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Lifestyle and interior expert Lisa Dawson is renowned for sharing her tips and advice on home, garden and DIY with the glossy magazines and leading brands. Lisa has partnered with us to share her insight on the leading late summer trends around the home and garden.

Late summer Trend 1: Natural Materials

Late summer trend: natural materials
Late summer trend: natural materials

The warm tones and tactile feel of natural materials mean that many of us are incorporating this key trend into our homes this season. The popularity of woven cane, natural wood and bamboo reflect our need to bring nature into our homes, creating rooms that feel connected to the outside world. Natural products such as jute and wool are a key part of this look, adding softness and multiple cosy layers to our spaces. With a strong lean towards sustainable living, incorporating these warm and tactile textures into your home creates a calm and relaxed environment in which to live and work.

Top Tip: The key element of this trend is the flexibility – you can mix the materials and layer up the textiles to create the perfect space.

Late summer Trend 2: Biophilia

Biophilic design brings nature inside
Biophilic design brings nature inside

The colour green reflects springtime, freshness and hope so it’s no surprise that biophilic design has become a key part of our interiors over the past few years. Described as ‘the passionate love of life and all that is around’, it symbolises our yearning to incorporate nature into our spaces by bringing the outside into our homes. Tones of green sit beautifully alongside natural materials and having plants around us is good for both our health and our wellbeing. Nature is reflected on both fabrics and wallcoverings, including papers and paint, in colours ranging from deep olive through to warm sage.  

Top Tip: Plant shelving is excellent for displaying your collection of greenery but you can also add to the look with accessories such as books or ornaments. 

Late summer Trend 3: Sustainable Living

There are many effortless ways to adapt your homes sustainability
There are many effortless ways to adapt your homes sustainability

With the protection of the environment at the forefront, we have all been trying to reduce our impact on the planet and reduce our carbon footprint. Home grown produce and self sufficiency is becoming more and more popular, from growing your own vegetables through to keeping chickens. Moving towards a more sustainable way of living is key for all and the garden is a good place to start, with greenhouses rising in popularity as even the most amateur gardeners give it a try. Propagating houseplants or adding solar lighting to our outdoor spaces makes the most of resources that we already have whilst benefiting the environment. 

Top Tip: Growing herbs is a great place to start for a novice gardener – use miniature chalk labels to keep track of what you’ve got.

Late summer Trend 4: Outdoor Space

Thoughtfully-designed outdoor space remains a key late summer trend
Thoughtfully-designed outdoor space remains a key late summer trend

Throughout the summer, spending time outdoors in the fresh air is important to us. Whether we have a balcony, patio or garden, creating outdoor rooms that are functional whilst still being comfortable is top of the list. Relaxed seating which can be added to with mixed textiles give a layered look to the space and rugs anchor the area. Outdoor kitchens, including pizza ovens and BBQs, create a fun and social space, whilst a bar trolley is an obligatory party item for those warm summer nights with family and friends.  Lanterns and candles promote a welcoming ambience.

Top Tip: Make your outdoor kitchen a sociable space by making it the focus of your entertaining and living area.

Late summer Trend 5: Outdoor Cinema

Enjoy the long summer nights with an outdoor cinema
Enjoy the long summer nights with an outdoor cinema

Socialising at home is the new going out and many of us have been making the most of the space that we have.  An outdoor cinema set up is easy to pull together and is the perfect night in for family and friends. Varied seating means there is always space for extra guests and cushions and throws keep it cosy when the nights are chilly. Firepits are a quick fix for added warmth and also anchor the space whilst adding to the ambience. It’s important to get the lighting right too – festoon lighting is flexible and can be hung pretty much anywhere.  

Top Tip: Invest in extra seating that you can stack and store away when not in use or even better, that you can use inside as well.

Late summer trends article written by Lisa Dawson

Lisa is an award-winning interior and lifestyle writer, workshop presenter and content creator, who covers key topics and insight across home, garden and DIY.

Outdoor dining furniture guide by @rona_renovation

Like most renovators, the garden was a low priority for a very long time. But with dreams of holidaying abroad fading by the hour, my partner and I knew it was time to roll our sleeves up and get the garden sorted pronto. We have relandscaped which we are incredibly proud of, however there’s lots more work to do. Our current patio is a pretty depressing cracked-concrete situation which we hope to change one day. However, this summer we are working with what we’ve got, and using showstopping garden furniture from ManoMano was crucial as a way to spruce things up.

Outdoor dining furniture guide
Outdoor dining furniture guide

ManoMano has a huge garden furniture selection, so the options are endless. It was overwhelming trying to decide but ultimately it felt right to stay true to our interior style which includes a love of wood and natural materials. Selecting ManoMano’s acacia garden set felt like the right decision due to it’s classic yet warm feel. Matching reclining chairs are a massive bonus as it gives us the flexibility of having seating that can be used for comfort and relaxation post-meal also. 

We have a lot of wooden furniture inside our house, so we liked the idea of continuing this theme in the garden. Not only does wood suit our personal taste and style, but it’s also durable. We wouldn’t recommend plastic as it doesn’t age as well, and metal rusts over time – so wood felt like the common sense choice!

Though forest green is a traditional parasol colour, off-white felt like the perfect choice to give us Mediterranean-in-the UK vibes to transport us away when spending time outside. We also like that the white fabric is light reflecting, so it really helps to brighten up the area. 

Off-white parasol for a Mediterranean style
Off-white parasol for a Mediterranean style

In the future, the plan will be to tile the patio and repaint the render. What’s great about this outdoor dining furniture set is that it’s neutral enough in style so it will go with whichever creative direction we choose for the rest of the patio. 

Upon arrival, the table and chairs were well flat packed and I couldn’t wait to set them up! However some elbow grease and patience was required with the help of an Allen key and a few evening hours, but it was worth the wait. Once finally in situ on the patio (and a few strategically placed potted plants) the space instantly felt transformed. As I love Mediterranean gardens, I wanted this theme to run through the finishing touches of our outdoor dining set up, with blue and white seat pads, nautical linens and rustic feeling tableware. 

Pick a colour scheme for your outdoor dining furniture
Pick a colour scheme for your outdoor dining furniture

You could elevate your space even more by including a few decorative pieces:

Outdoor chair cushions

Statement garden plant pots

Table vase set

Floor lanterns

Solar powered lights 

We can’t wait to host in the garden and enjoy our new outdoor dining furniture while the summer lasts. Getting longevity out of the furniture for years to come will require a bit of TLC as wooden furniture is porous and can be damage-prone. Being vigilant and covering on rainy days plus occasionally rubbing in with wood oil will be part of the aftercare process, but to keep our garden gorgeous every summer, I think it’s worth it!

Garden entertaining
Garden entertaining

Outdoor dining furniture guide written by @rona_renovation

Rona Renovation
Rona Renovation

Did you enjoy this article from @rona_renovation on an outdoor furniture guide? Why not read our 5 outdoor living design ideas or even our guide on how to maintain your outdoor dining set!

Are you looking to style your garden with some outdoor dining furniture? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway, #manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

The most refreshing summer herbs can be grown both on the terrace and in the ground, since they can easily adapt to pots, planters or any part of your garden. You can always have them at hand, as they are outdoor plants that can also be grown in the kitchen, provided they get plenty of light. Here are a few basic tips on the 5 easiest herbs to grow for your summer dishes. You will find out about their basic care, how to propagate them and to extend their production. Follow these tips to be able to infuse your summer recipes with flavour and freshness.

(C) Meghan Rodgers

Basil, the king of summer

Who doesn’t love a good pesto or a simple Caprese salad with tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil? Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual plant, which means that it will die when the colder temperatures arrive and you will need to replant it the following spring. During the spring and summer, we will be able to enjoy its aromatic and scented leaves in a lot of different dishes.

Basil is an easy herb to grow
(C) Animus Invictus

We recommend that you cut the flowers when these start to appear,  in order to lengthen the life of the plant. Always cut them below the first pair of leaves from which the inflorescences are growing.

  • Sowing: In the spring: spread some seeds on the ground, without sinking them too deep into it. Cover them lightly with a bit of soil and water. They will sprout in a few days.
  • Transplanting: It is not necessary to transplant basil unless you used seed trays initially. If you have bought a pot with many plants in it, divide the root ball into 3 or 4 different parts, and transplant them separately. Each one of the small stems will grow into a single plant, and if there are too many in the pot, they won’t be able to grow and develop.
  • Location: Place it in a spot where it gets plenty of light, even direct sunlight, for a few hours every day. At the height of summer it will be thankful for some shade during the hottest time of the day.
  • Watering: keep the soil moist, without flooding it.  If the plant needs more water, you will notice right away, as its leaves will start to look weak and droopy.

Mint and spearmint, two of the most refreshing herbs

(C) Bon Vivant

You can easily grow new mint and spearmint plants, just by putting a cutting in water. In less than a week the roots will start to grow and you will be able to transplant them wherever you want.

Even though they both belong to the mint family, the aroma of Peppermint (Mentha spicata) is different from that of Mint (Mentha piperita). Still, they are both equally refreshing. Make no mistake: peppermint is the one used in mojitos, while mint is perfect for cold infusions, green juices and various recipes (yogurt-based sauces, cold salads, etc.).

  • Sowing: In the spring: their seeds are tiny, like dust, so they should not be buried. Spread them out on the ground and then water with a garden spray bottle.
  • Transplanting: Both mint and spearmint are very invasive plants, and they live for several years, sometimes losing their leaves in the winter. They grow underground stolons, which can sometimes reach quite far away from the mother plant, so it is recommended that you grow them in pots, planters, or in spaces enclosed by rockery.
  • Location: They love the sun, yet they will enjoy some shade during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Watering: Keep the soil moist, paying particular attention to the plant’s leaves. If they need watering, you will notice that the leaves start to droop.

Parsley

The 5 easiest herbs to grow this summer
(C) David Todd McCarty

Flat-leaf or giant parsley are more aromatic herbs than the curly-leaf variety (Petroselinum sativum var. crispum).

Parsley (Petroselinum sativum var. latifolium) is a key herb to a lot of British cuisine. A parsley and garlic mash is an essential ingredient in a lot of cold recipes, stews, and a whole lot of other dishes.

  • Sowing: Of all the herbs that we are covering in this article, parsley is the one that takes the longest to germinate, sometimes up to 4 weeks. Spread the seeds on the ground, cover them with a thin layer of soil, and water. Don’t forget about them: keep the soil moist until they begin to sprout.
  • Transplanting: In the ground or to a pot, leaving a separation of about 10 cm between plants.
  • Location: Partial sun or semi-shade.
  • Watering: Every two or three days in the summer, although it will always depend on the amount of sunshine it gets, as well as the size of the pot. If it is small and the plant has grown a lot, it may need daily watering due to the large number of leaves that it develops.

Coriander

Coriander is an easy-to-grow herb
(C) Lindsay Moe

The coriander plant is very versatile, as all its part can be used in the kitchen: the leaves, the seeds and in some recipes, even the roots.

The taste of Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is certainly a matter of controversy: you either hate it or you love it. Yet it is an essential ingredient of the refreshing guacamole, as well as of a many other Portuguese, Latin American and Asian recipes, both for its leaves and for its seeds.

  • Sowing: In the spring or autumn, just barely burying the seeds, less than 1 cm into the soil.
  • Transplanting: To pots, planters or directly in the ground, with a separation of 10-15 cm between plants.
  • Location: Sun or partial shade, avoiding direct sunlight during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Watering: Keep the soil moist.

Seed discs are very practical, you just have to place them on the ground, cover them lightly with soil, and water them. When they begin to sprout, all you need to do is separate the seedlings, or eliminate some of them so that each of the remaining ones has space to grow.

(As usual) I will end with a tip learned from personal experience: it is a good idea to grow herbs in pots or planters that can be moved around as the weather changes from spring to summer. Mint, for example, can grow very well in full sunlight in the spring, yet in that same spot get scorched during the summer, no matter how much we water it.

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Easiest herbs to grow for summer dishes

Did you enjoy this article on the 5 easiest herbs to grow for your summer dishes? Why not read our vegetable gardening for beginners guide or even our mini-greenhouse buying guide?

Are you planting some easy herbs to grow? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

The last few days have been scorching, and while most of us enjoy the warmer weather, we remain on the lookout for ways to keep cool when the temperature goes up. Here are 5 handy tops to keep cool as a cucumber and stop your home from turning into a furnace throughout this mini heatwave. 

Keep cool at home
Keep cool at home

KEEP COOL AT HOME: WINDOWS CLOSED & BLINDS DOWN

To prevent heat from entering your home, remember to keep your windows closed and your blinds down. What’s the best way to stop heat from coming in? We recommend thermal blinds or heat reflective solar film. They protect your home from the sun and heat while allowing some natural light to pass through. When night falls, it’s a good idea to open your windows. This will create a draught and reduce the temperature so you can get a good night’s sleep in hot weather.

USE PLANTS TO COOL DOWN INTERIORS

Plants help keep temperatures cool

When it comes to keeping temperatures down, plants are an incredible asset. What’s more, they regulate humidity, which helps freshen the air. Imagine a dense forest, where temperatures are much more pleasant and comfortable. We recommend opting for plants that clean the air and are easy to maintain, such as philodendrons, azaleas, ficus, cactus, ivy and ferns. 

To get green fingers:

Browse our selection of fans and air conditioners to keep cool at home here:

Browse

HANG UP WET SHEETS

When temperatures soar, we recommend putting wet sheets and towels on your windows. As the water evaporates, it will help keep your home cool. Another tip: if your floors are made of tiles, stone or concrete, we recommend wetting them. And if you have a paved garden area, hosing it down will help keep the outdoor area a bit cooler. And last but not least, try placing water—in a bucket or basin, for example—at different points around your home.

THE BEDROOM: CHOOSE LIGHTWEIGHT BEDDING

Keep cool at home with linen
(C) Beazy

To ensure a good night’s sleep in hot weather, replace your cosy winter duvet with a cotton or linen bedsheet. Do the same with pillowcases whenever temperatures rise. We also suggest spreading a damp sheet over your sofa to cool the space—just don’t forget to remove cushions, throws and other heat traps lurking in the living room.

UNPLUG LAMPS AND ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

When it’s hot outside, you can stop electrical appliances—TVs, computers and ovens, for example—from overheating by simply unplugging them. The same goes for indoor lighting. And as days are now longer, you won’t need extra bulbs heating up your home. Keeping lights to a minimum is better for the planet too.

In the kitchen, avoid using appliances that generate heat and electricity. Instead of using the kettle, oven, cooker or microwave, why not have a refreshing salad and glass of iced tea?

Did you enjoy this article on how to keep cool at home this summer? Why not read our article on 5 outdoor living space design ideas or even our fan buying guide!

Are you going to give some of these tips to keep cool at home a go? Let us know how you get on via Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!

Whether you’ve just bought a new shed or have an old summer house that needs some love, painting it is a simple, effective and budget friendly way to turn something mundane or tired into a beautiful new feature in your garden. In this tutorial we will share how to paint your summer house in 7 simple steps. 

First up, you need to think about the type of finish you would like. Paint gives you a bright deep colour but it can cause issues as it doesn’t let the wood breathe. Varnish is great if you like a more natural look, however, like paint, it also traps moisture in and can cause problems going forward if it cracks or bubbles.

Using a stain ensures some of the grain can still be seen, however it is available in many colours these days, and most importantly, it lets the wood breathe, giving it the best longevity out of the different methods. On average, manufacturing companies tend to suggest you paint a stained shed or summerhouse every six years.

What you’ll need to paint your summer house or shed:

Paint / Stain

Sand paper

Sander

Jet washer (or a bucket and soapy water with plenty of elbow grease)

Wire brush

Wide paint brush for wood

Detail paint brushes

Decorator’s Tape

Paint your summer house or garden shed

Step 1: Prepare the woodwork

Clean the woodwork as best you can. Scrub away any mould or mildew, cobwebs or dirt that has splashed up over the years. You may want to use a wire brush to lightly remove any loose flakey paint.

Step 2: Sand it out

Once clean, inspect the paintwork and if it is still flakey, lightly sand your boards with 80 or 120 grit for a smoother finish. However, there is no need to do this if the previous paintwork isn’t flakey. Clean away any dust before painting.

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Step 3: Don’t forget the tape!

Use decorators tape to line the edges of your window panes so you can paint your frames more easily without getting paint on the glass.

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Step 4: Protect the surroundings

Protect surrounding areas with dust sheets, especially if you have a patio or decking. I found this stain to be slightly thinner than regular paint so it is quite drippy!

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Step 5: Time to paint!

Using a detail brush for the finer areas like corners and window frames, and a wider brush for the boards, paint the wood in the same direction as the grain. Try not to overload your paint brush and ensure you brush away any drips before they begin to dry. If you have any end pieces of wood, these will soak up paint profusely, so ensure to dab a generous amount of paint on these using the tip of your brush.

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Step 6: Timing is key

Make sure you adhere to the drying times as stated on your tin of paint.  Because the paint I used is an exterior paint, it cures and hardens overtime (to protect your summerhouse or shed against the elements,) so you may find you get a better finish if you don’t leave it too long before coats.  

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Step 7: Layer, layer, layer

Depending on the finish you desire, and the colour you are painting over, you may find that two coats isn’t sufficient. For instance, we were painting over dark orange and wanted a deep black colour, so we found in the end, three coats gave a better finish.  

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Top tip when you paint your summer house:

Make sure you check the weather before you start your project! Obviously you need plenty of drying time after you have painted, but it’s worth waiting for a few dry days before you paint too. If you paint on damp or wet wood, the paint may blister or flake as it dries out.  This is an ideal project for the warmer weather, your paint will last long and look better if it is left to dry in temperatures above 10C (both during the day and overnight.)

Now you’re done, you can move on to the fun part – styling it up!  

You could upcycle some old crates to use as window boxes, plant a climber in a pot to grow up a trellis or add some hanging baskets for instant colour. You could add pretty curtains inside (which also help with security if you’re storing tools inside) and solar lights to the entrance so you can admire all your hardwork in the evenings too.


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How to paint your summer house or garden shed written by Hannah Otto from @theottohouse
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Did you enjoy this article from @theottohouse on how to paint your summer house in 7 easy steps? Why not read our tutorial on a DIY solar lamp made from pallets or even our guide on how to repair your garden shed!

Are you painting your summer house too? Share your finished results with us on Instagram using the #mymanomanoway#manomanouk and #youvegotthis hashtags!