How Jono Fleming styled his outdoor room into a relaxing oasis
My balcony is my little sanctuary. Whether I’m soaking up the morning sun with a coffee in hand, sneaking in an afternoon nap or entertaining friends, it’s one of my favourite places to be and I want its styling to always reflect its versatility.
Top tips on outdoor styling
I love to start my day by eating breakfast on my balcony. It’s a simple ritual and gets me prepped and ready for work, even if I’m working at home. Breathing in fresh air and being outdoors makes all the difference, so I want to feel energised and reflect it in my space. Whilst a decadent spread isn’t on the menu every single day, it’s nice to pull out some beautiful platters and plates to treat myself every now and then. There’s no need to save the ‘fancy plates’ just for entertaining guests.
I also like to keep the garden looking lush and layered. It’s just like any other room in the house, and when it comes to plants – the more the merrier, I say! Just pick plants that have similar aesthetics and will grow in the environment you put them in.
Must-have purchases for styling
When it comes to the outdoor space, there are a few key items you need to have. Firstly, some great pots for your plants – like the ones I picked up at Gro Urban Oasis – which add texture and depth to your space. From smaller baskets to concrete pots with mottled surfaces, it’s easy to find a variety of pieces to suit your space.
Gardening accessories don’t have to be eyesores either – there are beautiful watering cans and gardening kits available online now. I’m completely obsessed with the Robert Gordon ceramic watering can from Monsterthreads. And if you’re entertaining outdoors, it’s nice to bring a bit of natural material into the mix, whether it be raffia coasters, or a beautiful timber tray.
Making the outdoor room an extension of the home’s interior
I like to make my outdoor space comfortable and keeping in line with my indoor rooms, but it’s sometimes hard to find pieces that are suitable for the elements. I like to bring my indoor cushions outside when I’m eating or entertaining. It saves them from getting ruined by leaving them outside all the time, and it’s a fun way to connect spaces with colours and patterns. Just remember to bring them in afterwards, and if they get dirty, you can always strip the cover and wash them.
Get the most out of your outdoor space
To make better use of your outdoor space, it’s important to work out exactly how you use it most of the time. It might seem like an obvious tip, but as an example, I never used to have a table on my balcony – only outdoor furniture for lounging. I found myself having my morning meal out there more and more often though, so a café table naturally jumped to the top of my to-buy list. It’s been an absolute game changer and changed my daily routine.
I also keep the weatherproof items on my balcony permanently and bring everything else out whenever necessary. For the space to not look empty, I like to have small tabletop plants like succulents in the Gorman planter, to keep the area feeling tastefully styled and designed, even if everything is not on display.
Aim for functionality and beauty
To keep your outdoor room functional and beautiful at the same time, look after your plants! Some people swear they aren’t born with a green thumb, but more often than not, you’ve just got your plants in the wrong spot or you’re giving them the wrong amount of water. Check the little tags on the plants when you get them and note how much maintenance they need.
I love low-maintenance plants like succulents and natives. You’re able to get a layered lush look, but they only need watering every week and a half. Gro Urban Oasis’ We The Wild Plant Lover Essential Care Kit is great if you need a helping hand. With sprays that ward off pests and keep your leaves looking healthy, it’s a handy kit to begin with and give yourself a head start in plant care.
Achieving an elegant outdoor tablescape
I like to break the rules when it comes to styling your tablescape. You don’t need to worry about matching plates or pieces – mix and match with what you have. Remember to use your fancy plates whenever you want and don’t just save them for guests. You can never go wrong with a mix of trays and larger platters. They’re perfect for sharing dishes and a variety of shapes, sizes and materials means you’ll always have something to pair dishes you’re preparing. From timber to resin and ceramic, the possibilities are endless. These are the key pieces you need to have.
Top tips for outdoor entertaining
Don’t take these spaces too seriously. Feel free to add a pop of colour and quirk to your outdoor space when entertaining. Even if you’re not too concerned about the state of your tabletop, coasters are the easiest way to add more fun to your table.
The Gorman coasters I used are so lovely and vibrant, but take note to not overwhelm the table with too much pattern and colour – it’s just a nice, added touch. Mix and match your serveware and materials, and keep things relaxed. It will make for a better vibe when entertaining and takes the pressure off you to keep things too perfect.
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