Planning a garden party or a celebration at home? We’re all looking for ways to stay on-trend without breaking the bank. Here are our tips for a showstopping home to impress guests, without the price tag, this summer.
Interior designer Sam Griegg says: ‘Colour blocking with paint has been so popular inside the home this last year that I think it’s inevitable that people will begin to try it outside too. And it’s a great way to refresh a tired looking brick wall in the garden, and transform the space in front of it into a usable seating area.
‘An oversized painted circle is a great way to zone off a little bench area, or simply paint the lower half of the wall one colour, and the upper another. Stick to similar earthy tones top and bottom if you want a more subtle look that will look good throughout the winter months too.’
Yes really. Helen Ashmore, Head of Design at Laura Ashley, says: ‘Rather than buying a new tablecloth for an occasion, why not try using leftover wallpaper? It’s a sustainable and creative approach that will be sure to wow guests! You can use floral wallpaper samples as paper plates for a slice of pizza or a slice of Victoria sponge!’
Speaking of sponges…
Make your Victoria sponge the star of the show by presenting it on a floral cake stand. Helen suggests going one step further and decorating the plate with dried flowers picked from your garden. She says: ‘Pastel hues are perfect.’ Just make sure nobody eats them!
Create excitement and an element of fun by serving your cocktails from a teapot in your parents’ old teacups. Reusing old kitchenware is an economic and effective twist for any party.
Bring the outside in
Sam Griegg says: ‘Summer is the perfect time to bring flowers into the house, and an ideal opportunity to create a little styled ‘vignette’ with a group of vases. A group of three to five vases of varying widths and heights can look great as a centrepiece on a table, and the way to tie the whole look together is to use the same foliage and flowers throughout in each vase – but with different groupings in each one. And if you can simply gather them from your garden even better.’
Set the mood
‘Get creative by using natural shelves and hooks you may have in your outdoor space by draping fairy lights and lanterns on any trees, bushes, or sheds,’ says Helen. As the sun goes down, the various lights will create an ambient mood to carry on the party.’
Create a cosy corner
Helen says: ‘Throws are an essential for chic comfort and keeping party guests warm. When not in use, drape over chairs to create texture.’
Khalid Undre, designer at Yorkshire Fabric Shop tells us: ‘We’ve seen the more traditional or heritage fabrics such as Tartan trending – potentially due to Outlander but also do any styles ever die out? For these cost-crunching times when saving energy and looking fantastic is a goal, heavier soft furnishing such as curtains, throws and rugs can help in bringing style to your room as well as keep energy costs down.’
If there’s one piece of furniture that has taken over gardens across Britain in the past couple of years, it’s the hanging egg chair. Many of our favourite retailers like Aldi, B&M, Argos and Studio are expected to release new designs of the statement garden furniture ahead of the spring and summer, such was the chair’s popularity last year.
But this year, you might want to also consider another style of outdoor chair; the hanging macrame chair. Previously only found on the likes of online retail sites such as Etsy, Wayfair and Urban Outfitters, budget retailers have also started to release their own versions that cost much less.