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FLOWERS are a massive inspiration to our work in interiors. Who doesn’t get a bit of happiness from a bunch of fresh seasonal flowers or watching the spring blooms in your garden make way for the first roses of the season? Or even better, growing your own chillies on the windowsill.
So this week we’re at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for some much needed time with nature. The colours are a great place to start for interiors — and with hundreds of new flowers launching, we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. But we’re also here to see if some of the show’s green ideas will make an impact on our designs for homes.
It’s no secret that the words on everyone’s lips at the moment are climate change. And while the concept of bringing the outdoors in, and vice versa, is not a new one, it couldn’t be more timely with what’s on offer at Chelsea this year. With the sun out and our SPF on, here are our top picks of the installations that are sure to inspire your interiors.
Tom Dixon & Ikea: Gardening Will Save The World
Ikea and Tom Dixon have collaborated on a two-storey, show-stopping garden for Chelsea that is the first ever to allow the public to walk through freely. This urban garden illustrates that the design world, both indoors and out, is rightly obsessed with going green.
The interior space is created beneath an outdoor garden. The garden is filled with edible plants, showing us how outside spaces of the future might look — and how we might make the best use of available space to reduce carbon and grow our own food.
Larry Walshe Studios: Welcome Home
An installation inspired by Pantone colour of the year, Living Coral. A meadow of coral roses inside a turquoise timber structure sets off the colour beautifully and shows how colour can be used in a garden.
Laura Slater x The Plant Room
‘Land’ is a collaborative installation showcasing the textile artist’s floral prints in an outdoor garden structure.
McQueen’s Flowers: Through The Eyes Of Bees
The first of two installations — this one shows the experience of bees and their relationship to nature through flowers, UV, sounds and scents.
McQueen’s Flower School: Honey, I’m Home
An interactive installation inviting visitors to make bee sculptures to fill a giant hive artwork.
Lighting inspired by nature, the KASVAA Outdoor Pendant Light is made from recycled brass and based on a bees’ honeycomb. It is launched at Chelsea by camerondesignhouse.com. It’s inspirational, but with a price tag of £19,500 it’s out of our league. However, we have an eye-catching, cheaper alternative — see below.
Let there be light
For a brilliant, budget solar-powered light, you can’t beat these SOLVINDEN outdoor LED pendants. £8 each, ikea.com
The INDU Bench is the perfect shade of blue and would look fantastic in an urban or rural setting. £175, habitat.co.uk
We would love some outdoor lighting, but is it expensive to have electrics installed outside? Olive
It doesn’t have to be! Yes, you can hire an electrician and have outdoor lights installed. This can be beautiful, but also expensive to install and run. You can now get amazing battery-operated outdoor lights and lanterns and even solar-powered ones. In our garden we have solar-powered LED lights from IKEA and we get so many compliments!
We have a small terrace patio in our ground floor flat and would love a bench, but don’t want wood. We love colour — any suggestions? Sammi
You know we love colour! And there is no reason why you should compromise in your garden. HAY has a really beautiful green metal bench that we love (Palissades Bench, £585), but the high street also has a perfect bench from Habitat.
We don’t have a garden, so love a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table at home, even though they can be expensive. What are your favourite blooms? David and John
We have been propagating our own veg and herbs from seed and have been thoroughly enjoying the process. Our home is filled with plants and flowers, some cut from our own garden. Foraging is a super-inexpensive way to fill your home with greenery. We often do a swap with our neighbours — some of their hydrangea for a couple of our roses! Both are among our favourite blooms, although anything seasonal we love. Anemones and peonies are also a firm favourite, along with tulips. We recently came across freddiesflowers.com: they cut flowers and pack to order to reduce waste (a huge problem for many florists), which we love the idea of. They ship all over the UK so you could arrange a weekly or fortnightly service delivered to your door!