This post has been sponsored by AXA.
I’m going to start this post with by admitting that I don’t like gardening. It just doesn’t float my boat. Every time my Dad visits, he’s always asking me why I haven’t used the lawn mower he gave me, and checking if I have weeded the patio. After spending Father’s day in Dad’s garden relaxing with him, I realised that he has created the ultimate space for relaxation when he’s not working. He has a hammock, a beautifully painted blue fence, solar lighting and even a shed designed just for his cat with special beds and cosy interiors (now you know where I get my cat crazy from). So even the cats are relaxed in their household.
When AXA got in touch to ask me to join in their #GrandShedProject campaign with Grand Designs Live, I realised it was the perfect opportunity to transform this sorry looking patio into a space we can relax in after a hard day’s work. G is pretty stressed with his job lately and I am spending a lot of time on the computer, so I wanted to make the patio a haven for us to take time out in. And by gosh did it need a makeover. We started with a huge amount of weeds (sorry Dad), a second hand table and chairs and a chimnea which hid under a tarp and never saw the light of day. I decided a new dining/seating area was in order and that bold colours were the theme!
The table and chair set was from Homebase and I found these super bright tropical themed cushions in Wilko. I also picked up a cover to keep the dining area dry when not in use. Our trusty old chimnea has had a clean and is getting ready for some BBQs and cosy fire time of an evening. I can’t remember where we got it from, but it’s similar to this one. As we live by the river, bugs are inevitable. I purchased this large citronella candle from Wilko and a pineapple tea light holder from Flying Tiger, to carry on the tropical theme. The pink tray and drinking glasses are also from Tiger.
I’m the kind of person who believes that party decorations should be for every day use (have you seen my bike?!), so I added this paper ball garland from Tiger to the external wall for another pop of colour. The cushions were just £10 each. They are waterproof and specific for outdoor use. Just gives us a little extra comfort when sitting! I am not a big gardener at all (just about keeping a couple of house plants alive at the moment), but I figured a lavender shrub and some succulents will be enough for now. They will give the patio a bit more greenery and colour and hopefully the lavender will attract some bumble bees too. The plant guy at our local Homebase is so brilliant and always stops to offer me advice about how to care for the plants I buy. I trust him because his actual name is Basil (!) and he sells plants, and he’s been there for years and years. I kept a peace lily alive for almost 5 years because of his advice. The chimnea accessories come by way of these easy logs. We love them because all you need to do is light the paper and the wood inside will keep a fire going for a couple of hours. Marshmallow toasting here we come!
The beautiful Denton Check Duck Egg Throw is from Laura Ashley. It’s huge and so cosy, perfect for cooler evenings when we want to stay in the garden.
My favourite part of the entire patio makeover is this epic hammock! Ever since I spent the afternoon in my Dad’s garden hammock, I knew it was something we needed for our well being – I felt SO chilled just laying in it. This one can hold two people up to 450lbs. I fear that no evening will ever be productive again and that I might fall asleep on my lunch break if I use it then.
I decided to add some solar lights to the adjacent wall to create a cosy and relaxed vibe for this side of the patio.
Patio makeover costs (for those of you interested!)
Hammock – £116.99 (Amazon)
Solar Lighting – £14.99 (Amazon)
Throw – already owned but it’s on sale for £36 (Laura Ashley)
Bistro Table & Chair set – £49.99 (Homebase)
Table & Chair cover – £24.99 (Homebase)
Easy Logs – £6.82 (Homebase)
Succulent Planter – £14.99 (Homebase in store)
Lavender Shrub – £12.49 (Homebase in store)
Waterproof Cushions – £20 (Wilko)
Citronella Candle – £2.50 (Wilko)
Pineapple Candle Holder – £3 (Flying Tiger in store)
Pink Tray – £2 (Flying Tiger in store)
Paper Garland – £3 (Flying Tiger in store)
TOTAL COST FOR NEWLY PURCHASED ITEMS – £271.76