4 Ways to Create a Stylish, Multifunctional Conservatory

4 way to create a stylish functional conservatory

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and install a conservatory in your home.

…now what?

Well, now’s the time to start thinking about how to make that space worth the investment. How to get the most bang for your buck. How to use the new space in the most efficient, practical way.

Luckily for you, our team are experts in all things practical, and have compiled a list of ways you can create a multifunctional space for you and all the family to share and enjoy.

Light it Up

Let’s start simple.

If you’re anything like us, your favourite part of the day is probably opening up your curtains first thing in the morning to see what the outside world has to offer that day.

Sometimes, the most basic things are the most effective. There’s nothing quite as visually appealing and functional as natural light in a home.

Of course, there’s no better space in the house to let in natural light than the conservatory. Your close proximity to the outside world means you’ll never run low on vitamin D, which is essential for keeping you happy and productive throughout the day.

Not to mention, having a well-lit room will go a long way in terms of making the space appear more spacious.

Get in the Zone

If you want to maximise the space, why not make it multiple spaces?

Nothing will make a space more versatile than literally splitting it up into sections, dedicating each zone to a different activity.

Need somewhere to work? Pick out a stylish desk and pop it in a corner with plenty of sunlight, close to a power outlet.

Want somewhere to zen out and meditate? Grab yourself a cosy armchair or beanbag and put it at the other end of the conservatory.

There’s no limit to the number of things you can do with your conservatory. Splitting your space into dedicated spaces will help save space and keep you organised.

Think Multiuse

You know what’s multifunctional? Furniture that’s… well, multifunctional. 

If you’re looking to save space, remember you don’t necessarily need something for everything.

Turns out, desks can double as dining tables. Storage boxes can double as shelves. The list goes on and on.

There are also plenty of furniture pieces on the market designed specifically for multiple purposes or to save space. Think laptop trays for your sofa. Fold-away tables and chairs. Nesting tables. Again, the list is inexhaustible. 

If You Don't Need It, Store It

Nothing quite clutters up a space like… clutter.

Shocking, right?

Having plenty of room for storage is key to keeping your space clean and multifunctional. There are countless ways you can store your items with style, from bookcases and cupboards to boxes that double as coffee tables.

Conservatories With Character

For conservatories that never compromise on style or functionality, head down to Outside Interests in Barnham today. Our experienced team members are experts in all things conservatories and are always happy to offer advice where needed.

Here’s Why YOU Should Grow Plants in Your Summer House

Here's Why YOU Should Grow Plants in Your Summer House

Imagine having a space that boosts your mood, gives you energy, and reduces stress.

Sounds pretty idyllic, right?

Luckily, that can become your reality pretty easily.

Summer houses have grown significantly in popularity over the past few years, particularly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. They’re the perfect space to unwind, be creative, socialise or get some much-needed respite from the house in the heart of nature.

If you had a summer house installed in your garden during the lockdown, it’s probably about time you thought about sprucing it up a little. Whether you’re using your summer house as a workspace, a room to practice your hobbies or a hub to hang out with friends, there’s always room for a little greenery.

Enter: plants.

Make it Green!

If you’re keen to relax in your garden, there’s a high chance you’re not opposed to a little nature inside your summer house.

The conditions of a summer house are perfect for letting your houseplants thrive, particularly if you opt for large windows. It would be difficult for your plants not to grow, soaking in the natural light and warmth of the sun. 

However, while you can certainly help your plants by putting them in your summer house, your plants can also help you through their natural healing properties. 

Less Stress, More Happiness

Turns out, there’s no hobby quite as calming and therapeutic as caring for plants.

Potting soil contains a type of bacteria that has been proven to reduce stress. Tending to plants will also increase your serotonin levels, making you happier and less anxious overall.

Let's Get Creative...

Garden offices are becoming more and more popular with each passing year. With all their benefits, it’s not hard to see why.

However, we can all use a little productivity boost every once in a while. Studies have shown that having plants in the vicinity can increase creativity and productivity levels by 15%.

A natural, affordable, visually-pleasing way of improving your work… How good is that?

Breathe Easy

As crazy as it sounds, indoor air can actually be more polluted than outside air. The risks of air pollution are numerous, from asthma to lung disease.

Many common household plants can improve air quality by filtering out all the bad stuff.

Moreover, some plants are a great alternative to dehumidifiers due to their ability to absorb water vapours through their leaves.

How You Can Help

Of course, houseplants need optimal conditions to survive. Being out in nature will play a big part in this, but there are a few other things you can do to help them out.

By insulating your summer house, you ensure that the environment stays at a moderate temperature all year round. Pay attention to the plant’s individual needs, giving it plenty of water and trimming them where necessary.

How You Can Help

Need help styling, designing, installing or building your summer house? We get it. It sure can seem like a complicated process.

Here’s the secret, though.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Our team is full of seasoned experts who are deeply passionate about helping customers find their comfiest space. We’re all about functionality, adaptability and unparalleled customer service, which is why we go out of our way every time to make the experience and result perfect for the customer.

Get in touch with the team at Outside Interests to discuss your needs for a summer house. If you want a close up look at some of our work, feel free to pop down to our Barnham showroom today.

Consider These Things Before Choosing Where to Put Your Greenhouse

Consider These Things Before Choosing Where to Put Your Greenhouse

Thinking about investing in a greenhouse for your garden? Before you jump in, there are several things you will need to consider. Perhaps the most significant of these things is the location of the greenhouse.

Sun Exposure

If you have any hope of growing anything in your greenhouse, you need to calculate the direction of the sun to ensure it gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day.

Ideally, you want to make sure the long side of your greenhouse is facing southwards, which will ensure maximal sunlight exposure. This is particularly important up north, where sunlight may be more limited. If facing the greenhouse southwards means trees or fences block the sun, try facing it south-east or south-west.

Protection From Trees

There are several downsides to putting your greenhouse beneath trees. The most obvious problem with this location is, of course, the fact that trees will likely shade your greenhouse from the sun. Depending on the type of plant you are trying to grow, this could mean your plants are starved of essential nutrients and are unlikely to thrive.

On top of this, trees can cause issues such as dirt, bird droppings, sap and algae, all of which we’re sure you’d rather didn’t accumulate on your greenhouse roof.

To avoid these issues, make sure not to build your greenhouse directly beneath or beside a tree.

Plant Type

If you know anything about gardening, you probably know that different plants need different nutrients and sunlight levels to grow properly. Some do better in direct sunlight and heat, whilst others thrive in cold and shady environments.

Before investing in a greenhouse, do some thorough research on the plants you are trying to nurture and decide where the best location would be for them.

As a general rule, flowers and vegetables tend to do better in direct sunlight. Particularly if you live in the UK, you’re probably going to want to let your plants soak up as much sun as possible. We would therefore recommend you place your greenhouse on the south or south-east side of your garden.

Ground Stability

Placing your greenhouse on unlevel ground would be a very bad idea. We also recommend avoiding the base of slopes, as it is unlikely to drain properly. This may put unnecessary stress on your structure. 

Visit Outside Interests For Unparalleled Services

Maybe you’re just considering having a greenhouse installed but don’t know where to start. Maybe you know exactly what you want and just need a team of experts to finish the job. Either way, we’re here for you.

If you need some inspiration, why not pop down to our showroom in Barnham village? Our team of experts will be more than happy to help you make your decision and can offer professional advice.

Get in touch with the team at Outside Interests today. Your garden will thank you for it!

Upgrade Your Log Cabin With These Tips

log cabin

If you have a house, you’ve probably felt like you could be making better use of your space at one point or another. The once-lovely place you invested in has sadly fallen into disrepair and neglect. If this sounds like a remotely familiar situation, you could be in need of a space makeover. 

Using Your Log Cabin in the Right Way

 
Log cabins are a great place to enjoy nature’s sounds, whether you’re by yourself or with friends and family. There is nothing more relaxing than escaping into nature and taking in the fresh air. When you’re home, be sure to open up those windows; it will help take care of your health while also giving off an amazing aroma!

Doesn’t that sound inviting?

We think so, too. We’re here to help you make your log cabin the perfect space for relaxation. If you want to make the most of your log cabin, check out our tips below!

Bar

There’s no need to venture out into the pub when you can have your own bar in the back garden.

Just imagine: It’s summertime. The sun is still shining bright and warm, even though it’s almost time for sunset. While you’re in the mood for a break from reality, there’s only one place to go – your own personal log cabin. You pour yourself an ice-cold drink from your bar on this gorgeous day where all of life’s problems seem far away, as if they never even existed. You enjoy the last hour of your day with a good book or magazine, getting lost in thought and forgetting about time passing by.

That sounds exactly like our ideal scenario!

If you are looking to make your log cabin complete, a stylish and solid bar may be the perfect addition. The drinks bar is the perfect accessory for entertaining or relaxing on your own. You’ll be happy and satisfied all year long!

Solar Energy

Even if you’re hoping to escape from the world, you will likely still need some form of power in your log cabin. You may want to light up the space so you can read your book late into the night or even meditate with some relaxing music.

You may want to consider installing a solar panel kit on your cabin if you live in an area that gets plenty of sun, as it’s a more environmentally-friendly form of energy. These kits are easy to find and typically include a small solar panel, a power bank, a lamp switch and some LED bulbs. With these, you can light up the room and even charge your phone whenever needed.

Rug

 

While many people assume that log cabins need to be all hardwood to match the trees outside, it can be nice to add a little extra comfort and a pop of colour with a stylish rug. Your rug is not only a statement piece, but it can also help protect your hardwood floor from scratches and dirt.

The Sweet Escape Away From Reality

The cabin you’ve always wanted is just around the corner. Contact Outside Interests and start the process of building your perfect log cabin today. Looking for new inspiration? Check out our website or head to the Barnham showroom, where you can see our designs up close and in person. We’re here to help you with any questions and advise how best to style your cabin.

Easy Ways To Make Over Your Conservatory

Easy Ways To Make Over Your Conservatory

There are so many benefits to having an attached or semi-attached conservatory. For starters, it’s wonderful for hosting parties and adding that much needed extra space when you need it most! The transformation of a conservatory into an unwanted dumping ground is not uncommon. In many cases, these spaces will serve as temporary storage for belongings until their owners can find room elsewhere. Here at Outside Interests, we think they can be both functional and stylish. If you’re tired of your conservatory being a drab, impersonal space that doesn’t reflect what’s important to you, we’ve got some tips for making it more inviting.

Replace the Roof

 

The temperature regulation in a conservatory can be difficult. The conservatory climate can change dependent on the weather outside. This can make the weather unpredictable, with extreme cold in winter and sweltering temperatures during summer. On top of this, an old roof is more likely than not to have caused other issues such as leaks and mould.

Modern roof systems are much more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional roofs. The environmental benefits of a modern rooftop installation include lower carbon emissions, reduced noise pollution due to less wind speed circulation within the building structure itself, as well as an increase in property value because they’re quieter overall! With a thicker roof, you can protect your house from harsh weather conditions. UV protection roofs will keep the glare of the sun off windows in the hot summertime, and climate control vents make sure that the air inside stays cool or warm as needed.

Plants

 

Sometimes, it is enough to just go outside and be in nature for a little while. However, you can bring that feeling indoors using plants or other natural materials like a wood stain on furniture. Houseplants can be a great way to bring life and colour into your conservatory. They’re also an excellent choice if you want lush greenery without the expense or trouble of taking care of fresh flowers. The increased oxygen levels in your home will not only help you feel better, but it can also improve the quality of life for those around as well. The presence of plants in your home can have a calming effect on you. Multiple studies show that they’re not just nice to look at, but also improve mental wellbeing!

Furniture

 

We all know how much fun it is when you find the perfect piece of furniture. What could feel better than walking into a newly redone room that looks just like you want it? Why not update your interior design with some fresh pieces? It’s never too late to makeover the bored, outdated look of an old space and bring in something more inspiring. If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your room, then this is it! With the right furniture and decorating techniques in place – such as colour – there’s no limit on how creative or beautiful an area can be. The possibilities for this space are endless!

Curtains and Carpets

 

The right flooring and curtains can transform any room, making it feel more spacious or elegant. With just a few simple changes, you can make your home feel brand-new again. Invest in some cosy accent cushions and make the room more inviting by adding a pop of colour. Flooring and curtains can make or break the feel of your home. If you want a cosy, comfortable place to call your own, combine these two elements with care!

Smart Technology

 

In today’s world, it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustles of life. However, if you’re looking for ways to allow your home or business space to be more comfortable while also improving its efficiency, consider investing some money into installing smart technology such as automation systems that can make tasks much easier on everyone involved! From smart lighting and audio to thermostats, you can truly transform your space with devices like Google’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri.

Outside Interests are the Company For You

 

We pride ourselves on being your one-stop shop for anything related to the conservatory. Our team is made up of passionate individuals who are experts in the design, construction and installation of your new conservatory. When you’re looking for a new structure or want to update your current one, we can help with that. We’ll come up with some fresh ideas and make sure everything is just right! If you’re looking for some visual inspiration, be sure to drop by our Barnham showroom, where we have a wide range of buildings on display. We are here to help you with any questions, so give us a call! What better time than now to start giving your home the TLC it deserves!

Out of the Box Ideas for Orangeries and Conservatories

orangeries and conservatories

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the past few years, you’ve probably noticed a surge in the sharing of interior design ideas across social media, particularly during the pandemic, when many people decided to renovate their homes. Browsing social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram or TikTok can be a source of inspiration but also a source of jealousy for anyone looking to spruce up their home. For the first time, we’re being allowed glimpses into thousands of peoples’ houses, a lot of which are a lot more creative and original than we’re used to seeing in catalogues and stores. Here at Outside Interests, we love to create unique structures that suit whatever vision the customer has in mind, no matter how outlandish. The uses for orangeries and conservatories are endless, but here are a few of our favourite ideas we’ve seen when browsing online:

Biophilic Orangeries and Conservatories

 

The term ‘biophilia’ was coined in 1984 by the psychologist Edward O. Wilson. Literally, it translates to ‘love of nature’, though Wilson described it as ‘the urge to affiliate with other forms of life’. The idea is to reverse urbanisation’s impact on us as people and connect with nature. In turn, this will improve our well-being through reduced stress and enhanced creativity. 

So how does this link into orangeries and conservatories? You’d be hard-pressed to find a more suitable environment than our structures to implement a biophilic design. Their close proximity to the outside world makes them naturally biophilic, as the large glass windows allow an abundance of natural light and heat to stream into the house. By thus exposing you to more vitamin D, your orangery or conservatory will improve your mood and physical health.

Moreover, their naturally warm, light atmosphere makes them the perfect place for growing plants. In fact, conservatories were originally invented to grow tropical fruits in a place that was sheltered from the elements. Incorporating plenty of plants into your structure will not only improve the air quality of the room through increased oxygen but will also add brightness and colour, both of which can impact your mood and mindset.

Emotional Escape Rooms

 

With the rise in wellness and self-care talk over the past few years, it’s no wonder we’re seeing many people adopt the idea of an ’emotional escape room’ in their homes. These rooms are exactly what they sound like; they are rooms specifically designed to provide respite from your emotions and allow you to destress, decompress, or even let out your anger, depending on what offers you the most emotional release. You can tailor the design of your conservatory to suit the effect you wish to have, using colour psychology and choosing appropriate decor. For example, if you’re looking for a ‘rage room’ to release your anger, you might want to incorporate a few things you don’t mind destroying. Alternatively, if you want somewhere to meditate, why not put in a beanbag, some incense or a few candles to set the right mood?

Give Your Home the Upgrade It Deserves

 

The internet can be a goldmine for interior design ideas. These are just a couple of the many innovative ideas you could use as inspiration for your orangery or conservatory. If you’re interested in improving your well-being through a stunning orangery or conservatory, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Outside Interests. We are more than happy to offer advice on your new build and can tailor your design to everything you need and desire. Live a better home life with Outside Interests.

When Should I Replace My Shed?

when should i replace my shed

No matter how well built your shed might be, it will eventually need some maintenance or renovation. Some shed problems can easily be fixed, whereas others may require a costly repair. If you’re looking to go that route, we may recommend replacing the structure if this is more financially viable.

A damaged shed is not just an eyesore; it’s also a safety hazard. You could be killing your garden furniture with leaks and gaps in the wood that let rats and other vermin through.

If your shed is looking a little worse for wear, then maybe it’s time to give yourself an upgrade. If you have a ripped felt roof, the most simple thing is to get it fixed without investing in new construction. On the other hand, the following signs indicate that it may be best to buy something new instead of repairing an old shed:

Leaks and Wood Warping

Leaks are one of the most common causes of damage in sheds. Not only do they cause an unpleasant smell, but also mould and rot. The damage from large areas of rot can be severe and will ultimately lead to the shed’s structural integrity being compromised. If you’ve been noticing a pesky leak again and again, it might be more difficult than initially thought to fix the problem. The best option may be to get a new shed if the wood is damaged beyond repair.

Rain can cause more than just leaks! It’s important to be aware of what else you might not have seen coming. The effects of moisture on wood are not pretty and can lead to lasting damage, such as warped timber. Sometimes, it is possible to manipulate the wood back into place. However, the shed should be scrapped if it has become too misshaped to use.

Damaged Doors, Windows and Panels

In order to keep your shed in good shape, you need to make sure every element of the structure is working properly. To avoid leaks and damp patches, doors and windows should be easy to open and close. You can fill in any gaps around the openings with sealant to fix this issue. The difference in size between these gaps tells us how much damage there is. Larger differences mean more severe damage that may be impossible to fix! In this case, we strongly advise looking for a new shed. 

Likewise, loose panels can cause a great deal of harm to your shed. Having too many dislodged panels will make the structure of your shed vulnerable to collapse. If you notice one or two panels have become loose, don’t panic! Simply nail them back into place before heading off in search of a professional. Sheds do not last forever, so if the situation gets worse, we advise getting a new one to avoid damaging your garden and storage when it inevitably collapses.

Contact Outside Interests Before It’s Too Late

Maybe you need a larger shed because your current one just isn’t big enough. It can be very inconvenient to have to root through piles and stacks of storage to find that little garden tool you were looking for. You can now have the perfect shed to suit your needs and requirements.
Outside Interests offers bespoke sheds that will transform how you do gardening, whether it’s for professional or personal use. Why wait? Get in touch with our team today, and we’ll be happy to help you decide on the best plan for your needs. Alternatively, come down to our Barnham showroom, where you can browse some of the sheds we have on offer.

Why Do I Need a Conservatory?

conservatory

Back in the 1700s, homeowners used conservatories to grow tropical fruits due to their ability to trap heat and avoid the rain. In the 21st century, the possibilities for your conservatory are limitless. Equipped with innovative glazing technology and venting systems that keep them at a moderate temperature all year round, the conservatories at Outside Interests can be designed to suit whatever purpose you have in mind, no matter how outlandish. 

Are you thinking about installing a conservatory in your home but unsure how to use it? Here at Outside Interests, we like to think outside the box. Here are just a few of our top suggestions for how you can make the most out of your stylish new build.

Gardening

Before we go too crazy with our suggestions, let’s strip it back to basics. After all, the Georgians might have been on to something with their original intentions for conservatories. Their ability to produce extra heat and moisture whilst trapping sunlight and warding off rain and wind make conservatories the perfect environment for allowing certain plants (that would most certainly not survive outside in unpredictable British weather) to thrive. 

Growing your own produce is highly beneficial in a number of ways. For starters, it can be more environmentally friendly than buying from your local supermarket, as it negates the need for excessive plastic packaging. Moreover, fruit and vegetables from supermarkets are often less nourishing, as transporting them results in a loss of nutrients. Finally, growing your own food can be much more cost-effective than buying it.

Living Room / Dining Room Extension 

This is probably the use that springs to mind when you think of a conservatory. Many homeowners use them to extend their living space, opening up the house to create more room and airiness. By doing so, they also let in an abundance of natural light and warmth, which can help you save on electricity bills. On top of this, we all know the impact sunlight can have on our moods. Imagine being able to reap the benefits of vitamin D when you’re inside, only with none of the wind, rain or snow.

But why stop with the living room? Why not use your conservatory to extend your dining area, opening up the space for guests and bathing them in warmth and light as they eat their food? One amazing benefit of this option is its ability to transform a summer barbecue. We’ve all been there – got everything cooking outside just as it starts to drizzle with rain. With your stylish conservatory, you won’t have to worry about hastily rushing everything back to the kitchen, and you can still pretend you’re outside (whilst angrily cursing the British weather.)

Office

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, working at home has become increasingly common and a permanent, preferable solution for many. There comes a time when working at your kitchen table won’t cut it anymore, and you may have been thinking of investing in a functional office space. In this case, a stylish conservatory workspace could be the perfect solution.

Contact Outside Interests Today

The benefits and uses of conservatories in this day and age certainly don’t stop with the few mentioned above. From a games room to a kitchen extension, there are countless other ways to enjoy your home’s naturally warm, bright new space. If you’re interested in finding out more about the extensive range of conservatory styles we have on offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Outside Interests. We would be more than happy to help you with any enquiries and make suggestions based on your property, requirements and wishes.