How to Choose the right Parasol for your Outdoor Space

Solero Parasols Garden shade inspiration ideas summer
Ad – This post is a paid partnership with Solero Parasols.

As I’m very garden focused at the moment, finding a good parasol is something I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought to. If this Summer is anything like last year then it’s definitely worth considering some good shade somewhere outside to be prepared.

Gone are the days of just umbrella type shades with little slightly wobbly bases, there are literally so many stylish and practical parasols on offer that it’s hard to navigate the internet sometimes and decipher what you’ll need, so I’ve put together some pointers that might make it a bit simpler all round using a company called Solero Parasols for examples as they know their stuff when it comes to such things.

solero parasols garden sunny shade ideas inspiration

Size.

A factor before you invest is  – will it fit ? I have made the mistake before of loving something and buying it without measuring up. It’s vital to work out the measurements to ensure it will cover all the chairs and table if going over a dining or seated area. Or that it will fit in lots of different areas without being over bearing. I do think go as big as you possibly can for as much as ground coverage as possible. In our case I always think of our pets as well and keeping them shady at the same time.

If you do need shade for a smaller space then a smaller square version should be just the ticket.

parasols ideas south facing garden bright shade

Durability and protection.

Thinking about the weather. Is your garden prone to extreme weather ? Or is the space South facing meaning that you will get more sun and heat at the hottest time of the day ?

For colder weather, A hydropholic (repels water) coating will be useful and also reinforced ribs will mean standing up to powerful winds. A cover for the parasol while it is not bing used is obviously a sensible idea too.

being safe from UV rays is right up there on the list and so good to know if the material used for the parasol have 100% filter for radiation.

Wall Parasol garden restaurant shade sunny ground solero parasol wall attached

Base and mobility.

Are you going to be moving the parasol around or will you want to station it in just one area ?

Is it going to be a side arm ( Cantilever ) parasol that frees up the seating area or do you want something more classic like the Centre Pole Parasols ?

There’s also the wall parasols with integrated gas spring to make easy opening and closing like the one here above. These would be prefect for a smaller patio, a restaurant or even as a sunshade for a beach hut ? The thought of coordinating a parasol with a bright beach hut fills me with colour happiness.

If you are wanting a base there’s tile, granite or if you want something permanent then anchor bases that are stainless steel and poured in to the terrace with concrete to fix them.

If you are going to be moving the parasol around you can find bases with wheels which are very handy.

Which Shape.

Round, square or rectangle ? The pro’s for the round are it can generally open and close above a table and has a higher closing height because all the ribs are the same length.

As for a square shape, they can connect with wall gutters so if it is raining the water will find it’s way through the gutter and not all over you. So you can sit outside whatever the weather without getting wet.

Aesthetically it really depends on the look you prefer and it’s as simple as that.

Parasols outdoors beach garden ideas

Colour and material.

Of course, I am going to bring up the colour aspect but it’s definitely important. I notice that Solero Parasols offer a 4 year guarantee which I think is excellent and a real deal maker personally. For instance, you want to be able to trust that it won’t fade from a nice vibrant turquoise to a palid light blue within the first year or that you are at least looked after by the company if that were to happen.

If you have a table and chairs already or surrounding fences etc then it’s worth taking in to account whether everything is cohesive. You could even make up a little mood board before purchasing. It always helps pull everything together and decipher which colour parasol will look best. You want to be happy with it for years to come, after all. The parasols that I am showing today are fade resistant and 100% recyclable fabric.

With the poles being made of possibly aluminium or wood this is another thing to add in to the mix. Would you prefer a rustic wooden look or a sleek metal contemporary design ?

Tilting Parasol garden swimming pool colours sizes Tilting parasol outdoor sunny

Operating and technical options.

Where do I begin? You can buy parasols that tilts from side to side very discreetly with the sun like the Solero Fratello Pro here.

There’s no need these days to have garden heaters separate to your parasols as now you can buy waterproof ones that attach to the inside of the brackets creating a nice low glare warmth.

For lighting there are clip on LED like the Solero Lux  which is basically a strip type light which you affix to the rib of the parasol or lights that clip around the pole.

These accessories help to free up space around you which can be useful and more practical.

But you’d need to double check that the products work alongside each other before buying.

I think maybe most of us have grappled with an umbrella or parasol before, trying to open it. It’s much easier with a push pull system which means the parasol opens up by just pulling the handle of the parasol down. But there are other ways to open some of the parasols such as using a winch handle. Last but not least there’s a double purely system which is nice and simple and opens the parasol by pulling a cord down.

parasols outdoor ideas shady garden summer

Overall quality and pricing.

Check out reviews. Read up on the websites about the materials used and do your research and also – does the company offer a decent warranty ?

I chose to collaborate with Solero Parasols on this because they are specialists, have a 5 star rating and have so much on offer that you can’t go wrong – being able to specify colours and finishes along with bases. They describe themselves is middle to high end when it comes to pricing point.

In terms of a good quality parasol – it will be an investment for some time and will be well made so you may be looking at around £295 to start with and remember to bear in mind the extra accessories of required, that I have just mentioned. I am saving up for one myself and having done some research for this post will be spending a little more than I had initially planned to make sure I get something that will last throughout the coming years.

As there are so many different variations to choose from, you can often mix and match on this particular website to find exactly what you need as long as they are designed to work and fit together.

If you want to know any more then do head over to the Solero Parasols – their site is incredibly informative. I think I’ve learned everything I need to know today just by looking through their pages.

Are you looking for garden pieces too ? What do you think of these ?

Creating a Mediterranean Border with Garden on a Roll

Garden on a roll, plants, instructions gardening mediterranean

You might call 9 years of talking and thinking about doing our garden a little on the side of procrastination ? But this year when we hit the start of Spring I decided this was the season we would finally get motivated.

But where to start when you’re a gardening novice and the closest you’ve ever got to feeling at all  in the know about creating a healthy garden border, is when you’re sitting watching Gardner’s World with a cuppa ?

This is why I got in touch with Antony, a professional landscape garden designer, who has a company called Garden on a Roll whom you may already have heard of ? Basically they do all the planning and choosing work for you and package it all up in a box.

You just have to do the gardening bit your end.

You can choose from 7 different types to suit. These are Shady, Sunny, Wildlife, English Cottage, Evergreen Easy Care or Mediterranean which is what we opted for.

I’ve always had a thing about that part of the world which was encouraged further by my visit to The Eden Project Biomes a few years ago – if you remember?  You then choose your border size and that really is it.

Mediterranean Border Plants Greenery Shrubs

Antony checked with me first whether our type of soil would be suitable and then not long after a beautiful big card box box arrived by delivery with all the plants needed for our 9 metre by 40 cm border along with the specially mapped out on a bio degradable paper roll and everything else supplied to get the job done which included a tote bag with a trowl, gloves, pegs, some Root Plus and information to get me started.

Garden on a Roll

I think the thing that has put me off doing the garden before is the fear that I may put the wrong plants in and cause chaos. So it was really reassuring to know that I could follow the plan and do as I was told. This ‘ Good Luck ‘ note on the roll was a lovely start to the project.

Soil preparation gardening garden on a roll ideas tips

Although I had already pretty much got the bed ready beforehand and used some old bricks that my Mum gave us for a border, I went over the soil again before starting and really mixed in the organic matter.

Then I pushed back the top layer to make way for the roll and would use this excess soil at the end to push back over the roll and surround the plants. The roll disperses over time so all in all a really quick and practical way to

putting garden pegs gardening ideas tips

So next was laying the roll along the bed and pegging it down to hold it down securely and make the next step easy.

garden on a roll planting mediterranean plants flowers

Next I cut along all the lines inside the circles to make way for planting. Pushing back the corners. Honestly, by this point I was thinking ” I love gardening ” … and was also filming the process. More on that later …

Then digging holes big enough for the plants, dunking the bases of each one in to water first and then in they went. As mentioned earlier I then covered them all over with the soil left over and made sure everything was patted down. It all took a few hours which really wasn’t too bad at all.

Garden on A roll Border Mediterranean

Now all I have to do is keep them watered, give them some feed every now and then – and over time they will grow in to a really lush mixture of Mediterranean colour and greenery. I will update you in a while on how it’s all going.

Scabousa Misty Butterfly pink FlowerGeum Orange FlowerLeptospermum pink flowerSalvia Plant Purple Garden Border

I had to grab a few close up pics of some of the flowers. Top to bottom these are Scabousa, Geum, Leptospermum and Salvia. I can’t wait to see these mature.

It was really good to get my first Youtube video under my belt too. So if you fancy watching the process as well as reading about it then have a look here and give it a thumbs if you fancy. Don’t be put off by my slightly scary face here in the preview. Haha. If you subscribe there will be more videos soon to see.

Also  – if you’d like to leave me a comment please do. Always love to hear from you.

You can find out more about these amazing Garden on a Roll borders here. I’ve loved the experience.

Disclaimer: The Border was supplied by Garden on a Roll. As always all opinions are my own.

Versatile Homeware for Indoors and Outdoors

Indoor outdoor seating comfy fun kids bean bag

This is a post that brings the outdoor in and vice versa. I decided to put together this post for several reasons. One because we have pretty up and down weather here in the UK which means it’s useful to think about versatility when thinking about purchasing home and garden furniture items and two.

I’ve been looking closely at some cool things for our own home as I’m finally sorting out our own garden and want the patio area to feel like an extension of our home, if you know what I mean ? So a little inspiration for us all ?

To kick off with is this Icon Bean Bag Armchair from Bean Bag Bazaar which is water resistant and handle so you can move it around easily. I went for the teal colour. It’s been a big hit and perfect for us as we have started making the garden much more comfortable and fun to be in this year. This particular design comes in three other colours. You can pop it in front of the tv inside, maybe in a toy room or bedroom – or anywhere really. So definitely a good idea. I recommend having a little look at their website as they have lots to see.

Really there are so many options these days and I love the thought of saving a bit of money where you can. So here are some other options.

indoor outdoor homeware outside furniture lighting ideas inspiration
1. Retro Sound Speaker – SunnyLife 2 & 3.  Salad Servers & Bamboo Bowl  – Navigate 4. Bunting Lighting – John Lewis 5. Set of 2 Planters – Habitat 6. Candle – SunnyLife 7 & 8 Wicker Side Tables & Tile Floor Mat  – Amara

All of these items can be used inside and out. There really is anything you can possibly imagine these days ( how old do I sound ? ). The speaker is from Sunnylife, which is a really cool outdoorsy type of store.

Bamboo is brilliant being eco friendly. I try and buy it in many forms these days – we’ve even used as some fencing in our garden recently and also bought party plates that we have re-used several times. This bowl from Navigate would be good for kids and adults. Nice colour too.

Finding lighting for outdoors isn’t hard but looking for something to dress an area is not as easy. The bunting here has lights through running through the string. Definitely could be used in the home too. Kids bedroom ?

I really like this planter from Habitat, it actually comes as a pair. One larger, one smaller. Really unique and colourful. I’d have this in the kitchen I think if not outside.

Candles are a nice idea for the evening, especially if scented. This one is Coconut and Amber. Creates an atmosphere wherever you put them ?

Amara have a really good selection of items. Particularly love their outdoor rugs that you could bring in. The Wicker Set of Tables are very cool and versatile.

Indoor outdoor Shelving Ladder Storage Pots Ideas Tips Gardening

The one thing that hadn’t automatically sprung to mind, but actually makes total sense is flexible storage. You see ladder shelving used a lot these days indoors and a rustic outdoor version doubles up superbly especially in a cottage or for use in a utility area ? This shelf is by Garden Trading.

I might have to do another of these as I’ve come across many items and having definitely caught the gardening bug recently, I never thought ten years ago I’d be curled up on the sofa on a Friday night waiting for Monty Don to appear on the telly. I’ve learned loads – if you’ve enjoyed this then you may well find my next post interesting. It will also be my first Youtube entry if you’d like to subscribe.

I’d love any tips you have or ideas for indoor and outdoor living. Leave me a comment below.

The Beanbag was gifted from Bean Bag Bazaar.

Natural Flooring Tips using Kersaint Cobb


Striped Hallway Runner Moroccan Natural
Ad – This post is a paid partnership with Kersaint Cobb.

With my job as an interior designer and blogger I am always on the look out for companies offering home products made from natural sources –  but also standing out for quality and design.. This is twinned with a desire to find anything Moroccan in style because I adore the rich tones.

Hence why Kersaint Cobb are one of my go to places for inspiration and I’m going to to talk about their carpets today and how they can work beautifully in various home set ups.

Let’s start with the Sisal Morocco Runner named Tetouan. I’d say that a runner to be used in a home with busy traffic is going to be more suitable if it has a pattern of some sort. With the stripes here, it makes a statement and defines the space. If you already have wooden floors that you’re happy with, it’s a great alternative to carpeting the whole area and you can play around with contrasting colours to work with your chosen colourway.

Striped Stair Runner Impact Statement

It is pliable so can be used as a  stair runner also  – and makes great impact.

Seagrass Carpet Home Natural Style

I can remember when I first saw a home with a seagrass floor many years ago and fell in love with how it made the room feel and the texture of it under my feet.

It’s a very durable option and ideal for a busy home as it doesn’t stain. I’ve seen it used in small and large rooms and it works in both due it’s colour.

It comes in various woven forms such as Basketweave, Herringbone and Standard and the same but in a finer range which tends to change change its tone of colour over the years and remains stunning.

Sisal Carpet Light Home Natural Cosy

Here is another Sisal called Big Boucle but this time just in a natural shade and is an extension of the outdoors.

Dark Carpet Grey Cosy Impact Statement

It does also come in Noir, providing a dramatic twist to a design scheme. The colour coordinates well with the greys and the more intense hues of the colour spectrum.

Natural Fibres Bedroom Cosy Warm Pretty Stylish

Moving over to wool which as we all know feels like heaven on your toes in the morning. This particular range is Pampas Highlands and is super versatile including suiting underfloor heating. That’s the dream on a cold morning isn’t it ?

Wool is worth considering if you have little people in the home as it’s bouncy and ‘ fall friendly ‘ and it’s pretty easy to care for.

It’s also always worth checking if a carpet is moth resistant and I can tell you this one certainly is. Definitely a bonus.

Another wool one here called Aurora which comes in several options. Another thing to look out for with wool is it’s suitability rating for your home or work space. For instance is it ‘ heavy domestic ‘ meaning will see you through many years of life and all that comes with it … you’ll be glad to know this is.

Carpet Soft Kersaint Cobb Home Cosy Living Room Pink Chair Wooden Floor Blue RoomOil Ideas for home

I’m a big fan of wood floors. One reason being they are so easy to maintain and is a brilliant base for contemporary and older homes especially with the many different grades and types of wood. Although Kersaint Cobb have a plethora of versions, this is ‘ Simply Oak ‘ which is engineered and lacquered and comes in a variety of lengths. It has a UV oiled finish.

On their website they give you a very detailed spec sheet that tells you everything you need to know about each product.

Hope you’ve found this useful ? Do leave a comment with any questions or thoughts.

All images © Kersaint Cobb 2019.

Three Stunning Apartment Homes for Sale

Aucoot Property Tiled Converted Home Quirky Stylish

So, another month has passed and that means I get to share some more beautifully inspiring homes in the UK, currently on the market with you. All different in their own way but unified in that they are apartments this month and all have fantastic style.

Rochester.

I’m starting off with this apartment called The Taproom old Brewery in Rochester. Part of the UK I don’t think I’ve ever visited but hear great things. Apparently Charles Dickens loves it so if it’s good enough for him ….

The Grade 1 building has been divided in to a couple of apartments and you’d be mistaken for thinking this is a converted church building judging by the high, vaulted ceilings.

Tiled walls home converted building high ceilings quirky

They have combined several different textiles here in terms of interior design with ceramic tiles, wood, cement and elements of brass. Speaking of the tiles – I love their slight imperfection in places. It really proves here with their use of them in different rooms that you can play around with your ideas and do something really unique if you wish.

Stylish home sale bedroom tiled walls industrial

Having peeked at the floor plan, the place is much bigger than I thought it might be, certainly spacious enough for a family  Edwardian in era but has been given a strong industrial feel too. They have also put in smart lighting systems so it can be changed to suit the mood and time of day.

Console Table Old Concered Home white stylish contemporary

I think they have also allowed enough scope for subtle changes by the next owner although to be honest, I think I’d be very happy with it as it is.

Dining table styles converted house

This places is on the market with Aucoot at £975,000.

Edinburgh.

Living Room Cosy Edinburgh

Built in 1821 this lovely and bright, spacious 4 bedroom flat is on Fettes Row which as you can maybe see out of the window here is on a lovely Flagstone city centre Street in Edinburgh. It has been refurbished by the current owners and I really like the palettes they’ve used throughout.

Kitchen in edwardian apartment blue stylish

They’ve cleverly added an extra cupboard in the corner there to make sure there’s lots of storage and I reckon you could probably if you chose to, add in a little island ? The blues yellow and light grey is a great combination as always.

Butler Sink Kitchen Tiles Edwaridan Vintage Style

You can’t go wrong with a butler sink epically when it’s sympathetic to the area this building was built.

flat for sale edinburgh pink hallway

This place really reminds me a flat that I lived in for many years in London. The exposed floorboards, ornate ceilings and large doorways. It gives a great sense of space. The pink they have used is very welcoming and friendly.

It’s for sale with Knight Frank for offers in excess of £675,000.

London.

London Apartment Mews Home Trendy Cool

I was immediately intrigued by this warehouse home from the outside and communal gardens, I couldn’t wait to have a little look inside. Situated in Gattis Wharf, just across the water from Kings Cross and Granny Square. Originally in the late 19th Century, used to store tonnes of ice. Let’s move indoors ….

Cool apartment london

With lots of original features intact. Utilsing space by adding a mezzanine level for sleeping and working.

Mezzanine bedroom warehouse loft apartment

One of the big bonuses of having a loft bedroom is you will often get some of the best views. I’m sure that this will be no different given it’s location.

Loft apartment warehouse london

Underneath is a cool nook in the large reception area, for chilling and listing to music. The shapes in the wood adds a splash of originality and creativity and will leave extra piece of history for the next owner. Downstairs also has a kitchen and bathroom.

Apartment Flat Wooden Quirky Cool Stlylish Open Plan

I think they’ve done a great job of making it really workable and homely without trying too hard.

It’s currently for sale at £550,000 with The Modern House.

What do you think of my selection this month ?