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Let the outside in.

I have always been fascinated by Japanese interior and garden design. It had an otherness that attracted me, teasing my western sensibilities. How can one have a garden made up entirely of small stones or a bewildering variety of moss? Look at a Japanese garden ! So other worldly.

But one other feature of Japanese design was the concept of being able to see the garden from the interior, at times a seamless transition from one to another.

You can also do this with your space. The most obvious are large sliding glass doors, opening on to a terrace area but these can be dear and impractical. The good news is there are other ways to marry the indoor and the outdoor.

A simple trick is to paint the room’s walls in green so it frames the garden from the inside, particularly effective if you have brightly coloured red flowers in the garden. You can also bring the outside in with a clever use of textures. A wall covering such as hessian or bamboo will bring not only a tropical feel to a room, but can also tie in with tropical palm trees in your outdoor space. A botanical feature wall paper can be juxtaposed with a window overlooking a planted area or leafy park, or French doors opening on to a garden or patio. Fabrics can also reflect the outside, but don’t stick to the obvious such as roses pattern and a rose garden on the outside. Be bold and mix and marry different styles, plants and colours and textures. It will make for a richer and more original effect.

Actually placing plants dotted around a space with macramé potted plants, plants in pots on shelves and window sills along help bring the outside in. Don’t be shy, have lots and lots of plants so it makes a strong impact. Also don’t forget artificial flowers and plants can also look stunning these days. I have Abigail Ahern hydrangeas that look more real than the real thing. Ideal for a busy lifestyle.

Happy planting !


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