Fol­low na­ture’s way

How to make your out­door hide­aways or con­ven­tional liv­ing spa­ces flow with na­ture.

Belfast Telegraph - Weekend - - INTERIORS - By Gabrielle Fa­gan

You may not be ready to get out the sun-loungers un­til that weather’s more set­tled, but there’s no rea­son you can’t en­joy the plea­sures of the out­doors, by turn­ing your home into a na­ture-in­spired oa­sis.

Blur­ring the bound­ary be­tween in­side and out and play­ing with botan­i­cal ef­fects is a pas­sion for Selina Lake, who re­veals her se­crets in her new book, Gar­den Style: In­spi­ra­tional Styling For Your Out­side Space.

“I hope I can in­spire peo­ple to make the most of any out­side space and cre­ate ev­ery­thing from an out­door liv­ing space to a gar­den room or a hide­away, and bring na­ture into decor in­doors,” she says.

Here, Lake shares three looks from the book...

1. Cre­ate a cosy hide­away

“More pop­u­lar than ever, gar­den rooms are a use­ful ad­di­tion to any space,” says Lake. “They can be used as of­fice spa­ces, craft­ing rooms, yoga stu­dios, or places to en­joy a mil­lion other ac­tiv­i­ties. “You can adapt an ex­ist­ing build­ing, such as a large shed, garage or green­house, or com­mis­sion a new pod, cabin or sum­mer house. Per­haps you’d like the gar­den room to re­flect the gar­den and have a ver­dant, nat­u­ral­is­tic ‘pot­ting shed’ vibe, or you could opt for some­thing strik­ingly mod­ern that con­trasts with the gar­den that sur­rounds it. “If it’s a con­tem­po­rary struc­ture, like a glass con­ser­va­tory, a great way to bring the out­side in is by us­ing green, the colour of na­ture, for walls and skirt­ing boards. Green glass-bot­tle vases and faux plants can bring a quirky botan­i­cal feel to a sleek mod­ern space.”

Top Tip: “If you have a sur­plus of blooms from your gar­den, cut them and ar­range in gal­va­nized metal buck­ets filled with wa­ter. Ar­range by a door­way or at the bot­tom of a stair­case. It cre­ates a sense of walk­ing through a flower gar­den.”

2. Bring the out­side in

“Bring­ing flow­ers and fo­liage in from your gar­den to en­hance your home decor is a sim­ple de­tail that makes a big im­pact, whether you’re in need of a ta­ble cen­tre­piece for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, a wel­com­ing dis­play for a hall­way ta­ble, or some­thing just to bring a smile to your face,” Lake en­thuses. “Joy­ful pops of vi­brant colour from flow­er­ing spring bulbs are re­ally up­lift­ing,” says Lake. “When it comes to ar­rang­ing flow­ers, I don’t have any rules as such. I like loose, nat­u­ral-look­ing posies and am drawn to colour pal­ettes that I find up­lift­ing and will sit well with my in­te­rior.”

Top Tip: “I make black and white copies of vin­tage botan­i­cal prints and use brass bull­dog clips to dis­play them on a line. I also love empty seed pack­ets, which can be grouped and used in a dec­o­ra­tive way.”

3. PER­FECT THE PA­TIO

“I wanted to cre­ate a sim­ple Scan­di­na­vian look, so opted for a clean, pared-down pal­ette of black, grey and white, team­ing it with nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als such as wood, rat­tan and wicker,” ex­plains Lake.

“Lush green wis­te­ria fo­liage and leafy hy­drangea, laven­der and to­bacco plants in zinc con­tain­ers and dark grey stone pots add a beau­ti­ful scent and in­ter­est to my out­door liv­ing room.

“I gave our tired wooden deck­ing a facelift with black wood stain, and like to dress the sofa and chairs with comfy cush­ions and throws, just as I do in­side.”

Top Tip: “Be ready for when the sun goes down — an out­door rug will make a space feel cosier — and hang a clus­ter of string lights over­head and group can­dle lanterns on a cof­fee ta­ble.”

IN­SIDE OUT: Selina Lake’s pa­tio fur­nished in a black, grey and white colour scheme in a Scandi-style

OUT­SIDE IN: a glass and steel ex­ten­sion de­signed by a Swedish ar­chi­tect to sit among the lush green gar­den fo­liage flow­ers and (right) fo­liage from Selina Lake’s gar­den which are a fo­cal point in her hall

Gar­den Style: In­spi­ra­tional Styling For Your Out­side Space by Selina Lake, pho­tog­ra­phy by Rachel Whit­ing, is pub­lished by Ry­land Peters & Small, price £19.99. Avail­able to read­ers for spe­cial price of £14.99, inc P&P: Call Macmil­lan Di­rect on 01256 302 699 and quote ref NT5.

Wall­pa­per, £120 a roll, visit Dash & Al­bert Europe for stockists

PETAL POWER: Pot­ted Or­chid (right), £165, Sweet­pea & Wil­low

Deckchair, £150, ArtWow; cush­ion,£65, for stockists visit Dash & Al­bert Europe

Reed Bas­ket, set of three, £60, Bo­hemia De­sign

PLANT LIFE: ar­ti­fi­cial Crown Daisy head plant, £21 and (left) ar­ti­fi­cial Dusty Miller plant, £20, both The Con­tem­po­rary Home

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