How to create a Zen Garden

During the past few weeks the UK has been lucky enough to experience glorious weather while in lockdown; a very uncertain and worrying time for all made that little bit easier with sunny spells and warmer days. With unplanned and welcomed free time, many consumers delighted in house renovations, re-decorating, painting and rearranging room schemes to practically adapt to new ways of living, working and socializing.

Our 5th room (the garden) has become another multi-functional area that we now treat with the same importance as any other interior room. With more of us spending increased amounts of time and investing extra money into our outdoor spaces, we thought it would be a good idea to share with you a garden theme that will generate a sense of calm.

For some, the garden is a safe haven, a place to unwind and relax after a busy day, to entertain and to dine, to exercise and to work. With our lives being so dynamic and diverse, products and spaces need to be designed to accommodate our individual needs. Now more than ever, we need spaces that are adaptable, products that enable multiple configurations or embrace modular design characteristics; adhering to our flexible day to day living.

Many of our regular blog readers will already be aware of a trend we forecast for 2020 named Satori. This trend encourages us to bring balance and order to our highly active lives. It seeks to create a peaceful and tranquil environment, taking inspiration from Japanese traditions, design and nature. You will find translations of this trend on our blog, ranging from Food & Drink to Kitchenware and Stationery product. Yet, one of the more effective industries where this trend can be beautifully translated, is within garden design and styling.

A Japanese influence can be subtly and sophisticatedly incorporated through selected furniture design, decorative features and textiles. This trend’s aesthetics are stylish and simplified, but not overly minimalist. A carefully considered landscape arrangement and furniture layout achieves balance, order, and elegance, with well crafted details and the use of quality materials.

In the last couple of years blackened and charred woods and surface effects have been emerging slowly in the indoor furniture and kitchen sectors internationally. This style has now moved into the garden sector, as decked pergola outdoor rooms trend-up we begin to see black frames and anchors. We’re expecting Black to generally become more desirable for outdoor furniture, as fence treatment colour and even for gravel. Black will play a more significant role in creating a colour contrast in the mixed use of gravel, clippings, pebbles, paving and edging; used to add depth, as well as be visually grounding and weighty. Rather than being dull or making spaces look smaller it actually sets a very stylish modern tone to outdoor schemes plus it makes other colours stand out; it also makes green look exceptionally rich.

Outdoor textiles will be dominated by Indigo blues. In particular Shibori; a resist tie dye technique strongly associated with Japan. This style creates stunning pattern on both hard and soft product, from outdoor rugs to cushions and sun shades. It’s not just the textiles sector that will see Indigo trend-up strongly, we’ll also see it develop in outdoor paint colour for fencing and sheds, gravel and chipping.

From a texture direction we see a raked gravel effect. These grooved textures can be applied to a diverse range of product, both hard and soft. From barrier mats, to planters and water features and even to tables. Planters for this trend whether wood, plastic, ceramic or even 3D printed, generally have a linear structure or sculptural circles and sphere shapes.

Finally, garden sculptures, ornaments and decor boasting an understated Japanese influence can assist in creating a relaxing, zen-like outdoor space. Water features are a great way to add a calming sounds to your atmosphere. Koi fish, crane birds and architectural bird feeders all reference Japan in subtle and sophisticated ways. These aesthetically beautiful products are the finishing touches to creating a garden area that is modest and reserved, carefully crafted, grounded and balanced.

We hope this post inspires you to give your outdoor space that little extra TLC this summer. Get in touch with Phil for information about how we can guide & inspire your garden product development, or sales and marketing activities.

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