lockdown, many workplaces have become completely abandoned as employees have been working from home to stay safe.

The virus has had a major impact on the daily running of businesses, forcing us all to adapt and find new ways of working. While there have been many many negatives for businesses and their employees alike, there have also been some unexpected positives.

An empty office presents an unprecedented opportunity to make a few improvements to increase productivity and improve morale without disrupting staff.

Here are some ways that you can turn your empty office into an investment in the future of your business.

Assess your existing environment

First of all, it’s important to see what you’re working with. There are certain things that you may be unable to change, such as the position of walls, doors and windows, so you’ll need to plan around them.

Workplace management systems (IWMS) and computer-aided facility management (CAFM) tools are designed to show you exactly how you can utilise the environment. This will allow you to understand how much space you actually have, and how many workspaces you can support.

Doing this may highlight that your office is overcrowded in its current setup. You can then determine whether you can implement a new layout within the existing space or if the company would benefit from expanding into a bigger location.

Stay socially distanced

One concern is the possibility that the office will become a soulless grid of desks arranged to allow the maximum number of people to return to work.

While your work-from-home infrastructure is already in place, it makes sense to keep using it to ensure the safety and effectiveness of your staff.

Try not to get too bogged down in numbers, and don’t hurry to get everyone back at once. Make the most of those distance-working skills you’ve all been honing, and let those who are able to work from home continue as they are.

Consider workflow and productivity

Businesses change over time, and the way your office was originally laid out may no longer make sense. As rearranging desks and uprooting departments is hugely disruptive, we often simply put up with these less-than-perfect arrangements.

If certain teams and departments regularly collaborate with each other, it makes sense to situate them within the same area. Processes that involve working with confidential information or taking phone calls are better situated somewhere quieter and more private, such as in a separate office rather than an open-plan space.

You might want to introduce new, flexible working options to allow staff to work how best suits them. This could be quiet, private offices where people can get away from the hustle and bustle of the office when they need to concentrate, or bookable laptops and hotdesk areas for relaxed, informal working

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

Before going overboard with your new plans, it’s worth thinking about what does and doesn’t work in the office’s current format.

A great way to do this is to email staff and ask for their input. As well as learning exactly what they do and don’t like about the office, you might also find that people have some great ideas that you hadn’t considered before.

This will provide valuable insight from the people who actually work in the office every day and will prevent extensive changes that end up making things worse. It’s also nice to include your staff in the process, allowing them to feel valued and respected—and to prevent a huge shock when they eventually return to work!


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5 Portland Road
West Bridgford 
Nottingham NG2 6DN




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