07 May 2019 By Kitty Yarrow
About Selina Lake
How did you begin the design process for styling the Alitex stand at RHS Chelsea Flower Show?
Whenever I think about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s best horticultural show, I always think about the pure celebration of nature, plants and of course wonderful blooming, sparking my initial inspiration for the project. I decided I wanted to create a show stopping ‘Floral Party’ inside the beautiful large bespoke lean-to Alitex Greenhouse, a space to give the show visitors #GreenhouseGoals! I also wanted to bring some styling ideas from my books to the event. I started the process like I start all my styling projects, by making a style PDF plan using inspirational images, sketches, iPhone snaps, paint and fabric swatches. This is a dream job for me and one I think has been swirling around my head even before Alitex asked to collaborate, so it all came together nicely.
What inspires you when you are styling?
It’s always the space that inspires me first before I embark on any project. For my magazine and commercial photoshoots I search and source the perfect locations, looking for somewhere with the ideal qualities for that particular shoot i.e. textured walls for a backdrop, fireplaces for a cosy winter vibe or wood flooring to tie in a natural look. I particularly enjoy working outside, and greenhouses are my most favourite structure to style - I love their whimsical, romantic feel along with the promise of seedlings being sown and plants being nurtured. When I was producing my book Garden Style I was lucky to visit and do a shoot with photographer Rachel Whiting at Rosenadals Tradgard (www.rosendalstradgard.se) in Stockholm , Sweden. It’s a working garden where three large converted commercial greenhouses have been joined together making an event space to hire for parties, a pretty shop and a café - I was in my element. Flowers and plants are my go to props as they instantly bring an image or space to life.
What elements are you most excited about bringing to the show?
I am crafting a few elements and using hand drawn details… I also have a couple of unexpected lighting ideas which I’m excited about and will be mixing vintage props with pops of The Alitex Paint Collection by M&L Paints and masses of flowers and lush green houseplants. I will share some easy styling ideas, which visitors can try in their gardens or greenhouses. Plus I’ll be championing independent makers, artists and designers work.
Your new book is all about natural ways of living and incorporating this into interior and exterior style, are their details of this that will be demonstrated at Chelsea?
Yes definitely, since working on my book Natural Living Style I’m super mindful of using sustainable materials where possible. I like to blend natural woods, rattans and botanicals into my styling schemes. In the Alitex Scotney greenhouse on the stand, I’m flying the flag for bees and insects with an entomology style theme which will hopefully highlight the importance of our buzzing garden companions.
Are there any tips that you can offer to someone taking on a styling project of their own - whether it's inside of in the garden?
Work with what you already have, use flowers and plants to add interest, choosing colours and textures which you are drawn too. Also enjoy the process, stand back from time to time to view the setting and take inspiration from books, magazines and shows.