Outdoor space is a high priority for new homebuyers on the Isle of Wight, with owners increasingly wanting to immerse themselves into their own private oasis. By Mattinson Associates, award-winning architects.

So now that Summer is on the way, here are five top tips for designing an outdoor space that is adaptable, and carefully considered for our coastal location.


Although it may sound obvious, taking the time to select plants that create the right palette of colours, textures and scents will wrap you in an immediate sense of calm. One challenge many people face is creating an outdoor living space within a small footprint, so if you’re struggling for room, consider a green wall full of aromatic basil, mint and rosemary where guests can pick and choose herbs for their gin and tonics. 

Fire Pits

A well-designed centrepiece for the garden can improve the quality of the space whilst also adding value to your property. Firepits act as central gathering spaces and can increase the useability of your garden as you can spend time outside on chillier nights in early Spring to late Autumn. 


By nestling solar powered lights amongst the foliage, along walkways and as up-lighting for architectural details in your garden, you can illuminate the vast range of rich textures and colours to create an enchanted environment. For outdoor entertaining, pendant lights and lanterns emit a glowing quality that works well on those late Summer nights. 


We recommend considering the function of what you buy first in order to guarantee it works just as well inside as it does out. With this in mind, it’s good to  furnish your exterior as if it were an interior, so that a close look at your outside space will reveal a snippet of the design style used in the main property, and create a streamlined scheme throughout. 


Now more important than ever, sustainability should be consistently integrated into the design approach. As timber is often used for gardens, consider sourcing it from a local, sustainable source to enhance the natural evolution and narrative of the tree cycle.