So on Monday, I kicked off a whole week of summer inspiration for the #UKHomeBlogHop where I shared my little garden update. Not only have I been so inspired by everyone’s blog posts but I had such a lovely response to the design that I thought I’d explain a little of my thoughts behind it as well as share a few of my sources for creating the look yourself!
The truth is, through every single iteration of my garden (and there have been many over the years!), it never really felt truly like me out here. I can finally say that it feels like a proper extension of my style. Don’t get me wrong – it’s genuinely taken me YEARS to get to this point because whilst I find it easy to decorate indoors, it’s not been quite as easy figuring out how to express that same personal style outdoors.
Ya see, until recently, there just didn’t seem to be as much choice here for garden furniture design unless you wanted to lay out THOUSANDS for well-designed furniture. British manufacturers, however, are now – finally! – waking up to the idea that while we may not get as lovely of a summer as those on the Continent or those across the pond, we still do want to enjoy our outdoor spaces when nice weather does rear its lovely head. So we’re finally seeing a lot more in the way of stylish furniture and accessories and I’ll be putting together another post soon with some of my favourite finds so stay tuned for that.
One other factor that has become increasingly important to me is comfort. Now, I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting old (okay, probably) but if it’s a rare beautiful day and the sun is shining, perching my arse on some tiny uncomfortable metal chair for hours really doesn’t appeal, I don’t care how pretty it is. And as much as I love some of the more boho designs that out there, all I can think is, ‘yeah but can I comfortably curl up there and listen to podcasts with a cold drink for a couple hours?’
I mean, this set is gorgeous and I love it’s boho vibes. But is it comfortable? God, I am SO OLD I know. But seriously, I can’t picture myself wanting to sit there for hours unless I cover the whole thing with cushions. I want to just kinda look at it and take pictures of it. But well, that’s not particularly practical, is it?
So yes, I wanted garden furniture that was reasonably priced, looked great and was comfy to lounge on. I can’t be dropping £3k on a garden set that looks the dog’s bollocks, that’s super comfortable but I’m only using 6 weeks of the year if I’m lucky. It makes complete sense to heavily invest in garden furniture if you live in a warm climate and one which gets months of beautiful weather every year but that isn’t the North West of England, however much I wish that wasn’t the case. We get a lot of mild weather in the winter months (we rarely hit freezing temperatures although we do get lots of rain with that) but the flipside is that our summers don’t tend to be scorching hot and really truly warm and wonderful sunny days may only turn up a few weeks over the whole course of summer. So I’ve always had to think practically here.
Now, I adore the pergola. It was Wayne who originally came up with the idea so I can’t even take credit for it (although I like to think I’m rubbing off on him! Ha!) but the updated styling really has made it such a lovely spot to hang out. I will often take my coffee there now on a sunny morning and watch Quito roll around in the grass. It’s such a lovely way to start the day. And those chairs from George at Asda (yes, really!) are ridiculously comfortable and still going strong a year after we’ve purchased them. The seat cushions are super thick and the shape sort of wraps around you. I love them and can’t quite believe the bargain price of £150 for the pair.
And now, with this beautiful sofa from West Elm, Wayne and I can enjoy the evening sunshine with a drink before we start prepping for dinner. It really gets the best of the afternoon sun and it’s luxuriously comfortable but it’s also so stylish. I realise it’s more of an investment piece but wow, the difference between this and the little plain bench we used to have here is like night and day. I wouldn’t even hesitate to recommend it.
The only piece of the puzzle that I’m not entirely crazy about is the dining table and chairs. We’ve had the set for a few years now from Homebase and they’ve certainly served us well. If it’s been a particularly warm day (and we have had a few this month surprisingly!), we’ll eat our dinner outside. But while it was practical and wasn’t particularly expensive, I feel like the style is just a bit plain. It doesn’t excite me. I’m currently on the look out for something else but again, I want something with comfortable chairs that will compliment the look of the sofa. I don’t have a clear idea what exactly I want yet but I figure I’ll know it when I see it!
So all that said, I wanted to share how to get the look of my new garden – at least the bits I really love! (This post contains some affiliate links which are indicated by an asterisk (*). If you click on those links, you don’t pay any more but I earn a few pennies for more pretties for the garden! Win-win!)
Bamboo Reed Screening* / Festoon Solar Lighting* / Portside Sofa from West Elm / Peach Cushions from West Elm / Graphic Outdoor Rug from Amazon* / Concrete Coffee Table from West Elm / Hex Grey Planter from Wilko / Pineapple Tumblers from 31 Dover / Gold & Black Plant Pot from Sweetpea & Willow / Spun Brass Planters from West Elm / Round String Pendant Shade from B&Q / Woven Black and Natural Bamboo Pendant from B&Q / Pair of Outdoor Rattan Chairs from George at Asda / Cushions from Ardmore Designs / Moroccan Style Table from Sainsburys / Ceramic Hurricane Lanterns from West Elm / Faux Palm Tree from MiaFleur / Brass Plant Pot from Dyke & Dean / White Plant Stand from West Elm
So tell me, have you struggled with garden design over the years too? Or do you find it easy to express your own style indoors and out? I’d love to hear from you!