Garden Trends: Bringing the indoors outdoors

Back in March I was asked for an interview by a journalist putting together a feature on domestic gardens for the Sainsbury’s Bank/Guardian co-hub.  They wanted a glimpse of possible changes 10 years into the future, specifically how the way we use our gardens in the UK might change.  I’d like to share that interview and our predictions with you here.  If you are a UK Home Builder; Interior Designer; Garden Landscaper; Outdoor Product Retailer, Manufacturer or Designer the following insights are essential reading.
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ABOVE: Grid modular outdoor teak furniture from Gloster

Q1. As we shift increasingly towards thinking of our gardens as an ‘extra room’, are there shifts in the way we might think about them as a space – more or less decorative, for instance?

Victoria: Over the next decade we forecast a strong shift towards using our gardens in the UK much more as multi-functional outdoor rooms.  The trend for bringing the outside inside is well established, but for the future we advocate the concept of bringing the inside outside!

What will this mean?  Well firstly it will mean really comfortable, quality furniture and accessories, more usually associated with living room and dining area styles, being incorporated into outdoor room schemes.  And overall the look becomes more decorative, from lighting and outdoor rugs to stylish outdoor storage pieces akin to sideboards, it has a less temporary feel about it and a much more considered decorative style … the same level of decorative consideration we would give to our living rooms or bedrooms.  Of course adaptable covered areas that allow us to stay outside when the inevitable UK rain comes will also need to be incorporated into designs (climate change in the UK could simply mean hotter, wetter weather).  It’s about creating a sense of home in our gardens no matter where we live or how small the outdoor space is.

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ABOVE: 1. Stylish Frame chaise longue from Paola Lenti with a braided rope fixed cover, deep seat pad & cushions.  2. Outdoor Blue Hydrangeas Pillow by London-based Etsy seller Amanda Jane Dalby.  Amanda’s stunning photos are printed onto weather-resistant & fade-resistant polyester poplin fabric, which is then individually cut & sewn by hand to make the final double-sided cushions.  They are such a clever and simple way to add extra floral colour to an outdoor seating area (I have her White Hydrangea Pillows on my terrace!).  3. Alison Iroko Outdoor Furniture from Minotti’s new 2015 collection.  The squared-off, architectural lines and bold use of exotic Iroko Heartwood make this a quality outdoor furniture statement.

Victoria: We will also need to incorporate fast, effective heating solutions that enable us to relax, cook, eat, entertain and work in our gardens during any season, even when the weather is cooler.  Plus we predict a move away from ‘drag it out/store it away again’ barbeques and instead an investment in modular outdoor kitchen solutions, which allow the preparation of food to take place outdoors, as well as the actually cooking.

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ABOVE: 1. The WWOO Outdoor Kitchen, created by designer Piet-Jan van den Kommer, is a virtually maintenance-free prep’ & cook area made up of personalised components, which are set along a modular wall, and can include a Big Green Egg, stainless steel sink, integrated steel fireplace, South African braai, rugged wood storage crates and olive-wood cutting boards. 2.This stunning outdoor kitchen was built by Australian-based company Brick and Stone Construction (contracted by Harrison Landscaping for a project in Mosman, on Sydney’s North Shore).  The kitchen includes a wood fired pizza oven, BBQ grill and sink. The splashback & bench top are hand cut & polished Bluestone, and the doors are made of Cedar.  3. This cleverly concealed outdoor kitchen was created for a home in Brighton (the one in Melbourne!) by Interior & Landscape Designer MR.MITCHELL.  The reclaimed Australian hardwood adds visual warmth and softens this otherwise minimalist, grey outdoor area.  4. This super stylish prep’ & cook area includes a Belgium-made traditional wood-burning open fireplace by metalfire.

Q2. What about using gardens as playspace, especially for children: do you think that is going to change (and if so, will that affect the look or feel, or indeed the equipment we keep in them)?

Victoria: Creating garden spaces that allow free, unstructured play for children is an increasingly important focus for many parents, as is enabling fun opportunities to exercise.  Purpose built, recreation park quality outdoor play features, from climbing walls to mini skatepark ramps, will provide children with secure spaces at home to play, practice skills and exercise.  This could lead to an increased demand for all-weather safety flooring, better outdoor lighting solutions and even products as simple as outdoor drinks dispensers.

An emphasis on discovery and learning associated with environmental awareness and food origin also drives a trend for dedicating space to mini allotments for children within the garden.  And therefore practical problem solving associated with this, like having outdoor hand washing facilities available for children to use, will also begin to be addressed.  

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ABOVE: 1. An amazing home skate circuit in the garden that still looks great because it incorporates planting.  2. A home rock climbing wall out on the patio by Elevated Climbing Walls 3. Vegetables, salad & herbs grown in small, raised, colourful boxed beds/patches that are manageable for children to maintain and inexpensive to make.  4. A brilliantly simple, inexpensive but effective vertical garden solution for small children.

Q3. Will we have, overall, just less room in gardens?

Victoria: Population boom projections and mass migration to cities mean that smaller homes, and therefore smaller gardens, are very likely in the future for many places around the world.  Often in the UK we make the mistake of thinking about an outdoor area as a flat space, and that limits its potential.  We will need to be smarter about how we use the space in our gardens by creating multi-levels, buying multi-functional furniture or furniture that also incorporates storage space, as well as utilising wall space in creative ways, for example using wall space to create vertical gardens to grow vegetables, herbs and fruit or fold down desks that create a work desk outdoors in the sunshine!

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Spring Summer 2016 Wedding Trend…Wild Urbanism

We have put together an inspiring colour palette for all you brides to be in 2016. Our Wild Urbanism trend translates beautifully into the perfect spring/summer wedding story.  It has a nomadic influence with a contemporary attitude; the combination of modern urban textures and naturally rustic finishes creates a romantic yet intriguing ambiance. This trend merges the inner city vibe with the great outdoors and combines both industrial and natural aesthetics; a mix of classic and bohemian styles to form a unique wedding theme.

js1600_Wild_UrbanismFor more images and links visit our Pinterest Board

From eco-friendly invitations to hand crafted concrete candle favours, the materials in this trend are about the raw and untreated. Rustic woods, concrete and grey toned linens dominate the decorative features. Centerpieces that include ivy, ferns and moss with unexpected pebbles, stones or bark work beautifully with organic floral arrangements. Edible wild flowers make pretty decorative ingredients for ice cubes and deserts.

The lush green foliage and wild floral greenery can be used to dress tables, cakes and even hair styles, florists will appreciate the fun combinations that can be created here. This trend is also perfect for colour play to create a more upbeat atmosphere. Accents of crisp mint, pop peach, and soft pinks with playful shades of yellow and lilac work well together or as individual combinations. Consider using these colours as highlights for groomsmen’s tie/bow ties, bridesmaids, flower accents, linens or centerpiece decorations. We will see floral print wedding dresses become more popular throughout 2016 along with subtle tones of soft pink, blush grey and warm peach emerging as key colours for bridal-wear; connecting perfectly with this trend.

For more information on whats to come in 2016 contact us now!

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Designer Insights with Laura Greenwood

I was recently asked to do an interview for Terry’s Fabrics sharing my thoughts on interior trend styles for this season. I have included a colour palette, surface texture and pattern style that I personally love for 2015. I was honored to take part and share my design inspirations, take a look at the interview below…
Courtesy of: Terrys Fabrics
1) Colour Palette by Studio Toogood
2) Kikapu Vases by Otago
3) Origins Wool Rug by Plantation Rug Company
4) Kenza Duvet Set by Essenza
5) Colour Provenance by Laura Daza
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Spring Summer 2016: Modern design lessons from Ancient Japan

As we look ahead with enthusiasm to a future filled with wearable technology, haptic interfaces, augmented reality and smart everything, let’s be mindful to also look back and continue to learn from innovations and wisdom of the past.

Natural dye techniques, wood preserving methods, needle crafts, slow surface design techniques, the working & tooling of natural materials, and living in harmony with nature in order to achieve wellbeing are just a few lessons from ancient Japan, along with restraint and simplicity, which we should value and explore.

Here I’ve brought together my pick of contemporary products that pay homage to Japan’s ancient craft skills.  From Sashiko and Shou Sugi Ban to the use of Indigo, these unique products have been made with passion, care and respect.  And they provide you with an insight into important design features for Spring / Summer 2016 trends for Interiors.

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  1. The DALMA chair by design trio CARAPACE uses Shou Sugi Ban, an ancient Japanese technique that preserves the wood, making it robust and durable. The wood undergoes a charring process and is then washed and brushed with water to remove excess soot, before a natural oil is applied to seal it.  This technique is traditionally used for the cladding of buildings.
  2. I love the magical glow of Ryosuke Fukusada’s limited edition Wooden Light Bulb available from LEDON. The are made using the traditional Japanese Rokuro technique – the bulbs are handmade by turning pine on a lathe and carving away until the bulb is between 2-3mm thick. An LED light is then placed inside the shell. The resulting bulb looks solid when off, but when switched on, a warm glow shines through the woods grain.  Watch this VIDEO to see exactly how they are made in Kyoto.
  3. The Sashiko Leather Tray is handmade by the wonderfully talented Etsy seller Joey of SubconsciousCrafts, based in Rennes, France.  Sashiko (meaning  “little stabs”) is a form of decorative running stitch technique from Japan.  Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear, or to repair worn places or tears with patches. Usually white cotton thread stitched on traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, but here Joey uses hand-stitched white thread on vegetable hand-dyed tanned leather to create this unusual tray, assembled via corner snap buttons.
  4. The Blue & White Beaker by South African-based ceramicist John Newdigate uses a very similar method to Shibori (the Japanese resist-dye technique described in point 7) but here John uses wax and cobalt oxide on porcelain instead of indigo and cotton/linen.
  5. The Mökki lamp-pot by architect-designer Caterina Moretti of Peca mimics the shape of a house surrounded by a mini-landscape that the end consumer designs. It pays homage to Zen Gardens and the art of Bonsai.  Hand carved from White Onyx & Carrara Marble and with an LED light, it is a pot that gives life, light and a sense of wellbeing.
  6. The Ki-oke Stool by OeO Design Studio fuses the fine tradition of Kyoto woodcrafting with Western sensibilities. The result is an object of beauty which also pays homage to traditional bucket making in Japan.  Handcrafted in Japan by Shuji Nakagawa, they are available in Japanese cypress (sawara) and in a limited edition of Japanese cedar (jindai-sugi) with a natural, 2000-year-old patina.
  7. The Shibori Tie-Dye Pillow from Posh Living is hand dyed and custom made especially for you when you place an order. Shibori (meaning “to squeeze or wring”) is an ancient Japanese tie-dying resist technique (the earliest known example dates from the 8th century) using methods to bind, stitch, fold, twist, gather or compress cloth so the dye (usually indigo) can’t reach certain areas and therefore patterns are created.

CONTEMPLATION TIME:

  • Think about ways to honor and promote the heritage and traditions of your company, manufacturing methods or products.
  • Think about ways to tell the story of the products you sell in engaging ways … not just the technical spec.
  • Think about ways to create calming, edited-down retail experiences (this applies to website design and brochures too!).

To find out more about our Spring / Summer 2016 trend forecast or ways in which we can improve your product offer, marketing or store design email Phil.

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Trendbook Offer: Visually Stunning 2015 Design Trends – Interiors

2015 Design Trendbook for Everything Interiors  

For a special price of just £60 you can get all the inspiration you’ll need to support your creativity this year. Purchase our 2015 Design Trends report.

This 75 page document includes 4 different design trends applicable to anything ‘interiors’ and outlines our background research including fashion and architecture, as well as a guide to material, shape, pattern, texture, and surface effects. Each trend includes a colour palette with Pantone Fashion + Home and Formula Guide Coated/Uncoated references. A perfect source of inspiration for product designers, marketing teams, interior designers, retailers for merchandising and window dressing – absolutely perfect. See the wealth of visually stunning inspiration below:

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Materials shapefashion colourpattern

BUY IT NOW – feel supported, inspired, renewed and have your own ideas confirmed

Got a question? phil@scarletopus.com call phil / Victoria or Laura +44 (0)1482 870360

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