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 scent and interest to my outdoor living room. I gave our tired wooden decking a face-lift 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.”
Garden Style: Inspirational Styling For Your Outside Space by Selina Lake, photography by Rachel Whiting, is published by Ryland Peters & Small, priced ¬£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.