Family & Life, General, Interiors
My Outdoor Room (Outdoor Space Inspiration)
Posted May 5, 2016 by Bethanie Lunn
The weather this week has been glorious and this weekend is set to be a scorcher. As a family, we’re therefore making the most of it by tackling the garden and flourishing our outdoor space with blooms, lighting and furniture on which to sit and enjoy it all.
Our garden is fast becoming our sanctuary – an extension of our home which is exactly that. I do yoga in it, we eat and drink there, we take in the views, we enjoy it with friends, my son plays in it – it is as such, an outdoor room…so it’s important to get it right.
For us, our outdoor space is just as important as the indoor space, especially in the summer so I’ve teamed up with Harley & Lola, a beautiful furniture and homewares brand to inspire and help you to create a gorgeous outdoor space for yourself. From shabby to industrial or minimalist, their expansive garden and conservatory collection is set to inspire you.
Our house is set back from the sea on a cliff top in Brighton with views we’ve long dreamed of and worked hard to get. it is the the of space that others com to walk their dogs, contemplate the beauty of life and just be. You often see people sat on the bench outside our garden, just sitting still and having time out. The weather has extremes, giving us a new back drop and scenery everyday.
We love to drawn in elements of the outside, in, give a nod to our location and celebrate the sea with a nautical-meets-Mediterranean feel. We have so far achieved this with the mix of wooden decking, beach pebbles and wooden finishes, plus little details such as terracotta pots, exotic plants such as the yucca tree, the hanging plates and a splash of vibrant ‘beach blue’ paint. Smell and mood is also important to us in order to stimulate al the senses and create an outdoor room, as it were, that we’re utterly happy to be in – jut like our home.
We’ve therefore got plants and herbs such as lavender, rosemary and thyme which fill the air with perfumed loveliness. I’ve got some ideas for lighting too now after browsing Harley & Lola so read on.
These little Dombo Lizards will up the exotic factor too while providing an element of fun. I’d have them climbing up the wall and hidden amongst the herbs.
You need the right furniture to cater to your needs and to allow you to sit back and take it all in. If we hadn’t already bought our outdoor table and benches, we’d choose the Buckingham Round Table and Brighton Curved Benches but I’d change the parasol to this Amalfi Parasol in grey to fuse our grey living room with our outdoor space.
The idea of bringing the outside, in is to extend your space, make it inviting to enter into on both sides and open your doors quite literally to the beauty of the outdoors. We like to do this through the use of colour and materials – using a similar colour scheme in and out and using a blend of woods. Not only is this parasol perfect for the design-conscious, I also love how you can move it around so you can choose to have it shadow you while you eat at the table or angled over your children while they play – and you lap up the sunshine.
I’m also dreaming about getting this Port Royal Luxe Rustic Large Daybed with retractable canopy and coffee table. it is perfect for my husband and I to curl up on once the kids are in bed with a glass of vino as we take in the view. I’d have to put security ropes around it by day though, or my toddler would use it as a luxury bouncy castle!
We are looking to introduce more lighting now that the weather is hotting up and we’ll be looking to spend MUCH more time outside. We currently have a string of fairy lights that wrap around the entire border of our outdoor room. We turn them on when the sun goes down and it is just magical. To create extra atmosphere, I’d like to line up ten of these Natural Wash Fir Wood, Iron & Glass Lanterns across the flower border at the edge of my decking. They would weather very well while providing a romantic glow of candlelight at night – perfect for al fresco dining.
The rope handle on these Antique Silver Glass & Rope Lanterns further highlights the nautical vibe. I’d like to line up a collection across our balcony at night while my husband and I enjoy a cuddle and a bottle of red after a hard day. It is the perfect way to relax.
It’s all about the detail with Harley & Lola. I hadn’t heard of a Rain Chain until I discovered this brand. This solid copper Lily Rain Chain is a unique concept used to replace the pipe from your guttering to create a trickling relaxing water sound – I’d say that’s far more tranquil and aesthetically pleasing than the usual black tubing! Styled in the shape of a Lily, this design is made from solid copper which I’m totally in love with right now and will not rust but weather naturally instead. This is ideal for our seafront location that really gets all the elements.
I think little personal touches in your outdoor room, just as inside your home – show your characters as a family, showcase your interests and beliefs and make it YOURS. We have a ‘Garden Rules’ sign which just about sums it up for us as well as driftwood we’ve salvaged from beaches and an old boat we’ve turned into a flower bed.
The boat belonged to the previous owners father so I felt it right to keep it, and love that it once swam out in the sea before our house. We have given it a face lift with ‘beach blue’ external paint and filled it with some of my favourite flowers. I adore hydrangeas and love that new life grows inside an old object. I’d love to add more ornaments and accessories to reflect our personalities. I couldn’t resist this Garden Hen. I’d have her perching on the boat as though she is pecking at the blooms.
The metal plates on her body would reflect the sun’s rays, bouncing light across the garden and we all love light, bright spaces.
Finally, your outdoor room wouldn’t be one if you didn’t get to sit in it as much as possible so we’re planning BBQs and cocktail parties and plenty of relaxation (when we can!). For the parties (more likely to be thrown with just my husband and I attending when the kids are asleep, ha ha) – I love these Cocktail Trays – in-fitting with our colour scheme.
We’ll be putting our home bar to good use – and I’ll be putting my husband to good use on balmy evenings- by loading the trays with Mojitos, made using the fresh mint from our garden. I’m so excited for the summer and we all love an outdoor lifestyle, so I’m so pleased to have discovered Harley & Lola. I’ve uncovered some great pieces that will help complete my outdoor room to make it our own tiny little slice of paradise. What dreams for an outdoor space do you have?
For more inspiration and information about these products, check out my ‘Outdoor Room’ Pinterest board.
Disclaimer: This post has been written in collaboration with Harley & Lola in that they commissioned me to highlight my pick of products. however, all picks, opinions and sentiments are my own and I only choose to work with brands I love and feel are suitable for my readers.