It’s been a tough year for wanderlust. For many, the closest thing we’ve known to travel has been a bucolic bolthole in Kent. Or else, the utopian contours of a fantasy render on Pinterest. But as regions of the world slowly start to open up, the sun-seeker is faced with a most English of conundrums. Should I stay or should I go?
For those who don’t fancy catching flights just yet, there is a third way. A chance to indulge in all the sensory pleasures of a getaway, without leaving the creature comforts of home. It involves the cultivation of whatever outdoor Eden you have access to, harnessing gorgeous garden styles inspired by the topiary gardens of Tuscany or the sunbaked riads of Marrakech.
If it sounds like the armchair escapism you’ve been waiting for, then we encourage you to sit back. Unpack. And delve into some of our favourite garden rooms from across the globe.
Few patterns evoke the feeling of summer like the classic Tuscan stripe. A symbol of chic from Milan to Sicily, it’s one of our favourites prints this season. The key to nailing the look outdoors is to go big on stripy cushions and light with the surrounding frames. We find fluid wrought-iron furniture works beautifully here.
One style that ticks both boxes is the new Borea collection by B&B Italia. Inspired by Piero Lissoni’s life-long fascination with flight, the structure wraps around the cushions like the wings of a plane. Styled with matching tables and a Captain Flint floor lamp, it promises to help even the most low-key of soirées take off this season.
A Taste of The Tropics
In the eternal summer of the Tropics, staying cool isn’t just a necessity. It’s an art form. Architects are charged with conjuring up graceful pergolas. And furnishings are chosen with care. Among the materials that come out on top are those that promote a sense of freshness and an organic connection with the natural world.
It’s something that outdoor mavericks Cane-Line and Gloster know all too well. When they learnt that rattan-crafting skills had died out in Europe, they set their sights further afield, to the sunny shores of Indonesia. In close collaboration with local artisans, they sought about reviving this most ancient and sustainable of fibres. Fast-forward a couple of years, and rich, cosy, bohemian furnishings abound.
Rhythm & Blues
Our rhythms and blues aesthetic seeks to imbue outdoor spaces with colour, pattern and soul. A matching Spotify playlist is optional. Caribbean inspired Contardi lighting is not. Keen eyes will notice a playfulness to every element in the garden rooms above, from the undulating sofas to the mash up of Deco patterns and pastels.
It’s a trend that cares little for the size and scope of your outdoor space. You might be the proud owner of a pocket sized patio. Or the lord of a rolling manor. The cacophony of styles and colours promise to energise every space, establishing joy as the centrepiece of every alfresco encounter.
As every city dweller knows, the best urban gardens are those that do a lot with a little. When space is at a premium, sophistication must be found in essential forms and clean lines.
It’s a reality that lead neatly to the creation of Moooi’s first alfresco collection. In the flowing silhouette of the Barani collection nothing is superfluous. Every line has a purpose, at once structural and beautiful. The perfect perch for coffee-sipping and people-watching, this lounge chair and others like it seek to brighten up metropolitan balconies, boasting minimal maintenance and superb resistance to whatever the capricious climate might have to throw.
Whereas urban centres envisage a more spontaneous use of outdoor space, the Eastern perspective asks that we live the outdoors slowly and deliberately. Bistro dining sets are swapped for sun beds, love seats and poufs — the lower-slung the better.
Paola Lenti was the first Italian brand to recognise the need for a softening of outdoor spaces, or, to use an oft appropriated phrase, to bring the indoors out. Sinuous in places, structured in others, the Frame collection draws on all the tenets of life in Orient, presenting a laid-back and deeply relaxing landscape for outdoor living.