Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog
Design, Interiors & Lifestyle Blog

Tag Archives: outdoor space

How to create the perfect outdoor Summer garden party with Philips Lighting.

Warm Summer evenings are meant to be enjoyed, and even more so, now that I have spruced up my outdoor space. Philips Lighting Last weekend, I decided on an impromptu garden party for my extended family.  We all decided to make a Summer dish each. We had on offer, a spicy herb Cauliflower with olives salad, a Citrus fennel with dried grapes salad and an asparagus, pine nuts with Parmesan salad. We also had kebabs and roast lamb, grilled on the outdoor barbecue.
One of my sisters made a tasty homemade strawberry tart and Summer fruit drizzle cake. I wanted to create the perfect ambience for a chill out party.

I added lots of colourful cushions to the outdoor sofa and a soft throw, for when it got chilly.

As we would be sitting outdoors and chatting into the evening, the outdoor lighting to set the mood had to be right.

I recently installed a pair of myGarden wall lights by Philips Lighting which you can see mounted on the deck wall. The wall lights were LED, in die cast aluminium and glass. They were slim, elegant and gave out a warm glow via the glass plate. This was the perfect soft lighting to set the mood.

The other great news is, that these luminaires can survive the coldest nights, the wettest days or the hottest evenings.  I had decorated the seating area with a variety of flowers and greenery.

I didn’t want to lose the effect of the decor, so I decided to use a few strategically placed Philips Lighting portable myGarden lanterns.

The lanterns came in a variety of colours, and I had them in green, red and white. The lanterns were specially designed for outdoor use and were waterproof. They were also USB chargeable. What’s amazing about the lanterns, were that they had different light modes.

There was the powerful light mode feature which provided a warm, white light. This was bright enough to allow for outdoor night time reading.

The light was also dimmable, to allow mood setting, and there was a candle mode which made the light flicker. I could have sat out in my garden all night. We had a wonderful time chatting and eating a lovely dinner. Look at how beautiful the sky looked that night.

After our guests had gone home, our immediate family snuggled up on the sofa. It was a warm night, but there was a gentle breeze blowing.

It felt so good, just like being on holiday in a warm Mediterranean country. Finally, isn’t it great to know that Philips Lighting LEDs deliver the same light quality throughout their lifetime and save on energy?

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post. Wishing you a wonderful evening.

(All photography and styling are by Little Big Bell. This is a sponsored collaboration with Philips lighting. All views are my own).

An interview with Viveca Olsson, the creative leader behind IKEA’s STOCKHOLM range 2017.

It’s wonderful now that Summer is here. We have been lucky with the warm and dry weather in London.

I’ve enjoyed spending more time in our garden. It’s actually quite therapeutic to have that quiet time with nature, to unwind and think.

We’ve invested in an IKEA outdoor sofa, and I’ve decided to style it with the new IKEA STOCKHOLM range.
Here are some of the IKEA STOCKHOLM 2017 products, styled in my living space.  I was excited with the opportunity to interview Viveca Olsson, the creative leader behind IKEA STOCKHOLM.
It’s always fun to delve behind the creative process of a collection.

So here goes: IKEA STOCKHOLM What has been the key inspiration for STOCKHOLM 2017?

VO: STOCKHOLM collection always take its inspirations from nature. This time the blue colour comes from my private photo of a winter night sky in South Sweden, and the orange came from a beautiful sunset image. Viveca Olsson Talk me through the design process for creating a new iteration of the STOCKHOLM collection.

VO: We take extra care in designing the best quality in our range. Care in material, tactile surfaces, details, colours, sizes and proportions to be long living products over time in different living situations. I like to see the new products as a continuation of the previous collection, with new elements. We wanted to continue the visual direction, but make sure it felt new. We also continued to work with the same values in mind that STOCKHOLM has always stood for — exciting quality for everyday use, long-lasting products made with graceful materials, pieces with well-thought-out, everyday functions and warm, human qualities with a caring, homely feel. The STOCKHOLM collections are also about wellbeing, sustainability, and most of all convenience. What is your favourite piece from this year’s STOCKHOLM collection?

VO: The rattan products, for the beautiful tactile expression and the sofa is my absolute favourite piece. It’s a 24/7 sofa — somewhere to socialise, relax, sleep, eat, work, do homework, play, listen to music, be together, and have a space of your own. It’s casual, convenient, comfortable, and beautiful, with many uses, and is made to fit any expression of style. I believe it will become the favourite piece in many homes. How important is showcasing sustainably sourced materials in STOCKHOLM?

VO: Sustainability is one of the key pillars of the IKEA Democratic Design process and STOCKHOLM is no different. In each element of the design, we have worked closely with suppliers to ensure that, where possible, materials are sustainably sourced and recyclable. Rattan and glass feature heavily in this year’s collection. Is this responding to trends which we are seeing in the home?

VO: We like the tactility in both- the materials are different and makes an interesting contrast. We were looking for materials with a soft, smooth touch in order to give the collection a sense of warmth and a homely feel.

Materials with different textures that would work well together, such as rattan, velvet, hand-blown glass, woven carpets, as well as the natural feel of beautiful wood like ash. Why do you think STOCKHOLM continues to be a popular range for IKEA?

VO: The collection is a perfect example of our Democratic Design process, and our customers love the stylish designs of the IKEA STOCKHOLM ranges. We are sure that it will continue to be popular for years to come!

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading Viveca Olsson’s responses to the questions posed. It’s always so interesting to get a behind the scenes view.

You can find many of the IKEA STOCKHOLM products used for this post’s garden styling here.

I will be back soon with more outdoor living posts. Have a good day all.

( All photography and styling are by Geraldine Tan, editor of Little  Big Bell. The IKEA STOCKHOLM home wares were gifted to me.. this is a sponsored collaboration with IKEA UK. All views are my own. )

Chelsea Flower show 2017 with Whistlefish. Chelsea Flower Show is always an annual highlight for me, so I was excited when I was invited by Whistlefish.

Whistlefish is a Cornwall based company that sells the prettiest of greeting cards, art prints and gifts.

The company has just turned 21 years old, and I was interested to read about the owner Lyn Thompson’s successful journey . She has now established ten gallery shops across Cornwall and Devon.

I love the idea that they search for fresh talent, and so artists are being invited to submit their work for potential collaborations.

Above are some of the beautiful Whistlefish greeting cards that I got to take home last weekend. This beautiful apron by Whistlefish was designed specially for this year’s Chelsea Flower show.

Now to show you my picks from the 2017 show.
This was one of my favourite gardens, and it’s called the Anneka Rice Colour Cutting Garden.

It was designed by Sarah Raven, and was inspired by the vibrant use of colour by renowned home and furniture designer, Tricia Guild.

Check out this secluded seating area. Love the pops of pinks and violets here. It really evoked that beautiful serenity of an English garden. Here’s another one of my favourite plants, potted succulents. Next, is ‘City Living’ by Kate Gould. This imagined apartment block was designed with an outdoor deprived urban space in mind, hence the introduction of lots of indoor greenery.

It was set on a 12×6 plot and built over three levels, featuring basement, mezzanine and top floor.

I was amazed to see how plants in small spaces could be creatively introduced, to create stylish living areas. How wonderful is this basement seating space? Love the 3 dimensional effect tiles and the hanging foliage too. Here’s another view.  Since this was the basement part of the house, Kate has used hardy shade loving Tropical plants. This is another view of the space, from outside looking in. That bright pop of orange from the giant Anglepoise lamp looked great against the lush of green. This was the upper deck area shaded by a pergola.

There was a great interplay of light and shadow here, with the stripes from the pergola being cast on the ground. Everywhere I turned, were flowers waiting for their photos to be taken.

How cute was this bronze sculpture bird bath? It’s by Willie Wildlife sculptures. Did you know that if you went on the last day of Chelsea Flower show, there’s usually a sell off of the plants? Hence, I’m now the proud owner of some of the flowers from the garden abve.
Since I am a lover of balloons, foliage and the Monstera leaf, I couldn’t walk by and not snap this image right? This is an aspect of the M&G Best in show garden for 2017. It was a garden inspired by an abandoned Maltese quarry.

These monumental blocks of limestone were planted with grasses, evergreens, perennials and ground cover unique to the arid Mediterranean island. Here’s a wider lens view, which probably gives you a better idea of their sizes and heights.

This was the Bermuda Triangle garden designed by Jack Dunckley. A large palm tree sat at the centre and became dramatically lit red at night from the laser cut aluminium sheetings.

Furthermore, each triangle of the garden, housed a mini sanctuary of tropical plants. Wished I was there in the evening to see it in its glory. Hope you have enjoyed my picks from Chelsea Flower show, and that it has inspired you to visit next year. Most of all, a big thank you to Whistlefish for inviting me. Do take a peek at Whistlefish’s gorgeous stationery store online. You’ll probably find something you love, once you start browsing.

Finally, I wish you all a lovely day and I will probably be back soon this week with a Summer refresh of my living room, so do check back to see. (All photography are by me, Geraldine Tan, editor of Little big Bell, with the exception of the 2 photos of the models provided by Whistlefish. )

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