This glorious weather turned my little country cottage mind to outdoor seating. We have a variety of seating arrangements (say it with a french accent “Arongemonts” and it sounds far more glamorous), ranging from elegant wicker chairs to a pallet seating area made by my very clever and desperate for me to stop spending our money on house and garden NECESSITIES husband.
We converted our old stable area into two extra bedrooms and a bathroom for our friends and family to sleep in (we were fed up with sleeping on a sofabed every time we had visitors) which gave me free rein to create a more modern rustic look (months of happy planning and “no, leave that plank wonky please Mr Ian Builder, it needs to be rustic, not perfect”) which allowed us to design an outdoor area that was still very ‘cottage’ but lent itself to the more modern penchant for corner lounging.
One of my bestest ever purchases was from Cambridge Home and Gardens. We moved into our heavenly cottage in the countryside with blissful sprawling garden yet sat on our tiny bistro set like z list celebrities at The Ivy (apologies – a little out of date where celebs go to dine these days – it was The Ivy and Le Caprice in my day!!!). I found the biggest, chunkiest, countryingest (actual adjective) teak table that I could find and matched it with six beautiful weatherproof wicker armchairs. They have a quiet elegance in their woven design yet are sturdy enough to look in keeping with a 400 year old crumbly cottage.
One of my go to inspirational outdoor seating sources is Susie Watson Designs, I have their stunning deckchair slips that I used to revamp my tired old deckchairs and gave them a whole new lease of life (safe in the knowledge that my bottom wouldn’t sink through and make me into a giant deckchair, imprisoned for eternity) .
A perfect addition to your garden, under the shade of your favourite tree, is a vintage deckchair on which you can relax, read a book or rest your eyes and enjoy the feeling of the afternoon sun on your face. Again another favourite of ours that we hand make in Northern India.
Comfort is also of course key so don’t forget to add in some gorgeous and vibrant cushions to perfect the scene.Susie Watson Designs https://www.susiewatsondesigns.co.uk/home-collection/garden-collection.html
Susie Watson’s garden is a visual delight of all that is country and cottagey. Her gorgeous creations range from iron benches to squidgy floor cushions.
I asked them why their wrought iron benches work so well in an English Country Cottage Garden:
A quintessential country cottage style garden is one that we all covet…
You can easily create a carefree and charming feel with blowsy roses, beautiful borders and hydrangeas in vintage planters but it would not be complete without an elegant Susie Watson Designs wrought iron bench or chair on which to sit and take some quiet reflection, enjoy a cup of tea and peruse the fruits of your labours.Susie Watson Designs
Other styles of seating that I think fit the country cottage aesthetic include the beautifully simple bistro set
Finally, my seating of dreams: there is something so quintessentially British about a swingseat – whether it is laden with glorious fabric in a maximalist decadent style or simple, pared back rustic style – both work beautifully to create a truly relaxing country cottage look (I am perfecting my recline without double chin whilst reading a book and dangling a perfectly bronzed leg from the swingseat in readiness for breaking my husband’s resolve and purchasing another necessity for the garden (so far I can tick reading, I have a way to go with the other requirements).
Founder Brigette Buchanan (also an original founder of Cabbages and Roses with Christina Strutt) makes the brilliantly bold one line quote “FURNITURE IN THE GARDEN IS JUST AS USEFUL AS IN THE HOUSE”.
I couldn’t agree more, this is definitely the argument that I will be putting forward to my husband – and we can bring it indoors if we for any reason needed more seating inside…
Sitting Spiritually’s garden swing seats may have been originally inspired by the concept of traditional American porch swings, but they have evolved over the past 15 years to become one of the cornerstones of the quintessential English country garden. These hand crafted seats adorn the gardens of Michelin Star restaurants (Lympstone Manor – Michael Caines’ hotel – ha! Done my research – hot celebrity restaurant and hotel – ok Michael Caines the chef not the actor but it is still super trendy) and gardens of other A-list celebrities around the country, as well as punctuating the expansive gardens of various National Trust and RHS properties… but they’re also commonly found in the gardens of quintessential English homes. They explain:
Quality garden seating is essential for those gardeners who never want to leave their gardens. The very first Sitting Spiritually swing seat can still be found in the quaint garden of Bramble Hayes in Lyme Regis, where their Dorset heritage and expert local craftsmanship can be found. Is there anything more English than sipping a cup of tea while relaxing on a handcrafted wooden bench in a country garden? We certainly don’t think so!Sitting Spiritually https://www.sittingspiritually.co.uk/
Sit back, plan the next place to sit in the garden and drink that cup of tea! Thank you for reading X