Bring a Little Sunshine into your Home

Flora Kouta looks at the best the Algarve has to offer in home decor and shares her tips and ideas to breathe new life into your living space. This month – gardens.

Whether you have twelve rolling acres or a tiny balcony, now is the perfect time to get your outside space ready for those long hot summer days.

Last week I stumbled across a new cheap and enormous home decor store driving through Odiáxere. My friend refused to get out of the car because she’s a snob. After half an hour of waiting, she found me dribbling over the gorgeous garden wall art and had to admit that, between the Chinese factory-made goods, there were some real finds. (And what’s wrong with Chinese factory stuff anyway? Half the expensive retail chains in the Algarve have the same goods but at triple the prices.)

They’ve got everything from furniture to swimwear, cushions to garlic crushers. Want neon pink sewing thread? They’ve got it. Fake vines or pads to stop chairs scraping? Yes and yes. They haven’t got a website, of course, but if you Google ‘Hiper Lagos’, you’ll find it on a map.

I bought this decorative table and chairs for my dad, who insists on sitting at the front of the house in his underpants each morning to catch the early sun. He’s forever moaning that he has nothing to put his muesli on, this set is perfect for him and you can leave it out all year because it’s metal.

Back in Lagos, I found this Moroccan lantern solar light in Bricomarché. Not really that cheap at 23€, but the patterns of light it gives are so beautiful, I look forward to it getting dark each night now.

At Casa, in Portimão, I picked up these garden chairs, made of plastic. They are really light and comfortable. I love wooden furniture, but I’ve learnt the hard way that the Algarve winds and ocean spray ruin anything left out … plastic and metal are the only way to go.

Leroy Merlin has some new sun lounger pads that are really fun, I couldn’t resist this bright green palm leaf one. It’s plain green on the other side if the pattern gets too much!

Staying with the palm theme, I got home to find my sister had made this lovely mosaic wall art from sea glass she found on the beach at Meia Praia, perfect for outdoor walls!

Flora Kouta

Flora is an artist inspired by the spectacular coastline of the Algarve. Living in grey noisy London, she’s always itching to get back to the family home in Lagos for a good fix. “A large dose of shocking pink bougainvillea, a long walk on the burnt orange cliffs and a swim in the crashing waves is better than any medicine in the world,” she says.

Flora’s coastal, abstract and botanical prints sell all over Europe to art publishers, retailers and individuals looking for a way to bring a little sunshine into their homes. When Flora’s not painting wall art, she is painting the walls themselves, designing textiles and soft furnishings or searching for beautiful things for the house. You could say she’s a little bit obsessed with interiors.


Share this edition