It has been nearly two years since we left our much loved home of seven years that saw our family of three grow into a family of five. We spent years renovating our run down Victorian house and left the garden until last so only got to enjoy the space for one summer. It was full of paddling pool adventures and BBQ’s by day and festoon lit drinks at dusk and of course a fair bit of rain. Installing the bi-fold doors was life-changing and blurring the lines between the indoors and outdoors.
When we sold our home to buy the bungalow which we are currently in the middle of renovating, we moved into a friends family home who were moving to the coast seeking adventure for a few months. Our number one priority for our temporary home was that it was well connected to the outdoors and we got lucky. The family home had a beautiful and well loved garden accessed via 6metres of bi-folding doors. If you follow me on Instagram, you will know we had to move on from this home as our friends decided to sell and relocate to the coast from the city after all.
We are now living in another property which has been on the rental market for years. We have been here for over a year and much longer than anticipated as there have been so many delays with our build. Due to the property being for long term rentals it was a blank canvas when we moved in and the garden is spacious and low maintenance. The reason we chose this rental was because of the bi-fold doors in the living room which lead straight into the garden. I think we would struggle now to live in a house that wasn’t connected to the outdoors.
Our garden is primarily made up of a lawn but there is a patio area which the living room backs onto from one side and you can also access it from the kitchen through a set of double French doors.
I have always day dreamed and have imagined how I would dress it. Whilst I couldn’t go all the way and transform our rental garden entirely which would have included painting the fence black and planting lots of seasonal blooms and trees, I could still add garden furniture and turn it into a cosy, tranquil space. If you have seen my Instagram post today you will know that it is my birthday and I was kindly gifted a few thing things for the transformation of our courtyard including a garden sofa from a brand that I adore, have always bought from and have worked with before, Cox and Cox.
There were three main things that I wanted to focus on to create a dreamy, cosy outdoor space where you could look into the house (handy to keep an eye on the little ladies) or look out to the garden:
- A comfy sofa large enough for the five of us
- Hygge (cosy) accessories and soft furnishings for the finishing touches
- Lighting to create ambience and draw us to the space to retreat on (hopefully) balmy summer nights to come and we have been lucky enough in lockdown to have pretty glorious weather
- There is a fourth actually but because of lockdown it has proven difficult to source plants so filling the garden with potted plants will be my next job as they can transfer easily to our new house
I opted for the Cape lounge set because I was really drawn to the boxy and angular design of the sofa that is made up of slatted pieces of hardwearing acacia wood. It is a statement piece of furniture and conjures up a vision of being sat by the sea somewhere warm. It also has a high back and arm rest and is as comfy as it looks!
I was also drawn to the muted beige cushions that come with the lounge set which I knew would be the perfect backdrop and neutral enough to pair with oversized and patterned cushions. These french stripe linen cushions are understated and timeless. And I can never resist cushions with tassels or details so I added an embroidered cushion which ticks my boho box. I have kept the colour palette similar to the interior decor which is soft and natural and connects the two spaces seamlessly.
Cushion on the bottom right is a large square linen and velvet one with mother of pearl buttons.
No “Hygge” cosy garden would be complete without candlelight. I wanted to add another texture so chose these marble candle holders for tea lights. They come as a set of three in an earthy colour palette. My aim was to achieve and design an understated “Modern Rustic Scandi” pared back space with minimum fuss and a curated selection of accessories.
We are looking really forward to celebrating my birthday today, drinking tea and eating lots of cake off these speckled ceramic and hand glazed side plates. They are part of a dinnerware set that is inspired by my favourite design principles which are a fusion of Japanese Wabi-Sabi and Scandinavia ones that embrace imperfections and celebrate uniqueness. Each piece is handmade and lacks uniformity which I really enjoy and it also comes in blush pink.
And I had to add a touch of one of my favourite metallics with the gold and white cutlery which has a summery vibe. Adding a hint of gold, brass or copper will create warmth and another dimension to the overall interior scheme which in this case is “cosy Modern Rustic”. The cake needs a shout out of its own and was breathtakingly beautiful adorned with edible flowers and made and gifted by a local artisan cake baker, Butter & Sugar Cake Design.
The vision for the space and ultimate cosy factor has to be the festoon lights. In our old house we had solar powered ones which are fine but we found they didn’t come to life until much later on in the evening and I was seeking a bigger impact and to create a relaxing mood much earlier on in the day so opted for plug in ones this time. By day they are great as they add to the overall relaxed look and feel of the space. And we turn them on as the sun begins to set and by the time the sky is dark, the festoon lights create the most magical atmosphere. On a practical note, the lights are extendable so you can add a number of kits to get to the length you need to dress your space.
There was a long term goal in mind which was choosing garden furniture and accessories that would compliment and fit in seamlessly into our new home because I definitely want to take the garden furniture with us this time. We are approaching the garden design in a different way and not going for the DIY approach because it’s the biggest space we have had to deal with, there are lots of protected trees and our bungalow is set into a hill so there are varying levels to contend with. We have been working with Landscape Architects, Victoria Wade Landscape to create my dream garden. The brief was long and I will be writing another post to talk about the plans in more detail. For the purposes of this post I am going to reveal and show you the plans so you can see where our Cape lounge set will be living in the new garden and whilst it may not have views of the sea, it will be next to water…our little stream.
The snug/fire pit area is situated right at the bottom of the garden at the furthest point from the house so we can listen to the water flowing down the stream and light the fire, maybe even toast some marshmallows. I definitely have a vision for a more outdoorsy life for our family and the garden was the biggest draw to the bungalow. Our aim is to try and enjoy the garden throughout the year and on the many chilly nights we have in the UK, a heater or fire-pit is a must have item. These are my favourite fire pits from Cox and Cox and I have chosen the Industrial style fire pit which is on its way.
The plant pots featured in the blog are all from the Cox and Cox Summer 2019 garden collection. My favourite edit from the 2020 collection are:
All of the items I used to transform my courtyard along with my favourite Cox and Cox products that would add cosy modern rustic vibes to your garden are listed below to shop my style.
I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below whether you have any questions about garden design or my Cox and Cox summer edit (items styled and featured were gifted). Always happy to chat 🙂