Ben and I have lived in the same flat in London for almost six years. We absolutely love the location, our neighbours and the green spaces surrounding us. Being walking distance of central London is also incredibly handy. One thing we are majorly lacking on though, is outdoor space. We don’t have a garden or balcony. If we want some outside space, our only choice is to pack up a picnic basket, books, wine and cushions and march ourselves to either Primrose Hill or Hampstead Heath. No complaints. But for those evenings when you just want to sit outside and read a book with a glass of wine, it’s not easy. Until now.
I realised that actually there was a rather large communal area outside that no-one had any use for. I knew with a little bit of styling and some help from my favourite house plants, I could transform my front entrance porchway without using even a lick of paint…
…Into this beautiful outdoor lounge space!
Now because we have neighbours that also live in our building, I did have to be careful to keep the walkway clear. Just in case of an emergency. Keeping everything to the sides ensure that there’s enough space for this! It also created two separate seating areas.
To the left, I placed a rattan chair that usually sits in our hallway. On top, a pink cushion from our sitting room and a matching blanket draped over the arm, so we could enjoy the space well into the evening. On the wall of the porch way I placed two of my white Kalanchoes (that are still going strong from this post). In between them, I popped a pink mirror that also doubles up as a tray. On the mirror, one of my favourite jugs and two water glasses (which will obviously get swapped for wine later in the day!)
Picnic baskets are a perfect substitute for coffee tables. I’ve dressed this one up with two new beautiful blush pink Kalanchoes. Planted in my blue and white pots which you may also remember from this post, they look beautiful and perfect for summer. Because Kalanchoes are succulents, they actually love the warm weather of summer. They also require very little watering, so can be left outside in their pots. You can even leave them while you’re away on your summer holiday and they’ll still look gorgeous on your return. Perfect for those of us that always worry we might come back to a plant graveyard!
The second hamper, on the right hand side, helps tie the two areas together. All I’ve done is planted another of my pink Kalanchoes in a gold pot. Then used a gold place mat as a tray to steady the Kalanchoe on top. On the wall behind, two cushions help turn it into another comfy seating area. Perfect for when you have friends over, or a neighbour decides to join you for a glass of wine!
The succulents are truly integral to this outdoor space. It really wouldn’t look the same without the flourish of colour and texture that they give to the space. Proving that even if you don’t have a garden in London, you can still definitely turn a boring space green!
Even if you do have outdoor space, using plants and fabrics can really add a luxurious element to any garden. So, this weekend, I challenge you to rethink your outside space. A little styling and some beautiful Kalanchoes from your local supermarket (including Sainsbury’s and Waitrose) can go a long way to helping you love your outside space again! Don’t forget you can also have a look at Always Kalanchoe for inspiration. Give them a follow on Instagram too for hints and tips on how to make them last as long as possible!