‘Bringing the outdoors in’ is a hugely popular interior design trend. It’s one that blossomed with the arrival of the bi-fold door, which allowed us to integrate living areas with patios and terraces. Now, as the trend continues to grow, plants are being incorporated into walls, to create lush healthy surfaces, and furniture and textiles are moving into the garden. But whilst this trend looks beautiful in the pages of a glossy magazine, how can we recreate something similar that’s easy to maintain, come rain or shine?
One of the easiest ways is to embrace the indoor plant. Botanical styling is all the rage and along with aesthetic gains there are lots of healthy benefits too: plants purify the air, removing toxins; help control humidity and can also help reduce stress. In the kitchen, fresh herbs looks fabulous on window sills and as fragrant centre-pieces on dining tables – indoors and outside. Larger plants, with lots of air-cleaning foliage, work really well in bedrooms and living rooms, and are useful for decorating empty fireplaces in summer months.Whilst, in the bathroom, trailing plants, like ivy and the humble spider plant, bring welcome natural fibres to hard ceramic surfaces and thrive in the humidity.
‘Taking the indoors out’ can be a little more tricky in our climate but, as long as you choose the right materials, you can create a space that will survive the elements.When you’re choosing furniture, make sure that it’s treated or ‘all weather’ and look out for lightweight materials that are easy to move about. Wicker furniture is hugely popular but stick to continuous, smooth weaves, so that the material doesn’t splinter and snag clothes. Cushions and upholstery should also be made from all-weather fabric, so that they’re water-resistant and won’t fade in the sun.
To cook and keep warm outdoors, consider a fire-pit. There are some fabulous designs available, with authentic Indian-style oil drums proving especially popular for all garden styles. Good quality iron tools and accessories can make a big difference in terms of the cooking experience, especially if (like me) your al-fresco feast tends to be a little on the burnt side!
If your summer preparations are more structural, consider using the same colour palette and surface materials inside and outdoors, to create a fluid, seamless look. If you’re revamping a floor, natural stone pavers with lots of colour variation and a tumbled finish work really well and give good grip. Porcelain effects can also be used on floors and to clad walls, and provide a surface that’s resistant to water and staining. There are masses of options available, from rustic wood and stone designs to urban-styled concrete effects.
To provide the finishing touch to an outdoor space, incorporate some waterproof fairy lights and lanterns – and, when the weather is set fair, adorn furniture with throws and cushions. And don’t forget to dress your table, with flowers in a pitcher or jam jars for a bohemian feel, or if you’re looking to create a more decadent look, a fabulous candelabra – with citronella candles, to ward off the bugs!
For more ideas and inspiration, visit our showroom.Back to News