How to

How to create wow-factor inside and out

Monde Norden of online outdoor furniture store Mamacita has translated her flair for film sets to real life. Here she shares her secrets for creating serious wow factor indoors and out

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The basics

The most important element of a beautiful outdoor space has to be making an area into a cosy and relaxed environment. Do this by including potted plants, good lighting and the right furniture, such as comfortable chairs and a big dining table. Outdoor fireplaces are great for alfresco dining, especially in the evening when it cools down but you still want to be outside. If you can, include an area under shade where you can get out of the sun.

Keep it relaxed and fun for the kids, too. I have just erected a Lotus Belle tent on my property with the most incredible view – I think a lot of people in this day and age want to go back to their roots and escape the rat race and be able to live a more simple life. The tent will be styled beautifully by myself and people can come and hang out with me on my deck and I’ll cook for them. It’s glamping, but at home!

Express your style

I don’t generally follow trends. Rather, I buy and work with what I like personally. It’s not fashionable, seasonal items that appeal to me. What appeals are treasures I have collected from all around the world that have a significance to me. I love, and have collected, tribal art for a long time now. I also love retro pieces and I feel these work really well together. I love classic retro furniture, hence my decision to import the Acapulco chairs.

I’m not a minimalist. I like to see spaces filled with items that represent people’s lives and who they are. I have a good eye for mixing and matching

Colour my world

Colour is very important to me. I’m just in the process of painting my kitchen black from bright tangerine – it’s nice to change things up. I have sandy coloured walls and then three theme walls which just make the rooms pop. Getting the right colour is really important as light has a huge impact on changing how it looks.

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In the right place

Set decorating taught me how to look at things in a very visual way and that composition is so very important. Someone might have a lot of beautiful furniture but they don’t have an eye for composition. I’m not a minimalist; I like to see spaces filled with items that represent people’s lives and who they are. I have a good eye for mixing and matching; what works together visually and what doesn’t.

Design classic

The Acapulco chair is an iconic chair that was designed in the 1950s by an unknown person. Apparently it was a French tourist who was in Acapulco at the time and found the outdoor furniture uncomfortable. So there has never been a known designer behind the chair. I love it for its beautiful design, the bright colours which take me back to Mexico, and for the fact that they are super-comfortable. The moment I climb into one I always feel relaxed, like I’m on holiday.

Words by: Catherine Steel. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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