What materials can do for your garden!


Just like with your home interior, start off your garden with a solid base. The size of your garden, the view and the amount of natural light can’t be altered much, yet are crucial when planning the layout for your garden. You can draw it all out in a design plan. In my blog: How to create a unique look in your garden? I explain how you can make one.

If you include all the elements in your garden, like borders, lawn and terrace in your design, then you can also include your favourite colours and layout style to add to it. Collect pictures of tiles, plants, garden furniture and accessories that you like, either on Pinterest or just make your own moodboard on paper.

Look carefully at the pictures you have chosen. What does your favourite garden furniture look like? Are you going for a comfortable lounge set or for a more practical garden set of table and chairs? You will soon find that you are very sure of what you don’t want. Certain colours or materials may neither suit your taste, nor go with the colour of your window and door frames, for example. In my blog: What colours can do for your garden, you can read more about the use of colour and combining them. If you’re still finding it hard to decide on the right colours to choose, then grab some paint sample cards the next time you’re at a DIY-store.

Have a feel

Now you know what your garden is going to look like and what colours you’re going to use, it’s time to choose your materials. The colours and structures of the materials you use, ultimately determines the style and feel of your garden. Look closer at the Corona and Chicago lounge sets. Both are available in graphite colour, yet they are still very different, as each evokes its own distinctive feeling. The Corona has, with its round wicker, a luxurious and rustic appearance. The Chicago, due to its flat wicker, looks much more sleek and modern. Take a look in your wardrobe and find two pieces of clothing of the same colour. For example, a blue knitted sweater and a blue cotton shirt. Which would you prefer to wear on a lazy Sunday, and which would you prefer to wear for an important meeting?

The properties of all materials can be described as rough, hairy, smooth, cool, warm, soft, hard, supple, etc. By combining different fabrics of various colours together, you give your garden a certain atmosphere, like warm or cool. For example, a combination of wood with wool, looks much warmer than concrete with leather. This is because wood and wool have a rougher texture. Concrete and leather are smooth, which we then experience as feeling cooler. Shimmering fabrics also give a cooling effect. Compare the decor of an American retro café from the 50’s, with that of an Irish pub. What kinds of materials and colours are used?

A pleasant combination

Take your time and try laying different materials out beside each other. Sometimes, you have to see them together first, before you really know if they’re the perfect combination or not. Of course, you can easily combine soft and rough textured materials together. If you’ve got wooden decking in your garden, then it would go very well with a modern-looking lounge set like the Chicago. Throw in a few green plants and woolen cushions, and your garden with have a modern, and warm feel to it. Naturally, the reverse is also possible should you prefer that. Combine the Chicago lounge set with smooth, white tiles and glass accessories and you end up with a sleek, yet homely atmosphere in your garden. It might take you some time before you find the right balance, but at the end of the day, only you can decide what feels good to you.

Which kinds of materials do you like to combine? Share your favourite combinations with us on our Facebook page.

–  Lorna –

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