This series of styled mood boards should help to keep your vision on track and avoid you making decisions that will not only be costly to our environment, but also to your bank account. So let’s start with one of my favourites the Scandi Garden Edit…
With us spending so much more time in our gardens and outside spaces socially distancing with friends and family, we are finally starting to put as big a value on designing the outside of our homes as we do with the inside, and I couldn’t be happier about it! The down side? There always has to be a downside doesn’t there? People have gone shopping crazy, and as a result every online retailer seems to be a wash with the term that we so desperately dread – ‘sold out’, with a combination of high demand and the current shipping problems being blamed for the shortages.
I’ve been putting together some garden edits, which at the time of writing them still have all of the items in stock, either for immediate delivery or pre order for a few weeks time.
Why is a mood board important?
The problem that people find when they’re in this situation of shopping panic is that they end up just buying whatever’s available and then not really enjoying the space as nothing really works together as a scheme, and the pieces that they have aren’t really what they wanted in the first place.
That’s why these edits are not only a shopping list but a mood board that include a colour palette and recommended materials to help you keep the entire scheme on track so that you don’t go off on a wild detour and end up in a miss matched madness.
The Scandi Garden Edit
First up is the Scandi garden edit, so get your roll necks on, put on some ABBA and prepare to scream at anyone that comes within two feet of your garden that isn’t wearing a neutral, capsule wardrobe.
Nordic style mostly focuses on a monochrome colour palette of warm greys, blacks and whites, with a touch of colour added through natural timbers, stone and greenery and just like the best capsule wardrobes, if you try and stick to those elements, you can’t really go wrong.
As you can see from the mood board, Scandi style is simple and pared back so less is most definitely more and if you invest in your key pieces, this is a timeless look that will continue to look fresh and stylish year after year.
Warm neutrals such as Cuprinol’s ‘Natural Stone‘, ‘Pale Jasmine‘ and ‘Black Ash‘ or “Charcoal‘ ‘Tudor Black‘ and ‘Warm Stone‘ from Ronseal’s latest outdoor collection would work really well in a Scandi scheme and are good quality, long lasting paints if applied correctly. And the best bit is, they won’t cost you a fortune like some of the designer paints on the market will.
As you’re gathering samples for your materials such a paving, gravel, decking and furniture, try and stick to these sorts of colours too. Natural, sawn or brushed stones in ashy or greige tones will work best in this scheme, such as this tumbled and brushed limestone from Stone Superstore. Stick to a tonally matched mortar where possible for a more contemporary look but make sure you seal everything to keep it free from algae and staining.
For a cheeper alternative Cotswold or Limestone chippings can be used. You don’t have to stick to just one material either – using a combination of chippings, paving and a deck or lawned area is a great way to zone a larger space and add more interest.
Weathered timber is a brilliant way of adding additional warmth to a neutral scheme too. Natural timber would always be my preference but for those of you (and I hear this a lot) that don’t fancy the maintenance or resealing your decking once a year, this porcelain paver collection from The Porcelain Superstore may be for you. They’ve created a range of tiles specifically designed for British gardens and with their rustic style, they look just like a natural oak floor. However, unlike the real deal these tiles won’t fade, rot or warp and require hardly any maintenance to keep them looking their best making them perfect for any patio, terrace or back yard space.
The Furniture Edit
For furniture you are really looking to collect those key, timeless pieces that will continue to look stylish year after year, as long as you keep them covered and protected from the elements. I’ve selected a few pieces that, depending on the size of your outdoor space should all work together and be interchangeable depending on your needs.
The sofa – Oh to one day own a space large enough for a corner sofa. That is the dream right? For those of you that have the space I’ve selected this ‘Topa Garden Lounge Set from Made.com which comes in various shapes and sizes, with side tables, coffee tables and dining tables to match, taking all of the hard work out of it for you.
At the time of writing this, they are all currently in stock but the lead times vary from anywhere between 8-20 weeks.
Layered Mattresses – For those of us that don’t have the space for a permanent sofa in the garden, you can layer up the linen french mattresses on the floor and create a bit of a day bed type feel. This is something that we like to do in our garden and it works really well.
I came across these stunning ‘Larsen’ loosely woven ones from Fine Nordic that if you’re super tight on space can double up as a headboard when not in use, just like we’ve done in our home.
The coffee table – You know you’re a proper grown up, worthy of the kind of Scandi knitwear worn by someone named Hans when you have purchased your first coffee table – for anyone that prioritises a table solely for their hot beverages is very wise and should be respected. You’re probably someone that owns off duty linen trousers for said alfresco coffee drinking and perusing your latest edition of enki magazine.
Therefor you owe it to yourself to have this beautifully stylish Ademola cement coffee table from Laredoute to show off you’re beautiful Scandi wares. It’s clean lines and polished cement tabletop would look equally at home inside or out outside, making it the perfect choise for those of you that want to keep it in your home and take it out whenever the sunny British weather presents itself. AND as I’m writing this, it’s currently on sale so go and get a bargain my friends!
Armchairs – What about if your outdoor space isn’t quite up to a big sofa and coffee table style of layout? Well don’t worry, I’ve got you covered too as I’ve selected this super comfortable padded armchair from Bloomingville Inspired by the “Scoubidou furniture” of the 1950s.
The chair is compact in size but the comfortable cushions are covered in a waterproof polyester fabric, suitable for use outdoors making it an excellent option for smaller terraces and balcony spaces.
Side tables – Pair it with either this Raskin Round Outdoor Side Table from Laredoute to continue with the concrete theme or bring in some warm woody tones with this timeless and versatile, slat-style side table from I am fy. As it is made out of solid acacia wood, it will need to be treated with teak oil every few months to maintain its vibrant colour and durability so if you’re not up for a bit of maintenance then maybe the more hardy ‘Cement-look’ table is more your bag.
Dining chairs and table – Please excuse me for another Laredoute pick but they keep delivering the goods, literally. Their products are in stock and ready to go, and loads of them are currently on sale too so their are bargains to be had, such as these Oblice Set of 2 Metal Garden Chairs which they’ve miss matched in the shot below with these Juragley Garden Chairs in Acacia & Metal which are so reminiscent of old school, vintage classroom chairs that they make me feel all fuzzy inside. I love the combination of the two styles if you have enough space for four chairs as the natural wood really helps to soften the harder lines of the powder coated metal.
The table is the Hiba Square Garden Table as is part of the same range and as you can see from the mood board, it compliments the style of the side tables on the corner sofa perfectly. Ah, I love it when a capsule plan comes together.
The accessories edit
Now that we have the main bones of our Scandi garden edit in place then we can build on the next layer of our design – the accessories. This is the stage that a lot of people drop the ball, they go off piste and forget the mood board, getting distracted by what’s on sale at the time or being influenced by something that might look great in your mates tropical inspired garden but just falls flat when you introduce it to your paired back Scandi scheme.
The plants – What should be the star of the show in every garden? Nope, it’s not your aunt Susan on the karaoke at about five past Pimm’s o’clock…it’s the plants of course!
First if all, lets start with what are you going to put your plants into. I absolutely adore this Nardi Eco Wall Planter in Medium Grey from Made.com because it enables even those with the smallest of outdoor spaces to feel surrounded by plants and nature, which is something that we should all be striving for in a biophilic home.
It would look incredible in smaller spaces and would also be a great way for renters to conceal any ugly walls or fences that are cramping their Scandi style.
Also from Made.com these Nadda Set of 2 Round Low Plant Stands in Black Polyrattan would compliment the polyrattan on the armchairs that I selected perfectly. The low lying style of these pots give them a stylish and contemporary twist that is perfect for a minimal Scandi garden scheme.
The plants – As you can see from the mood board I’ve listed a couple of plants that would look great in a Scandi garden. Keep to whites, dark purples/blacks and of course evergreens to achieve the ultimate paired back look. Here are some recommendations…
Soft furnishings – We can’t talk about Scandinavian style and leave our old friend Hygge out in the cold can we? Hygge is traditionally attributed to the Scandinavian feeling of finding warmth and shelter after a long day working in the freezing cold. However, it applies to any time and space — not just the winter and not just our interiors. Bring cozy textures into your outdoor space too with outdoor cushions and blankets so that when the sun goes in you don’t have to. Did someone mention hot toddies?
Weaver Green have one of the best collections of outdoor cushions and blankets I’ve ever seen – perfect for long summer nights in the garden, on the balcony or at the beach. From picnics in the park to sunbathing on the terrace, these beautiful, soft outdoor blankets have the exact look and feel of wool but are actually made entirely from recycled plastic bottles!
Perfect for life outside, they’re UV stable and water, stain and moth resistant yet offer all the comfort and warmth of a natural textile. Take them camping, on a boat trip or just have a couple at the ready when alfresco dining. Whatever the occasion or time of year, these large outdoor blankets are the perfect go-to companion.
Ferm living also have a collection of outdoor cushions made from recycled plastic bottles such as this dark blue and white checked Way Cushion which you can get with a matching blanket.
I love the simplicity of this Indoor Outdoor Cushion from Pappelina of Sweden in ‘sooty with white trim’. It would fit in anywhere, making it the perfect capsule home accessory.
The fire pit – No self respecting Scandi garden edit would be complete without an open fire. It probably requires an edit all on it’s own and I did in fact do a whole blog post about fire pits for all shapes and sizes of gardens which you can read here, but for the purpose of this edit I have chosen this absolute cracker from Beliani. It’s called the ‘Charcoal Fire Pit Black TANARA‘ – I love it’s simple design and the way that you can store your firewood underneath, which is practical but also super stylish and guess what? That’s right, not only is it in stock but it’s on sale too. Hurrah.
Soft lighting – With all soft furnishings comes soft lighting, or at least it should if you want to look and feel your best. Here’s are two great lanterns that I found, whether you lean more towards the modern rustic side of Scandi style or the more sophisticated clean lines, there’s one to choose from that will work perfectly within this scheme.
This Tall Metal Lantern from Studio has all of the metal and natural wood elements to compliment all of the other pieces in this scheme and is an absolute bargain at only £19.99.
In contrast to the simplicity of the previous lantern, these Rattan Ova Lanterns are from Danish designers House Doctor and they have had my heart for the longest time – maybe this year is the year I will finally get my fingerless mittens on one of them.
And now you see why this Scandi Garden Edit needed to be a post on it’s own. I had originally wanted to do one post with three different looks but sheesh we’d be here all day…although I wouldn’t mind being surrounded by the items in this edit all summer long let alone all day long.
If Scandi style doesn’t float your boat, keep your eye’s peeled for the edits that will follow. You might find what you’ve been desperately looking for.
I hope you enjoyed this post and as always I’d love to hear if you bought anything for your own homes and gardens.
For more tips and advice on how to introduce biophilic design principles into your home and garden, you can read Marianna’s new book ‘At Home with Nature‘.