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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

If you’re heading out to the beach this summer, or anywhere outdoorsy, keep the creature comforts of a stylish home at hand with some fantastic accessories that’ll make eating in the great outdoors feel less like camping and more like a relaxed al fresco affair. From glassware to blankets, we’ve got you covered, so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy that summer breeze.

Though the idea of a beautiful, sandy beach is rather picturesque, the reality is getting sand everywhere and anywhere. Avoid this mess with some helpful, and stylish, floor cushions and throws. These stripy picnic blankets from Trouva are made from recycled bottles, and are sturdy enough to keep that pesky sand at bay.

‘Striped Recycled Bottles Picnic Blankets’ from Trouva

Lean back and relax on these beautiful floor cushions, perfect for cosying into. The rich colours will really add some drama to your surroundings. Or keep it natural and more casual with one of these rush weave cushions from Not on the High Street.

‘Large Floor Cushions’ from Out There Interiors

 

‘Circular Rush Weave Grass Floor Cushions by Dibor’ from Not on the High Street

Give your seating area some character, and extra comfort, with a few of these beautiful outdoor cushions from Designers Guild. They’re a great buy and can be moved from a formal outdoor seating arrangement to a spontaneous picnic as quick as a flash.

From top to bottom ‘Jade Temple Cornflower, Amlapura Cobalt and Palasari Cobalt Outdoor Cushions’ from Designers Guild

Fine dining in the great outdoors can be made a little easier, and a lot more stylish, with some fun plasticware from Amara. These petroleum coloured tumblers are so pretty, and will work perfectly alongside these sky blue champagne flutes.

‘Double Face Acrylic Tumbler in Petroleum’ from Amara

‘Jellie Champagne Flute in Sky Blue’ from Amara

If you like a touch of over-the-top glamour, this wine glass is sure to be the icing on the cake, proving that being outdoorsy and sophisticated totally mix.

‘Chic & Zen Acrylic Wine Glass’ from Amara

It’s not only your drinks that need somewhere pretty to go, but your food too, and this pineapple plate from Graham & Green is so fun and summery.

‘Pineapple Bamboo Plate’ from Graham & Green

Keep everything packed away neatly is a classic and elegant picnic basket. This barrel shaped design adds an interesting touch, while the whitewashed basket below lends a contemporary feel.

‘Barrel Shaped Picnic Hamper by Eaton Hampers and Basketware’ from Not on the High Street

‘Ninon Whitewashed Wicker Picnic Basket’ from Maison du Monde

Stay out of the sun and into the cool shade with this stylish umbrella from House Doctor. The simple design means you can style it into the scheme without it looking out of place.

‘Oktogon Beach Umbrella by House Doctor’ from Wayfair

When it’s getting into the evening and you’re in need of some extra lighting, a few romantic candles that are protected from the wind will keep your magical surroundings well lit. This little bubble cage candle holder from Rockett St George is a really sweet find, adding charm to your alfresco area.

‘Glass Cage Lantern Candle Holder’ from Rockett St George

If you like a touch of the nautical theme, you’ll love this lantern from Zaza Homes, it’s a fun and simple edition to keep you going through the night.

‘Wood and Rope Nautical Lantern’ from Zaza Homes

And for that extra warmth, that most British holidays need, a cosy throw and a fire are the perfect companions. This blanket from Trouva is a beautiful colour, with some fun tassel details.

‘Jade Green Scandinavian Woven Blanket’ from Trouva

So whether you’ve venturing down to the beach, park or even just the bottom of your garden, make sure you have everything you need to have an amazing time this summer.

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Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning a beautiful garden for the season. From large pieces of furniture to the smaller details, creating a lovely outdoor area means you’re prepared for those rare sunny days and the warm evenings that follow. Whether you want to entertain a crowd or just make a cosy setup for yourself, there are plenty of ways to step up your outdoor game with some wonderful pieces.

‘Somerton Outdoor Dining Set’ from Cox & Cox

Add a little glamour to your alfresco dining by finding a suitable, but stylish table. This Somerton table and benches from Cox & Cox will give both contemporary and rustic elements to your outdoor area. The modern grey is a versatile colour and the long benches mean you can squeeze a few extra people around the table when you have guests over, making it a great table for spontaneous dinner parties. If you don’t need as much space, you can opt for something a little smaller like this Bistro table from Houseology, it’s more modern then your typical Bistro set, meaning you can adapt it to different types of settings.

‘Houseology Collection Grigio Bistro Set in Grey’ from Houseology

To stay out of the shade, and for the ultimate way to show off some style, a parasol is an outdoor must-have. If you’re looking for something really jaw-dropping, Sunbeam Jackie have a beautiful collection of ready-made parasols as well as doing bespoke versions if you really want to tailor it perfectly to your style. This Sunflowers in Blue piece is a gorgeous way to keep cool in the sun.

‘Sunflowers in Blue Parasol’ from Sunbeam Jackie

Another beautiful garden parasol comes from Rockett St George, this beaded piece will transform your back garden into an exotic paradise. It’s a great buy for making a style statement, adding fun and sophistication to your overall look.

‘Boho Beaded Cotton Garden Umbrella’ from Rockett St George

When the evenings get a little cold, gather round a gorgeous fire pit to keep yourself warm. This square aged brazier from Cox & Cox is a wonderful contemporary piece that’ll steal the show in your garden. The unusual shape and style will have people thinking you commissioned it yourself.

‘Square Rusty Brazier’ from Cox & Cox

To make sure you keep the light, a few garden accessories from The White Company are sure to do the trick. These crooks and lanterns will look amazing leading down a pathway or placed on the edge of a patio to give a party the perfect ambient lighting.

‘Metal Crooks and Torch Lanterns’ from The White Company

If you ever need a quick and inexpensive way to create a romantic and dreamy garden setting, fairy lights will never go amiss. This extra-long set from The White Company will allow you to cover your whole garden. Neatly decorate a bush or tree, or give some structural work a little make over like in the picture below; a rustic beam covered in fairy lights and a few branches turn something ordinary into a beautiful decorative charm.

‘Extra Long Fairy Lights’ from The White Company

Create the ideal hangout spot with this sweet crochet hammock from Graham and Green. It’s a great bohemian style and all you need to do is find some cushions to add into the mix and place your hammock in a hidden part of your garden, making it the perfect spot when you want to get away from the world.

‘Crochet Double Hammock’ from Graham & Green

If your garden is lacking a bit of space, you can always create the illusion of more with the use of mirrors; place on the garden wall where it’ll reflect the lawn or a collection of plants and it’ll make your space feel a little bigger. This mirror with some rustic shutters from Cox & Cox will add a bit of old, vintage charm to your garden, giving it its own character.

‘Outdoor Shutter Mirror’ from Cox & Cox

In order to keep your drink close by you on a hot day, you’ll need a few side tables to accompany your outdoor chairs. This bistro style table from Garden Trading is a charming little number that will go with most styles and a great way to finish off a seating area.

‘Rive Droite Bistro Tray Table in Charcoal’ from Garden Trading

For a touch of decorative flair on your outdoor side or coffee table, a few hurricane lanterns will really complete the look. These candle holders from West Elm are the perfect way to dress an outdoor table; the various heights and colours gives depth and range to the collection, making them both stylish and a great way to keep the garden feeling cosy late into the evening.

‘Pure Glass Hurricanes’ from West Elm

While there is always a slim chance that we might not get a sun-filled summer, you can still guarantee a beautiful one with some amazing pieces of outdoor furniture and some charming accessories.

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Last month I wrote a blog on the best of garden furniture around at the moment, but sometimes we’re not ready to make a big change just yet. Instead adding a few garden accessories is a wonderful way to introduce a bit of character and individuality to your shrubbery, after all the devil is in the detail.

Overtime, adding small and interesting details to your garden will gradually build up layers of design in the same way you would add ornaments and accessories to a home. The gradual process allows the garden to grow around each added ornament to create an organic, natural looking but well garnished garden. There are all sorts of ways to adorn your garden, and here I offer a look at some of my favourite outdoor accessories.

‘Vintage caddy lanterns’ from Hen & Hammock

Follow an industrial theme with these sweet vintage lanterns, if your patio is in need of a little sprucing up quickly something like these are perfect. They have more character than your average set found in Homebase and over the course of the summer you’re sure to get heaps of use of them, and can always be brought inside during the winter months.

If you’d like to add a little contemporary edge to your garden, these suave and sophisticated plant potters from Graham & Green are an interesting find. The weathered metal look takes away that awkward new and shiny phase that doesn’t always suit garden furniture and accessories, and instead will make the pots seem settled into their new home.

‘Weathered metal planters’ from Graham & Green

For an even sleeker and chic look Rowen & Wren have some ultra-contemporary, stylish outdoor pieces in their collection ready to fix up your outside areas. These wall planters for example are the perfect modern containers for herbs or small flowers, it’s the ideal purchase for the novice gardener who’s looking to slowly grow their garden in style.

Rowen & Wren, Sola brass wall planter

‘Sola brass wall planter’ from Rowen & Wren

Another brilliant piece from Rowen & Wren is this hanging lantern, its swish design makes it ideal for those late night summer parties or dinners. Try buying a few and hanging them in a cluster at different height levels for a wonderful, bold effect.

‘Hanging brass sky lantern’ from Rowen & Wren

For a magical, mystical theme Cox & Cox have you covered, if you’re brave enough and really want to make a statement or just a modern fairyland, a few of these lampshade dotted around your garden will do just the trick.

‘Battery powered lacy lampshade’ from Cox & Cox

While we’re on the subject of fairy-tales and mystery, add a hint of Alice in Wonderland to your outdoor area with these tea cup bird feeders. In the distance they’ll appear as if they’re floating and hopefully will attract some lovely birds to your garden.

‘Tea cup and saucer bird feeder’ from Not on the High Street

If you enjoy something with a little more of a traditional aesthetic, but aren’t into the ordinary, check out these rather adorable rusty chickens from Cox & Cox, they’ll add a little quirk and country chic to your home, plus they’re a lot less hassle then the real ones!

‘Rusty red hens’ from Cox & Cox

A sure crowd pleaser at a garden party are these magnificent torches from Rockett St George, with four variations available mix and match and illuminate your garden or highlight a pathway.

‘Garden torches’ from Rockett St George

Create a zen-like atmosphere, and bring out your inner bohemian with this dainty but daring wind chime from Anthropologie. It’s perfect from making a bland area a little more personal and is something that can be enjoyed all year round, though perhaps in winter maybe just by looking out of a window!

‘Cortazira chime’ from Anthropologie

And last but definitely not least, give you garden a little exotic feel with these glorious lanterns from Rockett St George, they’re just the thing to give your area a zing of intrigue and a relaxing ambience.

‘Rhiad blue lanterns’ from Rockett St George

There are all sorts of garden goodies to decorate your outdoor areas with, and a chance to really get creative in small and delicate ways.

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It’s May bank holiday this weekend and for me that always signifies the beginning of summer. May and June in Cambridge always tend to be my favourite months, and hopefully this year will be no different. Since the sun is, fingers crossed, here to stay it’s probably a good time to start thinking about your garden furniture in preparation for the warm weather.

Whatever space you have and whatever style you like there are absolutely tons of furniture pieces around at the moment, and now is the perfect time to purchase them. I’ve collected a few of my favourite pieces to share with you.

‘Rattan Garden Furniture’ from Habitat

If you’re feeling like adding a dose of retro glamour to your backyard then these rattan pieces from Habitat are just the ticket. The bench and the chair make a wonderful set, but I have a particular soft spot for the tall sided chair. It’s super stylish and paired with a few cosy cushions, it’ll make the perfect place for relaxing on a warm summer’s day.

A collaboration that I was very excited to hear about was the teaming up of House of Hackney and Sun Beam Jackie. The latter is a company based in Cornwall that specialise in make amazing parasols, which are now available in some classic House of Hackney prints, creating an absolutely must-have item for any garden.

‘Palmeral Parasol’ from House of Hackney x Sunbeam Jackie

For an extra added something to accompany an already existing set of chairs or loungers, these concrete garden stools from Habitat would make a great addition. They’re an easy way to insert in a bit of style or to update an overall look.

‘Round Concrete Garden Stools’ from Habitat

There is always something rather elegant about a hanging chair in a garden, it can turn a simple, ordinary area into a little wonderland. For traditional, classic style The White Company always has you covered, this sweet hanging chair would look lovely surrounded by a bed of flowers.

‘Hanging Chair’ from The White Company

If you have a taste for the unusual or a little quirky, this hanging nest from Encompass is a great alternative to a traditional hanging chair, its design will really make a statement and give a touch of the Avant Garde to the look of your garden.

‘Maffam Manu Nest Hanging Chair’ from Encompass

For an quick and stylish update to a decking or patio area of a garden, that would be well suited to a typical English country home, these sun loungers from The White Company are rather splendid. The traditional style in a modern grey colour creates a clever combination.

‘Adirondack Chair and Foot Stool’ from The White Company

Traditional isn’t always for everyone, so if a contemporary garden sounds like something you want to try on for size there are some really exciting ways to go. Roche Bobois has some wonderful products, including this armless sofa. Its modern design indulges in a hint of St Tropez style with an abstract wood frame, and is a great way to stay cool in the shade.

‘Saga Armless Sofa’ from Roche Bobois

A swing set needn’t only come in a traditional style, for a sleek, modern design try this set from Encompass, its non-fussy design and clean lines are perfect if you enjoy the minimalist style or if you don’t have a lot of space to play with its open design won’t make your garden feel too cluttered or heavy.

‘Viteo Home Swing Set’ from Encompass

Finally if you’re looking for a piece that’s a little more playful and bursting with colour, this outdoor sofa from Roche Bobois is fantastic, it’s a fun and vibrant way to relax in your garden this summer.

‘Escapade Outdoor Sofa’ from Roche Bobois

With so much excellent furniture around for our gardens, we’ll all be stocking up and praying for glorious sunny days all year round!

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Holidays during my childhood largely consisted of squeezing everything and everybody into a car and heading either up or down to Cornwall or the Lake District for a week. Holiday rentals to me seemed to be places that were stuck in time, a perfectly preserved overload of twee-ness, with excessive amounts of ruffles and dusty fake flowers, and while some managed to maintain the endearing nature of the property, others were unfortunately interior design disaster zones.

With so many holiday rentals around in Britain, and with the ever-rising popularity of Airbnb, we thought it rather fitting to give a little guide on how to make your holiday home that extra bit special, and making it an appealing, exciting place to be that will make people want to fight for the chance to stay there instead of running for the hills!

There are some wonderfully simple ways to turn a holiday home into a small haven. The high season for holiday goers is always summer and spring, therefore making the most out of your outdoor space is a sure fire way to bring smile to your renters face. Creating large, comfy communal areas is vital, and spaces that easily convert from day to night even more so. Making sure there is enough lighting, be it in the form of candles, lanterns or even making an investment in some chic permanent outdoor lighting will create the perfect relaxing vibe your holiday home needs, and will go hand-in-hand with some amazing outdoor furniture.

‘Luccombe Outdoor Set’ from Oka Direct

Whether you have a beautiful garden or a spectacular view, an outdoor space is enhanced a hundred times over with the addition of fantastic outdoor furniture. If you tend to cater to big groups, purchasing a set that can be used as a large all-in-one or broken up into smaller arrangements is the best seating solution. This set from Oka is a lovely modern rattan alternative to the dated wicker conservatory furniture that tends to be a staple in holiday homes.

For more intimate seating areas there are some adorable ideas that can really give an extra added touch, this loveseat from Oka is so stunning and if you have a small cottage, perfect for a romantic getaway, items like this are the icing on the cake.

‘Tendril Metal Garden Loveseat’ from Oka Direct

If you don’t want to have to re-mortgage your actual home in order to kit out your holiday rental, there are some charming, inexpensive ways to do so, I actually rather like this Bistro set from Homebase, which would make a sweet addition on a patio, perfect for a enjoying a glass of wine as you watch the sun go down.

‘Folding Metal Bistro Set’ from Homebase

When it comes to holiday rentals, it’s the extra added touches that make a renter a returning customer. Making them smile, whether they realise it or not, from simple home accessory additions will mean that they only think positively about your letting and will want to come back year after year. A beautiful parasol like this one from Hen and Hammock inserts individuality and character into an interior, so even if the rest of your furniture is simple and understated one extra added touch will make all the difference.

‘Indonesian Parasol’ from Hen and Hammock

Another insertion of charm could come in the form of a creative and wonderfully designed plant pot. Adding a little greenery to a garden is a great way to give a little oomph, and sourcing a lovely pot is an added bonus.

‘Wafture Planter’ from Anthropologie

Flowers will automatically brighten up any interior, the added spurt of colour adds excitement and vitality. However, holiday homes in my experience tend to replace with fresh with fake, while this is a much more viable option for a holiday home, the flowers always seem to be dusty and ever so rubbery looking. Throwing out your old fake flowers and purchasing some new ones will guarantee to make your holiday homes look ten times more modern and ten times less stuffy! For high quality florals that won’t break the bank head to Funky Bunch or An Angel At My Table, but ditch the typical gerbera flower and opt for something more sophisticated and elegant like peonies or hydrangeas or some wild flowers.

‘Short Pink Blossom’ from Funky Bunch

‘Soft Pink and Blush Hydrangeas’ from An Angel At My Table

A few small changes to the foundations of the house are a great way to modernise an older property and give character to a new one. Switching some unexciting door knobs for some interesting ones is an easy way to reinvent the look or theme of a house with minimal effort. These door handles from Rockett St George are super stylish and will look amazing with multiple design schemes.

‘Talia Ceramic Door Handle’ from Rockett St George

For an even quicker transformation, upgrading a dated and probably slightly mouldy doormat will instil your guests comfort and style right from the get-go, and a simple yet stunning design like this one will please almost any taste.

‘Black and Natural Simple Door Mat’ from Rockett St George

Finally, inserting some your town’s charm into your home is the perfect way to separate a holiday home from a regular one. As long as you don’t go too overboard with a theme (we know we’re by the sea no need for the nautical paraphernalia reminders), then a little small town charm can be quite lovely. A few antiques from a local shop or some paintings or prints of the local landscape, landmark or by a local artist can really do the trick.

‘Cambridge’ by Glynn Thomas from Cambridge Contemporary Art

So with a little spruce and just the right amount of whimsy a beautiful holiday home is just around the corner, just in time for summer!

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The temperature is rising all around Cambridge today and in typical British fashion we’re all getting a little flustered! But fear not as we have an abundance of lovely summer saviours to keep you cool in the heat.

Comfort is the key on a scorching day like today and whether you like to lie back and work on your tan or read a book in a deck chair there’s something for everyone.

Cox and Cox, Double Cushion

This beautiful cotton double cushion from Cox and Cox is perfect for a picnic on a lazy afternoon.

House Of Hackney, Deck Chairs

House of Hackney has deck chairs for sale at the moment with some wonderful prints that’ll keep you stylish in the sun. And if you love prints and patterns then you’ll want to check out Sunbeam Jackie’s collection of beautiful bohemian parasols.

Sunbeam Jackie, Parasol

Cox and Cox, Pitcher

Staying hydrated is the perfect excuse to get this gorgeous pitcher from Cox and Cox, great for serving up some Pimms or perhaps some refreshing cucumber water

And to accompany it why not have a look at House of Hackney’s collection of fun trays, a great addition to any gathering in the sun and the perfect way to serve those drinks in style!

House of Hackney, Tray Set

After watching a beautiful sunset, these lovely wicker lanterns from The White Company will be a great way to keep the night going without losing the light.

The White Company, Wicker Lanterns

Of course we’re not forgetting the inside of your home, nothing says summertime like a set of beautiful linen curtains blowing in the breeze, and as always Ian Mankin has some stunning fabrics in his collection.

Ian Mankin

So there’s our guide to staying cool in the sun, we hope you enjoy!

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Blog by Philippa Rosselli

When thinking about the decoration of your home it’s important to remember to include your garden into the mix. Even if you don’t have green fingers there are always ways to dress up your garden that don’t take up too much time or energy, and any garden no matter what size or style can benefit from the addition of a few lighting features. Just like an accessory to a room, lighting can be the perfect finishing touch a garden needs to make it special.

Now that summer has arrived and (fingers crossed!) the weather is bright and beautiful the time has come to adorn our gardens with lighting and turn them into the magical havens we’ve all been dreaming of when the sun goes down. Whether you’re looking to revamp your garden into a welcoming setting for BBQs and other social gatherings or if you’re looking to create a more permanent feature piece for your garden, there’s an abundance of styles and lighting features to choose from.

A few new lighting additions is the easiest way to update your garden,  if candles and fairy lights are your thing or you’re looking for a quaint new porch light, these little finishing touches are just right to show off your signature style in a quick and easy way.

Charles Edwards, Mews Gatepost Lantern

This lantern from the Charles Edwards exterior lighting collection is a contemporary way to add a little old-fashioned English romance to your garden. The bulb and frosted tube combination means that you’ll get that flickering candle effect without having to relight every time there’s a gust of wind!

One of The White Company’s bestsellers this summer are these beautiful Bistro Bulb Fairy Lights. Fairy lights are a beloved home and garden accessory, creating a warm and cosy feel to any surrounding area. These lights are particularly great as the oversized bulb creates more of a retro style, forming the atmosphere of a quaint Italian bistro or perhaps a 1950’s American funfair. Whether you want to hang them on a trellis or in a tree, they’re adaptable to any garden and any style, and are a great last minute addition for any party decorations.

The White Company, Bistro Bulb Fairy Lights

Retrouvius currently has some wonderful indoor and outdoor lighting features, but my particular favourite for a porch feature is this charming Painted Copper Lantern.

Retrouvius, Painted Copper Lantern

Painted on the glass sides are charming seaside landscapes that are the perfect welcoming accessory for every seaside lover or fan of the quaint and quirky. This little porch lamp could be the ideal piece to add a little beach-fun and nostalgia to your home.

If you live in a flat or terrace with perhaps just a rooftop or small space to work with, there are still countless ways to make your outdoor area the most sought after space in your home.

John Cullen Lighting

This John Cullen Lighting design uses lighting around the edge to create the illusion of a spacious area whilst using candles and table lighting to make a cosy and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place for social events.

Collingwood Lighting

The same goes for this lovely al fresco seating area using Collingwood Lighting. Three wall lights throw warm light up and down the wall highlighting the attractive brickwork and the foliage in front.

Summer isn’t the only season your garden should be getting all dressed up for though. Incorporating permanent light features into your garden is a fantastic way to make a statement all year round. Turning a garden into your own personal haven means that you can have your very own beautiful landscape painting to enjoy all to yourself.

If you’re lucky enough to have a gorgeous pond or water feature in your back garden then it’s the perfect canvas for some dramatic lighting. John Cullen Lighting shows how to use lights to highlight a water feature and its surrounding shrubbery. The glow and shadows these lights created by bouncing off of its partnered bush adds a level of contemporary sophistication to a garden.

John Cullen Lighting

If you love gardening and have a prized plant, you can use a lighting feature to show off your marvellous creations!

John Cullen Lighting

Putting a light next to the plant immediately draws your eye to it making it the feature piece in your garden. You can use this effect to display your plant proudly or to achieve a beautifully dramatic statement with the lighting creating a striking shadow effect on the house wall.

Although a lighting fixture is a great way to show off your garden and all its wild wonders, you might also want to consider finding a light fixture that is the main feature of a garden itself.

Artemide, Reeds Outdoor

This beautiful piece from Artemide is a lovely contemporary way to include lighting into your garden. It can be left to stand alone like in the picture above, perhaps on a patio or decking area, or you might want to integrate it into a flowerbed. A few of these pieces would be the perfect addition simply dotted around in an overflowing wild garden.

Your garden can be the perfect canvas to play around with adventurous and beautiful lighting, and it’s the perfect way to inject a bit of luxury without a complete overhaul. From elegant, contemporary pieces to fun and romantic, adding a little light into your garden could give it the burst of life it’s been looking for!

 

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