17 Jul

Terraces and conservatories

Question – after a stroll around the neighborhood yesterday evening when the day was beginning to cool I wondered why is it that practically all the gardens we passed didn’t look lived in? Not so much the gardens but the terraces and the add on extensions like conservatories?

Climate do you think – we spend longer indoors than we do out, so why bother?

I’m going out on a limb and saying people are not making the most of their existing outside spaces – couple of plastic chairs and a table does not a good garden make! Same goes for a conservatory plonking a few wicker chairs and a plant in a room doesn’t really cut the mustard. An extended family member asked me recently why their conservatory didn’t feel cosy – I’ll refer you back to the wicker chair and plant situation!

Also from experience if you don’t make a space feel squishy, comfy, engaging to spend time in then you don’t spend time in it its as simple as that!

I think the thing that struck me the most was how important it is to create some kind of relationship between outside and in that way you get what we call in the biz a seamless style connection.  Boundaries between inside and outside blur, continue, harmonize and make the space feel as one. Conservatories and terraces, the ones I managed to glimpse a peak of felt so under decorated – I’m putting it down to climate. If this was LA or Australia I bet it would be a different story altogether no?

Steering off course for a second I went to a house not so long ago where the owners got a bit twitchy with me walking on the grass? Because don’t you know grass is for looking at not walking on! Really? . The two M’s kind of sensed there was a grass situation and thought lets be as naughty as possible as they simultaneously then proceeded to roll, dig, yap, charge into each other at full pelt, eat the stuff as if they were sheep and generally embarrass the hell out of me!

Anyway back on point layering up your terrace, conservatory, outside space is the name of the game and one of the hardest things to nail. I don’t think I’ve nailed mine yet. I’ve got the chairs down but I need something squishier and more loungy so I can curl up with a mag, a book. I also want something that can stay out there all year round.  I’ve seen super cool concrete sofas (yes I know not practical or comfortable) but you’re talking to a girl who gets whacked in the head every time she gets out of the bath because the chandelier is hung so low!

Every garden like every room needs a focal point (ideally 3) but hey don’t want to frighten you off so something like a fireplace, fire pit, built in Barbie, clusters of lanterns, pillows something for the eye to alight on and get excited by will help tremendously. Accessorizing an outdoor space is just as important as accessorizing an indoor space. In mine there are t-lights, jugs of foliage, vessels of faux flowers, baskets of logs that kind of thing.

Below I’m showing you Mario Testino’s terrace in LA – how cool is this? Feels just like another room in the house!

mario

Plus a conservatory that is one of the coolest I’ve seen for a long time because its been decorated with as much care and love as a living room so it doesn’t feel at all disconnected to the rest of the space.

garden

Off to the gym – 3 small beers last night and a packet of nuts equaled supper. Too lazy or too tired to cook don’t know which but not good!

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