Outdoor decorating or exterior design is all the rage. If you’re bored of your existing space or don’t feel you make much use of it then read on. Decorating your outdoor seating or dining area is the perfect way to extend your living space, bringing the indoors outside. Here are some ideas and ways to style your outdoor space, dress-up your wrought iron furniture, making your patio your new lounge.
Exotic – Comfortable and laid back. Use bright colours such as pinks or oranges with tropical plants and choose trendy accessories for a modern twist. A hammock will look terrific if you’ve got space too.
Mediterranean Courtyard – Great for enclosed, walled areas, think classical not rustic. Use typically Mediterranean looking plants, neutral colours; some fitting wall art and a small water feature is a must, as is a sun lounger.
Romantic - Create a secluded dining area for romantic nights under the stars. Use white drapes, cushions and plenty of twinkle lights or candles.
Monochrome – A black and white patio area is extremely elegant yet contemporary. Use monochrome accessories such as rugs, pillows, candelabras, drapes and light fittings to create this space.
Georgian – A formal, traditional style, use elegant wrought iron furniture with classic ivory or white cushions. Roses epitomise this style and just make sure everything’s neat and trimmed.
Homely – Another wonderful way to use a sheltered space, completely relaxed with cosy outdoor rugs, throws, and extra cushions. Use trailing flowers and potted plants for casual warmth and make it homely with clever accessories.
Modern – Use wrought iron furniture with clean lines, introduce one strong colour, green or blue tones work well. Use spikey ornamental plants and keep it minimalistic, one feature piece such as an outdoor mirror or trendy light fitting will do the job.
Our last few posts have all been about our news, so this week we thought we’d do a little something different. We have become intrigued by Japanese gardens. They aren’t just about neat lawns and well-kept hedgerows but are works of art, reflecting religious and cultural beliefs and traditions.
To spark your interest, here’s a few fascinating facts…
- Us Westerners tend to winterise a garden at the end of the summer, whereas the Japanese garden is purposefully designed for all seasons. Plants are used to represent the tapestry of the four seasons, such as the Japanese maple that alters dramatically with the seasons and represents the continuous changes in life.
- A Japanese garden must contain stone lanterns that symbolise the illumination of one’s path through life.
- It is generally accepted that there are 3 main types of garden; Karesansui (dry landscape), using raked gravel and sand, creating abstract art with rocks and moss, representing ponds or islands. Tsukiyama Gardens reproduce an entire landscape in miniature form, otherwise known as hill or hill and pond gardens; they almost always contain an artificial hill. Then Lastly, Chaniwa Gardens are built for holding tea ceremonies, so must incorporate some sort of structure like an iron gazebo as a tea house.
- Tea ceremonies held in the gardens of Japan were a cultural activity to teach the importance of the Japanese virtues; loyalty, righteousness, politeness, wisdom and trust.
- Water is always present, either actually or symbolically, as in the dry garden where the gravel is raked into patterns representing waves.Bridges are important, allowing different viewpoints but they also have a symbolic meaning, represents the journey of life from one world to another.
So what about wrought iron furniture in a Japanese-style garden? You’ll find that it fits in well with this type of garden, because the material is rustic and looks natural, especially with one of our antique patina finishes, for a natural, age-old look. The colour also means it will blend seamlessly in the landscape. Plus, they suit a more modern, Zen type style.
Wrought iron furniture is also great for all seasons, helping you enjoy your garden in the autumn like the Japanese do! Iron dining tables and chairs can withstand all weathers too, perfect for embracing the elements and seasonal changes. And if you want to add your own tea ceremonies area, Paris gazebo which would look amazing in that setting.
The Potential Feast garden, which showcased our wrought iron dining set at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, went on and won the RHS Silver-Gilt Medal.
The sun shone and a great day was had by all. The Potential Feast design was about pleasure, enjoyment and lifestyle. We loved because it embodies Mediterranean values of al fresco living and dining, fresh herbs and produce, strong bouquets and plenty of family time and relaxation.
The garden was a Feast for the eyes and the pallet too; richly coloured with violet hues and composed of entirely edible plants. The crowds loved it! Pointing out which edible flowers, vegetables, fruits and leaves they could recognise. Who would have thought that tomatoes and lettuce can be decorative as well as tasty?
Richly coloured violet hues reflected in the chairs cushion to
bring the whole garden composition together.
If you watch the BBC Gardener’s World you could see us in full glory on their Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Special last Friday. If you missed it, you can still catch it on the BBC website iPlayer, or watch a short clip of the garden with our Castrum metal furniture on our front page (you’ll have to scroll down a bit).