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Spinach and Cumin Soup Recipe

Shreyas Recipe for Spinach and Cumin Soup

Mani, one of the five chefs at Shreyas yoga and wellbeing retreat in Nelamangala, Bangalore, showed me how to make this healthy, nourishing spinach and cumin soup. The food at the Shreyas ashram is vegetarian and is created according to yogic principles so it’s “fresh, light and nutritious”.  Ingredients are hand-picked from the retreat’s organic gardens and every meal is a culinary delight.  There’s more to follow on Shreyas in another post, for now I am sharing this delicious soup recipe, which is quick and easy to make and full of flavour, in time for the Easter break.

Shreyas-Manni-the-chef-Maud-interiors

 Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a red onion finely chopped
  • 1 packet of fresh, organic, spinach
  • 1.5 tblsps olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 300 ml cold water
  • 50 ml skimmed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a large wok.
  • Add the cumin, garlic and onion and allow to lightly brown.
  • Add the spinach leaves and reduce.
  • Once the spinach has reduced add 300ml water (the water must be cold) and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the wok from the heat and allow to cool.
  • When the mixture is at room temperature add 50ml skimmed milk, the cardamom powder and cinnamon then blend.
  • Reheat and enjoy.

 

spinach and cumin soup Maud interiors

 

 

Maud’s Top 5 Things To Do In Jaipur

Maud’s Top 5 Things To Do In Jaipur

 

Visit Phool Mandi the wholesale flower market

wholesale flower market jaipur maud interiors

rose heads for sale jaipur maud interiors

Phool Mandi Jaipur

Go early, the market opens at 06.00 and watch as local farmers carry in huge sacks bursting with roses and marigolds which are traded in front of you. Later the same day you will see garland makers all over the city stringing together and selling the flower heads, which are used as offerings to Hindu deities in daily worship in temples, in offices and the home.

Whilst you are there visit the fruit and vegetable market which is alongside.  The market is on the way to Amber Fort on the Hawa Mahal Road at Chandi Taksal Gate.  You could combine your visit with a trip to Amber Fort and the Anokhi museum (see below).

Visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

Anokhi museum of hand printing jaipur

Block printing areas india Anokhi hand printing museum

block printing demonstration Anokhi maud interiors

For textile lovers this is a delightful museum situated in a beautifully restored old haveli just past Amber fort on the outskirts of the city.  Anokhi is a successful block printing business with shops all over India founded over 40 years ago to revive Rajasthan’s traditional block printing techniques (see the traditional block carving and printing centres in Rajasthan and Gujarat in the map above).  The museum is dedicated to the collection and preservation of printed textiles.  Here will you see antique to modern examples of printing techniques including block printing, dabu mud resist and ajrakh printing.  You can see a demonstration of block printing (pictured above) and have a go yourself.

Anokhi works with over 1,000 craftspeople in Jaipur and the surrounding area and is known for its ethical working practices.  A visit to the main shop selling block printed clothing and home accessories in Jaipur is a must.

Museum: Khedi Gate, Amber

Shop: 2nd Floor, KK Square, C11 Prithviraj Road C Scheme.

 

Take a guided tour of the Old City

hawa mahal jaipur maud interiors

looking out from hawa mahal Jaipur maud interiors

Jaipur has over three million inhabitants and the traffic can be crazy: cars, bikes, rickshaws, trucks, cows, dogs, goats, pigs, and the odd camel and elephant all jostling for space to the constant sound of the car horn. The best way to orient oneself and get a clear picture of the old, walled, city is to get up early before the city wakes and take a walking tour. Square by Foot walks are led by architects and will give you a real insight into the history, architecture, culture and trade of the old city.  There are several different heritage walks and walks start at 06.30am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Contact squarebyfoot@gmail.com for more information.

The above shots are of the Hawa Mahal, the Palace of the Winds, in the old city, which was built in 1799 by Maraja Sawai Pratap Singh to allow the ladies of the royal court to observe daily life on the street below without being seen.

 

Watch master craftman Mr Ikramuddin Mohd Sabir Neelgar and his team create leheriya (tie-dyed) fabric.

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tie dyed fabric drying Jaipur maud interiors

leheriya jaipur maid interiors

tie dyed turban jaipur maud interiors

The name leheriya, comes from the Rajasthani word for wave because the final tie-dye effect is like rippled water.  Mr Ikramuddin Mohd Sabir Neelgar is a fourth generation master craftsman from one of the oldest families practising this Rajasthani dyeing technique. It’s a complex process involving rolling white cotton or silk into long strips which are tied at intervals and then dyed.  The process is repeated up to eight times with different colours. The result is stunning jewel-coloured fabric, which is used for traditional Rajasthani turbans, for saris and more recently by international fashion designers.  Fabric is available to purchase and the silk turbans make wonderful scarves.

This place is quite difficult to find and you may have to ask your driver to call for directions.  It’s on a side road not far from the Hawa Mahal.  The address is 2803 Mehro Ki Nadi, Chokdi Ramchandra Ji. Tel: (0141) 261 9848.

 

Browse the bazaars

 

rajasthani hen party Maud interiors

Spend time wandering the bazaars in the old city and get an insight into local life.  Buy fabric and sip a cup of chai with the storekeepers, see brides to be and their female relatives choosing ornate trimmings and fabric for their weddings in the local textile bazaar, just off Badi Chaupur.   Find thali dishes, flat saucepans for making chapati and spice containers, in Tripolia bazaar and stock up on ornate mojari slippers in Bapu bazaar.  The bazaars are open from around 10am until 8pm.

The photo above of ladies in embellished saris was taken at a Rajasthani hen party which I was invited to on my first visit to the city.

Where to stay? Check out my post on Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Places to stay: Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh Jaipur

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh Jaipur

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Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh was my home from home in Jaipur, India, for a week earlier this year. Described as a luxury guesthouse it’s a delightful, family run, boutique hotel with 11 bedrooms a restaurant and a spa.

It’s one of the most welcoming places I have ever stayed and it really feels as if you are staying in a beautifully designed home rather than a hotel. Shiva Gupta, the owner, his daughter Megha, wife Anita and their staff are extremely hospitable and know how to make their guests feel at home.

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A place to relax hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh was designed by an Italian architect and was once part of the Maharaja of Jobner’s garden.   The grounds are beautifully maintained. There are lots of places to sit and relax and everywhere you go you are surrounded by the fragrant scent of jasmine.

the roof terrace hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

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From the large roof terrace there are views to the Aravalli hills and Nahalargh fort and the Ganesh Temple. It’s a lovely place to sit at dusk, enjoy a drink and listen to the birdsong.

The food at the hotel is delicious.  Mrs Anita Gujar is responsible for the menu and dinner is typically a healthy three course vegetarian meal.  It’s authentic home cooking and is some of the best food I have tasted whilst travelling in India.

interior styling hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

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Bedroom-Hotel-47-Jobner-Bagh

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The interiors have been elegantly styled and it is the sort of place you want to move into. Bedrooms have antique tables, colonial style chairs and old doors as headboards.  Bathrooms have a Moroccan feel with tadelakt walls and floors.  The communal areas are full of large pots, candles, old photographs and lots of seating areas, which gives the hotel a very relaxed feel.

jewel coloured lights hotel 47 jobber bagh

The hotel is within easy reach of the Old City and all the major sites in Jaipur yet tucked away from the crazy Jaipur traffic so it is a great place to retreat to after a busy day sightseeing. You can find out more about the hotel here.

 

If you, like me, prefer boutique hotels to large corporate chains see my recommendations for Morocco here and Mexico here.

 

(Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh bedroom photographs taken by the hotel)

Shop Independent This Christmas

shop independent this Christmas

 

Thanks to Lola Hoad of Lola Hoad Design for letting us use her artwork, you can see her lovely Christmas cards and prints here.  I agree with Lola that it is important to shop independent and not just at Christmas but throughout the year.  Admittedly as a small independent online business owner I am biased but I fear that if we don’t our high streets will become the same countrywide.  That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for larger brands but there should be room for the smaller independents, with handcrafted, artisanal products, too and in London, in particular, rising rents are forcing the smaller independent shops out and global brands are taking over.

 

So I am shopping independent this Christmas.  Here are some of my go to independents for gifts:

Christmas-shop-independent

 

Cambridge Imprint, for beautiful printed notebooks, wrapping paper and office accessories.  The printed box files and filing trays just make me want to get organised.

Gift vouchers from Bread Ahead, a bakery in Borough Market, London,which makes the most delicious artisan breads and unbelievably light custard-filled donuts.

Travel sets in beautiful Japanese prints and traditional travel slippers from Keiko Uchida.  The room shoes are perfect for pottering around at home and lightweight for travel.  They have padded arches so are great for anyone who spends the day in heels.

 

 

 

 

 

Handcrafted Gifts for the Global Traveller

Handcrafted Gifts With A Story Behind Them

gifts for the global traveller

 

Stuck for a gift for that person in your life who is always jetting off to exotic locations?  Why not give them a handcrafted gift with a story behind it? A travel-inspired gift which will evoke memories of their travels or create a desire to visit new places.  Here are some suggestions:

 

1. First we head to India for these handcrafted copper seed pod tea light holders.  Each piece is carefully crafted from copper by a Tambat craftsman in Pune.   Each tea light holder comes in a presentation box and makes the perfect gift. Available in small £24 and large £28.  By purchasing one of these tea lights you are helping to preserve the traditional craft of the Tambat coppersmiths which dates back to the seventeenth century.

 

2. From Mexico, choose from a selection of striped cushions hand-woven and hand finished in the heart of Chiapas by Mayan women using traditional back strap loom weaving techniques. £75 each. By purchasing one of these cushions you are providing an income for Mayan weavers and helping to fund health and education programmes.

 

3.  From a cooperative in southern Morocco, a beautiful hand thrown ceramic bowl edged in copper.  The distinctive glaze on these bowls, which creates a myriad of different greens, is created from a secret formula known to only twelve members of the cooperative.  Each piece is unique. Small £40.

 

4.  To Swaziland for large open ribbed hand-woven baskets from social enterprise Gone Rural.  Contemporary design meets traditional weaving techniques in these versatile baskets.  Each basket has three circles of ribbing, a complex technique, creating the illusion of three baskets in one..  One size £112.  Gone rural employs over 700 women and through its charity BoMake provides health, water and education programmes for 10,000 women artisans and their communities.

 

5. Vintage Berber wedding blankets from Morocco.  A favourite with interior designers, these blankets are guaranteed to add sparkle on the foot of the bed, over a sofa or chair or framed on the wall.  Various sizes £380.

Photos 2,4,5 Kristy Noble.

Gifts for Yogis

Gift Inspiration For The Yogis In Your Life

 

Gifts for Yogis

 

A selection of gifts for yogis or for someone needing to relax, unwind and create a sense of calm  after a long day at the office.  Choose from our handcrafted copper sunflower tea light holders £19.00, which are perfect for creating soft ambient lighting for an evening practice. | 2. Aashe, one of our large hand embroidered, comfortable, floor cushions from our Kutch Collection for meditation. | 3.  A hand beaten, fair trade, copper meditation urli(bowl).  Just watching the coppery light created by  floating tea lights reflecting against the tiny hammered indentations creates a sense of calm.

Bedroom Inspiration – Headboards

It’s that time of year when we retreat indoors and want to hibernate so what better time to make some changes to our interiors and create rooms we want to spend time in during the cold, dark, winter months.

 

There are lots of simple things you can do to change the look and feel of a room and today I’m looking at bedrooms and headboards and the space above the headboard.  As the bed is generally the main focal point in the bedroom changing the headboard and doing something with the space above it can make a big difference to a room.  Take a look at the bedrooms below and you will see how the designers featured have used this space to add visual impact to the room.

 

Fabric Covered Headboards

In the photograph below, Amber Lewis of Amber Interior Designs, has used what looks like kantha material to transform a grey headboard.  I like the way she has mixed up the textiles against the headboard to add colour, pattern and interest.  This is a simple way to introduce colour pattern and texture to a conventional fixed headboard.

Bedroom inspiration: headboards

Via

In this bold, contemporary global bedroom in Puglia, belonging to fashion designer Liza Bruce, the headboard is covered in a contrasting patterned fabric to the coverlet and the warm purple wall so that it stands out.  The combination of the patterned headboard and the purple wall draw the eye upwards making the room appear larger than it is.  It’s a bold look but it works because of the limited colour palette based on the colours in the coverlet.

Bedroom inspiration: headboards

Via

If jewel-like colours aren’t for you then take a look at this rustic bedroom with industrial accents in a subtle colour palette, which is actually part of French concept store, La Maison Pernoise.  In this room set they have used a black and white graphic print as a headboard and added a black and white portrait photograph above which draws the eyes in.  The headboard and artwork above it frame the bed.

Bedroom inspiration: headboards

Via

Wall Hangings

You could do away with a headboard altogether and place a large framed textile above the bed, which is what Spanish interior designer Victoria Melian, has done in this Moroccan home below.  Again, this bedroom design works because the designer has kept the colour palette to just four colours, which are repeated in the wall hanging.  If this idea appeals then take a look at our vintage embroidered wall hangings here.

Victoria-Melia-Elle-Espana

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Artwork Above The Bed

Fashion designer, Marlene Birgir, has used framed paintings above the bed to create a focal point.  Again she has restricted her colour palette and stuck to monochrome prints which tie in with the overall theme.  For monochrome blankets and rugs have a look here and here.

Marlene-Birgir's-home-via-Style-Files

Via

Below, in this elegant bedroom, in Peacock Pavilions, in Marrakech, designer, Maryam Montague, has opted for a wooden headboard, which looks as if it has been salvaged from a printers and she has placed a 1920’s print above the bed, which again draws the eye upwards.  I love the mix of textiles in this room with its indigo bedspread, kilim cushion and rug and Rajasthani wall hanging over the window.

maryam-montague-peacock-paviliions

Via

Wooden Doors

This Moroccan styled room is actually from a pop up restaurant and concept store, The Secret Souk, which was held in New York last year.   The ornate door frames the bed and blends in with the natural coloured textiles.   If you like the textiles in this bedroom have a look at our blankets and throws here.

The-Secret-Souk-Morgan-Ione

 

Finally, another Secret Souk dining and store experience, currently taking place in Amsterdam, which has used what looks like a piece of architectural salvage, which could be wood or possibly tin as a headboard and then placed a hanging textile above.  Ignore the lanterns in the background and you can see how the headboard adds extra texture and works well with the textile above and the cushions and bedspread on the bed.  I love the mix of industrial, Moroccan lanterns and the indigo textiles in this room set styled and shot by Paula Arklin.

Paulina-Arklin-The-Secret-Souk

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Eight very different designs, which one is your favourite?

 

The Making of a Copper Meditation Bowl

Seventeenth century craftsmanship meets modern design

 

 

Maud-interiors-copper-meditation-bowls

Seventeenth century craftsmanship meets modern design in these copper meditation bowls or urli.  Created by Tambat coppersmiths, as part of an initiative by social enterprise Coppre, each piece is painstakingly handcrafted.  The process is seeded in Tambat tradition and utilises techniques handed down from father to son over generations.

 

There are eight stages in the creation of our best-selling copper meditation bowls, from initially cutting the copper sheeting, to moulding the shape, to the skilled art of beating, buffering and lacquering, to the end result. One of the most complex processes, requiring a high degree of skill, strength, dexterity and keen hand-eye coordination is the beating stage.  Tiny rows of uniform indentations are created using a technique, called ‘Matharkaam, which is carried out using specially profiled beating hammers.  The indentations create a reflective, mirror-like, appearance which radiates light.  You can see the processes involved below:

 

 

 

sheets-of-copper

Sheets of copper

Making a copper meditation bowl

Cutting the copper sheet

Making a copper meditation bowl

The basic shape

making a copper meditation bowl

Heating the circle

making a copper meditation bowl

And cooling it

making a copper meditation bowl

Spinning the first draw to create the bowl shape

the making of a copper meditation bowl

Annealing the copper

the making of a copper meditation bowl

The raw copper meditation bowl (urli)

Beating-the-copper-urli

Beating to create rows of tiny uniform indentations

Buffing

Buffing

Lacquering

Lacquering

the-final-urli

The final copper meditation bowl

The history of the Tambat craftsmen

The Tambat people have been handcrafting copper ware since the seventeenth century.  They originally worked for the Peshwar rulers who were based in Pune, making armour, coins and cannons but with British rule and industrialisation they were forced to turn their attention to making utensils and ceremonial objects for the public.  The community has been declining over the years as alternative metals and plastic have replaced the demand for copper goods and there are now only about 80 Tambat households remaining.

Revitalising a dying craft

Coppre, a dynamic social enterprise, which is supported by Indian NGO, INTACH, has been set up to revitalise this dying craft and improve the livelihoods of the Tambat coppersmiths by introducing modern designs and providing training and marketing.  Copper wares were once considered heirlooms in India and we think that the timeless pieces Coppre and the Tambat craftsmen have created are ones to cherish and pass on.

 

Below, you can see some of the other designs in the range, from nature-inspired seed pod and sunflower tea light holders to copper platters.  Click here to see the entire collection.

 

copper-collection-Maud-interiors

 

Photos of the Tambat craftsmen, Coppre

My Moroccan Food Q & A

My Moroccan F

 

Q & A with Nargisse Benkkabou, creator of My Moroccan Food

I’ve visited Morocco many times on sourcing trips and on holiday and really love the cuisine; the mix of spices in the tagines, the hot and cold salads, mouthwatering appetizers and of course, the sweet, sticky pastries.

I have been looking for a good source of Moroccan recipes since my last trip and came across a wonderful blog, My Moroccan Food, full of inspiring recipes accompanied by beautiful photographs, so today I am talking to Nargisse Benkkabou, a Moroccan food writer, photographer, cook and creator of My Moroccan Food, http://mymoroccanfood.com.

 

What motivated you to start blogging about Moroccan food?

I decided to start my blog straight after my cookery training last year. I had an urge to share my love of food and I chose to focus on Moroccan food because I realized that a lot of my friends love the food but rarely cook it at home. My aim is to make Moroccan cuisine more accessible.

 

What are the key ingredients of Moroccan cuisine?

  • Spices: saffron, turmeric, ginger, sweet paprika, cinnamon, ground coriander
  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Preserved lemons
  • Fresh coriander
  • Almonds

The main dishes are tagines, stews of spiced meat and vegetables, prepared by slow cooking in a shallow earthenware dish with a conical lid. Moroccan cuisine is also famous for its couscous.

 

What is your favourite dish?

There are many different types of tagines in Morocco but my favourite is chicken tagine with olives and preserved lemons.

 

Tell us about your Moroccan cookery classes?

I am very excited about my classes, which will be launching in London soon. I am planning to teach classic recipes such as pastille, a type of meat pie, typically filled with spiced pigeon meat and apricots and having a sugared crust and my favourite chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives, to individuals or small classes of up to three people.

 

You have a delicious looking recipe for Almond and Honey Briouates, which you have kindly allowed us to share. What are the main ingredients for these bite-sized sticky sweet delicacies that you find everywhere in Morocco.

  • Almonds, cinnamon, sesame seeds, anise and orange blossom water

Almond And Honey Briouates – Dairy Free (Coconut Oil)

Almond-and-Honey-Briouantes-My-Moroccan-Food

 

Briouates are small stuffed pastries that are filled with savoury or sweet fillings such as meat, cheese or almond paste.

Almond briouates are very popular in Morocco, they are mainly made of almonds and honey and gently seasoned with orange blossom water and cinnamon.

The pastry we use the envelope them in Morocco is warka, unfortunately there is no warka in London. The best substitute to warka is filo pastry, which I also used to make bastila.

Traditionally the almond paste (the filling) is made of ground fried almonds and then the whole pastry is fried. Yes, double frying. Sounds a bit like too much frying, right?

Today, I chose to make the briouates the way my mom does them (cause she always knows best!) this means that I didn’t fry any of the ingredients to make the briouates. I simply roasted the almonds in the oven and also baked the briouates in the oven.

The result tastes amazing, I found that the baked briouates feel lighter than the fried ones I tried in the past.

If you love honey and almonds you have to try this recipe! The pastry is crunchy and covered with honey, the inside has a deep and strong almondy flavour and a sweet orange blossom water aroma.

Also, in my quest to make Moroccan recipes more accessible I used coconut oil instead of butter to brush the filo pastry and to make almond paste, I think it tastes better than with butter. Ha!

Almond-and-Honey-Briouantes-1

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Ingredients

Makes 25 small briouates

300 gr blanched almonds
80 gr caster sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons orange blossom water, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
20 gr odourless coconut oil, solid
20 gr odourless coconut oil, melted
200 gr filo pastry
300 gr honey
Ground nuts or chopped dried fruits for decoration

 

Method

• Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F).

• In a greased baking tray, place the blanched almonds and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Bake in the oven until lightly tan, about 20 min (middle shelve). Give the almonds a good stir halfway through cooking.

• In a nut grinder or a food processor transfer the roasted almonds and add the caster sugar, 2 tablespoons orange blossom water, cinnamon and salt. Process until all the almonds are ground.

• Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)

• Transfer the almond mixture in a bowl and add 20 gr solid coconut oil. Mix until the ingredients are combined all together and knead to a solid mass.

• Unroll the filo and cut the pastry lengthways into 6 cm large and 30 cm long rectangles. Use a sharp knife to cut the pastry and keep the filo rectangles covered with a damp towel until ready to use to prevent them from drying out.

• On a work surface place a filo rectangle, brush it with coconut oil. Top the corner of the rectangle with a spoonful of almond paste and fold to form a triangle, up to the right and left, until the brioua is formed.

• Repeat until you’ve exhausted the almond paste and the filo pastry.

• Brush the small briouates with coconut oil and place in the oven to cook for 10 to 12 min until lightly golden.

• Meanwhile heat the honey with 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water. Avoid burning by controlling the heat, (once the the honey is foamy you should reduce the heat).

• Once the briouates are baked and golden, immediately transfer them to the simmering honey and soak the pastries for 2 to 3 minutes (flip the briouates if necessary).

• Remove to a flat dish to dry and cool before serving. Decorate with ground nuts and/or chopped dried fruits.

 

Notes

• If you use butter instead of coconut oil, use the same quantities and replace the solid coconut oil by softended butter and use melted butter instead of the melted coconut oil

• You should be able to close the pastry with the coconut oil (or butter) brushed on the filo pastry, however if you struggle to do so, use an egg yolk.

• Variation: Blanched almonds and honey briouates. The filling in this variation will taste more like marzipan, Do not roast the almonds and follow the recipe as instructed.

 

For more delicious recipes and to find out about Moroccan cookery classes follow Nargisse’s blog: https://mymoroccanfood.com.

Five Ways To Create An Outdoor Space

It looks as if it is going to be a scorcher this weekend so today’s post is about how to create an outdoor space, somewhere you can sit, relax and enjoy the sunshine.  It’s easy to do and as you will see from the images below, it’s possible to convert even the smallest balcony into an outdoor living space.

 

outdoor-rooms
summer-living

outdoor-living-maud-interiors

 

Five ways to create an outdoor space

Image Source: 1 and 2 DigsDigs.com, 3. Smittenstudioonline.com  4. Liza Bruce’s home Elle Decor

 

How To Create Your Own Outdoor Space

 

five ways to create an outdoor space

 

 

The five key ingredients to create an outdoor space are from top left:

 

Plants, planting and planters are key.  You don’t need a garden, you can create an exotic look on a balcony, roof terrace or yard with creative planting.  I’ve chosen the image of the entrance to a New York roof terrace, owned by Gray Davis and his partner and featured in Vogue Australia, to show how by planting large ferns and a mix of palms in planters you can transform a space and create a tropical look.

 

If you have a balcony choose plants that can go outside during summer months like this architectural cactus, top right, and mix the planters so that you have different styles and sizes. For interesting planters, which don’t cost a fortune, try your local antiques market.

 

Cushions, cushions and more cushions are essential for lounging and to add colour and texture to a space.  I like a mix of scatter cushions and floor cushions but prefer a limited colour palette to avoid things looking too busy.  Have a look at our collection, we have everything from exotic Moroccan prints and kilims, to hand-woven contemporary Mayan stripes, to vintage Kutch embroidery and bright and bold African prints, many of which are in our summer sale.

 

Rugs work well too with large floor cushions for lounging.  They add texture and delineate the space.  Just be prepared to roll them up quickly if the weather changes.

 

For seating, if you have space you could build a bench like Sarah Sherman Samuel and her partner from Smitten Studio (lifestyle photo 3).  If not, there are lots of wicker chairs around.  Ikea has some tropical rattan chairs similar to those in the second lifestyle image.

 

Baskets as platters or for reading matter will add additional texture and don’t take up too much space.  See our selection of handcrafted baskets here.

 

Lighting  – I like the idea of overhead festoon style lights and there are lots of choices available.  Solar powered fairly lights look magical too and our copper tea-lights, now in the sale, will add an extra sparkle.

 

Finally, if you don’t have an outside space, bundle up a blanket, our Moroccan Pom Pom  blankets make great picnic rugs and some cushions and head to the nearest park or beach.

 

Have a great weekend.