Outdoor Living

I was watching The Renovators last night (snuggled with Maud on the sofa, whisky and box of tissues in hand - have the worst cold) and its an Aussie show hosted by the rather handsome  Brendan Moar whereby various groups renovate various houses from an inner city terrace to a 60's suburban in and around Sydney. One piece of advice Brendan gave which I thought rather clever was all to do with the outside space. He advised one group not to put down the ubiquitous lawn and instead think a little more out of the box. Living in a city I've never really wanted a lawn, love it in the country but for some reason it kind of depresses me slightly in the city. Anyways his advice was boycott the lawn and instead just plant lots of foliage and tubs and create magic that way. Putting an outside fireplace in is also a fabulous way to change the feel of your space - its not horrendously expensive you need a bricky for a few days and a top tip would be do as I have done and source old brick- far softer on the eye. Then you get to be able to use your garden right into October and  November. Often times the 3 of us will sit huddled around the fire on a weekend lunch time - Maud and Graham usually moaning why can't they live like normal people and eat indoors - (tend not to listen) - its way more fun wrapped up being outside reminds me of camping days in my youth. When we first got the fireplace I was so excited to use it I made us supper and even though it was bucketing  down with rain there we sat under an umbrella with a fire quietly flickering away. OK am sounding pretty nuts now - that's me done for the day. Here's my one right outside my back door - its rather more covered in foliage now but I love how it turns the terrace into an outdoor room in which I can cluster furniture, lanterns and so forth. The Americans do outdoor fireplaces very well indeed - this one happens to be enclosed on three sides but that doesn't matter - its a great nook in which to huddle

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