Our gardens and patios have become an extension of our homes. We open wide bi-fold doors and talk about ‘bringing the indoors out of doors’.
But what about doing it the other way round? Think about it – many garden accessories such as furniture are pretty much good enough to do double duty if you want them to.
Tough garden furniture in woven but hardy materials looks fantastic on the patio, but will also work well in a conservatory, where its rain-resistant construction is well up to withstanding sun through glass – especially if the light is correctly diffused by a made to measure blind.
There’s a strong trend these days for rustic and reclaimed wood, too, which works well as theme both indoors and out.
Purely for indoors, we’re wowed by the work of Thomas Bina, who uses exotic woods including peroba, walnut and shagren. Bina’s stylish and useful furniture displays warm patinas juxtaposed with rough and refined woods – excellent.
Because he uses recycled woods, each piece of furniture is always one of a kind. So his designs in the Hendricks range http://www.barkerandstonehouse.co.uk create a talking point in a room.
If a genuine Bina piece is out of your range, think creatively – could your deliciously weathered garden loveseat get a light makeover and find a place in your home, decked with gorgeous cushions?
We’re also enjoying the Botanics range from Matalan, which includes many accessories ostensibly for the garden that could add a touch of country charm to a kitchen. For instance, the Outdoor Butterfly wall art (£12) could be pretty anywhere, and we adore the Wicker Heart Lantern, seen just to the right edge of our picture (£12).
Even good old Wilko can offer some garden charmers to do double duty indoors – the handy and hardy enamel utility box reminds us that a gardener’s work is never done – absolutely!
A good cuppa always has a place in any home, whether indoors or out, and we’re charmed by the mug for the potting shed from dotcomgiftshop (£3.99). And another cutie-pie garden accessory that would look sweet just placed in the right corner of the room is the piggie watering can, which we picked up in Sainsbury’s for £10.
And once the weather genuinely gets too chilly to enjoy the outdoors, there’s another successful way to make sure you keep the summer in your home all year long.
White Company’s English Garden candle collection captures all the scents of a glorious summer, to be released throughout the darker months for a delicious reminder of lazy days. Fresh Herbs Votive £16, Cut Grass Votive £16, English Garden Votive £16 and English Garden Candle (Large) £30.
Add this year’s favourite interior design theme – gorgeous vases filled with blossoms – and you can bring the outdoors indoors any time you like (and you don’t even need to worry about an umbrella!)