Homes and Gardens

Spring Interior Design

Going Green: How
to Bring the Outside Into Your Home

Sarah Roselind Wilson from Roselind Wilson Design

Going green has never been so popular. More of us than ever are ditching plastics in our daily lives and choosing to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors. And when it comes to interiors, the trend for ‘bringing the outside in’ is also on the rise.

Bringing botanical elements and natural materials into a scheme blurs the lines between garden and home, delivering bursts of colour, texture and vibrancy.

The Natural Touch

We all know that a walk in the countryside is the ultimate stress buster, but it’s a somewhat tricky thing to achieve if you live in the middle of a busy city! So, what’s the solution? Instead of taking yourself into nature; bring nature to you. “We’re naturally drawn to the great outdoors. Being around nature can help us feel refreshed and reinvigorated,” says Roselind.

“So bringing natural elements into the home such as plants, flowers, and even indoor trees and ferns, can work wonders to improve our mood and reduce stress levels. Greenery is thought to bring balance and harmony to a space, creating a calm and relaxed mood. When we surround ourselves with the beauty and tranquillity of nature, stresses disappear as we find comfort and reassurance in our natural environment.”

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

House plants are all well and good, but what if you’re somewhat lacking in the green-fingered department? It’s all too easy to forget to water plants, which is one of the reasons why sales of faux versions are booming. “Faux plants really are big news at the moment,” says Roselind.

“There have been great improvements in quality, meaning that the best ones are now completely lifelike. They’re also maintenance-free and safer for pets and people with allergies. It’s easy to see why they’re the ultimate way to add instant greenery!”

In Roselind Wilson Design’s Eaton Mews North project, the team created an incredible faux living wall in the basement kitchen. Troughs of fake foliage were attached to the wall to create a sea of green which was then covered with a large glass screen.

“The result is a dynamic and vibrant backdrop to the dining area which will never go out of style,” says Roselind. “The faux green wall alludes to the idea of outside space, but also creates a sense that the room extends beyond its own boundaries.”

Another way to effectively add faux greenery is to follow the ‘Rule of three’ principle as Roselind illustrates in her Holland Park project. Three bright green faux bushes have been placed at regular intervals along the dining table, creating a pleasing symmetry and a link to the hedges in the window boxes outside the property.

“The ‘rule of three’ is a design principle that uses groupings of three, or layerings in odd numbers, to create an effect which is pleasing to the eye,” says Roselind.

“This approach can be applied to all kinds of elements such as accessories, artwork and furniture. The owners of this period property wanted a simple, pared-down design scheme. The dining room was left white to maximise the light and space, with fresh bursts of greenery to reflect the hedging outside.”

Brilliant Botanicals

“Botanical prints are a great way to bring the outside in, and they also add a softening effect to interior schemes,” says Roselind. “In the girl’s bedroom in our Richmond project, we wanted to create a bedroom fit for a princess with a soft palette of duck egg blues and lavenders. For the blind we chose a floral fabric with an intricate pattern and rich tones which provides a striking contrast to the geometric rug.”

The guest bedroom of this same house also features botanical patterns, this time a dark red floral pattern for the blind which acts as an accent within the calm, understated scheme. “Here, we wanted to create some rustic charm by using different floral fabrics paired with bold stripes and rich textures for a comfortable yet elegant style,” explains Roselind. “We kept the design and furniture simple to prevent the scheme from looking dated, and instead created a modern-rustic feel using pattern, layering and texture.”

3 Top Tips For Bringing The Outside In

1) Add greenery

“One of the easiest ways to bring the outside in is to add greenery,” says Roselind Wilson. “However, make sure you take the proportions of the space into account. If you have small rooms, consider hanging plants. And if you’re using a large plant, only include one; whereas for smaller plants, group them together in odd numbers to create a stylish look.”

2) Choose floral patterns

Another great way to inject a burst of nature into your home is to incorporate floral patterns, whether for wall coverings, window treatments or upholstery. “Keep in mind that contrasting patterns and sizes will keep things fresh, while too many matching florals will look busy and outdated,” advises Roselind. “Offsetting floral patterns with layers of texture and colour will provide balance and prevent your room from looking overcrowded.”

3) Use natural materials

“Add rustic charm by incorporating natural textures such as wicker, rattan and jute into your scheme,” says Roselind. “Also consider using eco-friendly materials. Whether it’s bedding or paint, there is always an eco-friendly option that will have long-term benefits for the planet. For example, linen is more ecologically sound than cotton because it requires significantly less water during processing.”

Roselind Wilson Design is an award-winning luxury interior design and interior architecture studio based in London that specialises in high-end residential projects both in the UK and across the world.

With 18 years’ experience in the design industry, Ros started her career in Cape Town, where she worked in prestigious residential and hospitality sectors, transforming homes and redefining boutique hotels for discerning clients. After moving to London in 2005, she honed her design flair at some of London’s leading design firms before opening Roselind Wilson Design in 2010.

With an impressive portfolio of high-end residential projects, the studio brings a fresh, hands-on approach to the world of interior design and a unique hybrid of looks which create a calming elegance and a sense of quiet luxury that connects home and owner.

For details about Roselind Wilson Design visit www.roselindwilsondesign.com

Crittall Sliding Doors

Open and Shut Case

New InnerVision® steel-framed sliding doors from Crittall add a further dimension to your home

Creating a seamless transition between rooms, by opening or closing space is now possible with new sliding doors from Crittall’s range of InnerVision internal screens. These bright, beautifully crafted walls of glazing will complement timeless styles of period property or contemporary homes.

On-trend, open plan living takes on a different dimension by partitioning open interior areas to create contemporary zones with steel-framed single or double sliding doors, without compromising light or space.

Available in a variety of options, InnerVision screens and doors are designed with modern living in mind, giving a sense of space, light and understated beauty, with clean lines and subtle detailing. The sliding doors feature concealed running gear to provide a sleek finish.

Gliding gently

Light-in-weight, and with a soft-close feature and floor tracks, they are so easy to use, gliding effortlessly on opening and closing. These new interior sliding doors offer wider opening areas than more intrusive hinged doors, maximising use of inside room space, particularly where it may be limited.

Elegantly slender, the slim steel framing is unobtrusive – the distinguished-looking installation makes a wonderful talking point. Natural illumination inside is increased, while enhanced acoustic properties ensure privacy and reduced noise levels.

Fully compatible with other InnerVision products, the sliding door option features a secure latch-able configuration. They are available with a wide range of handle styles and brass finishes.

Ideal solution

Unmatched by other materials, these long-lasting slimline sliding doors look like traditional Crittall windows, providing minimalist retro-looks with a contemporary twist – and larger expanses of glass than others in the marketplace.

Cleverly dividing space without impeding light, they are the ideal solution, whether for an extension with dramatic steel-framed glazed screen forming a brighter space for a living room, a light-filled area off the kitchen, or a partition from bathroom to bedroom. 

For more information about Crittall’s range of sliding doors please visit the website at www.crittall-windows.co.uk

Or Telephone: 01376 530800

Seed Guardians Save Species

Rare White Tomato Saved from the Brink of Extinction

James Campbell, David Robinson
and Rob Smith

A unique, endangered species of tomato with ivory-coloured flesh has been saved from extinction by a horticultural charity and its network of green-fingered ‘Seed Guardians’.

The ‘Sutton’ beefsteak tomato variety would have almost certainly died out had it not been for horticultural charity, Garden Organic and its Heritage Seed Library.

Garden Organic works closely with seed supplier, Dobies, which has helped to save this rare species by acting as Seed Guardians. Its expert team has grown the saved seeds, following Garden Organic’s Principles of Organic Gardening, and is now offering plug plants to purchase for the first time, opening up this endangered tomato variety to those who prefer to grow from plants rather than seed.

The ‘Sutton’ beefsteak tomato is known for its white fruit, fresh flavour and creamy flesh which is said to be ideal for adding a little something different to salads and sandwiches.

The news has been met with celebrations from staff and volunteers at Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library, an initiative set up by the charity’s founder Lawrence Hills in the 1970s. The HSL conserves vegetable varieties that are not widely available.

James Campbell, CEO at Garden Organic says, “This is another fantastic result for the Heritage Seed Library. To the average person on the street, the idea of a seed library may provoke a puzzled look, but actually it works tirelessly to conserve the UK’s vegetable heritage, protecting our rich organic diversity for future generations. Being able to say we have saved a variety from going extinct is really quite something.

“We have been partnering with Dobies to produce the Organic Gardening Catalogue since the beginning of last year and it’s a thrill to see this partnership help secure the future of this wonderful tomato.”

Rob Smith from Dobies says, “Over the years, many valuable vegetable varieties have sadly been lost forever. Garden Organic’s HSL tries to find these rare varieties in time and protect them to maintain gene pool diversity and to ensure they are there for future generations to enjoy. We’re honoured to be able to play our part in this unique work.”

Sutton tomato plug plants are available to order now until the end of April at www.organiccatalogue.com  to be delivered in May. Garden Organic members will enjoy a 10% discount and a percentage of sales goes directly to supporting the work of Garden Organic and the charity’s Heritage Seed Library.

Long serving Seed Guardian, Adam Alexander, who has helped to save sixty HSL varieties says, “I think the Heritage Seed Library is the jewel in the crown of Garden Organic. It is incredibly important because it helps to secure the genetic diversity of our food and also preserves that crucial link culturally and socially with what has been grown in the past.”

Further information on growing organically and how to get involved with the Heritage Seed Library can be found by visiting the Garden Organic website at www.gardenorganic.org.uk

Log Cabin Retreat

Waltons Traditional Log Cabin Retreat

This stunning Traditional Log Cabin Retreat from Waltons offers the ideal space for work or hobbies.

The 4 metres x 3 metres Traditional Log Cabin Retreat from Waltons is a striking addition to any garden.

The building’s substantial overhang makes a real style statement, and despite its traditional construction and apex roofline, the cabin has a sleek, modern profile.

Enjoy the sheltered outdoor seating area or work comfortably inside at your computer through the hottest days of the summer without being disturbed by the sun’s glare.

Ideal as a home office, games room, gym or simply much needed additional living space, this light and spacious log cabin can be used all year round.

The Traditional Log Cabin Retreat from Waltons is constructed from 28mm thick timber logs (34mm & 44mm options are also available).

Finished with interlocking tongue and groove timber that repels water and retains heat, a pressure treated base and thick timber frame support the integrity of the structure.

Customers are given the choice between single or double glazed windows and a set of double doors are fitted with a lock and key for security. The log cabin can be painted to suit any style of garden and comes with a 10 year guarantee against rot. Price is £2,149.99.

About Waltons Garden Buildings

Established in 1878, Waltons Garden Buildings is one of the UK’s largest and oldest garden building manufacturers. Based in Nottinghamshire, Waltons has sold over 1 million sheds since 2003.

For more information about Waltons Garden Buildings visit www.waltons.co.uk

Boutique Plant Pots

Plantini – a Palm
Size Planthouse

Plantini is a beautiful mini indoor planthouse kit. The ornate metal structure stands just 9.5cm tall and includes everything you need to grow your own tabletop hot house.

The kit contains a flat-packed etched planthouse, step by step instructions, a planting pot, compost disc and viola seeds. Create a luxurious and opulent home for your seedlings!

Contents include instructions, a flat pack metal planthouse kit, a planting pot, compressed compost, viola seeds

Materials include paper, FSC cardboard, stainless steel, biodegradable bamboo and rice hull dish. Dimensions are 8.5cm x 5.5cm x 9cm

For details visit www.another-studio.com

Boutique Plant Pots

Pow Pots to Brighten Your Home & Garden

Introducing Pow Pots – Boutique Plant Pots, the perfect way to brighten up your home, garden and house plants.

Add a dash of panache to your plants with Pow Pots, a cool new collection of contemporary, hand-painted plant pots, featuring graphic patterns in punchy colours, inspired by mid-century and Scandinavian design.

Each pot is completely unique. They are individually hand-painted in the UK by founder and designer Nathalie Gibbins and her team of artists, using water-based paints that are eco-friendly and hard-wearing, with a matt and modern finish.

“The UK is certainly having a green moment,” says Nathalie. “Boutique plant shops specialising in cacti and tropical indoor plants are popping up in every town and city, yet plant pots are sadly lagging behind. I saw a niche for affordable, design-led planters in a complementary colour palette, for those who enjoy a different design aesthetic than the bog standard white, black and terracotta.”

Pow Pots are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Made from fibreclay (a mixture of clay and fibreglass), Pow Pots feel beautifully solid but are lightweight, frost resistant and much stronger than traditional ceramic and terracotta plant pots.

Priced from £38, Pow Pots are available in 1 classic shape, 4 sizes, 12 debut designs and 6 colours. Mix and match to create your own personalised collection. Exclusive colourways are available on request.

For a pop of colour and bold style, Pow Pots is the perfect addition to the plant-lover’s home, both inside and out.

Pow Pots are available to buy from www.powpots.co.uk

High Quality Driveways

Drive to Success

Sarah Beeny and her newly resurfaced driveway from Resin Drives

When exterior specialist Resin Drives found the next customer on its order book was property developer and Channel 4 TV celebrity, Sarah Beeny, the staff were thrilled. Not only had Sarah identified that “Resin is definitely the perfect drive finish’, but she had chosen Resin Drives with their ten-years of experience as the best company for the job at her own home.

The original surface was a mix and match tired drive and pathway in a combination of gravel, tarmac and block paving. It looked tired and keeping it tidy and combating weeds breaking through was a constant challenge. Sarah wanted a new driveway which would be easy to maintain and smart to look at; providing that instant first impression ‘kerb appeal’ which is so important.

The successful pioneers in developing this functional, attractive, safer and surprisingly environmentally friendly surface for drives, patios and pathways, Resin Drives was the natural choice and the team were not fazed by what might otherwise have been a challenging project.

No planning permission is required for resurfacing with Resin Drives, so the hardest part, with a choice of 40 colours, was choosing the optimum look. Natural aggregate stone is mixed with resin, a synthetic organic polymer liquid that solidifies when it dries. Sarah observed “It has the massive advantage of being a bit like a little black dress. You can dress it up glitzy glam if you want a real Hollywood look or it can blend perfectly with a rural setting.” She opted for a rich golden brown shade.

Sarah’s home in south west London, in had a sizeable 600 metre drive which meant that four fitters were put onto the job, each able to surface around 200 metres a day. Application is a relentless operation for the fitters on site, as realistically there is only a 15 minute window before it becomes too viscous to spread with a trowel. It’s definitely a job for an experienced crew, particularly when there is a large area to cover.

An unusual challenge cropped up during the project.  Overnight, fox paw prints appeared on the freshly laid and not yet fully hardened finish. The team returned to the site and were able to smooth out the prints with fresh aggregate and resin, still finishing the project ahead of the time originally scheduled.

The new driveway not only looked much smarter, it also had a range of other benefits. Come the icy winter, the new surface has a slip resistant surface and there are no issues with puddles or flooding as it is completely porous. It works as Mother Nature intended, simply allowing the water to drain through, unlike tarmac. It’s also more durable, robust and longer lasting.

Sarah was delighted with the end result and is happy to recommend Resin Drives to others, saying “They arrived when they said they would, gave us a clear time schedule for the work and were finished early,” she says. “All the fitters were polite and charming and properly cleaned up after themselves. They did a beautiful job and were complete perfectionists.”

For more information about Resin Drives visit www.resindrives.co.uk

Mother's Day Gardening

Do You Have a Mum
in a Million?

‘Mum in a Million’ rose available at Squire’s Garden Centres

Mothers Day is on Sunday 31st March, and what better gift to give than a rose called ‘Mum in a Million’.

This beautiful rose has glossy foliage and an abundance of fragrant pink flowers that will bloom throughout the summer. It can be planted in a border or a pot, and will grow to approximately 1 meter in height.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has given this rose its “Award Of Garden Merit”, which is their seal of approval that this plant is one of the best for your garden.

‘Mum in a Million’ is available at Squire’s Garden Centres from £9.99.

For more information about Squire’s visit www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk

The Potted Garden Tips

Herb Garden Heaven

We’ve got some great new gardening ideas from The Potted Garden to get your started in your garden for the Spring.

Herbs are a great way for novice gardeners to start growing their own.  From sage to thyme, rosemary to clipped bay and flowering chives, you can combine a variety of herbs in one space whether that’s a specially built herb garden, flower bed or container. 

If you are planning on creating a herb garden it should ideally be placed in the sunniest part of your garden. Most of the common herbs are native to the Mediterranean so if you can create similar conditions in your garden they will thrive. 

Before you start, decide which herbs you would like to grow – this will give you a good idea of how much space you will need. A basic rule of thumb is ten plants per sq m which will give you something to look at during the first year and a good effect thereon after.

Alternatively, you could plant a raised bed with your favourite herbs within easy reach of your kitchen.  Raised beds are relatively simple and easy to construct using wooden sleepers.  Once you have worked out the best location for your herb bed fix the sleepers in position and fill it with a mixture of soil and peat-free compost then plant in your selection of herbs.

Herbs also grow well in containers.  A couple of herb filled pots by the kitchen door are ideal for snipping at throughout the year, and benefit from the fact that they can be moved as the seasons change to get the best of the sunshine.

The top five classic favourites are …

Mint – easy to grow and if you pick it regularly it will grow bushy and give you leaves from April to November.

Chives – great in salads or as a soup garnish, they have lovely bee-friendly flowers and do well in partial sun.  

Sage – its velvety leaves and small, purple flowers look spectacular and it requires very little maintenance. It thrives in dry conditions so don’t over water.

Bay – bays are practical and ornamental hardy evergreen trees with aromatic leaves and small yellow flowers and can be kept small by growing in a pot and pruning.    

Rosemary – an evergreen hardy shrub with aromatic leaves and small purple or white flowers that thrives in full sun and needs minimal pruning or attention.

Now is the time for getting the garden ready for the summer months ahead, so here’s what experts suggest for your gardening ‘to do’ list:

The frequent sunny days provide the opportunity for an increasing range of gardening tasks. It’s time to get busy preparing seed beds, sowing seed, cutting back winter shrubs and generally tidying up around the garden.
RHS

Start by propagating and dividing and then get planting as the cold weather becomes milder. It’s a great idea to plant your lilies at the end of the month and make sure you look after your snowdrops.
Country Life

When buying bulbs, everyone seems to think of daffodils, tulips, crocus, but forget there’s some great summer flowering bulbs too. Think gladioli, lilies, freesias, as well as unusual ones such as Sparaxis and Tigridia.

They are super colourful and extra easy to grow. Summer flowering bulbs are ideal for dropping into any gap in the border, so if you’ve bought shrubs which haven’t filled out quite yet, fill that space in the meantime with some bulbs.
Michael Parry, founder of Grubby Gardeners

Alpine Planting for Gardeners

Let Your Garden
Grow With ‘Alpino’

The Hawkesmill Nurseries team feel like spring could be in the air earlier than expected with their new varieties for the start of the season. The team produce an ever growing and extensive selection of perennials, ferns, grasses, wildflowers, vegetables, herbs and strawberries and they also have two super new alpines that are available now.

New to the Hawkesmill alpine family this year are Saxifraga ‘Alpino Rose’ and Saxifraga ‘Alpino White’. Both of these varieties are early flowering and display beautiful, cupped blooms from spring into summer.  Their foliage is low and cushioned and a stunning shade of green, and they look really fabulous displayed together as a bright pink and crystal white combination!

Both of these gorgeous alpines are available from all good garden centres.

For details about Hawkesmill Nurseries visit www.hawkesmillnurseries.co.uk  

Lighting and Wellbeing

Lighting Boosts
Mood and Wellbeing

New research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing at home and in the workplace. A survey of 1,000 UK adults carried out by lighting supplier LED Hut, as part of the Brighter Britain report, found that 1 in 3 feel lighting – both natural and artificial – plays a crucial role in how they feel, encouraging feelings of comfort, security, and happiness.

More than 1 in 3 (31%) believe lighting is important when creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before going to bed in the evening, which assists with their sleep.

38% feel lighting in the bedroom during the morning can also allow them to feel alert and energise, ready for the day ahead.

How light impacts mood and wellbeing doesn’t end at home, an overwhelming 77% feel lighting in the workplace can impact their productivity.

When quizzed on the impact light has in the workplace, 1 in 3 (33%) of those surveyed said they felt access to natural light was important, while a further 1 in 3 (32%) said they would be happy to work under artificial lighting if it is designed to aid productivity.

Paul Garner, ecommerce & marketing director at LED Hut says, “Considering how important natural light is to generating vitamin D, and even assisting the circadian rhythms which govern our natural sleeping patterns, the potential lighting has to improve our wellbeing in a number of ways is clear.

“While it might be obvious that natural light helps to boost our mood, not everyone knows that artificial light also plays an important role when natural light isn’t an option. There are smart lighting solutions available to help achieve an appropriate blend of natural and artificial light which are adaptable for both the home and in the workplace.”

LED Hut is one of the UK’s largest online lighting stores selling a range of outdoor lighting from solar and wall lights to LED decking and flood lights.

For more information about LED Hut visit www.ledhut.co.uk

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