With weatherproof furniture and alfresco dining making huge gains in 2019, one gardening trend that really seems to have captured the public imagination this year is indoor meets outdoor. This trend looks to have real staying power, so here are some of the key design features behind indoor meets outdoor and what designers are saying about this coveted new look.

Bright colours

One of the biggest design elements of indoors meets outdoors is introducing colour to your garden. This can be done using brightly coloured flowers or choosing vibrant planters, fences or flooring.

Whichever method you choose, the idea is to really make a statement. Darren Hawkes, from the Society of Garden Designers, thinks taking kitsch into the garden is what indoor meets outdoor is all about, and advises bedding plants in colourful planters or introducing eye-catching flowers like Pompon Dahlias.

Encaustic tiles

Encaustic tiles made a name for themselves in the 19th Century when they were used by the Victorian well-to-do to decorate floors and hallways. Nowadays they’re seeing a resurgence, but not in the way you might expect. Today encaustic tiles are being used to divide the garden into ‘rooms’.

The trick to this design feature is less is more. “They create a ‘holding space’, somewhere to arrive at, to sit down in,” says award-winning garden designer Ula Maria. “Don’t cover the whole garden. Treat tiles as a character feature exactly as you would use a carpet or rug inside your house.”

Rattan furniture

Garden furniture has always been popular. But it’s grown more so in the past few years and is practically indispensable if you’re looking to achieve this modern look.

Soft furnishings are great for updating garden furniture. You can find weather-resistant cushions and bolsters in an array of colours and sizes, and mixing prints with different textures can help to create that homely indoor-outdoor feel.

Rattan furniture is ideal for both conservatories and gardens. And where it’s so lightweight, it’s easy to transport outside on sunny days. Daniel Fairburn, founder of Out & Out, explains, “If you’re looking for furniture that offers the best of indoor and outdoor use, then rattan is the perfect choice. A natural plant fibre, rattan is highly durable and flexible, perfect for an elegant and tactile finish.”

Lighting

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Never underestimate the importance of creating the right ambience with a good set of lights. Whether using lanterns or fitting light fixtures to exterior walls, lighting is essential if your client intends on spending the evenings outdoors or dining alfresco.

White lights used to be the only option for outdoor lighting. But seeing as this trend calls for more colour, it’s the perfect opportunity to use colour filters. Stephanie Harrod, a professional kitchen gardener and blogger, suggests using coloured lighting to focus attention on landscape highlights or water features. She also suggests making sure your lighting is eco-friendly: “Garden lighting is great but it needn’t cost the earth. Solar-powered lights are a wonderful addition to any garden and help to create atmosphere at night. They’re also cheaper to run than conventional mains-powered lights.”

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