Are you a flamboyant sort of person or do you prefer the décor in your house and garden to be in muted colours? If the bold stripes and large floral patterns that are appearing in the shops today are anything to go by, we seem to be returning to the era of the 1970s when designs were large and colourful. When choosing the range of fabrics for upholstering the swing seats, we had a dilemma, should we follow trends of today, or keep the colour schemes fairly muted and let customers decide how to dress the swing seats for themselves. We chose the latter. So, here is the palette from which to decide your colour scheme, go wild and zany or be quiet and classical ….. Whichever fabrics you decide for your swing seat, they will be to your design…..
Heather Beige has been the most popular choice of colour with customers for both the cushions, awning and side panels. One brave lady used black cushions and throws on her swing seat which sounds pretty dramatic, a bit bizarre you might think but it worked wonderfully. The weave of this fabric is cleverly designed, it appears as plain beige from a distance but on closer inspection fine black and pale beige threads run through giving a good depth of colour with subtle hues. It can, therefore, provide a background for any colour of cushion or throw and yet it sits nicely into all outdoor landscaping without either looking shabby, ordinary or dominating other garden furniture around.
We sold our 4 seater which was upholstered in Heather Beige and had been outside on the deck for quite a while and in continual family use. The buyers came up from the south and couldn’t believe it had any age on it as the canvas and cushion covers looked almost as good as new. At exhibitions, we always took our own swing seats to the shows so we could truthfully claim the fabrics and frame would easily stand the test of time. People were amazed they were not brand new! We are about to replace this with a new 4 seater for the deck and guess what, the colour scheme will be in Heather Beige!
The Smoke Tree (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple) is dark purple, a colour used extensively by garden designers as a foil to show flowers and greenery to their best advantage. ‘Focusing on any form of purple quiets the mind’s chatter.” Observes (Jan Johnsen, in Heaven is a Garden). Purple is the most popular requested flower colour for use in gardens and is well known for its calming effect so what could be more perfect for relaxing on a swing seat. On the website it is called Plum. The regal colour purple says nobility, abundance and dignity and been used throughout history by sovereigns and rulers from Roman emperors to today’s king and queens. For a dramatic effect, team it with red or pink cushions, and then calm the mix down with pale blue rugs or throws. Alternatively, keep the tones muted with hues of pale blue and pink or simply contrast the awning and side panels with white cushions. Once under the Plum awning and enclosed by the same colour side panels, you are truly cosied in a cocoon of peace and quiet. We have on occasion made the interior side panels in natural to give a lighter look on the inside. Our 2 seater is in the Plum with a combination of white cushions and when exhibiting at the shows it was always the one people made for before looking at the alternatives, it just felt friendly and inviting. They would sink into the cushions and immediately feel shut away from the hustle and bustle of the showground, calm would descend as comfort and peace took over. It is odd that this combination would always be chosen first above the others.
What is smarter than the mix of blue and white. Although the description is denim blue, it is a lighter hue than you would imagine and with the white cushions, we have a fresh and very smart garden swing seat. Again the blue weave has a fine almost invisible thread of black and white running through it which produces a solid depth of colour and one which stands the test of time, does not date and will always come back to you with a smiley face! We chose this combination because if customers did not want to be bothered styling with cushions, rugs and throws, the swing seat would always look complete, never unfinished. The range and variation of the colour white grow annually, paint companies will produce a dozen or more various hues these days which on their own look white but when contrasted with each other it is clear to see and appreciate the differences. Bright white is a hard colour, it can dazzle and be fierce to live with so muted tones and hues are a welcome relief.
Deciding what sort of white to have was a bit of a headache, it had to be right and give a feeling of calm and softness that you need when relaxing in the garden yet not be too startling or glaring. The Natural fabric colour does not have a yellow tinge, if anything it is on the beige side, not that you would look at it and think beige, but it is a soft white which melts in with any contrasting colour you choose.
And finally, there is Taupe. This was our first choice when we started so all the brochures and photos of the time showed the 3 seater awning and side panels in Taupe and the cushions in Natural. This combination has stood the test of time and is a safe, kind and timeless mix of colours. You would think we would have discontinued it by now but people just love it and as Taupe melds in with any of the cushion cover colours, why change something that has continuing and lasting popularity.
The overall covers are Storm Grey. This was decided upon because grey disappears into the background of any outdoor landscaping. When the swing seats are not in use, they should be quiet unassuming and asleep until needed.
Our swing seats are for comfort, relaxation and longevity but with all that in mind, you must enjoy and take pleasure in how they look which is why we have chosen calming and kind colourways for the upholstery. Now it is your turn to make them special to you.