A garden summer house should be a delightful microcosm within your outdoor space, designed and curated with your style preferences in mind. You will put a great deal of thought into deciding what type and shape of summer house building to choose, and where it should be located within your garden. Now it’s time to think about styling the interior to create the aesthetic you desire and bring your vision to life.
Interior design is an incredibly flexible and fluid discipline, and the sky is the limit. There are many aspects to consider from flooring and wall coverings, artwork and furniture to accessories and lighting, soft furnishings, and storage. In our blog, we explore a number of potential scenarios and hope that they will inspire you with some ideas and enable you to make decisions about the interior of your garden building.
You might prefer a classic approach or may wish to take inspiration from the latest interior design trends which include:
- Listening rooms to immerse yourself in your favourite music.
- Nostalgic themes based on vintage chic.
- Biophilic design that seeks to incorporate the natural world.
- Craft rooms styled with a pop of colour.
- Unique window treatments that create drama.
Summer House Interior Ideas
Whether you’re seeking a coastal oasis, a shabby chic haven, or a contemporary retreat, our suggestions will help you transform your summer house into a space that embodies your vision of style and comfort. From vibrant colours and vintage charm to modern minimalism and coastal serenity, explore a myriad of interior concepts that promise to make your summer house an inviting and inspiring place to spend your leisure time. Dive into the possibilities, and let your imagination run wild as you discover the perfect interior design ideas to elevate your summer house experience. Let’s look at some individual themes to inspire harmonious style ideas.
Vintage shabby chic interior
Shabby chic really allows you free reign to mix and match from a range of heritage styles, bringing in accents of yesteryear and not being concerned with keeping everything pristine. This relaxed blueprint enables you to choose upcycled furniture in painted or distressed timber, glassware that nods to the first half of the 20th century, woven or handcrafted items including patchwork and cotton bunting, and decorative mirrors and lamp bases. With a pastel colour palette, incorporate plants and flowers to emphasis the natural feel of this theme.
Inside the shabby chic look:
Creating a shabby chic look in your summer house involves a vintage-inspired ambiance with rustic elements. Here’s how:
- Colour Palette: Choose soft pastel colours like pale blues, pinks, mint greens, and creamy whites for a serene feel.
- Distressed Furniture: Give furniture a weathered look using chalk paint or find vintage pieces.
- Vintage Finds: Shop for antique décor, mirrors, and frames at charity shops and flea markets.
- Textile Patterns: Use floral and gingham patterns in textiles like curtains and cushions.
- Natural Fabrics: Opt for linen, cotton, and hessian for upholstery and curtains.
- Wood Finishes: Add whitewash or distressed wood elements for character.
- Vintage Accessories: Decorate with old clocks, birdcages, and vintage-style lighting fixtures.
- Mix and Match: Combine different styles and eras for an eclectic look.
- Natural Elements: Incorporate seashells, driftwood, and woven baskets.
- Mirrors: Hang distressed or antique mirrors for a spacious feel.
- Light and Airy: Keep the space clutter-free and breezy.
- Personal Touch: Add DIY and personal items for a unique atmosphere.
Remember, shabby chic embraces imperfections and aims for a comfortable, lived-in aesthetic.
Contemporary den interior
Dark wall colours and a signature floor covering in a bold pattern help to create a 21st century ambience in this timber summer house. Geometric patterns in soft furnishings offset the classic wooden seats. Soften the theme by adding houseplants in holders attached to the ceiling that sway in the breeze and help you to relax.
Lighter colours help to enhance a modern theme especially if you choose the same paint shade for the wall and floor. Mirrors with bold frames reflect the garden and create an impression of greater space.
Inside the contemporary den look:
- Sleek Colour Palette: Choose a modern colour scheme with neutrals like whites, greys, and soft blues. Add pops of vibrant colours for energy.
- Minimalist Furniture: Opt for clean-lined, low-profile furniture with modern materials like metal, glass, and leather.
- Technology Integration: Include smart home features, such as automated blinds, lighting, and a sound system for a tech-savvy touch.
- Natural Materials: Incorporate natural materials like wood, stone, and bamboo for a harmonious blend of modernity and nature.
- Large Windows: Install floor-to-ceiling windows or sliding glass doors to connect the indoors with outdoor nature.
- Functional Layout: Plan an open and flexible space with areas for lounging, dining, and working, accommodating various activities.
- Minimal Decor: Keep decorations simple and minimal to maintain the contemporary aesthetic. Use a few statement pieces for visual interest.
- Energy Efficiency: Incorporate energy-efficient lighting and appliances to reduce environmental impact.
- Outdoor Integration: Design a seamless transition between the interior and exterior spaces, possibly with a large terrace or patio.
- Comfortable Seating: Ensure comfortable seating options, such as plush sofas and ergonomic chairs, for relaxation and socialising.
- Statement Lighting: Use contemporary light fixtures, like pendant lights or track lighting, to create a focal point.
- Artwork: Incorporate modern art pieces or sculptures to add character and sophistication to the space.
- Nature Elements: Add indoor plants or a small garden to bring a touch of nature inside.
- Tech Nooks: Create dedicated areas for work or leisure, equipped with charging stations and comfortable seating.
- Sustainable Design: Consider eco-friendly design elements, such as solar panels and sustainable building materials, for a contemporary green space.
A contemporary den-style summer house is all about combining sleek design, technology, and comfort to create a versatile and stylish retreat that complements the modern lifestyle.
Organised office space interior
With a dedicated space to call your own, you will be able to focus better on those work projects or on developing your small business. Look forward to those ‘work from home’ days and enjoy an ergonomically designed office where everything is just where you need it. Choose a desk with space for your PC and add some decorative items such as a vase of freshly cut flowers from your garden to boost your mood. Include a comfortable seat and if yours has wheels, make sure that you have installed a suitably smooth floor covering to keep it free flowing. Shelves can be free-standing or opt for a Scotts’ summer house with an integral shelf detail that helps to maximise storage without using up floor space. Don’t forget that you may need to install electricity via a solar hub or mains connection to keep your equipment powered up and the lights on when the sun goes down.
Inside the organised office space look:
- Calm Colour Palette: Choose a calming and focused colour palette, such as soft whites, light blues, or muted greens, to create a tranquil workspace.
- Functional Furniture: Invest in ergonomic and functional office furniture, including a comfortable desk and chair. Ensure ample storage space for files and office supplies.
- Natural Light: Position your office space near windows or with a view of the outdoors to maximise natural light and create an inviting work environment.
- Efficient Layout: Plan an efficient layout that includes designated areas for working, storage, and meetings if necessary. Keep the workspace clutter-free.
- Organisation Tools: Use organisational tools like shelving, filing cabinets, and wall-mounted organisers to keep your office supplies and paperwork neatly arranged.
- Technology Integration: Ensure the office is equipped with necessary technology, such as a reliable internet connection and power outlets for your devices.
- Inspiring Decor: Decorate your office with motivational artwork, plants, or personal touches to inspire productivity and creativity.
- Adequate Lighting: Install task lighting on your desk for focused work and consider ambient lighting for overall comfort.
- Quiet Zone: Designate a quiet zone away from distractions, where you can focus on tasks that require concentration.
- Cable Management: Keep cables and cords organised using cable clips or concealment solutions to maintain a tidy workspace.
- Time Management: Incorporate a clock or wall calendar to help you manage your time efficiently.
- Personal Touch: Add personal elements like family photos or artwork to make the space feel inviting.
- Office Supplies: Stock up on essential office supplies, such as pens, notepads, and a printer, to ensure you have everything you need to work effectively.
- Outdoor Break Area: Create a relaxing outdoor break area nearby where you can take short breaks and enjoy the summer weather.
- Privacy Solutions: If needed, consider privacy solutions like curtains or blinds to control the amount of light and maintain focus.
An organised office space in a summer house is about creating a productive and efficient workspace while allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the summer surroundings. Prioritise functionality and organisation to ensure a productive work environment.
Calming chillout zone interior
If you dream of creating a Zen-like mood in your summer house, decorate the interior to accommodate yoga, meditation, Pilates, and relaxation. Light, soft colours will sooth your mood. Plants work well to clean the air, and abstract wall art will help you to remain in the moment. Choose yoga mats and accessories that complement your colour scheme and leave them on show. Add a comfortable chair so you can take a break and reflect after an invigorating session of stretching.
Inside the calming chillout zone look:
- Comfortable Seating: Invest in plush and comfortable seating options, such as oversized cushions, bean bags, hammocks, or recliners. Choose materials like soft fabrics and natural fibres for a cosy and inviting feel. Arrange the seating in a way that encourages relaxation and provides a clear view of the surroundings.
- Natural Elements: Incorporate natural elements to create a soothing atmosphere. Use plants, such as potted indoor greenery or hanging plants, to bring the outdoors inside. Natural materials like wood, stone, and bamboo can be used for furniture, flooring, and decor. The sound of running water from a small indoor fountain or a tabletop water feature can also add a calming touch.
- Ambient Lighting: Implement soft and warm ambient lighting to create a serene environment. Consider using floor lamps, string lights, or LED candles to achieve a gentle, diffused illumination. Dimmer switches or smart lighting systems that allow you to adjust the light intensity can help create the desired mood. Natural light from windows or skylights is also a great addition during daytime hours.
Click the link to learn more on how to make your summer house a hub for relaxation.
Party time interior
Perhaps you envisage your summer house as an ideal base for socialising and aim to create an environment where everyone can kick back and have fun. Invite friends and family over, add music, some snacks and your favourite tipple and get the party started! To create the perfect atmosphere for your funky garden bar, install optics or bar taps, a mini fridge and strings of decorative lights or neon signs. Relaxed soft furnishings will help to make all your visitors feel welcome. Make ingenious use of space by incorporating a shelf unit that unfolds to create a handy table.
Inside the party time look:
- Ample Seating and Entertainment Space: Ensure there’s enough seating for your guests, including outdoor furniture like lounges, chairs, and picnic tables. Arrange seating in a way that encourages conversation and social interaction. Create a central gathering area with a large table for food and drinks. Consider a designated dance floor or an open area for dancing, and provide a music setup, like a portable speaker system, to keep the party going.
- Outdoor Bar and Refreshments: Set up a dedicated outdoor bar or beverage station stocked with a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Offer a range of cocktail ingredients, mixers, and garnishes for DIY drinks. Use ice buckets or coolers to keep beverages chilled. Consider adding a barbecue or grill for outdoor cooking, such as burgers, kebabs, or grilled vegetables.
- Atmospheric Lighting and Decor: Enhance the party atmosphere with creative lighting and decorations. String lights, lanterns, and fairy lights can add a festive touch. Use colourful tablecloths, cushions, and outdoor rugs to create a vibrant and inviting space. Consider a theme for your party and decorate accordingly, whether it’s a tropical luau, beach bonfire, or garden fiesta.
Click the link to learn more on how to get the perfect summer house bar.
Nautical nook interior
Whether or not you live by the coast, a sea-faring theme lends itself perfectly to outdoor living and provides endless creative inspiration for your summer house interior.
From brass convex mirrors and ship’s wheel wall decorations, and from fishing nets and brightly coloured lifebuoy rings, to paddles, oars and model boats, your choice of accessories is endless.
With red, white and blue a popular colour scheme for nautical inspiration, you can find exactly the right cushion, rug or curtain, and pick out accessories that complement the stye. Walls can be festooned with jolly bunting, wooden plaques or posters to remind you of lazy days on the beach.
Inside the nautical nook look:
- Nautical Colour Scheme: Embrace a classic nautical colour palette to set the tone. This typically includes navy blue, white, and various shades of blue and white. Use these colours for your walls, furniture, and decor. Consider adding touches of red or sandy beige for contrast. Striped patterns in navy and white or blue and white are iconic in nautical design and can be incorporated into textiles like curtains, cushions, and rugs.
- Nautical Decor and Accessories: Incorporate nautical-themed decor and accessories to reinforce the maritime vibe. Look for items such as ship wheels, anchors, lifebuoys, seashells, and marine-inspired artwork. Display model sailboats or ships in glass cases for an authentic touch. Rope accents in furniture or decor elements like ropes for curtain tiebacks can also enhance the nautical theme.
- Natural Materials and Textures: Choose natural materials and textures that evoke a coastal feel. Opt for wooden furniture with a weathered finish, rattan or wicker chairs, and jute or sisal rugs. Nautical-inspired textiles like canvas, linen, and cotton are great choices for upholstery and curtains. Incorporate plenty of soft cushions and throws in nautical colours to create a comfortable and inviting space
Click the link to learn more on how to get the nautical summer beach theme.
Winter retreat interior
You can easily adapt your year-round theme for winter and achieve maximum use from your summer house in all seasons.
Add sheepskin rugs, a basket full of fleece or wool blankets, a kettle and collection of bright mugs so you can wrap up and enjoy your favourite warming brew. Install an oil-powered heater or add a wood burner for luxurious warmth in a place you will want to return to throughout the winter months. Lights can create a winter wonderland and thicker curtains will keep out any draughts.
Inside the winter retreat look:
- Warm Colour Palette: Choose a warm and comforting colour palette that includes earthy tones, deep blues, and rich reds. These colours create a sense of warmth and cosiness. Consider adding plush textiles in warm tones, such as deep burgundy or dark green, for cushions, throws, and curtains.
- Fireplace or Heating: Install a fireplace, wood-burning stove, or efficient heating system to keep the space warm and cosy. The sight and sound of a crackling fire can add to the winter ambiance. Arrange seating around the fireplace to create a focal point for gatherings.
- Winter Decor and Accessories: Decorate with winter-themed decor and accessories to enhance the retreat atmosphere. Incorporate elements like faux fur throws, woolly blankets, and knitted cushions for extra comfort. Display winter-themed artwork, snowflake decorations, and scented candles with warm, seasonal fragrances.
Click the link to learn more on how to enjoy your summer house in Winter.
Top tips for your summer house interior design
- Keep it simple – choose a single theme and accessorise around it.
- Find pre-loved items at car boot sale and on eBay to save on cost.
- Select a theme that complements your garden layout and property style.
- Embrace nature and allow your summer house to blend into its habitat.
- Don’t be afraid of colour – add drama with darker colour or lighten your mood with pretty pastels.
- Avoid clutter – only keep what you really need, and what looks great, inside your summer house.
- Think about storage – include a shelf or modular seating that opens up to accommodate cushions, throws and accessories.
Summer house interior design in seven items
Your curtains might be decoratively lacy, designed to frame the window and soften the outline. Or your might prefer a heavier fabric to block any draughts and keep you cosy.
Walls that wow
You can paint the walls in any colour, whether you are aiming for a dramatic, dark contemporary style or a classic neutral that reflects the light. Scotts offer a tongue and groove effect wall lining in an Off White paint colour that provides the perfect back drop for prints and canvasses. You could even use decorative wall stencils to add interest.
Add a small cupboard or install the free-standing modular seating supplied with a Scotts’ summer house as an optional addition. Choose from a range of classic, luxury fabrics and colourways to complement the exterior paint finish.
To avoid losing floorspace to floor-mounted shelving, attach it to the walls or select an integral shelf detail like the one available in the Scotts’ range. Attractive and functional, this unique feature capitalises on outside space and adds detail and interest to the summer house exterior.
The hardy dragon tree, capacious cheese plant and any number of succulents and cacti will provide calming greenery and bring the outside indoors, linking your summer house to its garden environment. Display plants at different heights using suspended macrame potholders, shelves, and even clever wires. Keep an eye on plants and move them indoors if the forecast is frosty. They will need to be kept well-watered in summer if your garden building’s windows follow the sun.
Choose lamps and light-fittings carefully especially if you plan to work, read, or carry out intricate crafting tasks in your summer house. Desk lamps are stylish and directional, wall lamps can create a calm and relaxed ambience. Beware of overhead lights that might generate unwanted shadows. Consider installing mains electricity from your property, or take the easy option and add a Scotts’ solar lighting package which includes a wall and floor lamp.
Nothing adds an accent of luxury like a cushion. Scotts’ range of loose backrest and small scatter cushions are designed to complement the padded seating as part of a premium upholstery set. Depending on the style of your summer house interior design, you can choose from classic colourways such as William Morris Strawberry Thief in Slate/Vellum, or Kielder Dove Grey for a more contemporary aesthetic. The Scotts range is highly flexible with a choice of nine cushion fabrics each complemented by one of three seating colours: Silver, Stone, and Rose Water.
We hope that you have enjoyed this exploration of the possibilities inherent within your summer house interior design. Of course, the colour schemes, themes and styles are limited only by your imagination and will depend on how you see yourself enjoying your garden building.
Whether you have a strong vision for your summer house project or would like the benefit of our expert team’s experience to help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we would be happy to discuss your ideas.
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