Paint it black

When I was asked to design a Garden at this year’s Ideal home show with the theme ‘Grow your own’ and was told in the brief to incorporate a bar I knew exactly the kind of look I wanted to go for. I talked last summer about the trend for going to the ‘darkside’ with our garden spaces  and how much I loved the contrast of black sheds and fences in the garden because I think it makes the plants set against them look amazing. The greens really pop, they contrast well with the darkness and if anywhere can handle a dark mass of colour it’s a sunny garden. It clearly is a look you all love to as I seem to have been asked so many times what paint I used so I thought I would pop this little blog together for you.

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 Within the design of my garden one of the key focal points  was going to be a black bar shed and we also designed a raised bed bench made from sustainable wood that we wanted to paint black too. Its sounds silly but getting the right shade of black was key to my design but it also had to be outdoor paint that would withstand the elements. Ronseal has a great range of paints and stains for outdoor use and their Garden Paint in Blackbird was the one I chose. It’s versatile and can be used to paint wood, brick, terracotta and metal. Available in 24 colours, the paint both looks good and will waterproof and protect your wood too, infact it is rainproof in just one hour after painting and the paint lasts up to 5 years.


 

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The coverage was great, it only took two coats of the paint to cover the new wood raised bed which means that transforming something does not cost a fortune just the price of a few cans of paint and a bit of time. Set aside a sunny day and get going, this time of year is the perfect time to tackle jobs like this and give your garden a new lease of life.

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I also wanted to upcyle an old chest of drawers to use as a clever planter, my garden was all about showcasing that you can grow your own vegetables and fruits on just about anything and the fact that this paint makes things weather proof opened up so many possibilities of things I could upcycle to use. I even found an old table from a local hair dressing salon that had a broken top and popped an old drawer on to the legs to make a raised bed and painted that with the blackbird Garden Paint too.

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My advice this year for styling a great  outdoor area is to be bold and reach for a can of the blackbird garden paint.  I used lots of plants with a lime green feel to add a real contrast euphorbia, and hellibores are great for this and both are very easy to grow.

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Lovely green of hellibores.



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I hope this inspires you all to be brave and adventurous  and reach for the black paint, it’s a classy timeless look that adds a touch of sophistication to your outdoor area. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed  for a summer like last year so we can enjoy a few Gin and Tonics in the wonderful spaces we all create.



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 Happy Painting everyone. Lynne x






 

Outdoor dining area project- An easy weekend job!

Well this is a project that in the summer I seemed to have timed to perfection, just as the UK reached temperatures that rivaled Palm Springs, I decided to create an outdoor dining area. I wanted to be creative and upcycle some old furniture making it look great but also protecting it from the elements.and to create an area in the garden that would not only look amazing but wouldn’t cost a fortune. My master plan was to create a space in the garden that acted as an additional room, a really social space, somewhere that would have my neighbours making excuses to pop over and join you for a drink at the drop of a hat.

I had an old farmhouse dining table that I wanted to use, I painted it a few years ago but it was very much in need of smartening up and weather proofing. You can buy old tables on second hand sites such as www.Preloved.co.uk  very reasonably and with good quality outdoor paint like I used any table can be transformed to be weather resistant.

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There are so many paints on the market at the moment that claim to be ‘outdoor paint’ but I have always trusted Ronseal for my outdoor projects.This time it was no different, Ronseal have a colour called Midnight Blue which I just knew would add a touch of sophistication to the garden. I wanted a colour that would have a real impact not the usual pastel garden colours that everyone expects, I think using dark colours in your garden looks great as its a real contrast with the colours of nature, against a darker backdrop the plants in your garden really stand out, this is also why I love the look of black sheds and summerhouses buts thats’ another blog and I digress. I had also salvaged a very old fireplace and wanted to paint that in the same colour. I love the idea of outdoor fireplaces  in the garden creating a focal point and really adding to that feeling of an additional room. They are also great places to display plants, lanterns and candles helping you add some style to the area.



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Before I started painting both the fireplace and the table I made sure I gave them a good clean and sanded off any old paint.Don’t rush in to the job,good preparation always ensures a great finish, you don’t want to be painting on top of old flaky paint. If you have an electric sander this is the time to dig it out and plug it in, it can save your arm muscles and speed the job up.

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Once the wood was prepared it was time to paint. A quick stir of the paint and a good quality brush and I was good to go. Ronseal outdoor paint was easy to use and gave great coverage, don’t worry that the first coat looks a little patchy thats normal as you form a base layer, the second coat will even it all out. One of the biggest mistakes people make then they paint is they look for complete coverage on the first coat and apply it far too thickly. Thin even layers are what you need.Please note it was a coincidence that my nail varnish matched the midnight blue colour of the paint not even I would go to that level of styling attention to detail !!

The drying time of the paint was superfast, helped by the fact that it was a sunny day and  which made the job quick and easy. Always let each coat dry properly before painting the next one so that you can get a smooth finish. I always find that ‘drying time’ is the perfect excuse for a cuppa.

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 The fireplace was transformed and I loved the blue colour, the paint adds a slight sheen but is not a gloss and really brought the wood back to life. The fireplace looked new by the time I had finished. I wanted to keep the top of the table plain wood, if it had all been blue then it could have looked a bit too much. By leaving the table top wood it gave a good contrast of colour to the legs and fireplace and added interest and texture to the area. The natural wood of the table top would ( no pun interned ) need protecting from the elements and any spillages that may happen and lucky for me Ronseal do a great outdoor varnish. This varnish is perfect as it is non yellowing and also does not add an orange colour to the wood, it allows the wood to keep its natural look but just with a bullet proof layer of protection. The varnish is white when you paint it so you can see if you have any large drips etc. but it dries totally clear which is exactly what I wanted.

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Once the painting was done it was time to think about styling the space to add the wow factor. Outdoor mirrors are a great way of adding a touch of class to the space and if angled correctly can reflect the lovely green areas of the garden to your seating area almost like a piece of living art work. I found mine on a second hand website and just knew it would look perfect above the fireplace.

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Once the mirror and been hung all that was needed to make this the perfect setting for a late night glass of summer Rose was some solar lighting. I found some perfect large solar vintage looking light bulbs in Robert Dyas and suspended them on thin rope from the balcony above the seating area. They really completed the look and added a real feature to the space.

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Finally all that was needed was a few plants to accessorise the space, I chose succulents as they are easy to grow and don’t require too much watering. The hanging planters were from Ikea and I planted them with herbs so that there was a lovely fresh aroma where we sit. I have to say the space has been transformed and it was so easy to do. One can of paint had given the old furniture a new lease of life, using this type of vintage furniture and painting it with the Ronseal paint adds a real individual feel to the garden, so much more exiting than a plain boring teak set of table an chairs. I promise you as you sit there, glass of wine in hand on a summers day with your friends it will be worth all the effort.

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I know the weather at the moment hardly makes you think about sitting out in your garden but its the perfect time to get searching for those second hand pieces of furniture that you can paint up all ready for the summer. Stop something heading to landfill and get creative, keep your eyes pealed for the perfect pieces and good luck.

Chat soon.

Lynne x

Top styling Tips for your shelves and Consoles.

Hello fellow interiors addicts, one of the hardest things I think for anyone to pull off well in their home is great displays. Its easy to buy great cushions or copy the latest trend wallpaper as seen on Instagram but actually curating and creating displays requires a bit of skill and creative flair. To make it a bit easier, I have written my top tips for you so you can have confidence in yourselves and the things that you love and go get styling.

1) Firstly collate everything that is in a similar colour palate. Go through all your bits and pieces and pop them on the floor, this will make it easy to edit and see what you have. Once you can see it all infront of you, you can then go through it and decide what works an looks good together.

2) Edit and get rid of things. Keep only what you love or has great sentimental value to you,  we all collect so many bits and pieces all the time but only a fraction of them should make it on to display, if not we run the risk of having cluttered shelves that hide the really lovely important pieces.

3)Mix it up, add textures styles and various tones of your accent colour, an array of books in the various tones of your accent colour look great. Vases of shells look fantastic as do  just  filling old jars with some battery powered fairy lights. If you look around your home with fresh eyes you can come up with some creative ideas and new ways to display your treasured things and these ideas will only cost pennies.

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 4) Make sure you add interest to your shelves by having things going in different directions otherwise it can look too contrived. Adding something horizontal like a small stack of books ( carefully chosen for their colour spines of course!) a decorative box, or even a stack of your favorite magazines will give you the horizontal line that you are looking for. Now add something vertical, this should be the easier part since most of what we would naturally put on a shelf is vertical. So vases work well or framed photos , candles or artwork leaning against the back of the shelf,  ornaments or cacti basically anything taller than it is wide.

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5 ) Add something organic to the mix by this I mean a plant or two or a vase of dried flowers. I love to use alliums as they have such a visual impact.

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Plants are a great addition to any shelf or console table as they bring things alive adding colour and texture, don’t worry though if you don’t have green fingers there are so many amazing faux plants that you can buy ( I was in Debenhams last week and their selection was great), there is nothing worse than a half dead plant to lets your styling mojo down. I don’t think you can ever have too many plants, current fashion is very plant heavy and if gives your interiors that fresh and healthy appeal.

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6) Including a shelf unit or console table in your interior design is a perfect way to personalise your space and add your own touch a great way to show case your style. Of course they are great for storage items too but we all need an area in the home to showcase our creativity and display the things we love. So off you go, have you got cluttered shelves hiding the things you love, it may be time for a clear out and a trip to the charity shop so you can bring out your inner #SHELFIE !!

Follow me:  Lynnelambourne on Instagram for daily tips on how you can personalise your space and make your house a home.

Happy Styling folks.

Chat soon 

Lynne x