Decorative Features, Garden Design, How To, Water Features

Using water in your outdoor spaces is a sure-fire way to add something extra to your design. Water features add movement and sound to the environment and come to life in the sun, reflecting light and attracting wildlife. Beyond this, they purify the air and create a relaxing atmosphere that makes these additions to your garden both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Here are our top tips on using water features in your garden design.

Match design to architecture 

When building or installing a water feature, you should try to choose something harmonised with your home’s architecture. Simple rectangular or curved shapes work well, and you should consider surrounding your pool or water feature with bricks, pebbles or decking that match its surroundings. 

River Canyon Watercourse

Handmade Bath Stone Pond

4-Tier Cascade

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Make use of different levels

we often ignore vertical space in our gardens. Playing with levels in your space adds more interest and lets you play with planters and seating placement. Tall fountains, water walls or raised ponds are an effective way to play with height and give you the option of adding cascades and waterfalls.

3-Tier Classical Stone Fountain

Cascading Metal Water Feature

Create contemporary space with a waterfall

Sleek and modern, modern waterfalls often come in chrome and stainless steel designs that add an impressive CenterPoint to your garden. Surround the base with rocks and large plants for more effect and light with spotlights to create a mesmerising nighttime display.

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Ponds for wild gardens

Wild gardens can be havens for birds, pollinators and other garden animals, but we often see them as just meadows of wildflowers. However, a pond can be a great addition to these hardens and provide sanctuary for amphibians and other animals. Build with a slight sloping side topped with pebbles and stones to allow easy access to animals. Surround with pollen-rich plants like coneflowers. You can also add marginal pond plants for textures and colours you won’t find anywhere else. 

Find all our pond suitable plants here 

Rills for a timeless look

A rill is a long narrow channel that brings clean lines to your garden but can fit in with any design scheme. Surround with brick or stone for a traditional look or lay decking, bamboo, black gravel or pebbles for a contemporary or eastern design. 

Derek Harper / The Rill Garden, Coleton Fishacre / CC BY-SA 2.0

Integrate pumps and filters into the design

Any water feature needs a pump and if its a part of a pond you will also have filters, heaters and other equipment. All of this equipment can get messy and cluttered so, incorporating it into your design is a great way to keep your water feature running smoothly and keep your garden looking great. 

Lights

The full effect of a water feature will be seen during the day, but if you like to spend time outside during the evenings then placing lights around your water feature you can get just as good an effect.

Scale to your garden’s size

You don’t need a large garden to fit to have a water feature. Everything from a small courtyard to a balcony can benefit if you buy small tabletop or wall-mounted fountain that gives the same effect as bigger displays.

Jug and Bowl Solar Water FeatureThree-Tier Oil Jar Water FeatureOil Jar Cascading Water Feature
Wall-Mounted Cascade Triple Trickle Honey Pots

 Verdigris Wall Fountain

Think solar

A water feature can use a lot of electricity if run for most of the day. A solar water feature will save on your bills and keep your water feature active whilst you’re outside.

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Terracotta Bowls

 Tap and Half Barrel

Easter Island Head

4-Tier Solar 

Buckets and Tap

Ivory 3-Tier Cascade

Decorative Features, How To, Indoor

If you’re working from home it’s essential that you keep your working space as lovely to work in as you can. The work environment has a significant effect on motivation and productivity. Here are our top tips on making your home workspace work better for you. 

Add Houseplants

 

Adding a natural touch is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your working life. Houseplants purify the air, remove toxins from the space and create a more pleasant space to work in. They also don’t take up much space, and some even thrive in low light or humid areas – great if you are working from your kitchen or conservatory. 

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Use Mirrors to add light. 

Mirrors are a great way to lighten up your space and make it feel bigger. Outdoor mirrors can look really nice when brought indoors, and they tend to be more decorative and strong. Put your mirror opposite a window or where it will reflect natural light and your office will feel lighter and roomier. 

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Be creative with screening.

If you have the time and are looking to get that ultra-modern office look it might be worth looking at garden screening. Artificial foliage screening creates a no-maintenance living wall in your space that adds a touch of the outdoors that you’d only find in the most high-end London offices. Want a slightly more textured or feature background for your video calls? Then consider some bamboo or willow screening – it really gives a great look. 

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Think about water features

An indoor water feature has a lot of health benefits: purifying and humidifying the air and fills your space with the relaxing sounds of running water. Their use in the home is often overlooked, but they will only benefit your workday and they come in so many styles that you will definitely find something to suit your style. 

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For more on how to improve your home working experience why not take a look at our guide here. 

We would love to see what you have been doing with your home office, why not show us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Decorative Features, Water Features

Indoor water features are a design element that a lot of people overlook. They add movement and sound into a space and can be used as a centrepiece or accent feature. In Feng Shui, indoor fountains are thought to bring peace, tranquillity and well-being into the home and universities have started to research the benefits themselves. So, how can an indoor fountain improve health? Read on to find out. 

They Improve Sleep 

The sounds of running water can be found on most sleep and relaxation soundtracks because they work. Being around nature is a great way to reset your body clock and promote good sleeping patterns, but nothing can beat the real thing. Any indoor water feature will bring the calming repetitive sounds of running water into the home and give you some relaxing background sounds. 

Why it’s important: making sure you get enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do for good mental and physical health

They Relieve Stress 

A study by the University of Sussex found that the sounds of nature can drastically lower stress levels. If you live in an urban area or don’t have access to many outdoor spaces during the week, then a water feature in the home is an ideal way to bring the outside in. 

Why it’s important: prolonged levels of stress can cause issues with your mental and physical health and can lead to burnout id not treated. 

They Humidify The Air 

It’s common in winter for the air in your home to begin to dry out when the heating is on all day. As a water feature runs it releases water vapour into the air that improves the humidity and creates a calming atmosphere in the home that is good for health and wellbeing. 

Why it’s important: dry air can cause problems to your throat and nose which makes it easier to catch diseases. Prolonged exposure to a dry atmosphere will also dry out your skin and cause fatigue. 

They Improve Air Quality

When we have our windows and doors closed o most of the day the air inside our homes can become full of dust and other debris. The lighting, paint and amount of electronics in your home will also affect the quality of the air in your home by releasing negative ions into the air. A water feature produces positive ions that cancel these out and also pull any dirt or debris out of your environment. 

Why it’s important: clean air is a natural mood booster, it reduces anxiety, depression and stress. Combine a water feature with some sir-purifying houseplants and you are well on your way to creating a space that promotes good health and wellbeing.

They Block Out Distracting Sounds 

The sound of running water has a white noise effect in enclosed spaces. If you live in a noisy area or struggle to relax then adding a water feature to your home could be a good solution. 

Why it’s important:  loud or distracting noises can lower your concentration when you’re working from home or trying to focus on a task 

An indoor water feature is more than just a pretty feature, it has material benefits to your health and well-being. Find the perfect one now.

Decoration, Decorative Features, Garden Design, Indoor, Make over

Painting furniture is a great way to add your own personality to your furniture. But it can be a daunting task if you’re not used to it; we’ve all had the worry of “what if I make it look worse?”. So we’ve compiled some basic tips and ideas to help guide you in the right direction so you can enjoy the process and have some success with painting your furniture. We’ve also got some decorative ideas to help get you thinking on how to make any furniture item your own.   

Prepare your furniture for painting

  1. Always give your furniture a clean before painting. Make sure it’s free from dust by going over it with a damp cloth and then a dry cloth before you start.
  2. Some items of furniture may come already varnished or treated in which case you may need to sand them before you can paint. For wooden furniture, a standard sandpaper will work fine but for metal items, you may need to purchase some special sandpaper.
  3. If there are areas of the furniture you wish to remain paint-free, cover these with masking tape or a special painters tape from a DIY store.

Prepare to paint

Paint choice 

Once prepared you can begin painting your furniture. The paint that you use will be dependent on the material you’re are painting so its best to consult your local DIY store to select the right kind. They will usually divide their paint shelves into sections for materials like wood and metal. 

Brushes

It’s a good idea to have a number of different brushes when painting. You can use larger brushes for covering smooth surfaces and use smaller brushes for getting in and around little details. Any patterns or designs that you wish to paint on top of the furniture will likely be best achieved with the smallest brush. You should feel free to experiment however and see the effects of different brush sizes, shapes and materials have on your furniture.

Start painting

When painting your furniture its best to take things slowly. Work systematically doing one section at a time and take the time to slowly cover the furniture in a smooth coat of paint. This will guarantee you a much neater finish than just throwing paint on quickly. If you’re using spray paints you can apply the same principles; start off with just a light layer of paint and slowly build it up to full coverage.  

Finish up 

Once your furniture is painted and dry you can leave it as it is or cover with a protective varnish. Applying varnish is probably a good extra step to take if your furniture will be outside a lot as it will protect your work from adverse weather. You should bear in mind that a varnish may adjust the final look of your furniture; it may make the overall look much darker or washed out, so it’s best to check this beforehand and buy paint that will work well with your chosen varnish. 

Decorative Ideas

Using tape

Tape can be used to block out parts of your furniture to achieve a certain design. Simply wrapping a strip of tape around the foot of a table leg before painting over it, for example, can give a simple line that will make your table look unique and special to you. You can experiment with blocking parts of your furniture off with tape to add simple line designs to anything. 

Colour blocking

This is a really easy way to make any item of furniture look personalised. Divide your furniture into sections and paint each section a corresponding colour. A chest of drawers, for example, you may wish to paint the outer casing one colour, the draws another colour and the drawer handles another colour. This gives you a colour boost whilst ensuring you still maintain a sense of continuity.  

Use a colour palette generator 

The web has lots of generators that can make you a colour palette for use in your designs or furniture upcycling. Our favourite is https://coolors.co/ You can even upload a favourite photo and extract a colour scheme from that.

Add other materials

Mixing materials is a great way to add a unique stamp on your furniture. Mixing natural materials like wood with some metal features like handles can really make your furniture stand out.

Paint on a design/use a stencil 

All you need is a printer and a craft knife and you can easily create a stencil from any image or pattern that you find online. This is a great way to get a consistent design on your furniture without having to rely on freehanding your designs.