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Bestival-ise your garden party

Last month in my column in the Independent on Sunday, I shared Josie 'Bestival' da Bank's tips for outdoor decorating. As Bestival’s creative director/producer, she is responsible for making Bestival look as beautiful and distinctive as it does. 

And as the Isle of Wight event is happening this weekend AND because it looks set to be a scorcher, so even if you're at home a barbecue or garden gathering could be on the cards, I thought I'd share the extended version of her tips, along with some images to inspire. Over to you Josie...

Ruby Shoes Rocks 'Punk' bunting, £19.50 for 3 metres 

"I get a lot of my bunting from Ruby Shoes Rocks. I met her at last year’s open house in Dulwich, south London, where we live. The bunting you saw was my best friend Natasha’s – she is designing the Bestival Bollywood Bar. Sometimes we design it and send it to a guy in Jaipur – he always includes materials you wouldn’t get here; plastic marigolds, garlands and printed fabric and tassles. So I’d say definitely start with something basic from Ruby and then add to it with some nice bits from somewhere like Brick Lane or Southall – add lights, fairy lights work, though we always use festoons [the giant strings of lights] but it depends how big your garden is. You can transform a small garden very quickly with some fairy lights. 

Any ideas from Bestival that you could take into a domestic garden, Josie? "If you’re having a big party, hire a hot tub! It adds a really nice feature; I’ve got a wood-fired one at our place on the Isle of Wight and I love it."

You can hire one from Bathing Under the Sky, who supply Bestival – and if you're at Bestival this weekend and want to try one out, find out more here.

"For eating outdoors, I’m a big fan of Anthropologie – they have a great range of colourful plates (some are pictured above) and picnic stuff. 

I always buy the stuff by Natalie Lete (above), she makes amazing plates and rubs and cups and glasses; I collect her stuff and use it in and outdoors.

And on that tip; “I use indoor stuff outside –it’s pointless buying a special garden set in this climate. I’ll drag the sofa outside, rugs, cushions if it’s a nice day…” 

I found this sweet pink one, at a great price – £47.50 – at The Internet Gardener. Bestival use Hearthworks.
“You can hire tipis – or buy colourful little ones for children at places like Habitat. You can also buy a really cheap gazebo from Argos and decorate it by draping fabric around the sides, fixed with pins; winding fairy lights up the legs, hanging bunting – completely disguising it. 

London Garden Design sell solar powered versions, for £17.50 each.
"Lanterns can really transform a garden; I went to Chinatown the other day and bought lots of them in different colours; like neon pink – not the traditional red and gold. They’re really cheap and can really transform. .. I create this garden area, a vip bar, called the lucky cat at bestival and it’s festooned with Chinese parasols, this lovely green silk bunting, neon tassels and paper lanterns and red stretch tents."

"I hire in lots of furniture. If you’re having a party and want to take it up a level, do the same – I recommend Katherine at Arabian tents; she had lots of beautiful day beds in different colours and different themed tents, from Cornish tea to Arabian nights as well as smaller tents. She drops it all off and puts it up for you – then takes it away when you’re done."

Josie also has a new range of picnicware available from CultureLabel – I also wrote about the launch (and featured some of Josie's excellently pimped bunting here).

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