“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple...”
As Summer slowly fades and the colours of Autumn begin to emerge outside, we are looking to a new season of inspiration. This week we are case studying all things Orla Kiely in the garden.
Orla Kiely, the hugely successful Irish Designer and the Queen of retro prints has branched out in to interiors, fashion and home wares.
She’s dressed our Kate, adorned London transport,
re-worked the Union Jack
and even designed a car
The CItROËN DS3 by Orla Kiely
Last Autumn we found ourselves drawn to Orla’s prints when we were styling and designing gardens, both newly constructed and projects still at the drawing board stage.
The limited palettes of Orla Keily’s designs complimented Autumnal gardens and the graphical patterns evoked thoughts of Spring and Summer. As the light shifted to its Autumn hues the presence of Orla’s patterns in garden contexts seemed to lift lounge and dining areas and promised bright new seasons. We were then elated when we discovered the Orla Kiely exhibit in the Artisan Living area of the Chelsea flower show this year.
Orla was finally in the garden.
Or was she?
She was certainly getting outdoorsy,
with luxury glamping gear,
stylish garden tools,
wellies for potting around in,
planters for potting up,
flasks for outdoor refreshments,
retro radios for some garden tunes
and even soaps for washing up at the end of a day of hard garden graft.
Then the trail ended,
and it was apparent that Orla was just ‘dabbling’ with the outdoors.
Or was she teasing us?
Inspired by nature, Orla Kiely’s prints can comfortably sit when they are placed in outdoor settings.
Perhaps of late there has been a danger of over saturation of Orla Kiely’s designs on the market. With the release of the book series to inspire a new generation,
and one for the grownups,
then every home ware item you can think of embellished by her prints in stores and online, and particularly since she has recently signed up to create an affordable homes ware range for US retail giant Target. Regardless of all this we would like to see an expansion of the Orla outdoor range here in the UK.
We have found that when applying the prints to garden contexts that less is definitely more.
Just as you would accessorise your interior, a hint here and there of Orla Kiely patterned accents alongside other blocked colours is the most effective way of introducing them.
Minimalist gardens, courtyards, balcony gardens and outdoor lounges provide the perfect foil for these details.
Once the Orla Kiely patterns are present the introduction of bold flowers like Shasta Daisies or blocks of one colour borders compliment the look nicely.
Tea on the terrace anyone?
The retro feel is not for everyone or every garden but we hope to start seeing some more Orla Kiely in the garden. Perhaps at least some parasols please Orla? The Orla Kiely ranges are available to view online here divided in to three accessible areas depending on where you live. UK/worldwide, USA & Japan. Heals is the official retailer here in the UK but others such as John Lewis and many online retailers stock ranges. The flagship Orla Kiely shop is in Covent garden.
(31 Monmouth Street Covent Garden London WC2H 9DD)
Orla’s new season ranges promise more nature inspired prints and scrumptious colours. Here’s a clue to her biggest and boldest new entry to the brand…
The new Orla Kiely Fox print. Autumn / Winter 2012 sneak preview
all Orla Source Book: Hendy Curzon Gardens, Mukla, Heals, John Lewis, Amazon, Jane Foster, Print Pattern, The Telegraph, unknown, Not on the Highstreet, Designbit. For Orla Kiely books click on our Amazon widget on the left sidebar of this page. And as for those cakes… Nibble & Scoff. Want to comment on this blog? Please do so over on our facebook page.