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Garden design trends: What’s in store for 2016? Stephen Woodhams reveals all

Chelsea gold medal winning garden designer Stephen Woodhams has been creating bespoke functional and beautiful outdoor spaces for both private clients and luxury hotels for many years.

His new book, Garden Design Solutions, draws on his longstanding, worldwide career to offer his latest ideas for outdoor living, demonstrating in glorious detail how to make the most of any outside space in any climate.

Here, he talks exclusively to Luxury Lifestyle about his top outdoor design trends and predictions for 2016.

More and more clients both here in the UK and also throughout Europe are asking us to design smart and stylish outdoor kitchens and areas to entertain as the trend for people to socialise outdoors grows. The outdoors IS the new indoors.

We have designed our own kitchen units and often link the work surfaces with an interior kitchen work surface, using the same type of marble so that there is a seamless continuation from the inside to the outside.

We created this trend with the Smallbone kitchen range ‘Chelsea’ in 2012 which was exclusively showcased at the Chelsea Flower Show. We also designed an exterior dining table in the same stone as the kitchen worktops which were placed onto a Perspex crisscross base so not to interrupt the views of the garden – keeping the whole space feeling light and airy.

What’s more, as people’s desire for home-grown and locally sourced vegetables continue to prevail, we continually factor this into our garden designs to include a well stocked herb garden so all the ingredients are nearby and fresh.

Garden Design Solutions by Stephen Woodhams
Garden Design Solutions by Stephen Woodhams is out now, published by Jacqui Small (£25 hardback).

Key colour schemes for Spring / Summer 2016 include soft jewel tones. I’m currently planting Tulipa ‘Beauty Queen’ (Single Early Tulip) together with Hyacinths ‘China Pink’ and crocus plants. There’s also ‘Firefly’ for a really colourful spring display

We’ve noticed a big throw back to the 1970’s so it’s going to be hugely popular to be planting Dahlias for bright summer colours in orange (Dahlia ‘Jescot Julie’) and dark red (Dahlia ‘Karma Choc’), together with bright pink
(Dahlia ‘Sweet Lady’) and Doris pinks (Dianthus ‘Doris’).

In the container market, anything in the copper and brass will be surely sought after as well as planted Terrariums in varying sizes for growing interior plants under glass in a micro-climate.

The biggest thing to happen will be fully upholstered exterior sofas such as the new ‘total outdoor’ Dandy from Roda (available through our design office). We already stock over 300 exterior fabrics from velvets, chenille, linen and printed solution dyed fabrics – enhancing the inside / outside look through- out.

It’s also very important to work with a furniture company who is able to offer hydro-draining cushions especially in the UK market place. There is nothing more boring than having to store all your exterior cushions every time it rains.

Another big idea is exterior rugs – again to create the feeling of rooms within a garden space and give softness to any space. These are available in a range of colours from many different suppliers like Perennials in the US and Roda.

Also consider the insertion of a panel of timber decking within a stone terrace so that the deck will look like an in-set rug to which you can place your dinning table onto or a seating arrangement.

Re-cycled Timber cladding will also be big next year as it’s going to be available in a wide range of types and colours as well as the introduction of fascia natural stone panels in varying designs and colours to suit many different garden schemes.

Garden Design Solutions by Stephen Woodhams is out now, published by Jacqui Small (£25 hardback).