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Gardening trends: the inside-outside trend will be a very big deal this summer, according to Instagram

Fallen in love with the inside-outside gardening trend? Here’s how to recreate the Instagram-friendly look for yourself at home… 

Updated on 28 May 2021: Over the past 12 months, we’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with gardening (just look to our newfound obsession with houseplants if you need proof).

Now, as summer gets into swing, many of us are looking to make the most of whatever outdoor space we have. So, whether you have a balcony, a patio, or are lucky enough to have even a teeny-weeny garden of your own, it’s worth noting that the next big gardening trend is all about bringing the indoors, outdoors.

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That’s right; the garden furniture experts at Luxury Rattan have analysed the top 200 images under the #gardeninspiration hashtag on Instagram, and it seems that more and more people are transforming their garden into a fifth room, complete with cosy soft furnishings and homeware accessories.

“The trend featured in 11% of the top images under the #gardeninspiration hashtag,” they explain alongside their research. “So it’s time to roll that rug outside!”

But what is the inside-outside gardening trend, really? And what do we need to consider when recreating the look for ourselves at home?

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the inside-outside gardening trend?

As reported on 22 April: The clue’s in the name here, as the inside-outside gardening trend really is about bringing your indoor comforts outside and expanding your home. 

To do this, you need to open your mind a little to the possibility of using traditional indoor furniture on your balcony, patio, terrace, or lawn; think mirrors, rugs, sofas, blankets, throws, cushions, and pouffes.

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What plants work best for the inside-outside gardening trend?

It’s not just about the furnishings, though; you also need to make sure you’re choosing the right plants, too.

“’The inside outside garden trend is all about creating flow from your inside space to your outdoor space, so one naturally flows into the other,” says the team at House Beautiful.

“Choose plants that work both indoors and out to create a transition between the living and outside space. Good options include geranium, boxwood and calla lily.”

Things to remember when recreating the inside-outside gardening trend

Chris and Andy O’Donoghue, the brothers behind Gardens Revived, have some sage advice for anyone considering trying the trend out for themselves.

“Rugs and fabrics are best positioned on a terrace, deck, or patio,” they say. “If you do want to place them on a lawn, remember not to put them out too early in the morning when it’s dewy: they will get very wet very quickly.

“You should also make sure to take them up in the evening, and move them around daily, so one area of grass isn’t kept out of the sunlight.”

The Gardens Revived team continues: “Mirrors are brilliant for darker spaces, as they help to bounce light around and brighten things up, not to mention make it feel bigger.

“They can also help to reflect more colour, helping you to make the most of your flowers and plants.”

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“Again, try to keep heavier furniture on harder surfaces,” they continue. “If you do want to position it directly on your lawn, always be careful if the ground is slightly damp, as the legs can sink into the soil and dent it.

“Try popping something like a coaster underneath each leg to spread the weight, so it’s not digging in.”

The Gardens Revived team adds that the most important thing to remember when transforming your outdoor space into a cosy inside-outside paradise is this; good lighting.

“Lighting is a really brilliant way to maximise time in your garden,” they explain to Stylist, “as it creates calming pools of warmth that last long into the evening.”

While fairylights and electric lights are an easy way to achieve this, they add: “It doesn’t have to be electric lighting; candles are also brilliant, particularly if you opt for the citronella ones, as they keep biting bugs away.”

Of course, you can think outside the box when adapting the inside-outside trend to suit your outdoor space and personal taste.

“Bunting is a fun way to add colour and texture and height,” explain the Gardens Revived team. “And any old furniture can be adapted; try upcycling a chest of drawers, opening it up and positioning trailing plants out of each drawer.

“Or, if you prefer, why not position some side-tables and empty picture frames around the garden? They make excellent displays for potted and hanging plants alike.”

How to nail the inside-outside trend on a smaller budget

If you like the trend, but aren’t ready to commit to it wholeheartedly, then don’t despair; there are lots of ways to achieve the look without spending lots of money.

“Don’t underestimate the power of old wooden pallets, as they can be transformed into any type of furniture, from tables to chairs to even pub bars!” say the Gardens Revived team.

“Once you’ve decked them out with bright tablecloths, cushions and other soft furnishings, they’ll look incredible.”

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