Inside Out | How to Bring the Outdoors In

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It’s that time of year when everyone is desperate to be outdoors, yet the unpredictable British weather doesn’t always allow for weekend sunbathing and evening barbecues. Our resident interiors stylist Hannah Cork, shares her tips on bringing the outdoors in.

Hockney brights

One of the key influences on interior  trends is art and the big show-stopping retrospectives in the capital’s galleries.

Cushions and cute accent chairs featured a lot of splattered paint after last year’s Abstract Expressionist exhibition at the Royal Academy, featuring the mighty Jackson Pollock. The recent David Hockney retrospective at Tate Britain will undoubtedly have a similar effect.

So look out for homeware with traces of bright yellow Californian sunshine, graphic turquoise Los Angeles swimming pools and muted pink modernist architecture.

Oliver Bonas has some great drinking glasses in Hockney colours, while Tate Britain worked with Designers Guild to select five of their paint colours to decorate the vast gallery walls that best resonate with Hockney’s paintings. These are available to buy.

Online retailer A Splash of Colour stock a strikingly graphic turquoise side lamp by James Stickley and a bold sunny ‘pie chart’ side table by Hierve, whilst the Tate Britain shop has, as expected, numerous items to purchase adorned with Hockney’s work. I was particularly taken by the simple punchiness of the A Bigger Splash tray and cushion.



Al fresco fragrance

There are some fantastically imaginative, yet realistic, room fragrances available – from essence of meadows to mist, soil to snow, vine tomatoes to tree houses – to give your home a signature scent that will transport you into the great outdoors every time you walk through the door.

The act of burning a candle adds instant atmosphere to a room, whilst using a reed diffuser ensures the fragrance is permanently in the air. A fragrance spray is another alternative, but often the smell doesn’t linger and the action can be a bit too reminiscent of using a toilet air freshener for my liking!

I recommend splurging with an extravagant Fornasseti or Cire Trudon candle, and make sure you visit the Cire Trudon store in Marylebone, as it’s a haven of interior style. Scandi brand Skandinavisk also has some fantastic fragrances; I think I can tick the Aurora Borealis off my ‘must see’ list now I’ve smelt this scent. Their packaging in lovely muted colours is very appealing, too.

For an economical candle you won’t mind burning every day, go for Price’s ‘Open Window’ fragrance. I grabbed this in a supermarket for a fiver when staying in a slight stuffy Air bnb apartment and have used it in my own home ever since.



A window on the world 

Marie Kondo_decluttering expert_Hannah Cork columnOn a more practical level, consider what you can actually see from your home. If you have  a view, make sure it is maximised by pulling back curtains, rolling up blinds, and taking down voiles and sheers from your windows. Often, we are so preoccupied with preventing other people seeing in our homes at the expense of us seeing out!

As decluttering expert Marie Kondo would advise, clear the clutter off sills; piles of papers, books, vases, photo frames and objet can surely find another home. It’s a glorious feeling to walk in to a room and see straight out of the window, so aim for a clear sightline.

Think about how you spend your time indoors, too. Do you cook or wash up facing a wall? That’s what kitchen islands are for. Do you eat in front of the television rather than at the table looking out on the garden? You obviously haven’t seen the sunsets at this time of year. Do you work at a desk in a corner of the spare room? Position yourself and your laptop (as I do) in the bay window with the best view. You deserve it.



Main image: Shutterstock

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