Batteson Studio's favourite outdoor styling tips
Here at Batteson Studio, I love to blur the lines between inside and out.
Whilst that definitely means I’m a big fan of bringing plants into the home, it also means extending our living spaces into the great outdoors too. With this in mind I’ve put together some of my favourite outdoor styling tips to help you create your own little slice of al fresco living, regardless of the size of your outside space.
Paint it Black
Not just a great song, but possibly one of my personal golden rules!
I’m a big fan of painting many a thing black, but in the garden this is my number one tip.
Painting fences or external walls in a dark hue such as black or anthracite will clearly define the area and make your plants stand out beautifully, putting all the focus on your greenery. Exactly where it should be!
If you are a little nervous about doing so start with painting a few pots to see how your plants stand out against them.
Green is the Colour
With that in mind, embrace the green in your garden.
Sure flowers are fabulous, but good old greens are the backbone of an outdoor space and focusing at least a third of your planting on evergreen will give your garden year round interest.
When planting a garden, think trees, shrubs and then perennials and create loose repetition, planting in scattered groups rather than straight lines for a more naturalistic look.
Go A Little Wild
Another life mantra? Up to you!
But when it comes to the garden its definitely a good idea to let things go a little wild - it is a garden after all. Whilst I’m not suggesting you don’t tend to your garden, allowing a few areas where nature can do it’s thing is always a good idea. Most importantly, the wildlife that resides in your garden will thank you.
With this in mind don’t forget to include pollinators in your garden to keep the bees happy. If you have the space, allow some grass and wildflowers to grow to their hearts content. Wild Cow Parsley banks are truly one of my highlights of the year.
However much space you have, I think there is always room for some edibles in your outdoor space.
If you can’t run to a whole veg patch, due to space, time, or inclination, consider a pot of salad leaves, a herb or two, or my personal favourite an edible flower.
There is something incredibly satisfying about eating something you have grown yourself, or just popping a flower in an ice cube ready for a cocktail…
Ideally a garden or outdoor space needs some height to really define the area and create some visual interest. Investing in large trees or tall architectural plants is a good way to give a garden maturity.
Pergolas are another great way to give a garden definition and work well with landscaping to clearly define an area.
Outdoor rugs are another great way to anchor a space in the garden, particularly for something more temporary. Weaver Green have a good selection of outdoor washable rugs made from 100% recycled plastic. Batteson Studio favourites include the Faro sky blue, dormouse Juno rug and the Polperro striped runners.
Light it Up
Good lighting is key in any space and this also applies to your garden. String lights work beautifully and are one of the easiest ways to make instant impact with your outdoor styling. Zig zagging them across a seating area creates a lovely atmosphere and provides soft lighting to enjoy being outside late into the evening.
Solar lights are a great option and lights can be used to individually uplight architectural plants in pots or planting throughout the garden.
LED strip light for edges of decking and steps looks great - and is also pretty handy when you are trying to find your way in the dark!
Last but not least, candles give the very best light with their beautiful warm glow. I think we all probably look our best in the gentle flicker of candlelight…
Water is obviously one of the most important things when it comes to our gardens - without it things are not going to look too pretty. With longer dryer summers on the cards, thinking about water in your outdoor space (or the lack of it) is key. Considering drought tolerant plants is a sensible approach, as is having a water butt to collect rainwater if you have the space.
Water features in a garden create a calming vibe and can distract from external noise. I’m a big fan of a rill which introduces some gentle movement or a really simple bird bath like Corton steel curved water bowls.
Mimi is also quite a fan of a bathing bird, but thankfully the local Suffolk birds know the sound of her bell a mile off...
Create Outdoor Rooms
Think of your garden as another room within your home, creating clearly defined areas for different activities is perfect if you have the space.
Outdoor living rooms with comfortable chairs, sofas, rugs and cushions are often the most popular option and can be easy to bring together. A bar and dining area is ideal for outdoor entertaining and outdoor kitchens are a brilliant investment if you love to spend your summer cooking al fresco!
Consider how to clearly define each area, such as using a terrace of patio to create an outdoor dining room.
Use What You Have
When it comes to updating any space, I think we always need to think first about the items that we already own and what we can look at using in a new way. Whilst updating the garden might feel like a good excuse for a good shop, you might be surprised by what you already own that will work well in your outdoor space.
Here at Batteson Studio I’m a big fan of taking unexpected things outside and love the indulgence of having indoor items in the garden. Just watch me take that chaise longue into the garden…!
Which brings me to one of my very favourite pastimes!
When it comes to enjoying your space, entertaining friends, family, or even just yourself, then I say indulge. Don’t save things for best. Bring out the real glass, the china, the cutlery.
Paper plates and plastic cups? No Thank You.
Honestly for me, the more indulgent the better. I love the juxtaposition of the relaxed informality of the natural world paired with your the very finest things…
And why you’re at it, why not get dressed up too?!
Let’s enjoy ourselves!
PS. If you are having a garden party with your very finest china, vintage glasses and elaborate dress code, you know where I am...
PPS. Also available for interior design, event styling & vintage shopping trips!