In last week’s Spring post, Getting into the spirit of Spring, I promised to write everyone’s favourite Spring-time weekend subject: outdoor living spaces and plants. So good to my word, here we go!
Of course it’s the perfect time to consider your outdoor areas as-well-as bringing plants into your different interior spaces. This could be bringing the outside in, or simply making your outdoors as beautiful as your indoors.
To start… here’s a few (some of this works for balconies too) ideas for interiors.
Firstly, we often get it the wrong way around… (1) find an awesome planter/pot, THEN look for the perfect plant. If you decide on the plant first this may limit you (size, shape, colour, availability etc.) in terms of the pot… naturally whatever you get (plant and or pot) needs to work with your style. For some great pot ideas take a look at Design Twins here.
Work backward… think about the space first, your style, then the pot/planter, then the plant.
And (2) don’t be afraid to reuse and recycle: prune, feed and re-pot existing plants. As they say, a change is as good as a rest.
Next, and a little contradictory to my first points, if you fall in love with the idea of a large plant or indoor tree, (3) sometimes the pot isn’t as important. As long as it works in the space, of course! If size does matter, the plant can be the star of show.
Alternatively, (4) how about keeping it mini? A grouping of smaller plants can work just as well as one big one, if done right. Just be sure not to overdo it. Three small plants in one area (like a coffee table, for example) is plenty. You can get away with just having one if you have a couple other decor items to balance the look. I sometimes do this with flowers but succulents are also very much on trend still and easy care.
Lastly for indoor areas, (5) let your personality come out. Gnarly, funky, tall, short, colourful…whatever. Plants that have a little bit more character will add charm to your room. The same is true of your planters, anything and everything from clean and clinical to bright colours and patterns pick what appeals to you and works with your interior. Check out these for something quirky!
Ok, so that’s indoors… now let’s expand our thinking a little to defined outdoor living areas: patios, balconies, seating areas etc.
(6) Vertical garden, or green walls, are very in. This trend is especially good for limited outdoor spaces and where you don’t want to miss out having a garden. You can spend a small fortune here as its big business but there are cheaper options online or at Bunnings. Not every plant is going to thrive in this environment so get some advice before investing.
(7) Durable and weatherproof soft furnishings will instantly spruce up and refresh your space: rugs, seat covers, throw rugs, colourful cushions, tablecloths and napkins etc. As-well-as adding colour and comfort these will also warm up the space during cooler months. Make sure you don’t overdo it, or have storage as even if items are durable they will fade and ware if left to the elements
As most balconies and patios extend off of living and kitchen areas, you can go a bit Jamie Oliver and (8) plant an edible garden: herbs, fruit and veggies etc. in freestanding planters or beds. And if you need scale, small citrus trees can be a nice addition. Just watch out for those pesky Possums and insects that’ll ruin the plans, so again take advice.
(9) A fresh coat of paint or re-staining timberwork will have a tired old balcony shipshape in no time, and spring is the perfect time to do this.
And finally, (10) we have to mention furniture. Think about what you want to space to do and buy accordingly: relaxation zone, admire a view, eat, entertain, BBQ, read etc. You’ll need to consider shade and protection, and if future can be more permanent or if it needs to be moved or scaled.
If like me you have a small balcony, think about removable furniture you can downsize and store when it’s not being used, and bring soft furnishings (see above) into play. If you have to deal with something ugly, like an air conditioning unit, try screens (but be cautious to leave space around the unit so that it can work to it’s optimum).
Spend some time now getting your property Spring ready, indoors and out, and you’ll be able to reap the rewards in the summer. And if you need any help or guidance, of course drop me a line at SmartSpace Interiors, click here.
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