I am 100% an outdoor person. Outdoor living, eating, drinking, exercising, relaxing, working (when I can), the whole shebang. The garden was the main reason I bought Holly Cottage in 2010, and because of the state it was in, one of the reasons Mr W didn’t want to buy it…..Since I won that battle my outdoor space has been slowly evolving. Thought it’s fair to say the evolutionary pace has certainly picked up since I started my own interior design business. FYI constantly updating your own home because you see new and beautiful things every day is a hazard of the job I’m prepared to accept…. Continue reading “Outdoor Living – My Garden Style”
If you live in the UK there’s a very good chance that there are days when you’re stuck indoors because it’s raining. If you have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky or a life this probably doesn’t bother you. But it bothers me. I like being outside. I hate being stuck inside whatever the weather. I just googled ‘what’s the opposite of agoraphobia’ to see if there was a name for it. It’s claustrophobia apparently, which I don’t have. But I think I have macrophobia (fear of long waits) and nomophobia (fear of losing cell phone contact). Oh the power and distraction of google. You search for a Jamie Oliver recipe and before you know it you’re reading about Japanese snow monkeys. Or maybe it’s just me. I once went out to buy a hairdryer and bought a car…….Favourite phobia on the list? Sesquipedalphobia, the fear of long words which, as the author points out seems like a cruel joke. Check out the list, its very
funny informative 100 Weird Phobias.
Anyway, I digress. My point is, 3 years ago I came up with a solution. A way of being outside, enjoying the fresh air and my fell views without having to sit in the rain. I built a summer house. Well I say I….. I bought the house flatpack from Dunster House and had my local landscapers put it together and build a huge deck around three sides. It also solved the problem of what to do with the boggy bit of the garden that nothing grew in. At the time I didn’t want to spend a lot on the interior so just slapped on some paint and furnished it with spare furniture I already had. But it’s just had a makeover and ‘cor blimey’ it looks lovely. Want to come and take a look inside?
The summer house makeover was my chance to work with styles and materials that don’t fit in my very rustic cottage. So although it’s still a little rustic (it is a log cabin after all) it has both Nordic and industrial elements.
It’s basically a big wooden shed in what can be a very wet garden so I had to keep my practical hat on hence the rustic wood effect floor tiles. But occasionally the hat fell off, and a cow hide rug appeared…
Almost everything in this room is ‘my favourite thing’ but I am really happy with the new sofa covers and cushions which were made by my friend Di (Di’s Soft Furnishings). The sofa bed didn’t need replacing but I hated the old covers – duck egg blue and very twee….The linen fabrics are from Ada & Ina. I love the funky chevron and zig zag patterns, and the bright indigo which is becoming very popular right now, just pop into John Lewis if you need any proof.
Mr W’s favourite thing is the new bar built by a fabulous local joiner Kev (Curwen Joinery). I used an ageing technique on the wood to give it that weathered look. The metal bar stools were a billy bargain from Debenhams – reduced from £100 to £40 each! The pendant lights are from Nook London – aren’t they gorgeous.
I couldn’t find lampshades I liked so I made these using a roll of Albany deer hide effect wallpaper and kits I bought online. The effect is so realistic and looks fab with the reindeer rugs and antlers.
The coffee table is another DIY triumph constructed from scaffolding planks, and treated using the same ageing technique I used on the bar.
You need something to look at when you’re sat at the bar waiting for Mr W to pull you a pint (yes we have pumps too but they only come out for parties). So I’ve started a gallery wall of ‘good times’ – I found these fab Kiko frames at Not On The High Street which I’m a huge fan of.
A bit of greenery always brings a room to life and ferns and succulents have a better chance than most of surviving my exceptionally un-green fingers…… The pineapple is from M&S. Its supposed to be a hanging bird feeder but I thought it would make a good tea light holder.
The gnome is also M&S. I couldn’t resist him…….
So I love my new Nordic style sanctuary, and now its getting a bit cold, wet and windy I can retreat up the garden, fire up the log burner and watch the rain any time I like….
According to the last three tests I took on Facebook, positivity is my greatest strength, I have an optimistic personality (courtesy of the inkblot test), and Happy by Pharell Williams is the ‘legendary’ song that describes my life. So it’s hardly surprising I’m possibly the only person in the UK that isn’t complaining about the weather and actually believes summer is here. Or maybe that’s because I live in Cumbria and 4hrs of sunshine does equal summer.
Anyway all this glorious weather is causing me to turn my attention to the garden, and more specifically the summer house. We built it 2 years ago when Holly Cottage was still a second home, so it got decorated rather quickly and was largely furnished with furniture that didn’t fit anywhere else. Well that’s what I’m telling myself in order to have an excuse to redecorate. It’s not just me, Mr W also wants a new bar. Apparently the current one just doesn’t fit. I don’t agree but I’m not arguing as the re-decoration (budget albeit unspecified..) now has his sign off.
To be honest I’m also blaming George Clarke a little. Suppliers of garden rooms, sheds, summer houses, decking and all other associated paraphernalia must be rubbing their hands with glee every time a new episode of Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year airs. The whole nation must have shed envy right now. The great news is that this project gives me an outlet for my love of industrial decor, which is very hard to satisfy in a Georgian cottage. So expect lots of lovely industrial treats over the next few weeks while I fit this new project in between actual work.
First up, the Louix Chair. They won’t be going in my summer house as I need high bar stools but I had to share them as they made me ooh when I saw them. They’re an original Alexandre Arrazole Martagon design from Aleks Design Studio. They’re made of steel and teak and are available on www.cultfurniture.com at £149. Gorgeous aren’t they…the white is my favourite.