The Wild Aesthetic : THE OUTDOOR LIVING ISSUE
Ready for wild garden living?
Welcome to the second issue of the w|ėMAGAZINE which aims to bring you wildly beautiful inspiration and joy straight yo your inbox the first Sunday of every month. This month we have so much incredible beauty and inspiration for you. In our editorial feature we look at a new way of designing spaces for outdoor living and provide you with tips and ideas for bringing your space to life. We chat to the amazing artist and plantsman TJ Maher and learn and how to combine colour for dreamy borders and get some tips on how to grow Dahlias from seed. We look at creative designer advice for outdoor living and also dive into a world of wild living recommendations for you to add to your lives everyday. Let’s go outside!
DESIGNING SPACES FOR WILD LIVING
Look outside at nature right now and you will most certainly feel a sense of wonder. Seemingly overnight the landscape is transforming in front of our eyes and morphing into a technicolour scene. That lush green which we forget about every winter seems to shoot up so suddenly and veil trees, our hedgerows and our gardens in a haze of emerald. This delicious tranformation is one that is so closely linked to our emotional state. Especially this year, the sense of growth, regeneration and hope is soothing to our souls. Sometimes I think that the green of Spring is nature’s salve to our emotional state. In this light, we need to be outside in our wild spaces more than ever.
The feeling of immersing ourselves in nature, to drink in the richness of scent and visual abundance, is so incredibly needed right now.
The fascinating shift from gardens being just ‘pretty spaces’ to fundamentally important sources of physical and psychological health and everyday joy also means that we find ourself with a new approach and new passion to designing gardens for ourselves.
Now the thought and intention that goes into these new garden rooms is layered with so much more purpose and joy. Creating spaces of outdoor living like this for ourselves and making them truly joyful and personal is the topic of this months magazine and I am so happy you’re here taking this moment to read about how to create that space for yourself.
How to design for every day joy
Gardens are spaces which are intensely personal and everyone has a different reaction to colour, shape, form, planting and materials. We also all have different needs from our spaces- they might become spaces for entertaining, dining, relaxing, exercising, meditating, playing, exploring, reading, yoga ect.
In order to design a garden which brings you and your family joy, you need to start with taking stock of who you are, your lifestyle and what makes you smile. Don’t underestimate this step as it can become the backbone of your design and will make your garden truly yours and personal. It can also become a fun-filled fact finding mission for the whole family to figuring out what your dream garden is and trying to make that a reality.
The Room Outside
Creating a haven for family and friends
What better thing to start with creating space than the room outside? In the times we live in this idea has taken on a whole new meaning and outdoor living has never been more important than it is right now. We have never looked forward to spending time outside more than we do right now and what a perfect time to put a little thought into your outdoor living space.
We are all familiar with the idea of creating a room outside but it’s hard to know where to start. There are many ways of creating garden living spaces but the easiest way to start is to explore what you see yourself doing in the garden. Do you want to have dinner parties? Are you hoping to lounge with friends on late summer evenings by a fire? Look at what your ideal scenario is and the things that will make you feel happy and joyful. In fact – that’s what you should start with. Your happy space! Then everything else can follow this plan for joy.
Adaptable and forgiving design
What has come to the forefront right now is that we are in a time when the boundaries are ever shifting so our garden spaces also need to be somewhat adaptable. This is good news in one way because spaces can become more multi-functional. For now hold back on solid, built-in seating areas and consider spaces to be an open plan space for what they need to be at different times.
Chairs and lounger sets can be moved, boundaries expanded and patio dining tables rearranged to suit our daily needs- whether direct family or for socially distanced meet ups with friends. In this way gardens can be so much more versatile and usable and can adapt to our current needs. It is also a very forgiving way to get started and much less daunting. Give yourself the freedom to choose the things that make you feel good and don’t worry so much about making perfect design decisions.
A change in perspective
There is something so gorgeous about exploring space and finding areas to enjoy which give a different perspective of your garden and home. Creating unexpected bubbles of space gives you a totally different appreciation and view point of your home and garden. How about hanging some hammocks in the shady corner? Or some lounger seats in a spot away from the home that gets evening sun? Or a gazebo at the end of the garden where you can relax.
Making the space functional and usable in all weathers and at all times is more important than ever. This means the garden becomes usable throughout all seasons and will open up a new possibility for meeting friends and for family living too. In our climate this means trying to take a part of the space and providing shelter from rain from above and also wind from the sides where possible. A simple pergola design can totally transform the usability of your outdoor room and an also be used to grow climbers, glazed or covered in polycarbonate or other sheeting. While glasshouses, gazebos and garden rooms are great adiditons for us and our direct families, when it comes to socialising in covid times pergolas are the perfect option because they are open to the sides and allow for a free flow of air while still providing cover. Check out our recommended products for some gorgeous inspiration.
The new layout- creating more space for living
Space has become more important than ever for entertaining as we now need more space to socially distance. This has an impact on our design decisions going forwards and if you are planning a patio area be as generous as you can to allow for a multitude of layouts. Where before we might have chosen a patio area which homes a table and six chairs, now we need space enough to add extra seating and extend the space at times when we need it for entertaining. One thing is sure: be generous with patios and hardscape areas. If the patio size feels too large you could also add several smaller areas which can be adapted over time. Adaptable space also means an area can be a firepit area on day and a play area the next.
Feel good social Spacing in Covid times
One of the biggest challenges right now, and one which has us all feeling somewhat uncomfortable is that there are no clear boundaries when it comes to gardens. When we can visit each other again a great idea is to gently create comfortable spaces where people don’t need to worry about staying apart form each other but where it naturally happens through thought out design ideas. This makes it so much easier to not feel like you’re missing out on that much needed hug too much. In this context consider several bubbles of seating all facing each other around a large patio space. If you space chairs around a central fire pit for example this becomes a gorgeous social circle which all focuses on a central feature and which feels naturally comfortable. If it’s a dinner party then consider a set of several similar or matching tables side by side, decorated in a continuous design, but slightly spaced making it easy to be together but slightly apart.
w|ė MAGAZINE is my new online wild based lifestyle magazine which brings monthly stories, knowledge and recommendations to you, all based on a wild and beautiful approach. w|ė will explore and celebrate topics which resonate with people, to bring an awareness to current issues we face in our shared wild spaces and to connect with like-minded people globally.
There will be interviews with inspiring creatives- designers, architects, chefs, writers, psychologists, doctors, and wild thinkers, creators and dreamers. Through gardens, food, wellness, health and inspiring stories for wild living, we will also link to courses in wild design and lifestyle and have exciting news soon on creative collaborations with incredible wild inspired people and brands.
Join w|ė to celebrate a wild and beautiful lifestyle in our everyday.