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On the web

Must read on landscape design and ageing.

Asla have published an inspiring article you can read here: It starts like this: "The young and even the middle-aged can't truly appreciate what it is to be old." (-) "The sheer aloneness and inescapability of it. A different shore. You have gone somewhere and you aren't coming back." Why do we run away from aging in our current society? Aging is an unavoidable reality. Regardless of what we do to our bodies and minds, we age. But can racing against aging become embracing our golden years? In this admittedly non-academic post, I share hopes and fears and also my research on the topic of aging. A few years ago, I wrote a questionnaire targeting the elderly population. Aging should concern us all, and we urgently need new attitudes and answers. I want to challenge that vision of running away from aging. I'll brainstorm some answers and propose new ideas partially based on the questionnaire I addressed to seniors. We are tomorrow's elderly; there is always hope.

March 2, 2015

Terraced gardens. Modern designs

Adding value to property.

Landarchs has published a great round-up of creative terraced gardens.

We hope these modern garden designs inspire you for your own outdoor spaces - however small they seem at first. gardensterraced garden designs

February 18, 2015

Outdoor showers - time to prepare the summer

Adding value to property.

Outdoor bathing is one thing that really makes a day special and vacation-like.
Check out this article with 25 great options, some are great indoor outdoor designs that top current trends.

outdoor shower.jpg

indoor outdoor shower.jpg


February 17, 2015

Feature Ponds

A pond in the back garden creates a tranquil space in your very own outdoor space. However depending upon your housing situation this is not always a viable option. Space, time to build and of course if you rent, you may not be permitted to start excavating the land!

A modern compromise can be a temporary feature pond. Swell UK have a range of temporary ponds that can be installed easily, quickly and of course moved again should you wish. Some are suitable for fish and some just for plants, but all can help you create your very own oasis in your back yard.

The most simple and affordable option is the pop up pond. Often available in a variety of colours, these simple ponds are ideal for a small space, such as a balcony or terrace. It's not advisable to keep fish in this type of pond but plants look great and create a beautiful talking point.

If you're feeling creative and have time to spare, visit a scrap yard for inspiration. Old tin baths, sinks and many other receptacles are ideal to transform into a feature pond. They look great too and can add some interest to an otherwise ordinary small garden. A huge planter also looks great as a feature pond, and can create an attractive, rustic look.

If you have the space there are many flat packed ponds that can be used indoors (such as a conservatory) or outside. More advanced versions contain a filter, UV lighting and more to make them suitable for fish, so you can have an advanced pond without the need for spades and pond liners.

Of course whichever pond you decide upon, it will need some maintenance:

  • When filling with tap water, use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other elements, making the water safe for wildlife and plant growth.
  • Keeping plants in good condition with regular pruning keeps the water in good condition and plants looking good.
  • Scrub away algae blooms to keep it at bay - regular water changes and maintenance will help.
  • If you have fish you must have a pump and filter to keep the water clean and fish in good health


There are many ways to add interest to a feature pond. Plants look great, even in a small pond. Floating varieties such as Lilies add oxygen to the water and look beautiful.

Lights look good too. Floating solar lights make a real feature on a summer's evening and can add an elegant touch to a summer's evening.

To make life even easier, opt for artificial décor. No pruning or tending needed, simply add plastic plants or flowers to the water for a splash of colour.

February 16, 2015

Quick Garden Fixes

Well groomed gardens are a fantastic asset for any home, offering a space for relaxing and entertaining and adding value to your home, and whether your garden is big or little, ensuring it is looking its best is imperative. Mistakenly, we often believe that enhancing our garden means having to spend a large amount of money on doing so, but there are plenty of quick fixes that can be made which won't cost you the earth. From furniture to flowers, here are just a few small changes you can make in order to help keep your outdoor space looking its best.

Adding or updating the furniture in your garden can automatically improve the look of your garden. Shabby should only ever be cherished in terms of shabby chic, which means if your furniture is looking a little worse for wear it's time to refresh the paintwork yourself or replace it completely. Before you spend any of your hard earned cash, consider what style you wish your garden to adhere to. Do a little research on websites such as Pinterest and you'll find and abundance of inspiration and easy DIY tutorials to help you.

Flowers can automatically brighten the look of your garden, and planting a colourful mix of flowers could not be simple. Unfortunately, not everyone has an abundance of garden space to utilise in the way. If you want to introduce blooms to your garden without taking up too much precious space, then hanging flower baskets is the perfect solution. Ensuring you've got the correct tools and fixtures to do so is essential, shops such as Anglia Tool Centre are a great place to stock up on these necessities.

If you have chosen to use plant pots in your outdoor space, then why not paint them to add a splash of colour, even throughout the colder months. Terracotta planters offer the perfect canvas for your creativity. There are plenty of super weatherproof paints available and it's worth investing to ensure the colours you choose will stay looking vibrant, even when the weather is at its harshest.

Getting the lighting just right in your garden can prove to be a trickier task than you might have first thought, but luckily, there is plenty of wonderful lighting choices for you to choose from. Sensor activated lighting is perfect in terms of providing security lighting but can prove to be a little harsh when it comes to lighting your room when entertaining. Hanging outdoor LED lighting or lanterns can create an enchanting mood for evening soirees and BBQ, and can easily be strung over the dining area or zigzagged across the garden.

For the eco-conscious among you, why not transform some of your garden space into a small allotment area. An allotment will enable you to grow a family sized crop of seasonal fruit and vegetables at home, from potatoes to tomatoes to pumpkins, there are plenty of delicious natural treats to nurture and grow throughout the year. If you have young children, an allotment is also a wonderful way for them to learn and discover more about nature and the way things grow.

Of course, there are plenty of other easy fixes you can implement within your garden, without having to dip into your savings to do so. Creating a calm and relaxing area outdoors is simple and can be done in stages or over the course of a weekend. Once the hard work is done, it's important that you sit back and enjoy your hard work too!

February 12, 2015

Childhood throwback : outdoor designs with @Meccano

D.I.Y furniture does not have to exclude creativity of your own.

We wanted to prove this by sharing a childhood throwback.

Meccano, the toy we all had ages ago, are now designing fruniture.

Check them out at

meccano dyi.jpg

February 8, 2015


Adding value to property.

Many so called outdoor rooms are designed to house a gym. These gyms are now really key to maximise your property's value.

We loved the tips on how to design such spaces for on the Technogymblog.

In short, you can either get the gym to mimic the actual 'gym' club look. In contrast, you can go the opposite direction, and ensure the equipment mimics the indoor decor.

Compact equipment for compact spaces

Home owners increasingly buy space-maximising equipment and choose our products, such as Kinesis Personal or the Spazio Forma folding treadmill, because they possess a strong design aesthetic that makes them resemble space-efficient exercise furniture more than simple fitness tools.

Kinesis Personal, for example, sits just 30cm away from the wall but the arms fold out to create a unique and stunning cable-pulley machine where you can perform over 200 exercises for a full body workout.


Design a gym in your outdoor room

February 2, 2015

What's hot & what's not : Maison et Objet 2015 for Outdoors

This is a quick post to share a link that will help you discover the best and newest designs seen at Maison et Objet in Paris this January.

The fair included garden decor as well as decor for interiors.

Hop over to Marie Claire and check out a selection of hot ideas: 

February 1, 2015

Be bold & ambitious on a budget : think IKEA for outdoors

Adding value to property.

Spring is around the corner and many will want to spruce up their outdoor spaces for rentals or selling.
The issue of costs will come into the equation, of course.
It is worth reminding ourselves that IKEA has really upped their offer and a little imagination can lead to great design on a shoestring buget.

To get started, why not browse Pinterest for ideas.
Boards dedicated to the brand can be an amazing source of ideas.

Here are three ideas pinched from  

Ikea Outdoor 2015 ideas.jpg

ikea outdoor 2015.jpg

ikea outdoor.jpg

January 31, 2015

Out of Africa: New planters by Indigenus

Yanko design helped us discover Indigenus, an evolved, standalone collection of planter designs with its roots in Africa!


Indigenus planters

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