Six tips for styling an outdoor space from Kit Kemp

Designer Kit Kemp knows all about relaxed summer living. Designer behind internationally acclaimed hotels like The Whitby in New York and Ham Yard in London, there is also a sense of sophistication in all of its terraces and outdoor spaces.

And as we welcome the warm summer weather, we open the doors to the garden and embrace the indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Your garden is another part of your home that should be landscaped to your liking and deserves just as much attention as your interiors. Taking a sheet straight from Kit’s own home in Barbados, with the addition of a plump cushion here and a soft throw there, your outdoor space offers plenty of opportunities to play with texture, color and the pattern.

Kit Kemp has some great ideas for getting the most out of your garden in a few simple steps. “With sunnier days, the garden and outdoor spaces are getting our attention,” she says – basically, you get what you put into it. And if you add a few soft accessories, that means you get plenty of opportunities for relaxation. Read on for the designer’s ideas for styling your outdoor space and beautiful examples from her home in Barbados.

1. Throw a rug

A picnic rug makes for an unusual outdoor dining idea

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

Bring your tablescape to ground level with a boho chic picnic rug on the grass, creating a beautiful outdoor table where you can fully enjoy the outdoors when the sun goes down and the temperature warms up. cools slightly. Kit Kemp (opens in a new tab)collaboration with Annie Selke (opens in a new tab) make a good choice for a picnic rug. “Less stiff than traditional wool rugs, tight weaves allow for greater flexibility,” says Kit. “They feel like cotton and wear like iron.”

When storing, these rugs are also easy to clean. “Simply take your rug outside and scrub the stains with an eco-friendly soap and a soft brush, then rinse with fresh water. Let the rug dry outside or propped up in your bathroom.

2. Create a dedicated dining room

A dining room in the garden of Kit's Barbados

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

Take inspiration from Kit’s outdoor dining facility in Barbados with a designated area for outdoor feasting. Comfortable underfoot and creating a separate space in the backyard for alfresco feasting, a rug on the patio sets the scene for the table to take center stage, inviting guests to sit outside. ‘outside.

The trick is to choose the right material – clearly a wool rug won’t cut it. ‘Each of these rugs [above] are flat-woven with performance PET (polyethylene terephthalate) yarns,” says Kit.

“PET is a chemically untreated recycled polyester made from recycled plastic water bottles. Not only are the rugs eco-friendly, but they will also stand the test of time. How upsetting is it when a favorite rug fades and is bleached by the sun? This collection is the perfect solution to that.

3. Embrace the color outdoors

A porch with upholstery designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

Kit Kemp is all about color in her interiors, and her garden in Barbados is no exception, filled with seaside blues, cheerful pops of pink and orange, and sunny yellows. “These areas provide a whole new opportunity to express color,” says Kit.

Think about patterns, too, and don’t be afraid to choose bold, contrasting upholstery fabrics that will bring a cheerful look to your garden. Take advantage of your garden’s bounty and look to your flowers for color inspiration – if they grow together, they go together!

In this screened porch area, the color of the surrounding greenery and the bright blue coat of paint on the ceiling are reflected in the choice of upholstery and the blue of the Lily Pad rug, tying the scheme together in a beautiful and harmonious way. .

4. Don’t forget mood lighting

Ocher wicker lanterns above an outdoor dining table

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

As the sun sets in the sky, outdoor lighting allows evening entertainment to continue. Outdoor lanterns like these pretty wicker light fixtures create symmetry with the garden landscape. “I like to use anything that creates impact and drama, like these woven basket pendant lights,” says Kit.

“Individually they are beautifully designed but relatively simple. To create a sense of arrival in an outdoor space, you can use as many as possible.

5. Try a runner to connect your outdoor space

A roadrunner used in Kit Kemp's garden

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

‘Do you have an avenue or a gravel path that you find yourself jumping on? Why not lay the rugs like rugs or rugs over this space,” says Kit.

A runner is a good soft furnishing addition that can transform a walkway space in your garden, softening the space in one step and bringing that indoors feel, outdoors. The runner will also inspire guests to discover what’s around the corner in your garden and is an inviting piece that will pleasantly guide you through the backyard.

6. Finish with a well-placed cushion

Brightly colored cushions on a sofa in a small porch

(Image credit: Kit Kemp)

“Never underestimate the power of a cushion,” says Kit. “They’re essential for adding extra contrast, pattern, texture, and color to a space, as well as a tool for tying a scheme together.”

The Kit Kemp collection with Annie Selke includes seven cushions that are suitable for an indoor outdoor space. “They’re extremely versatile, durable, fade-resistant and, of course, pet-proof,” says Kit.