Chimineas are a great way to add a touch of elegance to your garden or outdoor living space. Originally designed by the Mexicans as an outdoor heater, they can be fashioned from clay, aluminium or cast iron, and are readily available from most garden outlet and DIY stores. They tend to stand 3-5 feet tall, and feature a round opening which helps draw in air to create heat.

Chimineas can generate heat very quickly; simply throw in a little wood, light, and within 10-15 minutes you have a good fire to warm your patio or garden. There’s no longer any need to retreat indoors when the afternoon sun has disappeared. Many chimineas also come with a safety grate to stop accidental burning.

As well as providing a practical purpose, chimineas really give a patio or garden a focal point. Arrange your chairs close by and you can socialise and enjoy your outdoor space well into the evening. They also make a terrific present for the garden enthusiast. They’re durable, practical and relatively inexpensive to boot!

Fun Do-It-Yourself Projects


Not all DIY projects need to be a slog, like replacing the pipe work of a central heating system or retiling your home’s roof. Of course, you can get a great deal of satisfaction from undertaking such maintenance projects yourself but they are rarely, if ever, fun. DIY projects that do have the fun factor often have some creative or design element about them which makes them more enjoyable to plan as well as carry out. Even newcomers to do-it-yourself projects can have fun – so long as they select the right sort of job that does not need too many specialist skills.

Lay Your Own Patio

A great outdoors project to undertake during summer, laying your own patio is surprisingly simple as long as your garden is relatively flat. Design your patio before you begin so that you avoid a boring old series of squares. Instead, arrange your slabs in circles and curves that fit in naturally with your garden’s planting. Lay your paving on to prepared ground with fine sand underneath and tap each one into place with a rubber mallet. Self-made patios offer years of enjoyment.

Redecorate Your Guest Bedroom

Guest rooms allow the DIY enthusiast the most scope for trying out new design ideas and perfecting techniques, making them the most fun. Because the room is not in use, unlike others in the home, you can take your time and you don’t have to move everything out. Try new wall treatments, colour schemes and soft furnishing combinations. What you learn redesigning and decorating a spare bedroom can be applied elsewhere in the home later.