Take the inside out
Desperate to bring in a sense of freedom and light, the scent of a garden fresh and green, we knock out the back wall and put in some bi-folds. If we can afford to… Even if we can afford it, not all our homes facilitate the inside-outside living experience. If you have a flat with little or no outside space or, if like me, you have a small yard outside the back door, another solution is required. Instead of trying to link the house with the garden, take the inside out.
I was intrigued when I first saw rugs designed for garden use. An area rug is such a clever design tool for interiors. It can add colour and comfort, and it brings together seating in a way that encourages conversation. It might grab your attention or, alternatively, sit quietly while your sofas take the limelight. Habitat was the first company I came across that made outdoor rugs – a few years back now. I’ve just checked their website and with only two to choose from it seems they’re out of the outdoor rug market. But other companies are ‘in’.
Garden rugs are made from woven recycled plastics and usually reversible to give you a change in pattern. They are easy to wipe clean, apparently resistant to mildew (though I think this would need a 12 month test in the UK climate to be sure!), and they won’t fade. So why not pep up your patio, your postage stamp garden or your balcony, with a colourful piece of floor covering. Or even, take it with you to the beach, or the country for a picnic… a nice alternative to the checked plastic-backed picnic blanket that never folds up properly into its carry case after use.
My top picks
You can spend more, but there are lots of choices under £50.00. And when conducting your own search I think you’ll find outdoor rugs are usually listed on websites in the Garden or Outdoor sector under Accessories.
BALI. I tried out this FAB HAB Forest Green and Cream rug. Now, if ‘Bali’ doesn’t suggest steamy evenings on a verandah I don’t know what will… It was sent to me by the lovely team at Cuckooland. Not only was it carefully packaged and neatly rolled up inside but there was a lovely surprise – a carry bag to put it in which makes it easy to take it out on your Summer jaunts and to store away when needed. Even the carry bag is eco-friendly, a definite ‘feel good’ factor. This one comes in two sizes (Standard 180cm x 120cm and Large 240cm x 150cm) and retails at £49.95 and £89.95 respectively.
Here are a few more designs to make the outdoors sparkle this Summer…
SEATTLE. A richly coloured rug in brown which has a distinctive style about it and I imagine it will appeal to the men in your life. It’s by FAB HAB and costs £89.95. It is made in India from handwoven polypropylene straws. Even this larger size (150cm x 240cm) is mobile as it’s lightweight and comes with its own carry bag.
SAMODE. With inspiration drawn from the Samode Palace in India, this Fuchsia and Ivory coloured rug is from Dash & Albert. It’s available in a selection of colours and three sizes: Small 122cm x 183cm, Medium 183cm x 274cm, and Large 259cm x 335cm. Prices are a little higher for these, varying from £208.00 for the small one to £812.00 for the large.
TANGIER. Another offering from FAB HAB. (By the way, this company supports the Navjeevan Society – a charity in Aurangabad, India, which is involved in the improvement of individuals with special needs.) Two sizes are offered in this gorgeous combination of Celery and White: Standard 180cm x 120cm £49.95, and Large 240cm x 150cm £89.95.
Safety note: if you intend to use your plastic rug indoors over hard floors make sure you have a non slip underlay.