Who says our gardens have to get all the fun looking stuff? Why can’t we bring outdoor furniture inside? Plus, if you don’t have any outdoor space, then the outdoor/indoor trend is perfect for you.
We want to try and add new meaning to that awful clichéd media phrase – bringing the outside in – that we’ve had thrown at us for the last decade or so.
And I’m not talking about bringing the kids swing or some awful plastic patio set into the dining room here. There’s now so many different ways you can bring outdoor furniture, or a whole host of other traditional garden items for that matter, inside the home.
Outdoor furniture is designed to sit exposed to the elements, so it’s a hard-wearing practical choice. OK it might not be for the living room, but it can be for a conservatory, summer room, kitchen or a dining room that opens up onto your garden or patio.
And as outdoor pieces get closer in style to their interior siblings, those lines are becoming even more blurred too.
Bringing outdoor furniture inside is easier than you think
The easiest way to introduce the outside into your interior spaces is through outdoor furniture. A modern picnic style table (such as our Martha set pictured below – which is currently on Clearance I may add) is perfect in an open plan kitchen.
Or how about creating a little bit of Paris in your conservatory with a Parisian style bistro table. A 2 seater bistro (such as our Alessia pictured above) is ideal for those short on space, who still want a spot to sit and have a coffee.
Plus it is easy to move around, so you can pick it up and pop it outside when the weather is a little better.
The garden furniture industry is facilitating this shift in thinking
In the last few years the garden furniture industry has placed greater importance on comfort, the style of many pieces has become more relaxed and informal. The boom in outdoor sofa sets is testament to this trend.
But there’s also been a shift architecturally too. People want a more relaxed feel to their home, kitchen diners that flow into their outdoor spaces.
Its what I have in my home. Large bi-fold doors that can open up the whole rear of our property. The blurring of those lines makes bringing outside furniture inside an obvious choice.
After all, you can’t do it the other way. Who’d want their nice kitchen table getting caught in a sudden downpour?! However, outdoor pieces inside the home that can be taken out when the wether permits makes a little more sense doesn’t it?
The advantages of outdoor furniture are many
Off the top of my head, I can think of some good reasons to bring outdoor furniture inside, the negatives are a little harder if I’m being honest. As long as you like the look of the piece, then why not?
Outdoor pieces are designed to last longer than indoor pieces. Kids can ruin furniture, from spilling food on the sofa to general rough play near a nice TV unit. Outdoor furniture is designed to be dragged around outside, to stand up to the elements.
The cost of outdoor furniture is also significantly cheaper… Our Daisy Modern 6 Seater Set (pictured below) for example is currently on sale for only £411.00 with free UK home delivery.
You find an interior dining set as robust as Daisy for that price. Plenty of MDF on the market but it won’t last 5 minutes, especially if you were to take it into the garden.
And if you do decide to move it around inside or take it outside, it won’t break your back. Many of our pieces are constructed from sturdy aluminium, they’ll sit on the patio and not be blown over by the wind, but they’re also designed to be picked up and moved around the garden.
Outdoor furniture is low maintenance and hard wearing
An additional benefit of using outdoor furniture pieces inside is that they require little to no maintenance. Our aluminium sets are designed to be left outdoors where all they’ll need is an occasional wipe down with warm soapy water to get rid of any tree sap or bird poo for example.
Take them indoors and all they’ll need is an occasional wipe with a damp cloth!
Outdoor furniture is just so versatile too, and as with interior pieces, there’s such a wide choice of designs and styles, and if nothing else it gives you another option to think about. Plus, there’s no rules.
You don’t have to go for a full set. Why not mix outdoor pieces with indoor? You could use our modern metal patio chairs as kitchen table seating. Add a few patterned pillows or our chair cushions. Pair them with a timber table.
If you need a little inspiration, this video from Grig Stamate on YouTube illustrates some great outdoor sets/pieces that would work just as well inside the home…
And its not just furniture that people are bringing outside…
There is some fantastic garden shelving on the market at the moment, especially the wall leaning, angled and ladder style shelves. So why not bring some stylish garden shelving into the house. You can still use it for what it’s intended, but bring it inside, fill it with houseplants?
Take the Aldsworth Shelf Ladder (pictured below) from Garden Trading, it is just at home inside the house as out. Crafted from Spruce, it’s designed with shelves of varying depths that are perfect for display planting or anything else you might want on there.
Outdoor rugs work inside and outside the home
Outdoor rugs are another perfect example of pieces that can work inside the home. They’re hard-wearing of course, but you can also wash them outside with a hose whenever a deep cleaning is required. Perfect for under a dining table where messy young children might eat, plus they are available in some great colourways and funky patterns nowadays.
Ikea have embraced the outdoor/indoor trend and they have a whole host of products that function on both levels.
Take their outdoor rugs (their Kärbäk flat woven outside rug is pictured below), I don’t think you can distinguish if they’re for outdoor or indoor use. They’re perfect for both. Style wise, they look like they’re for the inside, but they’re designed to function outside. And it’s that outdoor durability is perfect for inside the home.
Stylish garden lighting can also be utilised inside the home
Good lighting is key in your kitchen, and again outdoor products have several advantages over traditional indoor products. For a start they’re designed to be weather-proof, making them perfect for a part of the home where there’s steam, regular cleaning etc taking place.
These Zola Outdoor LED Twin Spotlights (pictured below) from John Lewis are another great example. They would look just as great in your modern kitchen as they do outside lighting a patio.
That’s just a few examples. I could go on all day talking about various outdoor products you could potentially bring inside. Maybe we will follow this up with another post of trends/products.
Designers are recreating entire ‘rooms’ outside with elements from the inside of our home, sofas, rugs etc. So why not switch the trend and do the opposite? Take those outdoor pieces that have been created to be more durable but replicate interior pieces, bring them inside? In 2017, I think we will see even more creativity in how homeowners continue to bring the best of both worlds together. Blurring those lines. Exciting times!