PROP­ERTY & LIV­ING

Make the warmer weeks even more special, out­doors and in, with th­ese fun ideas from GABRIELLE FA­GAN

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

HOME & AWAY

Cre­ate a sunny sanc­tu­ary you can es­cape to – what­ever the weather

Go­ing away on hol­i­day is lovely, but there’s noth­ing nicer than en­joy­ing sunny days at home (no pack­ing, flight de­lays or crowds to con­tend with).

So why not turn your home into it’s own su­per­sum­mer des­ti­na­tion by cre­at­ing a desert-in­spired set­ting, per­haps even an out­door cinema, beau­ti­ful bal­cony, and chil­dren’s play area?

Here’s how to do it...

HOT­HOUSE STYLE

Even if the weather’s change­able, you can turn up the heat at home with decor in­spired by the dessert and tropical zones.

“I am ob­sessed with cacti, so I jumped at the chance of cre­at­ing my own col­lec­tion,” says de­signer, Abi­gail Ah­ern (abi­gaila­h­ern. com).

“My new botan­i­cals range at Deben­hams is desert-in­spired and I’ve been play­ing with scale, which is one of my trade­marks, and the re­sult is th­ese fab­u­lous jum­bo­sized faux cacti. I have them every­where in my Lon­don home, be­cause they re­ally add in­stant ‘wow’ fac­tor and are a great way to add colour, in­trigue and tex­ture to rooms.”

TIP: An ex­otic leaves mu­ral, from £26 per square me­tre, Wall­sauce (wall­sauce.com), could be the per­fect sul­try back­drop for a room.

BAL­CONY BOOST

Just a few stylish ad­di­tions can trans­form even a tiny pa­tio or bal­cony into an out­door haven...

“There’s a knack to al fresco liv­ing when space is lim­ited and you’re con­fined to a bal­cony – all it takes is a lit­tle creativity,” says Clau­dia Roberts, co-owner of new fur­nish­ings and fash­ion brand Pignut (pignut.co.uk).

“Com­fort is key. A fleece-back floor blan­ket will pro­vide ex­tra pad­ding, as will floor cush­ions – think ‘hygge’ for the great out­doors.

“Choose box cush­ions with han­dles, oil-coated table­cloths, and fake it with fab­rics – in­tro­duce colour and even wildlife with an­i­mal or bird prints, and gaily pat­terned bunt­ing.”

TIP: Liven up a bal­cony wall or rail­ings with hang­ing pots and win­dow boxes. Cro­cus (cro­cus.co.uk) has a bril­liant se­lec­tion.

Staghorn Plant £70; small yuha cac­tus £85; string of pearls suc­cu­lent, cur­rently re­duced to £36, and si­nai cac­tus, cur­rently re­duced to £52, Abi­gail Ah­ern/ EDI­TION at Deben­hams

Gisela Gra­ham sa­fari col­lec­tion faux bam­boo plant, £30.99, The Con­tem­po­rary Home, tch.net

Driffield all-weather rat­tan chair, £170, Gar­den Trad­ing, gar­den­trad­ing.co.uk

In­door/out­door swing with oak seat and grey ropes £139, Bobby Rab­bit, bob­byrab­bit.co.uk

St Austell bat­tery out­door lantern £29.99, light­s4­fun.co.uk

Large gold­en­ball cac­tus, cur­rently re­duced to £78 from £98, Abi­gail Ah­ern/EDI­TION at Deben­hams

Enamelled eth­nic lantern, blue, £52, Out There In­te­ri­ors, out­there­in­te­ri­ors.com

Ex­otic leaves wall mu­ral

Small Yuha Cac­tus £85, Abi­gail Ah­ern/ EDI­TION at Deben­hams

Cac­tus pil­low £17.50, Cotswold Out­door, cotswold out­door.com

House by John Lewis salsa gar­den chair in chilli, £120 for set of two, john­lewis.com

Jacky golden yel­low gar­den floor cush­ion £35, Ragged Rose, ragge­drose.com

Bal­cony deckchair £185, and foot­stool £45, both avail­able from Denys and Field­ing, denysand­field­ing.co.uk King­fisher cush­ion £36.95, Pignut, pignut.co.uk

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