Living with Lisa – Evenings in the Garden

Hi Everyone, 

It is so wonderful to be asked to write about my passion which is interiors. I have as you all may know a slight penchant for all things red carpet & showbiz in my day to day life, but when the heels come off and the jammies come on plus there’s a cuppa in hand, all I want is HOME. A home for me is a feeling, a sanctuary where I feel very blessed because not only am I a homeowner but I LOVE my home. I have formed a strong bond over the past decade with interiors and for me I think it stems from my father’s love of restoring our old 18th Century family pub (Cannon’s on Market Square, Castlebar, Co. Mayo) with gramophones and Guinness signs or perhaps its my beloved late mothers elegant flair and artistic style. 

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Living with Lisa

In short, however I got it, my genetic whirlpool was made for it. I’m not lying when I say I buy every interiors magazine going, I watch Grand Designs, follow all the designers on Instagram like a nutter and yes I am that person who has more testers of paint in their shed than on their wall. I Google houses, obsess over kitchens and colours, and devour coffee table books on stylish interiors of the world. When on holiday I take pictures of hotel rooms I like and make my wardrobes the same (although those padded Chanel looking/studded wardrobes looked a lot better in Monaco than my DIY version did at home!!) But yes, the LOVE and passion may be there but boy have I made some costly mistakes. Shocker!! I know what I like but sometimes I get overwhelmed… this is why like us all we need a bit of guidance and to be honest if I’ve learnt anything about styling not even clothes but interiors ask the experts..they are experts for a reason and have earned their stripes!!

Firstly, I’d like to say how overjoyed I am to be given the freedom to weave my words into the beautiful designs of Meadows & Byrne as their new Brand Ambassador. It’s a fantastic brand and quite simply I adore it. I have been a great admirer of their stunning interiors for many many years and to now be doing a collaboration with them through this blog is a dream come true. I think it’s lovely that my late mother bought her first sofa, table and chairs from her local store when she moved house, so for me always has that sense of newness even though this long established Irish company has been around for over two decades!

What’s wonderful today is that I’m finally able to bring some of their latest outdoor garden furniture collection into my wee garden at home and road-test them for sturdiness, style and survival against the Irish rainy summers! No just kidding, the beauty of the pieces selected is the practicality it brings to me and my garden and also the purpose. I boast about my nerd like passion for interiors but funny when it comes to the garden I might aswell have a mud pond!! I’m sadly no green fingers and anything I’ve ever bought dies within a week. I’ve tried building a bandstand type decking thing to get rid of the vast square footage of grass so I wouldn’t feel SO bad about my non gardening skills, but that lasted a year and rotted. Now, aged 38, I finally got some sense and started to embrace the rather large garden I have and try not to hide it and blame the weeds. I bit the bullet, allergic as I was, and took myself to a local garden centre and got some good advice. I saved up, slung out the bandstand for stunning slabs, hired a local horticulturist and made a simple but funky plan for my garden so that in one year, my weeds would have a willow tree and my hazardous nettles would be hydrangeas! Now my garden continues to flourish and grow with some roses, white and pink, lavender, freesias and trailing ivy… its begun to feel like a garden and as it grows and matures I have a sense of pride that it was helped along ( albeit financially and with the odd watering can) by me!

That said, my real excitement to get the garden up and running was so poor Richards morning coffee was not on an old rickety, rusty bistro set from the late 80’s… it was not funky, it was dangerous!! So with my new wonderful collaboration with Meadows & Byrne, I’ve poundA95A0383ed the pavement and worked with their in-house interior designer to come up with a comfortable and effective way to enjoy my garden in the summer months no matter what the weather in Ireland. I appreciate you may have to duck and dive in between the raindrops but what’s wonderful about this is its practicality and pretty features that make this suburban garden versatile and suitable for any household. First up, I needed to straighten out my little courtyard area, some of you may have one, some not but you can make anywhere really a courtyard…for me it’s where I have my coffee in the morning, where if the sun glints out I’ll take my laptop out and write, research or have a cold glass of vino. My house inside has all the softness of a Lauderee macaroon, the colours are very neutral, pavilion greys, marble whites, dusty ballet pinks and lemon with shabby chic chandeliers. Its very different in each room but that palette is very soft and feminine, so for outside, I thought I’d crank it up a notch! The rattan sofa from The Whitby Collection is grey and funky with the slate grey cushions, and the pop of blue in navy and white really livened up this little space. Its now complete with candle lanterns of all shapes and sizes, fresh white hydrangeas, lavender pots and these ultra cool spoked Sunburst Mirrors which have transformed this space into a fourth room. It may be chilly outside but with the outdoor rug on the floor and the oodles of cushions, I feel like I can be cosy both inside and outside.A95A0346

For me, if you are going to bother investing money in your garden, and believe me it’s costly to get a garden started, then why not try and enjoy the fruits of your labour and eat outside! I know the best time for this is end of May early June when the Leaving Cert kicks off, but lets not forget about our Indian summer coming up soon!! I got married in September in Florence and my reports weather wise that day was  Ireland was blissful and warm too! I have created some small UFO circles in my garden with my slabs so I decided to juxtapose that instead of a circular table with two long cast iron mint green benches and some suitably strategic chairs. This accompanied with the Veranda Lanterns, a large parasol and stunning mirrors to reflect the garden all add a little bit of fun with the sage green into the mix. My favourite part of relaxing down the end of the garden is the marble top table, I have put sausages, red wine, even spilt a red curry on it and it wipes away. Its hard material means its perfect for any weather and looks great against the grey candelabras which tie in with my house theme. Sage green is one of my favourite colours in a garden and set against the cool black it pops straight away!

Finally, no garden would be complete without a wee bistro set and again I picked this up very reasonable from the latest collection in a sage green complete with some extra soft cushioning. This little set has endured some of the harder rain we experienced in July and has taken it in its stride. Its great for when a friend calls over or personally I love it solo with a little glass of wine when the day is out. I also love all the sage candles, these are all scented so give the garden and the courtyard space somewhat of a little waft of something delicious. I did this for my wedding in Florence too and it worked a treat! So there you have it – the Lisa Cannon Garden Essentials, something that is a little different from your ordinary garden set and a stylish way to vamp up your surroundings without breaking the bank. What I love about tinkering with garden furniture is we forget we can simply add mirrors or lanterns and even some faux ornaments, such as my two french hens, and it transforms these areas!! It really is about having fun with your outdoor space, enjoying your surroundings and working with the space you have – no matter how small!

 Hope you enjoyed my tips and tricks for this month – chat to you soon!

And remember a Home is not a place its a feeling… enjoy!! 

Living with Lisa

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