Summer is on the horizon. And by all accounts, it looks set to be glorious. But when it comes to getting the garden ready, how do you invest in styles that’ll be loved long after the balmy August bubble has popped?
The way we see it there are 5 steps to creating an enviable garden room. Each of which promises to help you spend more time in the landscape that matters.
Choose materials that can keep up
Ours is a rainy old island. Which is why, when furnishing beautiful outdoor spaces, it's so important to choose materials that can keep up. The good news is that the world of garden furniture has been subject to one of the most rigorous developments in haptic technology.
“It’s a new frontier,” explained designer Patrick Jouin in a recent interview with Architonic.
“Outside used to be rough - simplistic even - with everything in plastic…"
"Now it’s almost gone into reverse. All the technology we have developed for the outdoors is now coming inside.”
The best part of this new outdoor revolution? You can be lazy.
Such developments include innovations like the QuickDry and AirFlow systems at Cane-Line. Used across the collection, the cosy cushion foam has been designed to allow water to pass directly through its membranes, ensuring its fully dry just 60 mins after a downpour.
For spaces that have long-suffered under the influence of bony garden furniture, it’s nothing short of a miracle.
Of course, it’s not all softness and serendipity.
While teak remains a firm favourite for dining tables, there are new dining surfaces that warrant attention, too. They include the likes of Dekton at Gandia Blasco, as well as a series of specially treated lacquers at Knoll & Vitra.
Virtually impervious to anything the climate has to throw, they usher in a new era of fuss-free living. One in which, as Patrick Jouin, puts it, you can be lazy, leaving furniture outside to face the elements without too much fuss or fanfare.
Give your guests something to gather around
We’re naturally social creatures. And when we see a chance to huddle or gather, we’re drawn to it.
These kind of visual anchors become even more important in the Great Outdoors. Amid the lush foliage, we need a focal point — something to ground us — or at the very least, give us a sense of space.
Some of our favourite solutions include contemporary fire pits. All clean lines and iron touch, they nod elegantly to the traditions of time gone by, while making space for magic and whimsy.
The best come with matching grills for toasting smores. And have special lids that let rain and moisture run off. All, however, promise to introduce warmth into your outdoor space, long after the sunny evenings have gone.
Do act fast
They say that comparison is the thief of joy. And yet we've found procrastination to be just as efficient an acomplice.
Which means if you are planning on living the outdoors this summer — now's the time.
So while you might actually have to attend a street party for the Jubilee, you'll be laughing come Midsummer.
Try throwing shade
In the southern hemisphere, seeking out the shade isn't just a necessity, it's an art-form. Entire buildings are built around the idea. With specially angled overhangs to help stop the sun in it's track.
It's also something that garden design specialists recommend cultivating in our part of the world.
"Whether it's as a space to prepare food or even just to work from home, there's value in having a cool, shady spot in which to unwind," explains David Goodman, horticulturist at Pen & Barrow.
Seamlessly transition from day to night
Lighting vertical spaces is one of the easiest ways to create a sense of grandeur in a building. We see it all the time on hotels, and yet when it comes to the exterior of our homes too often the walls sit blank — a forgotten canvas on an otherwise beautiful house.
It’s an idea that feels especially relevant come summertime, as we trade intimate dinner parties for leisurely barbecues and alfresco dining.
To help you find your glow, we’ve rounded up 3 of the season's most exciting outdoor lighting solutions. Each of which promises to help transition your garden party into a sophsticated soirée.