Come Rain or Shine: How to Bring the Outdoors In
As we all seek space and solitude, a room in the garden has never been so popular. Design an inspirational oasis, all year round via The Liberty Garden Room, open now on the fourth floor
A classic feature of a traditional British home, the garden room has evolved from something more suited to a stately home into a bottom-of-the-garden sunroom, garden office, conservatory or a space within your home, such as a snug or living room nook, to become a room dedicated to greenery, nature and natural light. An in-between zone that draws the outdoors into the house and creates a feeling of soothing, open space. Sound inviting? We think so too. All you need to achieve this zen-like zone are a few key details - starting with a visit to our newly-ripened The Liberty Garden Room, ready to explore now on the fourth floor.
Whether you want a space to supercharge and display your favourite house plants, somewhere to sit, read and be creative in peace, or have a social area that brings the garden party to you, a garden room can be wherever or whatever you need it to be - here's how to bring the outdoors in this summer...
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Speaking to award-winning designer Nicola Harding of London’s Nicola Harding & Co Interior Design Studio, and Jane Rockett, co-founder of interiors brand Rockett St George, we've delved into all the inspiration needed to get your garden ready for the warmer, brighter days ahead.
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"I like it best when you blur the lines between outdoors and indoors and bring pieces that you would usually expect to see indoors, outdoors - and vice versa", notes Harding - who took the same approach when designing the Orangery at Garden House, Beaverbrook. "Try a garden table as a side table in a conservatory or an upholstered comfy chair situated in a greenhouse - it's about inverting the rooms in order to elevate the space."
While natural light in a garden room should be plentiful during the day, Harding encourages reinterpreting the space for evening to make it work for you and display it to best effect. “For me, one of the most important things is lighting. Getting the lighting right in a garden area (indoor or out) brings a sense of magic. A table lamp with a fabric shade in a greenhouse or covered terrace makes the space feel instantly romantic and welcoming in the half-light of those late summer evenings."
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"For me, the perfect garden room is filled with natural light, greenery and unique, collected treasures."
Jane Rockett, however, suggests transforming an existing space to create a hybrid garden room if you don’t have a traditional 'garden room' in your home or outdoor space. "I moved into my home (an old converted pub) a couple of years ago and one of the first changes we made was to add glass doors to the open plan kitchen/dining room to create harmony between the inside and outside spaces of our home," Rockett says. "It floods the room with natural light and frames the view out into the garden and surrounding countryside, for me, the perfect garden room is filled with natural light, greenery and unique, collected treasures.”
Bringing plants into your garden room space provides a transition between the indoors and outdoors. “Plants are a must to create the connection between the inside and out”, says Rockett. “I love introducing trailing plants from shelves, scattered amongst vases of fresh or dried flowers and grasses for added texture.”
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“When it comes to choosing a colour palette for a garden room, often the temptation is to opt for whites and pale neutrals. However, I love pairing black with green in my home. A rich black wall will do wonders to highlight the greenery outside in the garden and make sure any plants styled inside simply glow. Alongside plenty of plants, another essential for me in creating an indoor-outdoor vibe is candles – as everything looks amazing in this natural and romantic light - and unique ornaments for display, from shells to fabulous fruit bowls and quirky planters."
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