My Garden Makeover: Fresh Paint & Furniture for a total transformation

May 15, 2019

AD – This post is a paid collaboration with Sandtex & Sandolin, it also contains gifted furniture. 

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Chelsea Flower Show is gearing up to start next week and with summer days on the horizon I’ve spent the last couple of bank holidays sorting out my own humble outdoor space. We did a huge amount of work the first year we lived here, removing the asbestos shed and the mountain of soil that ran the back of the garden, making boxes for planting, painting fences and creating a border on the shady side for ferns. Then each year since I have done a little tidy up, wondered what we are going to do with the back corner on the left (a vegetable patch, a summer house and a trampoline were all contenders in the running) and aside from a few new plants the look has been largely forgotten about it. Until now. Make yourself a brew, if you haven’t already, as this is a long post!
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It wasn’t just that I couldn’t make up my mind about the dreaded back left corner, what was once freshly painted was starting to look a little sad and tired. So this year I decided was the year to finally tackle the space and I’m working in collaboration with Sandtex, the leading outdoor paint specialists, available in all good diy stores, to help me achieve this. Looking round the garden the list felt pretty endless. The fences needed repainting, the decking needed restoring, concrete needed to go down so that a summerhouse could go up and be painted and from an interiors point of view we finally needed commit to a garden furniture style! There will be more pretty pictures ahead but can we first pause on the slightly less lovely before pics, not least because it makes me feel smug! Including the estate agents picture of the sparse garden we inherited which reminds me why I used to see the outdoors space as akin to a prison yard, it was outdoors but that was about all you could say for it, we didn’t even inherit the bird table or the tiny planters shown in this picture for cheer!
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The estate agents pic of the garden as we inherited it three years ago, no planting, awful mismatched old fences, asbestos shed in middle plus its heartening to see the grass was even worse then!

The garden in a pretty sorry state and in need of some love this February

The garden Mid-way through makeover

The difference a lick of fresh paint can make to a fence!

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The biggest transformation has definitely been the paint. I am delighted to be working with Sandtex , who offer a comprehensive range of colours and finishes to suit all surfaces, on my makeover and I can honestly tell you that the quality has really impressed me. You know how sometimes you repaint an area white that has been white for ages, say a ceiling perhaps, and suddenly not only does the space look fresh but actually new? Well this was the effect with the fences (see above), except as there’s seventeen fences perhaps times this effect by seventeen! When we first painted these fences I used one of the two other competitor brands on the market, and the difference from that watery milk-like paint (which fences just absorb and need several coats) to the Sandtex Exterior Paint is incredible. Fence painting isn’t always the most joyous diy task so to cut out several coats is a godsend. The paint is super thick with a semi-sheen finish which feels really hardwearing. The fences have genuinely never looked so good, the greenery looks so crisp against the new white, and I have every faith that this will last for years to come.
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White fences all painted, it was on to the next stage of refresh. You may remember from my plans that I had intended a monochrome scheme, so my blue fence next to the kitchen needed to change. I could have continued here in white but decided on black for a few reasons. Firstly, I knew that the summerhouse was going to be black and as the outdoor furniture accents are too (see below for full details) having a little black fence pulls other elements of the garden into a better cohesion. Secondly our garden is a real sun trap, many’s the person who’s not put adequate sun factor on and come to regret it out here! I think that the reflection of the white fences adds to sun factor in our garden and as I see the decked area as a bit of retreat, with sun parasol where we sit and eat, I wanted something a little more muted and less likely to reflect the sun back at us. I’m really happy with the Sandtex Black exterior paint here, it does tie the garden together well whilst offering us a more understated corner for dining.
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Before the summerhouse arrived it was time to tackle the last bit of housekeeping and the finishing touch to the main part of our outdoor makeover – the decking. Ours was looking pretty bad, I usually use a decking cleaner and reseal but a few years of this have taken their toll so this year I spent three hours with my mums pressure washer making the boards good as new before applying two coats of Sandolin Deep Nourishing Decking Oil. Sandolin are not only the product leaders for outdoor woodcare but they also have two hundred years of experience under their belts so I knew I was in safe hands. Often the decking starts to look a little tired again after a few weeks with rain storms but this time (and it has really been tested with the rain lately) but this product has given a really superior finish and still looks perfect despite mother nature’s best efforts.
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Next up is the Hartwood summerhouse which I bought inexpensively from Sheds. I have wanted a garden space to sit and work from for ages (I’m typing from it right now and it’s lovely!) but our summerhouse also doubles as an ice cream parlour or police station for Ted and very unglamorously it will be a shelter for a cigarette in the evenings when it’s raining. I have painted the outside of the summerhouse in Sandtex Black Exterior Satin. I was a little worried that having had a blank open space here for so long it could look a little dominating in black, but actually I love it, it looks very elegant, and even reminds me of Derek Jarmans place in Dungess! As a result I’m considering adding a small pebbled area out front where some of our worst grass is (it’s in a terrible state, it’s really gone to seed despite numerous efforts, so if anyone has any tips on resurrecting grass from beyond the pale I’d love to know!).
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Inside I’ve used up some old interior paint and I’m crossing fingers that it’s slightly weather proof! I have done the time honoured classic of all Interiors bloggers when planning a refresh, I have shopped my home. I received a lovely (and very large) Zeke desk from MADE last Spring as a part of a desk psychology piece I was writing. The Zeke is now happily homed alongside several other MADE accessories and a few trinkets from the study, and to bring the colours together out here I’ve also nicked a fabulous piece of art from the kitchen.
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For the furniture you may remember that I made a moodboard a few months back of my favourite monochrome Scandinavian style pieces. This wishlist informed my decisions and I am so happy with the results. First up, I knew I wanted a sunlounger, and thanks to some mouse guests in our outdoor storage (who ate through the foam filling of my cheap supermarket lounger), I knew that I wanted something without a filling but I also wanted something comfortable and stylish. I was very kindly gifted the Copacabana sun lounger from Maisons Du Monde, it’s perfect as not only does is look very elegant but the clever woven resin string is also really comfortable for lounging on. Continuing with the Scandinavian theme I also opted for some really classic black wire design Orsay chairs, again these springy but sturdy chairs are super comfy (and far more so than the tired wooden fold-outs we were sitting on before!).
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Now nothing says outdoor Scandinavian to me more than monochrome, specifically black and white stripes. Inspired by my press trip to San Juan on the Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship last month, I was desperate to add some stripes to our garden space and having looked for outdoor cushions I liked to no avail I starting searching out a chair. And to answer all of my Monochrome desires are these gorgeous striped Lise chairs by classic Scandi brand Skagerak very kindly gifted to me by Amara. These are a little pricey but they are so stylish, I think they really lift the garden space and are the kind of classic piece that will never date.
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Finally a small splash of colour in the form of a black Copacabana coffee table with mustard yellow top from Maisons Du Monde , this is the perfect size and looks great against the summerhouse. I love this little pop of colour, I could have chosen so many of the gorgeous colours within Sabdtex’s range for the fences but I’m really glad that I kept to these classic shades as they allow me to have little pops of colour elsewhere.
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I am so in love with our garden now and totally ready for summer days outdoors. It’s amazing what a transformation with a bit of well chosen paint and furniture can have. If you want me, I’ll be lounging under the shade of the tree, book in hand and glass of something cold not far from my side!
Items from left to right, top to bottom:   Lise Chair by Skagerak at Amara  //  White Exterior Satin paint, Sandtex  //  Copacabana Coffee Table, Maisons Du Monde  //    Nourishing Decking Oil, Sandolin  //  Zeke Desk, MADE  //  Orsay Chair, Maisons Du Monde  //  Nayland throw, Anthropologie  //  Hartwood Summerhouse, Sheds  Black Exterior Satin Paint, Sandtex  //  Copacabana Lounger, Maisons Du Monde.
This post is a paid collaboration with Sandtex & Sandolin. I was gifted all paint used in this piece alongside pieces of furniture from Amara, Maisons Du Monde, Anthropologie and MADE. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.


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2 thoughts on “My Garden Makeover: Fresh Paint & Furniture for a total transformation

  1. Clare

    Your garden looks gorgeous and fresh! Perfect for the start of summer.

    Did you have to do any prep to your fences before painting them?

    Reply

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