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