Oh wowee, it's been a scorcher of a week!!! We don't know about you, but once the suns out, we love to redecorate and restyle our outdoor spaces to make the most of these areas during the balmy summer months. The great thing about garden design is that you can be as creative and expressive outside as you are inside and so its a welcomed opportunity to roll your sleeves up and create something extraordinary! Even if you're not planning to completely overhaul your garden or outdoor space this summer, there are always finishing details that you can add in to your garden design to give it a facelift and what's more, we've curated these tips for both the large garden and small courtyard spaces. So to help you create the garden of your dreams we are creating a 2-part blog series to help you revamp your garden this summer. Part 1 is all about laying the foundations for your outdoor space and part 2 is all about adding details and accessorising to add your own unique stamp and personality to the space. So, without further ado, here is part 1...
TOP TIP NO.1 - CONSIDER YOUR SPACE
Like any interior design project, you need to take a moment to sit back (preferably with a glass of wine in hand) and consider your outdoor space. To help you along here are some lists and questions that you should be asking yourself:
The Outdoor/Garden Space
- Is it big?
- Is it small?
- Is there lots of greenery, plants and trees?
- Or is it more of a concrete courtyard space?
What do you love about your Outdoor/Garden Space?
- What 5 things do you love about the space?
- What 5 things do you not love about the space?
The Purpose of your Outdoor / Garden Space
- What will you be using the space for?
- A bit of both?
How do you want to feel in your Outdoor/ Garden Space?
- All of the above?!
All these factors are absolutely essential, so we recommend writing all of these ideas down on a large piece of paper. Once this step is complete its time to move onto step 2...
TOP TIP NO.2 - MAKE A MOODBOARD
Our virtual moodboard on Pinterest!
Once you've got what you love and hate clearly written down, you should pull together a mood board with your favourite outdoor looks to really hone in what you love and want to achieve from your garden. We love Pinterest as it's a super clear and easy way to gather the looks you love all in one place. The pins are also shoppable/searchable so you can usually find the exact items that you want to buy. When you're compiling your mood board, think of ways to enhance the features that you want to keep, for example, if there is a beautiful tree at the end of your garden that you love, then consider adorning it with outdoor lights so that it comes to light at night or alternatively hang a swing or hammock from it so that you can bask in its shade during the mid-day heat in Summer. If you're in need of some outdoor inspiration to get you going then we'd recommend checking out our Pinterest Board 'Outdoor Living.
If your Pinterest mood board is more of a mish-mash of different looks then try and separate out these looks into their own boards to help you narrow down the feel you want to achieve and which styles connect your inside space. If you have an iPad or smartphone - hold it up over the view of your outside space with your Pinterest board displayed on the screen to see which board looks best - it does require a bit of imagination and a bit of squinting! But it's a great and easy way to visualise what it could look like.
TOP TIP NO.3 - DON'T BE AFRAID TO BRING THE INDOORS OUT
We've heard a lot about bringing the outdoors inside, but what about bringing the indoors out?! Your garden should be an extension of your home and so creating a connection or flow between the two will create a symbiosis or harmony between nature and your interior style.
Now that you've taken time to consider your garden space and pulled together some ideas and inspiration using Tips 1 and 2, it's worth taking a look at what theme or style has emerged. You may notice that you have chosen images and ideas which all have a similar feel or even reflect your existing interiors. This will help you create a unified look and natural flow from your indoor space. So for example, if you love Moroccan, global and boho-inspired interiors and your home is already styled in this way or has hints of this look - don't be afraid to bring some of your interiors outside with you. Like the main image above, you can bring accessories and furnishings outside with you which can really help to tie a look together and create a distinct style for your garden party or soiree.
TOP TIP NO.4 - GO AU NATAURALE
When it comes to beauty - nature is the bees knees! Obviously, a garden isn't really a garden without beautiful plants, flowers and trees and these natural elements help to lift your mood and create a happy home. So tip 4 is about refining things down and deciding what greenery and plants you would like in your outdoor space and garden to create a garden oasis!
In our recent #10MinsWith Blog with Garden and Landscape Designer, Barbara Samitier, she advised that you "plant a tree. Even if you have a tiny garden. There is no garden without a tree, they bring scale, seasonal interest, movement and birds of course" - wise words indeed!
Other ideas that we love are living walls aka vertical gardens. A feast for the eyes these incredible features create urban jungles and quite literally breathe life into your garden or courtyard space which is particularly important for modern, urban living. Not only do living walls lift your mood and enrich your soul, from an interiors perspective they are also the perfect backdrop for your statement furniture and accessories. In the main image above the lush green wall at The Hoxton Hotel Paris looks absolutely breathtaking when paired with the stonewashed floor and gorgeous velvet mustard armchairs (landing at RSG this autumn). Lucious green plants really are perfect to help create a colour pop in your gardens and looks good when paired with just about anything ... clever mother nature!
TOP TIP NO.5 - FIREPITS AND FIREPLACES
The home of Jane Rockett as featured in Rockett St George: Extraordinary Interiors (Ryland Peters & Small, £19.99). Photography by Debi Treloar.
Finally, if you have the budget to do and want to take on a garden project then consider building an 'outdoor kitchen' space where you can prepare meals and BBQs for your family and your house guests. It really unifies your outdoor space is the ultimate way to create an inviting home.
What's more, outdoor fire pits, wood-burning stoves, a make-shift pizza oven and fireplaces all add that extra 'wow-factor' to your garden style! An easy way of creating a central focal point in your outdoor space, you needn't blow your budget to incorporate one! Firepits are easy to source online or at your local DIY and hardware store and create a dramatic rustic difference to your outdoor space making it feel as though you are camping under the stars.
For more helpful tips check out Part 2 of this blog here and for inspiration click below to visit our Pinterest board OUTDOOR LIVING!