Potted paradise: how to create an urban oasis
Give good garden
Adam Robinson is as passionate about the outdoors as he is about interior design. Having contributed to publications like Inside Out, House & Garden, Real Living and Home Beautiful, he launched Adam Robinson Design in 2011. Here, he shares the secrets to some of his best design projects.
Plants were used to add a sense of life and vibrancy to this modern-classic style home. The property was located on the fringe of a parkland with a great tree outloook, so plants and long-life flowers worked in harmony with the landscape seen through the window. Tip: Most indoor plants are rainforest plants, which work wonderfully in bathrooms - they love the moisture from a steamy shower.
Bondi rooftop garden
Tabletop styling is just as important as the furniture selection. It brings your table to life and connects you with the garden close by. In this project, we had a big table to work with, so I filled two large bowls with an array of flowering plants and then complemented these by scattering some smaller succulents around for a casual look. Tip: Succulents last all year round when you change the bowls seasonally - this ensures something is always in flower.
This little courtyard was all about casual style and lounging and we didn't want anything to be too formal or perfectly matching. We placed pot plants close to the seating area to bring intimacy and cosiness into the space. Notice how none of the pots match, but they each have texture? This creates a sense of variety, while remaining relaxed.
This small inner-city backyard had two main features: a pool and and an outdoor lounge. We wanted to create a sense of ease and tranquillity, so we surrounded the lounge with tropical-style plants suited to the summer-pool vibe. Palms created a lush green backdrop and worked to complement the overhanging frangipani tree and bring a sense of intimacy. Table-top plants added some extra greenery to the space.
Sometimes the addition of a simple plant can make all the difference. Instead of a floor lamp, we added an indoor plant to this room - I think it was a far nicer addition.
There's no reason why you can't style an outdoor space like you would an interior. Rooftop gardens are a perfect example of how this can play out. You generally have no soil to work with, so it's all about pot placement. We went overboard with pots to create a sense of intimacy. While we used a variety of pot sizes, we stuck to a harmonious and neutral palette and used just one accent - a pop of cheerful yellow.
Never underestimate the power of simplicity. All this space really needed was a series of three great pots with amazing plants featured in them. The effect? Simple, yet striking.
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