DECORATING YOUR BALCONY – TIPS FROM MADE.COM’s HEAD OF DESIGN, RUTH WASSERMANN

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What are the main design trends that we’re seeing this Summer?

This Summer, we’re seeing a definite trend of clashing patterns. Global graphics are working together, and there are lots of patterns which are inspired by African, Moroccan, and Brazilian textiles, among others.
Marni is a great example of someone inspiring who does global pattern clash amazingly.

Contemporary floral patterns are also appearing, but in abstract ways. You can risk being bold with textiles.

We have also seen cane as big trend coming out of Milan Design Week. Lots of our new products will feature woven cane elements.

 

What are your top 10 must-haves for a Summery balcony in the year of 2016?

1 – Great balcony furniture. Space saving furniture is key to making a smaller balcony work. We keep this in mind when designing, and this can be seen in some of our outdoor collections. e.g . Maui Bistro Set:

nazca collection

Nazca Collection:

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2 – If you are lucky enough to have more space, an aperitif set in bright colours makes your balcony into a great Summer spot to relax – e.g . Copa Aperitif Set:

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3 – BBQ hot pot from Black and Blum : a summer balcony must have! We’re seeing the need for more multi-functional items that fit with small-space urban living, and this BBQ does exactly that.

4 – Use relaxed and moveable outdoor seating, keep a few ready for those unexpected Summer drinks. e.g . Maui Outdoor Pouffes

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5 – Outdoor lighting, from fairy lights to candles. So that you can be prepared for when the sun starts to set, but you’re not ready to head in.

6 – Make use of colourful textiles and prints on your outdoor furniture. Use Summery colours to really make it feel like Summer is here – E.g. Jangala Cushion Collection.

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7 – Summer wouldn’t be summer without greenery and flowers. To get that Summer buzz, ensure there are plants on your balcony. From big palms to smaller pots which hang over the balcony – plants add colour and make the balcony feel more summery. I also love scented herbs too – if you can smell summer as well as see it, then all the better.

8 – Add a homely touch to your balcony with an outdoor rug. Ours are made with 100% recycled bottles, so they’re very eco-friendly – E.g. Adny Woven Rug.

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9 – No Summer balcony can be complete without a tipple. We love a gin and tonic with a little orange peel.

10 – When it’s hot, it’s hot; but once the sun goes down, it can get a bit chilly. Last but not least, blankets for when the sun goes down. E.g. Lax Mohair Throw

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Do you have any suggestions for the best balcony plants?

  • Mint is a great herb to grow over the summer as it’s easy to maintain, and goes great in summer salads and drinks. It’s great to have some colour too, so a couple of tomato plants are a welcome addition.
  • Lavender is a good, easy plant to grow, it introduces a lovely purple highlight and it doubles up by making your balcony smell amazing.
  • I’ve just bought a huge selection of hellebores, ferns and hostas which are all lovely for shadier spots.

 

What 5 quick fixes do you suggest to get your balcony Summer-ready in no time?

1- Use foldable furniture that can be put in place quickly and easily

2 – Cacti are very low maintenance. They don’t need much water and are pretty on trend at the moment.

3 – Outdoor textiles are a quick and easy way to add colour and texture to your balcony

4 – Lanterns and candles for when the sun goes down

5 – A drinks trolley with an ice bucket meaning that there’s no need for you and your guests to keep heading inside to top up

 

What are the main Summer trend colours for 2016

  • Pinks and teals are really coming through
  • Lots of pastel colours – this has come through from a soft 70s trend of linens and a gentle palette.

 

What is the best furniture to keep outside for the Summer season?

Polyrattan is highly durable and can be left outside the whole summer. Just make sure you bring cushions inside if you need to. E.g. Jonah Outdoor Collection

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