When warm weather arrives, most people prefer to be outside as much as possible, making their outdoor space more than just a garden. Today, backyards are multi-purpose areas that reflect personal interests and personalities, and they’re often used for the same activities that take place indoors. A backyard can serve as a much-needed retreat that – when well-designed and decorated – can increase a home’s usable space.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll look at the backyard by letter, in an A to Z guide, full of smart and stylish outdoor decor ideas, along with useful garden elements.

Did we miss something? Tweet your photos and ideas @MovatoHome! And use this backyard bible to transform your outdoor area into a relaxing personal sanctuary that can be enjoyed all year ’round.

E –Eco Garden Room: This backyard feature is more than a glorified shed and is a great alternative to a home extension.

Garden rooms are quick and easy to construct and may not require planning permission. They come fully insulated and are as sturdy as a traditional house. Plumbing can be connected to the main water supply and the electrics routed directly from the house. A garden room can be used as a home office, granny flat, art studio, gym, games room, outdoor kitchen and more.

Miss our last post from this A to Z guide? Just in case: A — Al fresco dining; B — Bunting; C — Cinema; D — Daybed