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An outdoor living room is a great way to take your garden to the next level to make the most of your garden. For many of us, this type of project can seem to be a complicated task and as a result can take second place to designing interior spaces. We have created these 6 easy design steps that needed cost a fortune to help guide through the process, so that everyone can transform their outdoor space and enjoy that bottle of crisp white wine on ice, while entertaining comfortably in their beautiful outdoor living room.

1/ Make your outdoor living room comfy for everyone

Get enough seats for family and friends so you can entertain safely and happily in your outdoor living room. Just because it’s outdoors, it doesn’t mean you cannot be comfortable. These sofas are the perfect base for outside, with weatherproof fabric that can withstand a beautiful British summer shower. Yes, the cushions need to be kept inside long-term, but that’s what garden sheds are for. 

4 Seater Rattan Garden Corner Sofa Set Grey SANO II from Beliani for your outdoor living room
4 Seater Rattan Garden Corner Sofa Set Grey SANO II from Beliani

2/ Add soft layers to your outdoor living room

Cushions and throws make any outdoor space feel like home and will add colour and texture to soften the look. Go for natural fibres, like linen and cotton as they feel right at home in the garden. This blue ombre design we’ve chosen is a beaut. 

Riva Home Seashore Cushion Cover (40x60cm) (Blue) by Pertemba
Riva Home Seashore Cushion Cover (40x60cm) (Blue) by Pertemba

3/ Make it personal

Add your own design touch to a greenhouse or cold frame to help it bed into your scheme. We gave this easy-to-build cold frame a lick of pale green paint and some new brass handles, making it fit perfectly into our outside living design. It is beautiful and practical, helping us to grow seeds for our veg patch. 

Outsunny 2 Shelves Wooden Cold Frame Grow House Greenhouse Outdoor Plant Storage
Outsunny 2 Shelves Wooden Cold Frame Grow House Greenhouse Outdoor Plant Storage by Aosom

4/ Zone it with a rug

Rugs are a great way to define the space as an outdoor ‘room’. This rug is for outdoor use and adds some colour too. Durable and beautiful, no wonder our Dachshund Buckley loves it. 

Outdoor Area Rug 140 x 200 cm Pink AKYAR by Beliani for your outdoor living room
Outdoor Area Rug 140 x 200 cm Pink AKYAR by Beliani

5/ Plant it up

Large planters will add architecture to the outdoor living room you are creating and give more definition and interest. Plant them up with your favourite flowers or plants to continue that houseplant obsession outdoors. We have gone for Brown turkey fig, love the leaf shape, and Hydrangea Paniculata, because it is so beautiful and the white of the giant cone-like flower heads give the look a fresh lift.  

Planter Flower Pot Concrete Design Garden Flower Balcony 26 L | 49 L | 91 L Grey, 26 Liter by Deuba
Planter Flower Pot Concrete Design Garden Flower Balcony 26 L | 49 L | 91 L Grey, 26 Liter by Deuba

6/ Light it up

An outdoor living room is not just for day time- add in some lighting for night time ambience. You needn’t have outdoor plugs or wiring either because there are lots of solar powered options available. These white solar powered ball lights are effortlessly chic and come with a spike so they can slot easily into any border or planter. 

Solar sphere Lago with LED and earth spike by Lights UK for your outdoor living room
Solar sphere Lago with LED and earth spike by Lights UK

Did you enjoy this article from 2LG Studio on how to set up your outdoor living room? Why not read more about garden design or even our guide to selecting the right garden furniture for you!

Are you designing your garden? Share your finished results with us on instagram using the #mymanomanoway and #manomanouk!

By Quercus Jardiners

Artificial grass is a great way to ensure you can enjoy your outside space in a beautiful and lush setting. After a long summer, natural grass can often become dry and patchy and be prone to damage, which is why laying artificial grass can be a good alternative.

With our many years’ experience supplying and installing artificial grass, here are ten tips for you to keep in mind when you are trying to decide which type of artificial grass to purchase.

Top Tips

1. Select the quality of your grass

The majority of artificial grass that is available on the market today comes from China, and the quality of the grass varies widely depending on where it has been manufactured, China, Europe or Spain.

2. Consider how it will be used

The main factor to take into account in terms of the quality of the grass is not the material itself, but rather the use we are going to give it. You can’t choose the same type of artificial grass for a residential garden that is going to be played in, one that is close to a pool, one that is a pathway, or one that is simply for decoration purposes and has to be lush and green.

3. Height matters

A comfortable grass needs to be of a certain minimum pile height, to give us that cushioned feel underfoot. Good pile heights range between 30 and 40 mm. Given the technology that is used today, we don’t recommend that you get a higher pile grass. In the future higher pile grasses will surely be viable in terms of comfort and quality.

4. Stitch count

Quality is determined by the number of stitches (blades) per square metre: the higher the stitch count, the better the cushioning. The stitch count in artificial grass can vary from a few thousands to twenty thousand. Imagine an artificial grass with twenty thousand stitches per square metre and a pile height of 35 mm, it’s totally amazing!

An average quality grass is usually around fifteen/seventeen thousand stitches per square metre, with a pile height between 30 and 40 millimetres. Within this range we can find artificial grass that is excellent value for money.

Artificial grass can transform your garden
Artificial grass can transform your garden

5. The installation

How do you install it? There are countless tutorials, guides and pamphlets available, but it definitely won’t be the same result that a professional fitter can provide, since they usually fit thousands of metres per season. It is always better to contact a professional fitter to avoid mistakes such as leaving the joins between grass pieces visible, or not achieving a good level ground.

6. What direction will it face in?

It is important to consider the direction of the pile when you are going to install it. The blades on the grass have a predetermined direction, and if you are not consistent, the whole thing will not look very good. 

7. To sand or not to sand?

Sand infill? We don’t think that you need a silica sand infill, even though it can be helpful in certain cases. Remember that, with silica sand, you won’t be able to hoover the grass. Yet there is one good reason to use sand infill: heat evacuation. Grass with silica sand is capable of retaining more moisture after you water it, and it can feel cool and refreshing for longer.

You also need to take into account that if you add silica sand and you want the grass to last a few years, it must be regularly decompacted. Grass with added silica which has not been properly maintained loses its guarantee. The silica sand hardens over time and with each step we take on the grass, blades are lost (silica is an abrasive product, like sandpaper, and this speeds up degradation).

8. Maintain, maintain, maintain

Biggest mistake: artificial grass = zero maintenance. This is the biggest and most common mistake people make. Artificial grass gives us two very important advantages over natural grass: it saves us water (the biggest advantage of all) and it doesn’t require constant maintenance. Yet this does not mean that it doesn’t require any maintenance at all. At the end of the day, artificial grass is a type of plastic that heats up in the sun and loses its shape, and over time it loses its properties. A “brushing” at least once a year is the best way to make sure that it lasts many years.

Choosing the right artificial grass for you
Choosing the right grass for you

Enjoy a beautiful and lush green grass this summer, whether it’s artificial or natural! Check out ManoMano.co.uk for a wide range on artificial grass.

Did you enjoy this article from Quercus Jardiners? Why not also read lawn mowing tips and tricks and how to set up a raised garden bed!

Are you installing your own artificial grass ? Share your finished results with us on instagram using the #mymanomanoway and #manomanouk!