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Double Your House for Half the Money

Bowland Stone's gravel was featured on Sarah Beeny's Double Your House for Half the Money. See our top tips for the perfect patio...

Fans of Sarah Beeny’s property show Double Your House for Half the Money will have noticed that Bowland Stone’s South Cerney Gravel was used as the perfect finishing touch for Neil and Anita Green’s garden in episode 4. Throughout the series Sarah shared some superb tips for planning, designing and installing patio areas so we’ve put together some of the highlights and our own top tips to give you a quick guide to making the most of your patio.

Choose flooring to complement your patio

During many of the episodes, the homeowners were looking to open up their home with bi-folding doors, Sarah suggested that the best way to create a seamless space between outdoors and indoors was to look at the flooring. Extending the same style and colour of flooring out from the home and into the patio area, gives the illusion that both spaces are larger than they are. For example, by installing sleeper paving on the patio and rustic parquet inside the home, you can create the illusion that the inside space is extended outside and vice-versa as the pattern of the materials is very similar.

Neil Ginger, CEO at Origin, the bi-fold door experts who were also featured in the series adds further advice, “As well as keeping the flooring in both the indoor and outdoor spaces similar, another good idea is to make sure that the level of the patio and the inside flooring is the same level when installing folding sliding doors. This really helps to join the two spaces together and it’s much safer as you can avoid trips and falls from uneven flooring.”

Zone your patio

One of Sarah’s top tips from the series was to ensure that patio areas are ‘zoned’ so that they perform in a similar way to a room indoors, for example with a dedicated seating area, entertaining area and play area for children. Furniture set out at different areas of the patio can also help to create different zones. To define the areas further you could add a path or line of decorative stones to indicate the boundaries of each area.

Create the right mood with lighting

Lighting can not only make a patio look really welcoming but is a practical addition to the area which provides safety and security as the nights draw in. For year-round security and light LED floodlights create ambient lighting and are tough enough to handle the elements. Low voltage LED floodlights provide a welcoming rather than dazzling light for anyone using the patio and LEDs can save you a lot of money when compared to halogen lights. Sarah recommends LED lights for the home exterior and has more top tips on external lighting on the Channel 4 website.

Keep warm in winter

Winter is well on its way but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your patio until next summer as a few clever accessories can ensure your patio is a cosy place for a warming drink on a cool evening. Patio rugs are excellent for bringing the indoors outdoors and can keep cold feet warmer during cooler weather. A fire pit, chimenea or fire basket are easy ways to keep your patio warm and create a great focal point for the space. Cushions, throws and candles all help to create a feeling of warmth on the patio area.




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