24 Oct 2017Last updated


Colourful and dramatic inspiration

Harness this look with brilliant colour and traditional patterns

By Sharon Parsons
Added 11:35 | September 29, 2015
  • Swathes of vibrant drapes, a variety of multi-patterned cushions and hanging lanterns set the scene for an unforgettable themed garden party.

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  • Layers of traditional rugs and cushions – reminiscent of those strewn on the floor of a Bedouin tent – are used here to create an inviting outdoor space.

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  • A typical courtyard garden will always include a water feature or fountain, framed by tiling.

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  • Most outdoor spaces in exotic climes, such as Morocco, are centred on a courtyard filled with a profusion of plants.

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  • Exotic style easily adopts a mix-and-match approach, as this eclectic choice of furniture on a shady terrace illustrates.

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  • Steps edged with a variety of tiles and linked by colour make an eye-catching display.

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  • A beautiful tiled floor leads the eye to a square cut pool beyond.

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  • Recreate this colourful corner in your own garden with a vintage daybed dressed with cushions, drapes and parasols.

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An exotic theme is not especially specific when it comes to its origins, which may be as far flung as Morocco, India, Turkey, Arabia, and further East. Trading routes across the globe, together with the migration of artisan skills, architecture, and design, have resulted in a kaleidoscope of different influences, which are nevertheless connected by style, pattern, colour, tradition and more.

This look – both for inside and out – is rich and bold, with vivid colours, intricate design, and traditional touches ensuring a style that is as stimulating as it is relaxing. Here’s how to bring a touch of the exotic to your own outdoor space...

Elements of style

Easy ways to create a space with a dash of drama

Furnishings Exotic style lends itself to theatrical panache – more is more. Your outside space can be temporarily dressed for an occasion using lengths of floating jewel-coloured fabrics, flickering lanterns, rugs, cushions, outdoor sofas, daybeds, parasols and more.

Design If you want a more permanent garden design, take time to plan: traditional tiles, water features, lush planting and, not least, the colour of, say, pathways and exterior walls – which may range from deep blue to ochre and terracotta – are all essential to capturing this look. Such elements are steeped in tradition.

By Sharon Parsons

By Sharon Parsons