With our gardens, balconies and window sills having become so much more important to us lately (whilst we are asked to stay home), I thought I’d share some of my favourite designs to help you spruce them up. I’ve tried to consider products that work for every situation and give suggestions for different size spaces – I appreciate that not everyone who lives in a big city has a private outdoor space. Try to make the most of what you do have and be creative.
If you have the space (and make the most of it) it can feel like you have an extra room, or two. If you have a big family, it can make a small house feel so much larger and give you all an area to spend time alone. Just having a small area to sit, surrounded by plants can be transformative to your health and well being. If you’re able to get in the sun, you’ll also benefit from the vitamin D your body produces in response to its rays.
Whatever size space you have there’s always something you can do to make it feel special; from growing herbs in beautiful pots on a bright window sill (to give your summer salads a boost), to creating an inviting dining area in the garden (to sit and enjoy a barbecue on warm summer evenings). It’s your space so choose what makes you happy.
Whenever I can, I like to read outside. I’m less distracted by the chores that need doing in the house and can lose myself for at least half an hour. It’s a lovely form of meditation that’s transformed by a comfy chair and a cosy blanket on chillier days.
You don’t need a lot of space, just enough to squeeze in a chair, a small table to rest your morning coffee on or even just a tray on the ground. What’s most important is that it offers you the chance to sit and relax.
Below you’ll find some of my favourite outdoor chairs, as well as a few stools and accessories that will offer you some added comfort.
For some reason eating outside always feels more exciting than indoors. Perhaps it’s the change of scene, warm air, and the chance to slow down and enjoy your food. There’s no rush and little distraction; except for maybe some good company.
I love the relaxed vibe of eating al fresco, piling the table high with sharing plates of fish, meats and salads. It’s a great excuse for mixing up a fresh pitcher of your favourite cocktail and clinking glasses until well after the sun has set. With the right lighting, a log burner and a few blankets there’s no need to go inside when the temperature and light drop.
Whether you’re perched on a small balcony or spread across a large terrace, I have found some beautiful designs for your outdoor dining area. All are incredibly well made, built to last but also look good. I’ve included a few accessories that will make serving a spectacle in itself.
Growing & Gardening
There’s little more satisfying than eating something you’ve grown and nurtured from seed; without question, it tastes better. In my own garden, I began with herbs, these are the easiest to grow and always useful. I cook with them daily and often sip on a mint tea at the end of day.
Several pots in different sizes, clustered together look great sprouting with bright green basil, pale sage, dense thyme and sprigs of fragrant rosemary. You can use them in your cooking, fresh throughout the summer and if dried they can be used long after the plants have lost all their leaves. Fruit and vegetables take a lot of care and attention but, if you enjoy the process, will reward you in more ways than by simply providing you with something to eat. They can be grown in some highly creative ways, make use of balcony boxes if you have a small space.
For the more ambitious among you, a propagator or greenhouse might be necessary to kick things off. I’ve found some elegant options for various size spaces, that you won’t mind showing off.
If you’re happier getting your herbs, fruits and vegetables delivered to your door then why not surround yourself with fresh green foliage and flowers in your favourite shades to create a little haven.
For organic seeds you could try Vital Seeds or Tamar Organics.
All that’s left to say now is, enjoy the weather and stay safe, stay home.
All images are courtesy of the brands featured.