Letting the outside in

Hampton-Court-Cathy-Phillips I have just got back from Hampton Court Flower Show and my head is full of gardens and flowers. It’s reminded me of the influence of nature and that important link between the spaces we inhabit inside and outside our homes.

If you have a garden you’ll know the joy of stepping outside and relaxing there in the sunshine. Even washing up in a kitchen with a window looking on to a garden seems less of a chore.

But what if you don’t have a garden, like me, and rely on parks and garden squares for your outdoor fix? Then bring nature in!

The natural look

Interior-design-Cathy-PhillipsHouseplants can transform a room, bringing life and growth and shape. A large plant, perhaps lit from behind, can instantly soften a harsh corner. And we all know the rejuvenating effect of a bunch of artfully arranged flowers. In neutral or monochrome environments the effect of an architectural single-colour arrangement is not to be underestimated, while more eclectic schemes can take vast swathes of brightly-coloured flowers seemingly plonked in a large jug – look to the Bloomsbury Set for inspiration and their home and garden: Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex for example.

All things bright and beautiful

If you’d like to inject some fresh life into a space with neutral décor, have a look at the big, splashy garden-inspired soft furnishings that have hit the high street. The trick is to choose the pattern you are attracted to, as bold and vibrant as you like, then mix in plain accessories to match just one or two of the colours.

A great one-stop-shop for this look is Zara Home. They have wonderful fabrics made up as cushions, throws, vases and all kinds of lovely things in colour families, which effectively does the job for you. Zara Home also has seaside-inspired prints, in case your “outside” is the coast, and a nice line in monochrome prints of, for instance, butterflies, which would look fabulous if you already have your injection of colour from bright walls or a statement sofa…

Interior-Design-Cathy-PhillipsFor dramatic nature-inspired fabrics and wallpapers I love House of Hackney particularly because the designs go beyond the obvious flower-themes and feature palms, leaves and grasses in gloriously dramatic, yet subtle colours. The room set pictures on the website are there for inspiration!

If you like your flowers bold and graphic you could try Marimekko a favourite of interior designers like me. Their crisp cottons can be stretched on to canvasses as well as used as soft furnishings. Or if bright silks with subtle, plant-inspired prints are more your thing, you will love Clarissa Hulse a textile designer whose fabrics are available made up in to cushions and more…

Whatever you choose to do, take inspiration from the wonderful gardens that surround us, and remember, if you love it, throw out the rulebook in your head and go with what makes your heart sing!

Happy shopping and have a beautiful summer!

Let Cathy Phillips & Co breathe fresh life into your home

Cathy Phillips & Co specialises in bespoke interior design and can help you transform any area of your home with the latest décor advice. From our offices in Battersea SW8, we provide interior design services, including property refurbishment and turnkey interior design, to clients all over London from Notting Hill and Holland Park in the west to Canary Wharf in the east. For a free consultation please contact us online or call us on +44 (0)7720 253 939 or +44 (0)207 720 6660.