a garden room



It can be fancy or utilitarian or a little bit of both, but you can make a garden room (or garden nook) almost anywhere that leads from indoors to outdoors. Garden rooms have been around since the days of ancient Greece, and they come in all shapes and sizes (from the spacious garden rooms of grand country homes to small decks of city apartments). They are places for starting seeds, potting plants, storing tools, arranging flowers, keeping notes or a journal, sitting a spell, and above all, finding inspiration.

Why not make a mudroom more garden roomy, or a back hallway or a small porch?

Here’s one way of going about it that I like: a rustic and light and airy room with a French country vibe of soft white and cream patinas that give it a seasoned elegance. Many of the pieces that you might need to create a room like this can be found at flea markets, vintage shops, and even yard sales, especially if it is actually being used as a place for gardening chores (in which case you want to be able to make a mess).

On the other hand, if your garden room is more for reading garden books and seed catalogues, pressing flowers, or gathering your thoughts with a cup of tea (which is also a perfectly good use for a garden room) and you want to go all out, here’s where to find some similar items to get this look.

In a small space, a French country console table could be the central feature. A higher end version can be found here at one of my favorite online antique shops.  A more affordable version here.

A large Victorian birdcage like this adds a touch of whimsy and can also be used to display found objects or floral arrangements or little seasonal vignettes. A reproduction of an antique birdcage might fit your budget and needs more.And the olive tree topiaries collected and gathered for display add the green element that all garden rooms need.

I love the French limestone clay pots with scalloped edges that line the shelves because they are a notch above ordinary clay pots and suggest what this room is all about (whatever you want it to be about, which is the beauty!). My all time favorite pots are by Ben Wolff and sometimes you can get scalloped edges or pretty white clay pots (but they are expensive and increasingly hard to find), and here are some handmade by Peter Wakefield. And then here are some that work perfectly well if you are not a clay pot fanatic or collector.

And finally, the large terra cotta antique garden finials can stay put or go out into the garden when a space becomes available.

Why not welcome June in with a garden room? This is just one approach. I’ll be featuring some more garden rooms in future posts, so stay tuned…

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