“How to bring the outside in”
Design tips from See-Beng Ng, Head of Banda Design Studio
It might sound obvious but bring greenery in: having plants indoors not only creates visual interest but also softens the look and feel of interior spaces and helps to connect with the outside.
Select furniture that is adaptable, easily moved and that can work both inside and outside. I love this folding chair in ash and cane by PP Møbler (below). Its elegant, lightweight construction looks completely at home in the sitting room, and it is easily folded and lifted out on to a balcony on a warm day. A small coffee table can work in exactly the same way, and the rattan pouf that works as either a seat, or a table.
Light fabrics & materials: For large pieces of furniture such as a sofa, opt for details that lend a lighter feel, such as a pale/natural colour and materials such as linen rather than velvet or silk. Pale, wide planked wood floors also help to create the illusion of spaciousness and expanse that is often associated with the great outdoors
Natural light: Avoid heavy draperies that take up space and can block out light but instead go for flexible and lightweight solutions. Our favourites are sheers, blinds and shutters. These are timeless yet very practical items that maximise natural light indoors, whilst still being fully functional by keeping blacking out the light at night and keeping the warmth in during winter.
Go for natural materials and textures that remind you of the outdoors: weaves, grassy textures, rattan and wood are all wonderfully available and versatile materials that when used in proportion help to bring the outside in.
Artwork: This works especially well in apartments where external space is limited or non-existent. Go for artwork with themes of nature, landscape and the outdoors, or that feels to obvious, focus on the colour schemes: greens, blues, yellows. The artwork need not be boring nor be expensive, you can get creative and source for unique pieces or buy off the shelf and use natural frames. There are plenty of artists who continue to push the boundaries of landscape art and photography. Our current favourite is Tommy Clarke whose works bring the outside into any room www.tommyclarke.co.uk
Comments by See-Beng Ng, Head of Banda Design Studio www.bandaproperty.co.uk