As soon as the sun started shining this spring (through the snow showers, of course) the Great Outdoors re-entered our lives.
And now the snow flurries have finally ceased, it’s time to take stock of our outdoor situation and add extra living space to our homes. Hurrah!
The sun room or conservatory is a year-round pleasure, but at this time of year they beckon ever more powerfully, and you’ll have already been making the most of the sunshine and thinking about new blinds or shutters in anticipation of a long, hot summer.
If, on the other hand, you are venturing out into the open as well, the good news is that there has probably never been such a wide range of beautiful furniture and accessories as there are this season.
Manufacturers have cottoned on to our love for outdoor living, and the result is a wealth of home goodies that are stylish enough to do duty both outside or in a pretty garden room.
We’ve started indoors with a delightful living room setting designed by Christiane Lemieux which shows how easy it is to connect your indoors space with the greater world outside if you have the right flooring and doors – to a room like this, we’d add white wooden blinds for extra style and practicality on sunny days.
We’re seeing the continuing popularity of rattan-look furniture in today’s modern sun- and rain-resistant materials, and r and Stonehouse’s lavishly comfortable table and chairs set are perfect for drinks on the lawn.
We Brits love to eat outdoors, and when the weather allows, there’s nothing like it. Bunting will retain its chirpy appeal this year, and we like the seaside look of Regatta’s outdoor dining range, also available from House of Fraser.
In this year of not one but two 90th birthdays for the Queen, red, white and blue are always going to hit the right note!
When it comes to great gardens, the National Trust knows a thing or two, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that they have range of sweet garden and home accessories online – their Barrington Wallflowers cushion encapsulates the whole summer and would look marvellous on an aged wooden bench.
We also love the extraordinarily cute door wreath of artificial spring flowers from House of Bath, full of vibrant colour and a delicate and welcoming addition to any garden door.
Outdoor space doesn’t need to be large to be an asset – you can turn it into valuable added living accommodation with some great accessories and some thought.
If you have a small concrete yard, add gravel or slate and a tiny bistro table. And even if you have only a balcony, colourful pots of herbs can add both scent, blossom and flavours for your kitchen.
So let’s just keep our fingers crossed for plenty of Summer sunshine – this year, we’re definitely ready and waiting!