Go outdoors with JJ Valaya

By Manisha Rao
Go outdoors with JJ Valaya
EXUBERANT EXTERIORS | Outdoors are as important as your house’s interiors and can liven up the entire look. Photo by Brantley

Transform your evenings with some of these beautiful outdoor decor tips by JJ Valaya

J J Valaya, one of the country’s finest couturiers, dons many interesting hats. From designing much-talked-about bridal collections and publishing his own book on fine art photography to being the first brand ambassador for Swarovski and launching a luxury home décor brand called The Home of the Traveler, Valaya has come a long way. While he helps connoisseurs set up their homes with his classy furniture, artefacts and textiles that flirt with art deco and vintage, The Luxe Café got him to open up about outdoor sitting spaces. Follow his simple tips to transform your evenings.

JACK OF ALL TRADES | JJ Valaya.

JACK OF ALL TRADES | JJ Valaya

The Luxe Café: How can you add instant charm to the sit out area or the living area of any farmhouse?
I believe in osmosis, so tend to get the outdoors in when creating an indoor space and the other way around as well. A patio or an outdoor living space is an extension of the indoor experience as it remains a place which is used to entertain guests in luxury. So your outdoor space should exclude comfort, warmth, detail and surprises. Comfortable chairs and accent décor, like lush mattresses, plenty of cushions and dramatic planters filled with statement—making foliage, make your outdoor space an inviting place.

What kind of garden furniture should one opt for?
This is highly personalized and varies from person to person. However, the outdoors, being exposed to the elements, demands the use of more hardy furniture like rattan and some man-made surfaces to compliment. Try and bring in a lot of natural elements as well, for instance, stone planters, stone benches, raw wood table-tops…the list is endless. Lastly, you need to warm up the space, so don’t hold back from using canvas drapes and dramatic garden umbrellas to good effect.

Dramatic umbrellas give a good effect to the gardens. Photo by The Indian Garden Company.

Dramatic umbrellas give a good effect to the gardens. Photo by The Indian Garden Company

And furniture fabric?
Picking the right fabric for outdoor furniture is very important as it will be more exposed to all kinds of weather conditions. Any tough fabric can be used such as canvas and interesting polyester blends. Get them treated well with a water repellent and keep them dusted and covered (with transparent covers) when not in use or in the monsoons.

Colors also play a very important role. What would you suggest?
It is always advisable to keep your palette neutral with accents of color only on accessories such as, cushions; this truly brings out the greens of the foliage in a sophisticated manner.

Blockquote Border

“Keep the ambient lighting to minimum and use exotic hanging lights plus create the real mood by adding as many candles as you can. Be romantic…you will get the best results.”

Blockquote BorderAnd what would be your choice of flooring?
Hardwood and natural stone are my personal favorites. Today however, there are also tons of man-made options to choose from as the quality of tiles are getting better every day.

What kind of lighting should one go for, especially in the evenings?
Golden rule: Keep the ambient lighting to minimum and use exotic hanging lights plus create the real mood by adding as many candles as you can. Be romantic…you will get the best results.

Exotic birdcages are JJ Vallaya's one of the favourite garden accessories.

Exotic birdcages are JJ Vallaya’s one of the favourite garden accessories

What is your favorite garden/ outdoor accessory?
There are several. However, my favorite at this moment has to be these exotic birdcages and stunning grills that we sourced during one of our trips to the orient.

What is luxury to you?
To be able to make a living out of my passion is luxury. To be able to work voraciously and yet not think of retirement is Luxury.