The Summer House: The Garden Statement Piece


The summer house. In modern gardens, we’re seeing the presence of these beautiful structures rise in prominence. Due in part to the travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic, many Brits are instead choosing to invest in staycations or home projects. The summer house, fittingly, has something to offer each. 

Their visual appeal is obvious, but it’s the versatility they offer that is their real calling card. A summer house can be whatever you want it to be, the social space; the relaxation pod; the gardener’s haven; the home office, its creation rests only on your aesthetic tastes, requirements and desires. It’s the centre stage for a summer of memories. 

The friendly welcome sign.

My Family Summer House

For my father, the creation of his summerhouse was his “middle-aged passion project” (at least it wasn’t a sports car). He had dreamt of building his own exterior living space for as long as I can remember, and seemingly woke up one morning with the realisation that there was no time like the present. 

His vision was of an outdoor haven; a large area at the bottom of his garden wherein he could relax in the day, and entertain in the evening. He wanted an outdoor space that was as much for his friends and family as himself, and the summer house was to be the centrepiece. For the man who loves his garden, this was the next logical step.

Like many DIY enthusiasts, my father was keen to build the summerhouse himself. This bespoke process, while more demanding and certainly more time consuming, allows the project to be shaped entirely in your image. It bestows a sense of personal identity and character that is warranted for a project of this size. 

The Beach House

It would be fair to summarise the living space as holding three components. The summerhouse, the pergola and the encompassing aesthetic itself. Tiny stones and pebbles cover the floor, reminiscent of a stony beach. Plants occupy the perimeter, giving the space a sense of class and vitality. 

Stylistically, it would be equally fitting to call the space a beach house. The kind of spot you could imagine right next to a beach abroad somewhere; ideal for a summer barbecue with a drink in hand. Essentially, it’s homely and inviting; all in one. 

Decking acts as the supportive base for the summer house. Outside, a long dining table and additional seating. Nearby, a pergola; a stunning addition that adds natural beauty and a sense of visual appeal to the space. The beauty of a pergola is that it extends the living space, providing shade and comfort on those warmer afternoons. In this case, it also acts as a support for a hot tub and overhead lighting. 

A warm, inviting aesthetic; like a tropical beach somewhere.


Manns Premier UV Decking Oil

Bestowing the decking with top-notch protection was a key necessity. This is a high-quality product we often turn to at Wood Finishes Direct. It willingly provides the helping hand necessary to prevent wear and tear, achieving worthwhile and lasting results along the way. Moreover, its multi-purpose versatility is ideal for treating other forms of exterior wood, such as pergolas.

Permanent, fixed structures like these, however, are prone to sustained sun exposure, even in the midst of iffy British weather. As the name suggests, this product is designed specifically to tackle this reality. A unique formula combats the greying effects of UV rays, preserving the natural beauty of the wood. Your structure is also additionally protected from timber splitting and warping.

Water beading is a clear sign of a well oiled surface.

Cuprinol Gar d en Shades

Cuprinol Garden Shades provided the rich components necessary for imposing the colour scheme. Their eclectic collection of shades offers much in the way of variety for the garden enthusiast. Shades like Seagrass, Cool Marble and Coastal Mist convey a fresh, elegant aesthetic. They complimented the beach house style he strived for, and are subtle enough not to overwhelm the theme. 

The products durability against weathering also works wonders towards ensuring the finish is adequately protected in the years to come. Features like these are what makes Garden Shades such a sought after product. 

No beach is complete without its own bar.

Final Thoughts

As a DIY enthusiast and as an avid gardener, my dads summer house passion project turned into his crowning achievement. It’s an investment that has given back and more, providing many wonderful memories in the few years since its creation. With a caring touch and proper maintenance, it will surely continue to do for many summers to come.

Inspired? For those looking to explore similar exterior projects this year, it’s crucial to plan extensively beforehand. Assess your needs and requirements and discuss them with local distributors before investing. You could end up saving yourself a small fortune. As always, we’re here to help along the way.

Need help with your summer house?

For more information about summer house treatments and their uses, contact our team of resident experts who are always on hand to help with project advice and product recommendations. Alternatively, see our summer house treatments FAQ page which covers many of the most commonly asked questions.

We love to see before, during and after photos of any wood finishing project. If you would like to share your project pictures with us and our followers, you can either send us some photos or share on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram pages.

Other great blogs that discuss summer houses

  • That Garden Aesthetic
  • Using Osmo UV Protection Oil in the Garden
  • Exterior Design Trends to Look Out for This Summer

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