One-off homewares and accessories made by artists to create a vibrant outside space for summer socialising

Ailis Brennan
·4-min read
 (Pool: Johnny Barrington / Pots: Hoxton Gardenware / Cups: C.C Filson Company)
(Pool: Johnny Barrington / Pots: Hoxton Gardenware / Cups: C.C Filson Company)

Keen to show your incoming alfresco visitors just how cultured you’ve become during lockdown? Instead of boring them over the barbecue with details of your Zoom book club, simply make like Monet and turn your garden into a work of art — or a gallery of it, at least.

"I’ve been really drawn to drawing geese at the moment," says Aysha Tengiz, one of the 30 artists to have contributed designs to DIY Art Market’s new deckchair collection. "I’ve been walking in the park so much, looking at these weird prehistoric animals — so that was what came into my head when I was thinking about the design."

Each deckchair is available to buy online (£150, diyartshop.com), with 80 per cent of profits going to the artist.

"People buying from independent sellers like myself has basically meant I can continue with my job," says the full-time illustrator.

"You also get something a bit more bespoke, limited edition, usually really reasonably priced, and the money goes into the maker’s pocket."

Sitting pretty: Aysha Tengiz is one of 30 artists who have contributed to DIY Art Market’s deckchairs
Sitting pretty: Aysha Tengiz is one of 30 artists who have contributed to DIY Art Market’s deckchairs

While making art for people’s gardens may be new for Tengiz, Aaron Angell has built a socially conscious business out of it. The ceramicist has shown work at Tate St Ives, but also runs Hoxton Gardenware, a non-profit enterprise that teaches young people to make terracotta planters.

"We’re trying to get a more diverse group of people into pottery," says Angell. "It’s still incredibly white and middle-class."

The pots are made at Angell’s studio and are being sold online (from £8, hoxtongardenware.co.uk).

"They are hand-thrown, all one-offs, and we work with our own blends of clay," says Angell, who Light fantastic: an Eiffel Tower tealight from Luna Lighting, a paddling pool by London artist Anna Beam and Adam Nathaniel Furman’s tray leads the design of the pieces.

"Whereas traditionally gardenware comes from one place i.e. industrial terracotta, our influence comes from ancient Japanese and Korean pottery, crossed with medieval British pottery."

Ceramicist Aaron Angell runs Hoxton Gardenware, a non-profit enterprise that teaches young people to make terracotta plantersHoxton Gardenware
Ceramicist Aaron Angell runs Hoxton Gardenware, a non-profit enterprise that teaches young people to make terracotta plantersHoxton Gardenware

Take a seat

If you want to be sitting pretty, artist Faye Toogood’s design brand is selling its sleek Spade Chair (£3,960, t-o-o-g-oo-d.com), cast in aluminium. For picnics, grab a blanket designed by London-based Egle Zvirblyte for Sancal (£195), sancal.com) the tiger rocking sunglasses is our favourite.

Alternatively, make your own by downloading the open-source pattern for artist Paul Cocksedge’s Here Comes The Sun blanket, which keeps revellers on socially distanced dots (paulcocksedgestudio.com).

Green-fingered gift shop

Painter and sculptor Francesca Pappacoda wants you to go beyond green. Her homeware company Salt Studios manufactures a rainbow of plant pots and propagation discs (from £10, saltstudios.co.uk), with patterns ranging from lavender terrazzo to cow print.

To fill them, pick up some of Graen Studios’ beautifully designed seed packets (£4.50, graenstudios.com), that nod to the horticultural photographs of 20th-century master Karl Blossfeldt. Once you’ve used the seeds, the packets double as art postcards for your shed.

Inflatables are key: Anna Beam designed this rippling blue paddling pool in collaboration with Slowdown StudioJohnny Barrington
Inflatables are key: Anna Beam designed this rippling blue paddling pool in collaboration with Slowdown StudioJohnny Barrington

The art of play

For anyone who thought art was a serious affair, we raise you David Shrigley’s ridiculous inflatable swan-thing pool float (£49.99, nationalgalleries.org), which can be enjoyed alongside his record-inspired frisbee (£25, shop.balticmill.com).

Paddling pools have all grown up too thanks to Mylle’s stylish range of inflatables including a rippling blue design by London artist Anna Beam in collaboration with Slowdown Studio (£155, conranshop.co.uk).

Colour kick: artist Yinka Ilori has a range of colourful homewareAndrew Meredith
Colour kick: artist Yinka Ilori has a range of colourful homewareAndrew Meredith

Eat, drink and be arty

If you loved the recent appearance of his chair artworks on Grayson’s Art Club, dine in with Yinka Ilori’s homeware — brightly coloured enamel mugs make perfect smash-proof vessels for warming drinks on chillier evenings (£32, yinkailori.com).

To deliver the goods, Adam Nathaniel Furman’s Mirrl collaboration features paint-splattered trays, each completely unique, but always arriving in summer-ready pastels (£165, shop.mirrl.com).

For a little cottage-core, Thornback & Peel Spade screenprints designs onto garden-ready products including oilcloth table covers decked with cabbages and cacti-covered aprons (from £25 thornbackandpeel.co.uk).

How enlightening

For when the sun goes down, designer Anissa Kermiche takes a shapely approach to tealight holders, cradling candles in cups shaped like women’s bottoms (£125 for three, anissakermiche.com).

Cockpit Yard-based Anna Perring has a more traditional spin with Luna Lighting’s handmade porcelain tealight holders featuring pin-pricked illustrations of cats, hedgehogs and elephants (from £18.95, lunalighting.co.uk).

While not a resident, Olafur Eliasson’s 2003 sun installation at Tate Modern is a sight few Londoners will forget.

Now, his Little Sun non-profit sells solar-powered lamps, with proceeds helping to deliver them to students in sub-Saharan Africa so they can study at night (£30, shop.tate.org.uk).