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Styling the Great Outdoors
Apr 4, 2017
Katy B. Olson

Justina Blakeney, the genius eye behind wildly popular The Jungalow (that verdant, vibrant Instagram account favored by tastemakers ofall kinds), is also a designer, artist and author of The New York Times-bestselling tome The New Bohemians. With summer fast approaching, High Point is rife
with outdoor goods for designing, including Blakeney’s own: new furniture in her signature fabric with Jonathan Louis; fabric from Valdese Weavers; pillows with Loloi rugs; and an indoor/outdoor collection for Selamat. Blakeney is on hand to help designers style their own gardens of earthly delights. 

 

 

 

What are your styling resources for outdoor spaces?

Fermob always has great options for outdoor spaces of all sizes, and I love their use of bright colors. I love the Made Goods outdoor range: fun silhouettes and pieces that sit well in modern and more boho settings. I incorporate a lot of vintage outdoor [products] too, and lots of natural materials, like rattan. 

What are the must-have furniture and decor items for any outdoor space?

I love a great statement chair outdoors—a peacock chair, a hanging chair—something unexpected. I think water features can be really fun too. I’ve been lusting over Moroccan fountains made with Zellige tile. And I love to see a cool firepit outdoors. 

Are there particular outdoorspots you visit often? Where do you find inspiration?

The Huntington Gardens, Moorten Botanical Garden, Descanso Gardens, and the Arboretum in and around L.A. are some favorite destinations… I get so much inspiration for my own design work from seeing new-to-me foliage and plants, and I glean inspiration from garden layouts and plant pairings. 

Hanging art and using textiles with botanical and nature-inspired motifs is an easy way to make the home feel fresh."

What are your tips for those who don't have the luxury of outdoor space?

Adding plants into the home is by far the easiest way to bring the outdoors in. Using mirrors to reflect [natural light] and bringing in colors that conjure the feeling of the outdoors can help too. Maximize the size of doors, windows and skylights to give a feeling of continuity between the outside and inside. Hanging art and using textiles with botanical and nature-inspired motifs is an easy way to make the home feel fresh. 

How do you layer bold patterns and colors?

I keep on layering until something inside me says, “Hold up! It’s starting to look too crazy!” But I definitely pay close attention to the overarching color palette, and dance within it. I think of naturals as neutrals too. So greens and browns get layered in as much as possible. 

Share some foolproof styling tricks.

Spacing and placement are the difference between a tableau looking collected or cluttered. Group items together in mini-collections and place them strategically. Create visual balance by contrasting shapes and sizes. If you have a stack of square objects, try placing something round or amorphous on top. When working with items of varying heights, place taller items in the back and smaller items in front. Repetition can be good: Place two or more identical objects or pieces of furniture in a row to give the eye a break. And if you’re choosing between pretty and safe, or unexpected and a little weird, go weird!

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