Sustainable Fun Outdoor Spaces
As the weather hot’s up for summer my family have just re-discovered our garden and I have realised it could use a little tlc.
Here are a few ways to jazz up even the smallest outdoor space that are fun and sustainable or recycled.
Home grown & water harvesting:
If you are tight on space the best way to grow is upwards. Pick your sunniest wall and purchase a number of ‘wally one’ wall planters, then decide what you most fancy growing. Fresh herbs are always great to have on hand and another of my favourites is rocket. It is so expensive at the shops, grows really easily and tastes much spicier when picked and eaten straight away.
These old steel pipes create a really cool border to raised vegetable beds or any planted border and the really beauty is that they age and transform along with the garden.
Garantia have designed a really good looking rainwater harvester if you have the space. You have a ready supply of water for the garden and they are a whole lot better looking than most of the water butts you can buy.
Design features and accessorising:
These floating LED ball lights from smartandgreen are self-charging and add a stunning contemporary look to a water feature. And who could resist the allure of this pink glow as the sun sets!
Another really useful and age old ‘optical trick’ is to use mirrors in your garden room. Ideally use acrylic mirror as it will not tarnish in the rain, but you can create a lengthening effect that really amplifies the feeling of space and brings extra light into a dark corner.
Cue & Co of London
Tall planters with dense foliage and sharp tiling create a contemporary look that is both decorative and practical as an updated hedgerow/screen, especially effective in small gardens or roof top spaces with some special hidden furniture for a wonderfully private escape.
A simple al-fresco shower can be built using solar heated rainwater for sustainable seasonal bathing. This may seem a little optimistic in our climate but is a great way to hose down the kids after a time in the paddling pool, playing on the climbing frame or helping with the gardening!
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THE NEW TRADITIONAL
March 20, 2015 | Posted By: admin
· Interior Design
When referring to ‘traditional’ interiors, it inevitably conjures up images of overly stuffed couches, dark walls, and velvet upholstery with heavy window dressing. This is a far cry from the white minimalism of the ‘contemporary’ interior we have come to accept as being the preferred style choice. Traditional interiors are firmly rooted in the old English countryside, where decorative ceiling details, stone mullion windows and classic seating silhouettes form our understanding of this style.
Corner view of the Billiard Room at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
When traveling through the recent professional interior designs events in London this year, there were definitive signs of a return to a more classic interior. With references to the 50’s, 70’s (matching patterned wall paper, upholstery and furnishings are reveling in their revival) and even as far back as the 1890’s with heavy fabrics featuring damask patterns and other classic designs, there was no escaping the fact that a new take on the traditional interior was enjoying a firm hold on the industry this year.
House of Hackney staking their place firmly as the leaders of fashion trends for the home.
The new traditional is characterised by the following:
- Classic fabrics, such as crushed velvet, updated with a bright colour
- Dark wood furniture and joinery with high gloss finishes, with velvet and highly patterned upholstery
- Bright contemporary colours with classic silhouettes
- Highly patterned wall coverings
- Elaborate decorative lighting using the latest contemporary technology
- The Caravaggio Triptych from Cox London
We fell in love with these unique hand blown glass wall lights, that combine LED technology with a beautiful hand crafted finish.
It may not be to everybody’s liking but the best thing about this design approach is that it incorporates elements of different design influences. Therefore, it is possible to take just one feature element, and still create a look that is up to date, and dare I say, quite uniquely brilliant!
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BUYING A SOFA | AUTUMN TRENDS 2014
As the summer months draw to a close, we invariably find ourselves retreating indoors in these increasingly cooler evenings. I found myself once again approaching my slightly battered sofa for a night in front of the TV, and as I recognised a familiar feeling, it occurred to me it might be time to update my rather tired looking furniture.
But shopping for a Sofa is harder than one might think. With a whole wealth of choices available to suit all budgets, the options seem endless.
With e-commerce brands leading the way on affordable designer furnishings, there has been an explosion of accessible well designed ‘Lounging’ options, with everything from re-invented armchairs to contemporary sofa beds.
'Ditte' sofa by Fred Shand, from £2,199.95 at Anthropologie
Whether you lean towards a retro 50’s inspired curvy shape, or a more traditional Chesterfield, there will most definitely be a style that suits you best.
- Sofa Flights of Fancy Grey Stripe by House of Hackney, £2,495.00
This Sofa from House of Hackney is a great contemporary twist on a traditional button back Sofa. Use this offset against a neutral background as a fantastic statement piece.
This clash of contemporary meets traditional has been a key trend across the interior design world this Autumn, with a collaboration between the progressive Scottish textile designers Timorous Beastie and iconic British brand Ercol, resulting in this gorgeous Studio-Couch.
Ercol Originals – Blotch Studio Couch by Timorous Beastie's, P.O.A
Whatever the style that best reflects your tastes, the 3 main things we think about when looking at a sofa are Style, Comfort and Cost.
Size is another vital consideration. Nobody wants to have a beautiful sofa that they have to climb over in order to get out of the room. Always make sure you measure the space into which the furniture will be placed, along with any steps or awkward obstacles that might be tricky when it comes to installation.
Rothko Sofa, The Sofa & Chair Company, P.O.A.
For rooms with low ceilings, a Sofa with deep seats and a low back would be best, for narrow spaces I would go for a modular system, and the familiar ‘L-Shaped’ works wonders in an area that has a walkway through the space.
Next, fabric options. Along with the shape, fabric is the most important influence that determines the look and feel of your space. Sometime all you need is to invest in a new set of covers. Get in touch with a local interior designer for information on bespoke fabric covers for Ikea furniture, incl. discontinued items.
Do bear in mind that natural materials such as Linen or Leather with wear faster than treated purpose made covers.
Then last but not least, the squish factor. For a firmer seat, I recommend foam cushion. For larger sofas with deep seats feather filling offers a luxurious feel, but be warned you may never want to get up. Alternatively you can opt for a fiber/feather or fiber/foam mix for a good balance.
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