This guide follows on from Part 2 (which covers letters H-M).
This section is bursting with more unique outdoor décor ideas and useful garden elements - all of which are quirky, creative, unusual and eco-friendly. If you have been following from Part 1, you should now be gaining a good understanding of the various types of products available and learning how even the most basic items (new or old) can be adapted with a creative twist to bring your garden to life!
It’s so exciting to consider of all of the possibilities and fun features that can be incorporated into an outdoor living space. Garden design and decoration allows a lot freedom to be creative and express one’s personal style.
Consider this guide to be your very own inspiration style file. Use it to enhance your own garden with some unexpected whimsy and to help transform it into a relaxing retreat full of character, charm and flair! Scroll down for letters N-S.
N – Night Lighting: The most important element of your garden for creating the right mood and ambiance, a well-planned lighting scheme is essential for highlighting your landscape and emphasizing it features.
When choosing task lighting for the exterior of the home, LED lights are a smart choice for their energy efficiency, longevity and wireless options. LED fittings are available for most standard types of lighting including; lamp posts, wall mounted, spotlights, recessed spots, uplighters and garden spikes etc.
Your source of decorative lighting can come from a range of products which don’t have to be typical forms of lighting, for example; a fire place will create a beautiful warm glow, a neon lit sign can bring about a sense of fun, solar powered floor lamps create a soft glow, hanging lights and lanterns strung across a patio, on trees and bushes or along the top of a deck will look magical at night, hurricane lamps look great when placed either side of a staircase and continued up every few steps, and last but not least; year-round outdoor standing lamps (which look like indoor lamps, but come with all-weather light bulbs and waterproof, washable shades) will create a cozy, homely feel.
This topic is extremely extensive, for more information and ideas visit the following websites -
Landscape Lighting World, Cast Lighting and DIY Network
O – Ornaments & Sculptures: Garnish your garden with a few decorative pieces of garden art that you love! Here’s your opportunity to go modern, classic or kitsch. Items can be as simple as vases, pots and bowls or as elaborate as a life size sculpture or water feature. These items all work well as they provide a focal point and can be the source of a theme for your garden.
Before selecting outdoor art, consider your home's architectural style. If you have a cottage-style house, elements similar to those outlined under the section ‘Recycled Elements’ in this guide such as; re-purposed vintage timber, weathered and iron pieces, old farm or industrial fixtures or equipment, coloured glass bottles (from water or wine) and mason jars would fit perfectly.
The classical look lends itself well to objects carved from natural stone or cast in bronze, zinc or resin. Usually these statues are heavily influenced by the Renaissance in 15th century Europe and depict figurines such as angels, goddesses, mythical creatures or animals. Also very popular are bird baths, water features and urns.
For modern gardens look for objects that will inspire and transform with simple, organic, geometric or bold forms; sleek, highly polished finishes look great as does brushed stainless steel, oxidized or coloured powder coated steel, volcanic rock or glass.
Kitsch items can include anything from the classical to the retro to the downright absurd, just as long it’s unexpected - it's all in good fun! Look for bright colours and quirky objects that are weird and wonderful.
P – Pizza Ovens: Fun and yum – here’s another slice of heaven for your garden! There’s nothing better than being able to cook and dine outdoors. Only now in addition to the Ye ol’ faithful barbeque, we have the pleasure of a pizza oven! While the artesian Pompeii pizza oven made of stone and brick still has its charm; the modern day pizza oven is compact, contemporary and sleek. An extremely versatile cooking tool – some fully-equipped versions come as a BBQ, pizza oven and fire-place all in one!
For more info. visit: Mors, Homedit and Hayneedle
Remember: simplicity is the key here – sometimes less is more, be careful not to overdo it. The accessories should enhance, not compete or detract from the natural beauty of the landscape itself. It’s best to select a few key items to add a pop of colour and add interest and intrigue. If you like a lot of colour and pattern – that’s fine, just make sure that the overall look appears balanced and harmonious, not confusing to the eye, busy, untidy or out of place.
Artful, alluring and the epitome comfort; the ever-fashionable ‘Hanging Chair’ is one of my all-time favourite fun furnishing for the garden. Swing back in one of these ‘must-have’ bright and bold beauties:
Tropicalia Cocoon Chair by designer Patricia Urquiola for Moroso
Blue Bird Garden Swing Chair by Acacia
Mini Nest Rest by Dedon
For some great deals on gorgeous outdoor accessories and furniture visit Joss and Main and One Kings Lane.
R – Recycled Elements: Create an eco-conscious garden by introducing thrifty up-cycled décor or re-used materials. Scouring for salvage can be a lot of fun and is great way to express your creativity. Sourcing unique inexpensive garden art can be as easy as scouting out old items you own, or ask family and friends for anything they may no longer want. Visit salvage yards, garden centres or car boot sales and look for items that speak to you. Use materials as you find them spruce them up with a sand and varnish or fresh lick of paint.
Seek out charming rusted gates, grand timber doors, distressed window frames and shutters, or antiqued mirrors to create a statement within the garden. Re-use old wagons or wheel-barrows and wooden furniture such as a chair or dresser to display plants and flowers. Add a vintage looking bicycle, bird cages or horse saddle to create a sense of whimsy. A small claw-foot bath or galvanised tub can be filled with ice and drinks to create the perfect party ice bucket, the list is endless! These unique, unexpected items when placed creatively will transform from junk into spunk and enliven-your outdoor space!
For a list of Architectural Salvage Yards and Re-claimed Materials in Canada check out – House & Home or Legacy Vintage and in Australia check out - Showrooms.com.au, Salvo Web or The Junk Map.
S – Solar Shading: The most successful outdoor living space not only values the surrounding landscape, it offers comfort, shelter and sense of style – Selecting a good solar shading option helps to make this all possible!
Solar shades are perfect for reducing sun-glare without completely blocking out light or obstructing your garden view. Not only will solar shades protect you and your family from harmful UV rays, they offer protection to furniture and fabrics and can protect the exterior of your home, making it more energy efficient.
Shading solutions are available in the form of retractable awnings, fixed or portable canopies sails and sun screens. They are made with solar screen fabric that is available in various colors, fabrics, weaves, and styles with varying levels of light blockage. Some shades (design permitting) can also include the added convenience of motorization, making fun in the sun as easy as pushing a button.
For more information visit: Hay Needle.
N – Night Lighting
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O – Ornaments and Sculptures
Cottage Style –
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P – Pizza Ovens
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Q – Quirky Accessories
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R – Recyled Elements
1. Images by Sarah Radhanauth.
S – Solar Shading
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