Welcome to Frontgate’s new Style Notes series, featuring decorating discussions with the industry’s finest designers, artists and makers.
This guest post comes from British designer, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author India Hicks.
Outdoor living … are any two words quite as evocative? For me they bring to mind sun-soaked afternoons, bare feet and kids’ laughter (actually, that’s a lie – with my five someone would inevitably be fighting). It’s absolutely wonderful to lounge and dine outside. Yet somehow, it’s never as simple as it sounds with the unpredictability of wind, rain and sun.
There are certain practicalities to ponder when setting up your outdoor area, as was done with this Naturally Coastal space. Is there enough seating? Where will your guests set their drinks? And do you have a plan for those days when Mother Nature chooses not to cooperate?
Take all of these details into account, and you’ll look like an absolute genius with a flair for the finer points of outdoor living. And once you settle on an aesthetic for your space, such as Naturally Coastal, you can accessorize it with seating and accent pieces that are as practical as they are eye-catching.
A mix of seating—sofas for those who like to pile on with relatives and friends both two- and four-legged, plus armchairs for those who’d rather sit solo – ensures that all your friends and family feel as if they have the best seat in the house.
Everyone will be drawn to plop down on deep cushions. A rich indigo hue is practical for smudgy children and their accompanying crumbs, as well as the family dog with paws fresh from digging in the garden. And you’ll still have a posh palette for the perfectionists of the bunch.
A chat table is the perfect place to set hurricanes, trays of drinks and nibbles. (And hopefully a backgammon set rather than smartphones and tablets.)
Layered shades of summer blue mixed with piping and low-key cobalt stripes look fantastic against weatherworn teak. (And I know a lot about the weathered look after living on a small remote island in the Bahamas for 20 years.)
Ottomans are more than just a place for sandy feet … they pull double-duty as extra seating for your guests.
Accent pillows are the easiest update around, and they have a big impact on your decor. We used a mix of shell prints, solids with rope accents and a handsome paisley for our Naturally Coastal aesthetic. For a more tailored look, you can leave them out altogether.
You don’t need an ocean view to enjoy a Naturally Coastal outdoor area. In fact, the whole lot would work just as well in the Oxfordshire countryside (ok, perhaps not the shells) as it does in the Bahamas, just in case the urge to swap tropical trade winds for climbing rose bushes strikes.
Shop our Naturally Coastal collection, and create your own island-inspired outdoor space.