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Indoor-outdoor living: How to get the look in your garden


The weather is slowly improving, which means many of us are looking to our outdoor spaces.

But turning a garden into a stylish oasis often calls for new purchases. Think chairs, lighting and accessories – and that’s just the beginning.

The good news is that with a careful selection of outdoor items you can double and reuse indoors, making it much more economical and sustainable.

Sitting comfortably: The Ellen Merchant Indoor/Outdoor Cushions, £48.43, Anthropologie. Cushions can enhance the luxurious feel of your outdoor space

According to Camilla Rowe, head of home accessories at John Lewis, flexible outdoor products for multiple purposes are in high demand.

“The trend for indoor-outdoor living is growing,” she said. “We’re seeing customers buy dual-use products that look just as good inside and out.”

If you want to be part of this movement and create that outdoor space, here’s our guide.

Flexible footstools

Poufs make a comfortable footrest or an extra seat if you have more guests than chairs. Outdoor versions are generally more robust compared to regular models.

Look for poufs made from braided yarn or faux burlap.

Try a chunky knit or salsa stripe design (from £65, John Lewis), or one from Cane-line, which specialize in weatherproof garden gear.

Designs are modern and sleek with a tough, durable fabric and filled with QuickDry foam in taupe or gray (from £345, Barker and Stonehouse).

Weather resistant cushions

The addition of cushions will not only provide much-needed comfort to your garden chairs, but will also enhance the luxurious feel of your outdoor space.

Outdoor cushions have a water-resistant coating and filling that is less absorbent, so if they get caught in a rain shower, they will dry faster.

Cleared out: Nova storage basket, £68, Anthropologie

Cleared out: Nova storage basket, £68, Anthropologie

At design house Andrew Martin, outdoor cushions are filled with hollow fiber lightweight cushions that act much more like feathers, which also means you can stuff them or give them a heel without them bouncing back.

The great thing is that they can also be used indoors, if you choose a design that matches your color scheme.

Try the range at Furn if you’re feeling wild enough to inject a jungle theme and bold colors (from £13).

For a classic look, you might like Laura Ashley’s Lille Yellow Stripe (£35, Next).

Or go for modern geometric designs from Jonathan Adler (from £78) or Andrew Martin with colors like lava orange and tropical pink to match your garden cocktails.

The new Courtyard collection is inspired by an antique textile with a mosaic of petals. They are finished with washable velvet piping (from € 58.50).

Customizable Christmas lights

Hang Christmas lights outside on a pergola or follow the shape of a tree for atmosphere.

Outdoor pendant lights can be hung above a dining table, while outdoor table lamps make outdoor sitting areas cozy and intimate.

Christmas lights for the garden can always serve as Christmas lights so they don’t get lost in winter.

You can also use super-sized garland lights that are larger in size, such as Garden Trading’s selection (from £35).

A new class of wireless lamps would do well in the garden: a rechargeable table lamp that you can place anywhere.

Matthew Williamson’s designs are reminiscent of chic, intimate members’ bars, cabaret clubs or hotel dining tables of days gone by.

The Phileas lamp is a high-tech wireless lamp that lasts up to ten hours and is dimmable, so you can adjust the lighting level to suit the mood.

The base is finished in antique brass and there’s a choice of shades in vibrant colors (from £140, Pooky). The designs will impress inside and out.

Recycled carpets

A floor covering takes your home and garden to a higher level.

Indoor and outdoor rugs are increasingly made from 100 percent recycled plastic, so you can feel even better about your purchase.

Crucially for those with pets and kids (or messy guests), these rugs are durable, stain resistant, weather resistant and washable.

Style and practicality are in designs at John Lewis, from block colors to busy Aztec patterns (from £55).

You’ll find new boho designs this summer at Weaver Green in shimmering blue, rose and saffron gold (from £155).

They are made from recycled plastic bottles, making much more valuable use of the resources needed to make the bottles in the first place, such as oil and water.

Call the bar

Make room on your patio or porch for a bar trolley for drinks and snacks. It is the ideal accessory for styling snacks and drinks for a garden party, or indoors for a dinner party – or simply as an extra storage solution in the kitchen or dining room.

Choose from a sleek metallic design or rattan to blend in with your garden. If you find one on wheels, you can easily transport it from indoors to outdoors.

The Moreton kubu rattan trolley comes with a shelf and side rack to store placemats on the side (£425, The White Company).

The glitzy Kara round drinks trolley adds a touch of glamor with its brassy gold finish (£375, Graham and Green).

You could also try a freestanding shelving system from String for custom storage – you design yourself.

The galvanized panels are weather resistant; the metal will age but will not corrode. When entertaining outside isn’t an option later in the year, it can double as a handy unit in the kitchen, utility or utility room indoors (from £148).

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