These tips for creating a cosy summer house will allow you to make a smooth transition from summer into autumn and winter, and continue using your outdoor building in maximum comfort and style.
Whether you have repurposed your summer house ideas to create a garden office for year-round use or you simply want to be able to relax in there a bit later into the season, these tips from outbuilding and outdoor living experts will help you extend your summer house season.
1. Insulate your summer house
The first step in creating a cozy summer house should always be to consider improving insulation. This can be particularly important if you want to use your summer house on a daily basis as a garden office.
Catharina Björkman, Scandi lifestyle expert at Contura woodburning stoves, points out that 'summer houses can get chilly, dark and damp in the cooler months' and recommends using draught excluders 'around doors and windows to ensure you’re keeping heat in and the cold out.'
Window treatments can also go a long way in insulating your summer house. Investing in blinds or curtains 'will help your space retain heat in the cooler months and will also keep the sun out on hot summer days. For longevity, choose a neutral color that will work all year round - soft greys, warm yellows or soothing greys all work well.'
2. Add rugs for warmth underfoot
The best outdoor rugs are a simple and effective solution for chilly summer house flooring during the winter season. Catharina calls them 'a simple and stylish solution' as rugs 'not only help retain room temperature and feel nicer underfoot but can also help bring the overall room style together.'
3. Invest in quality soft furnishings
Adding texture and warmth with soft furnishings is by far the easiest way to make a summer house feel cosy. Richard Berry from outdoor building and garage specialist Lidget Compton, chimes in to say that 'furnishing your summer house with blankets and cushions will help create a warmer feel.' His top tip is to 'use materials like wool and fleece which are great insulators and will keep the warmth in.'
Wayfair’s Resident Style Advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill, adds: 'Swap out light summer cotton cushions for heavier fabrics options – luxe velvet, warm wool or thick linen will all bring a sense of coziness to your space. Layering different sizes and fabrics is the perfect way to create a cocooning environment with strong visual interest.'
4. Add cozy lighting
Investing in a few well-placed outdoor lighting ideas is key to extending the use of your summer house throughout the seasons. 'Lighting is great for creating a warm and homely feeling,' says Richard Berry. He advises adding lamps to your summer house as they 'can warm up the room making it a cozy den to unwind and relax in during the cooler months. Work with a professional to get electricity to your summer house to ensure safety, and for temporary measures you could even use battery-powered candles or cordless lamps.'
5. Consider repainting the walls
Finally, you'll be surprised by how your choice of the best exterior wood paint can affect the overall feel of your summer house. For a winter paint scheme, avoid pastels and instead try 'using saturated tones such as orange, burgundy or even a deeper blue' – according to Richard Berry, they 'will create feelings of warmth and comfort.'
And – 'once you’ve painted your walls, you can even add wall hangings or paintings to really bring the room to life.'
These simple changes can make all the difference to your summer house and help get it winter-ready.
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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