Outside interests

PA Photo/Handout.
PA Photo/Handout.

In a triumph of hope over experience, we plucky Brits persist in defying our unpredictable weather, eating, socialising and relaxing al fresco as soon as there’s a glimmer of sunlight.

But while we can’t guarantee good weather, it is at least possible to make a stylish and comfortable setting a dead cert, by lavishing some love on your outdoor space.

As well as the advantage of creating another ‘room’ - always welcome in our space-starved times, investing in a patio could also literally help you ‘grow’ money.

A garden can increase the value of a property by up to 20%, according to research by RatedPeople.com, the UK’s largest online trade recommendation service, which also found that the majority of buyers (66%) say outdoor space would be a key deciding factor when it comes to buying.

“People can always tell the difference between a house and a home, and it works the same way with a garden,” says Rated People ambassador and Location, Location, Location presenter Phil Spencer.

“Don’t be afraid to add personality to your outdoor decor and accessories - this is your space and says as much about you as your interior. Wall decorations, interesting plant pots and special features will make your garden eye-catching and, just as important, more enjoyable for you to spend time in.”

A simple test can tell you if that space is fit for purpose: plant yourself down on your outdoor furniture and decide whether you’re as comfortable as you would be indoors, and could linger there as long over a meal or drinks. If the answer’s a resounding ‘no’, it’s time for revamp.