Thursday 29 September 2016

Natural vibes: Let the outside into your home this spring

Get into the natural vibe for spring

Ciara Elliott

Published 28/02/2016 | 02:30

Back to nature: Graham and Green garden receptacles.
Back to nature: Graham and Green garden receptacles.
Cane momentum - oversized rattan chair.
In the jungle: Linea
Sage thinking: beakers, cups and vases from Alessi.
Swing Paisley cushion from Penneys.
All weather style: Neptune Hudson Table

The idea of taking inspiration from nature and 'bringing the outside in' for the new season is definitely nothing new in interiors, but this season we are seeing it coming through with a lot more of a 'New Nordic' and 1970s spin. People are incorporating a lot more natural materials and unfinished textures into their permanent living spaces now and accessorising with natural baskets, earthenware pots and a profusion of house plants.

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"Besides colour, one of the biggest trends we're seeing in the home is the embracing of outdoor living," says John Sims-Hilditch, one of the founders of furniture and homewares brand Neptune.

"Garden furniture has grown to cover coffee tables, side tables, and weatherproof scatter cushions. Previously these would have been confined to the living room, but attitudes are evolving and we're beginning to view whatever outdoor space we have as a true living area."

According to Sims-Hilditch the designers at Neptune looked to nature this season when coming up with their new schemes: "Big skies, azure waters, green pastures and stunning rocks offer up a host of textures and tones that run through our collections," he says. But even if you are not going for a full kitchen revamp there are always ways to bring the outside in. "At home my wife likes to mix fresh blooms with incredibly life-like, hand-painted flowers," says Sims-Hilditch. "Just throw them together in a loose arrangement so the finish doesn't seem overly considered."

Cane Momentum

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As we find new ways to merge indoor and outdoor living, unfinished textures like wicker, cane and hessian combine to create lovely natural living spaces. A standalone statement chair is a great look for a hallway, porch or conservatory, but could look equally as good in a bright corner of your kitchen or living area. Just add scattered cushions, a rug and indoor plants.

Get the look:

● We love the curve of this oversized rattan chair. The 'Harpa' is €577 plus delivery, habitat.co.uk

Sage thinking

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Moving forwards from grey, new nature-inspired paint colours are set to dominate, with soft sage becoming one of the new go-to colours for living and kitchen areas.

Get the look:

● Try Farrow and Ball's new shade of Cromarty as well as architectural historian Edward Bulmer's Pots of Paint (edwardbulmerpaint.co.uk).

Pictured above: This pretty range of beakers, cups and vases, setting earthy colours against internal white, were designed by architect David Chipperfield for Alessi. The products in the Tonale range start from €38 for a mini cup to €95 for a vase, alessi.com

In the jungle

For a colourful update to your bedroom think bright jungle prints and unique artisanal influences such as worldly lanterns, tables and candlesticks. Oh, and for a touch more 1970s bedsit, just add cheeseplants.

Get the look:

● Amazon double duvet set, €78, yellow pillowcases; €13 a pair; orange and lime cushions, €26 each; flower cushion, €33; pillar candle holders, €26 and €33; gold candle holder, €29. All Linea Home at House of Fraser, Dundrum and houseoffraser.co.uk

All-weather style

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Set your Easter table with garden-fresh blooms and all-white crockery, and use outdoor furniture if you don't have room at the kitchen table or if you are looking for a more rustic vibe. "The trick is to not overwhelm a room with unfinished looks; it's too much and it appears very try-hard," says John Sims-Hilditch at Neptune. "Take the rough with the smooth, as they say, and always try to focus on natural materials."

Back to Nature

Whether it's the influence of Pinterest and the laidback American and Australian blogger culture or just something green in the air, all of a sudden we've all gone a little potty (sorry!) for the Victoriana-meets-1970s look of hanging plants and terrariums. Succulents and ferns work particularly well to achieve the vibe but if you feel particularly un-greenfingered you could take a leaf from blogger Abigail Ahern and try fake foliage.

Get the look:

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● Try Graham and Green for a huge supply of greenhouse receptacles including hanging planterns, terrariums and vases. Prices are start from €30, grahamandgreen.co.uk

Flower power

Spider plants, money plants and air plants are the big look for the botanical '70s revival that's hotting up now, as well as the paisley motif that's coming to the fore again in fabrics, wallpapers and accessories.

Get the look:

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● Pick up the vibe for the price of a Babycham at Penneys with this Swing Paisley Cushion, €7, primark.com

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