Well, hasn’t the weather just been amazing?! Summer is finally here and it's lovely to enjoy a climate that rivals some of the countries I am usually filming in. I know for lots of people the warm temperature can be unbearable - let's face it, our properties here in the UK aren’t geared up to deal with the kind of heat we have been experiencing. We don’t have air conditioning and every single fan is probably sold out in UK shops right now. So, let’s not stay inside, let’s get out…
During the summer months, I really love making the most of my outside space at home. When the weather is good enough, I consider my outside space an extension of my internal living space. The garden doesn’t just have to be an area for a patio table and a few plant pots, it’s a space that can be so much more than that. After a trip to Marrakech back in May, I took a massive amount of inspiration from a hotel I stayed in (below) which helped me add some lovely touches to my garden.
Alex and I were lucky enough to stay at The Mandarin Oriental Marrakech. It’s fair to say, the interior design (both inside and out) at this hotel was incredible and Gilles & Bossier, the husband and wife team are responsible. Together, they have worked on many international projects, luxury boutiques, contemporary restaurants and even the home of the CEO of the clothing brand Moncler so they clearly know what they are doing!
When it comes to interior design, Morocco is a country known for its lanterns, handwoven Berber rugs, leather pouffes, and silk tassels. It’s not hard to find a fabulous selection as you explore the souks of Marrakech. However, you don’t need to travel to Morocco to be able to purchase these kinds of items. In fact, I have managed to find some beautiful Moroccan inspired interior (or exterior) pieces in lots of UK stores. And, they might not from where you would expect.
After a few simple purchases, here's what my garden looks like now...
Whilst on a food shop in Sainsbury’s, I picked up some fantastic black and white Aztec print sofa cushions - and a matching floor cushion - for £35 that I dressed my patio furniture with. Complete with a complimenting black and cream woven floor rug from TK Maxx it added a lovely touch of comfort and texture to my outside seating area. Okay so it’s not quite an authentic Berber rug but I think it looks great and it was a fraction of the cost at £70.
SHOP: Floor cushion, £35 Sainsbury's
I also discovered B&Q currently has some really nice monochrome outside accessories so it’s worth a look there if you are thinking about transforming your outside space.
SHOP: Denia Chevron Black and White Tassled Cushion, £9. B&Q
SHOP: Denia Black and White Tassled Cushion, £11, B&Q
Graham and Green stock some nice Moroccan Pouffes if you want a variety of outside floor cushions...
SHOP: Sienna pouffe, £250, Graham & Green
Visiting Marrakech also inspired me with some lighting ideas for the garden and shortly after our visit I also decided to invest in a fire pit, too! Lighting in a garden can be costly if you don’t already have the wiring in place. Yes, there is the option of solar lighting but I am not a huge fan of the look of these types of light. Instead, I prefer lanterns with candles. The Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech had lots of lanterns with candles everywhere and it offered a lovely magical, romantic atmosphere at dusk and after the sun had set.
I was lucky enough to be able to bring back a pretty lantern from the souks in Marrakech...
But it is possible to find similar styles on Wayfair...
SHOP: Moroccan-style lantern, £61.99, Wayfair
I wanted a couple of modern lanterns and opted for two of these from Wayfair...
SHOP: Steel lantern, £60.99, Wayfair
Our fire pit is something that gets a great deal of use after the children have gone to bed. It makes our outside area feel cosy and we often enjoy a glass of wine whilst the flames are roaring. It also doubles up as a mini BBQ! We opted for a garden pit that is easily moveable (rather than a built-in one), so we can use it in various areas of the garden. I absolutely love it and would say it is an absolute must-have. There is a huge range of designs available and whether you want a more traditional looking chimenea or a more contemporary look I would recommend heading to a store like Wyvale Garden Centres as they can supply you with the logs, too.
You could also get the look for less...
SHOP: Iron fire pit with cross, £73.49, Waitrose
Finally, another feature that I am about to add to my garden that adds a nice touch is a garden swing. I’m not talking about those dated ones from the 80s on a steel frame, or something you would push your 5-year-old backwards and forwards on. I am talking about a beautiful swing seat that hangs from a tree. I spent a fair bit of time in the garden swing at The Mandarin Oriental and it definitely inspired me.
I have managed to find one I like the look of so watch this space and hopefully, it will have a home in our garden before the Summer is out! If you are looking for a garden swing but don’t have a tree to hang it from, I found a great option on Amazon.
SHOP: Hanging Rattan Swing Patio Garden Chair Weave Egg with Cushion in or Outdoor, £229.95, AMAZON
Anyway, that is it from me for now! I hope you've been inspired make the most of your outside space this summer. Be sure to drop me a message via Instagram @laurahamiltontv and send me photos of your garden revamps.
Have a great August.