Friday, 20 July 2012

A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves*

However, before I start, a general word of caution around predicting the British weather (and by default getting our hopes up due to our pervasive and misplaced meteorological optimism…);

“Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rung the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't…” (Michael Fish).

It’s one of the most famously misattributed quotes in Met Office history (I know that makes it sound terrific but I suspect there aren’t actually many others)… you may need to ‘Google it’ to get the point – put simply, don’t believe everything you hear on the weather forecast – the meteorological boffins won’t actually admit it, but they don’t really know where the jet stream is going wander off to next…

Anyway, and don’t quote me on this, with the weather supposedly set to improve during the course of the next week (just in time for the Olympics, although rumour has it they are also going to seed the clouds with silver iodide in advance of the opening ceremony like they did in Beijing to make it rain and clear the skies), we might all finally get to use our waterlogged outside space and BBQs. This will be a huge relief for my husband who bought an absolutely spectacular Weber BBQ two months ago (which is so big it casts a shadow over our house) and it hasn’t stopped raining since. I and most of our friends have been blaming him almost exclusively for the truly awful summer to date…

Now I know it’s an oft used clich√©, but the whole concept of ‘inside out’ – taking your home/living space to your garden – is becoming even more important (and super cool). In short, what’s the point of having a nicely designed home if your garden lets the whole scheme down? Gardens and patios are becoming another important space in the home (particularly in Londinium, where space is always at a premium), with more and more people wanting it to act properly as an additional room in the house – a space that functions as an additional living room, a dining room and a kitchen (but preferably not as a bathroom)… As a consequence, outdoor furniture has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Now you will typically find that lots of outdoor furniture is barely distinguishable from items that you might find inside your home (but also worth bearing in mind that this stuff needs the care and attention that we associate with traditional outdoor furniture – very easy to forget when it looks like a sofa). More and more furniture is being designed to meet the design brief of ‘an outdoor living room’ and as a consequence the furniture is becoming more comfortable and with higher quality upholstery/finishes (refer once again to the important point on care and attention…). For many clients, the most important factors when it comes to outdoor furniture are comfort and durability. So, forget cheap rattan and painted metal – these are being replaced by more technologically advanced and durable materials and, with the development of synthetic fibers, new sun and weather resistant materials and new advanced molding techniques, the possibilities are almost endless… Just a few years ago, the number of attractive outdoor fabrics was also hugely restricted – again, these have come on leaps and bounds. There are now a number of fabric houses that produce outdoor fabrics that are so fantastic I have on occasion considered using them inside…. in fact, I actually did on the design of a super yacht I have just completed.

Here are just a few images of gardens that I would love to be chillaxing in during the next few days – the days between when the Met Office says that the weather is actually supposed to improve and the artificial downpours created by the silver iodide in the clouds over London… As for the sun, I’ll genuinely believe it when I see it…


(Image from www.foras-studio.com)
(Image from www.foras-studio.com)
(Image from blissblog via aubrey road)

*Marcel Proust (yet another French novelist…)

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