This month, our guest blog contribution from Trend Bible focuses on the great outdoors.
“Despite the UK summer being something of a washout so far, there is still the opportunity to use strong, uplifting colours so that at the very least, the garden is something pretty to look at whist you’re holed up indoors!” explains Trend Bible’s creative assistant Victoria Buchanan. When we forecast this trend for strong colour in outdoor spaces back in 2010, we were talking to our customers (retailers, brands and manufacturers) about using fences, external walls, pots and garden furniture to make a statement. Whether you have a window box or rolling lawns, bold use of colour lifts the spirits in this less than perfect summer weather. It also means you’re not reliant on lots of colourful plants, so lush greenery and foliage are all that’s needed.
In our Lifestyle Trends for the Home Spring/Summer 2012 forecast, we highlighted a sophisticated and vibrant trend inspired by Palm Springs in its heyday. This laid-back West Coast style sets bohemian city dwelling against a lush tropical backdrop, blending architectural form and loud patterns and translates perfectly from the home into the garden. Clean lines and sharp silhouettes transfer interior styles outdoors, and allow for furniture that can be used in either context: ideal for customers with conservatories, summer houses or other transitional spaces. A faded, hazy colour palette of golden yellow, purple and leaf green, with highlights of teal, characterises this trend.
We used some of the inspiration from our Palm Springs story to collaborate with the team on the Crown Paints colour panel to create the Summer Jewels palette, which shows how strong, vibrant colours can be applied outdoors.
We are increasingly seeing the use of bold colours in unexpected areas, which makes a statement and allows the garden to become an extension of the home. This simple update is easy to achieve. Used as solid blocks of colour or in abstract geometric shapes, bold colours work well to create intimate areas and work well for alfresco dining areas.
Trend Bible’s Trend and Material Researcher, Naomi Shedden, explains how to get the look - “powder-coated metal, canvas and acrylic all work well for outdoors and are materials that take strong colour very well. We’re noticing more instances of permanent outdoor seating areas being furnished with upholstered cushions and even rugs, which can be brought indoors overnight or in poor weather. This idea of using the garden to extend the living area during summer months is a growing trend in the UK, and with the latest outdoor lighting, shelter and heaters this is possible despite our rather predictably poor British summer weather.”
Even the most urban of environments can be a place to introduce the sense of calm and tranquillity that plants bring. Giving plants as gifts has spawned an increase in cute, packaged plants that can be picked up in interior boutiques, not just local garden centres. The Balcony Gardener offers pre-planted pots, all delivered direct to your door allowing city dwellers easy access to this trend. Vertical gardens and green walls are also increasing in popularity.
Outdoor planters have been given a range of design-conscious updates for the spring/summer season. Free-standing, wall-mounted and suspended planters are ideal for urban space-conscious environments due to their compact staggered and pendant designs. Wider, free-standing units can be used to create a partition in outdoor spaces.
Sheds, shelters and even kid’s playhouses are opportunities for adding colour outdoors. Watch out for contrasting and even clashing colours being used together, and for a broader range of paint colours being manufactured to appeal to a growing female audience. Recent customer research conducted by Tesco reported that 60% of women are now shopping for DIY items without any input from their partner. “We’ve seen DIY companies aim primarily at male householders in the past but we’re expecting to see an increase in products aimed at women for DIY and the garden. The popularity of how-to blogs and online tutorials make it easy for women to acquire building and construction skills,” explains Trend Bible Director Joanna Feeley.
For more trend insights please visit www.trendbible.co.uk/blog.
I'm the Editor of the mydeco.com blog, writing about the interiors that inspire me most. I love bright colour against neutrals, and have a soft spot for themed rooms. Quirky accessories are my favourite and I love nothing more than finding something bold and beautiful to make a room really stand out! Read more posts by Laura.