BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

Style Spotters

Creating an inviting outdoor oasis was once a major challenge with the small scope of products available on the market. Yet these days, outdoor decorating is just as fun as curating a thoughtful and beautiful space indoors! Weather-resistant fabrics have come leaps and bounds throughout the past decade, and now, we’re able to craft outdoor dining rooms, living rooms, and lounge areas fit for any high design interior space.

Outdoor lighting in particular has seen a major refresh in the last few seasons, making it a cinch to pull together a space that can be enjoyed all day and all night, too. Whether you’re looking to create a reading nook under the stars, or you plan to host a Memorial Day cookout for the entire neighborhood, these ambient lighting ideas will have you experiencing creative light bulb moments all season long.

Add a Summer Spark to Your Soiree

The concept of creating an intimate space in an outdoor room that’s as “tall” as the earth’s atmosphere may seem daunting, but it’s easy to create that cozy effect with clever lighting. Try stringing globe lights in an overlapping pattern across the top of the space to bring the “ceiling” down to a more manageable height. Lining the perimeter of the outdoor space with lanterns and flickering candles finishes the seasonal room off in romantic style.

Add a Summer Spark to Your Soiree

If you once thought that a hanging chandelier was another decorative lighting feature destined to be “indoors only,” we challenge you to think again! Hanging a lantern above your outdoor eating or seating area is a surefire way of adding customized character to your deck or patio, and is perfectly safe for outdoor living thanks to solar powered capabilities. Supplement your chandelier with additional string lights to create a highly functioning outdoor lighting system guaranteed to light the way to a good time with friends and family.

Add a Summer Spark to Your Soiree

As we all know, seasonal entertaining isn’t always at home. So what do you do when you have a sunset picnic planned and no way of installing a permanent lighting system to keep the dark at bay? Consider stowing a few strands of LED string lights plus a transformer into your picnic basket. These portable lights can be draped over a tree branch or laid around the perimeter of your picnic blanket for functional and pretty ambiance in a flash. And if that’s not quite enough, toss one or two charged rock shaped LED solar-powered floor lamps into your basket just before heading out the door for extra lighting come sunset!

For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


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There is nothing like the fresh color of spring after a long gray winter! Want a quick and colorful way to easily refresh your space for spring? Of course you do! The most amazing way to usher in the season, make your party pop, or lift the spirits of bar cart is to let the ingredients shine. I love using glass pitchers, carafes, and bowls so the color of the ingredients we’ve been longing for all winter long can take center stage.

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Stations are truly the name of the game for spring entertaining. They keep the party flowing and create conversation starters as well as invite guests to move around the space. Creating a drink station that inspires your guests’ inner mixologist  is easy when the color of the ingredients is on full display. Bonus: this little trick frees up the hostess to enjoy the party too! This is great for pre-made signature drinks. This is also a fun way to invite guest to participate in the joy of experimentation.

I am always sure to have plenty of glass carafes and bottles with the stoppers on hand. They are fantastic to use every day as well as when entertaining. Fill them with water or your favorite beverage for the table during everyday family meals. I love having these on the table to get that dining out feeling at home.

IKEA Ingredients shine

Mix it all up! Everything does not have to match exactly. You will already have a coordinated look because the glasses and carafes are made of the same material and pull it all together. The focus will be on the ingredients, and the color will set a lovely bright tone.

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Keeping all the pieces of the puzzle visible in glass jars makes for great saturated color and texture against the blooming background of spring. Whether you are displaying mixers or accouterments for a bloody Mary or breakfast bar, letting the ingredients shine is a good bet any time!

For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


Potted plants are a staple in many gardens, especially cozier spaces. They also have a funny way of multiplying, taking over every surface, including your ground, patio floor, and garden tables, until your place becomes a sea of clay containers.

As gardeners, plant habitat designers, and co-founders of The Horticult, we, Ryan and Chantal, know this dilemma all too well. In searching for ways to design with clay pots in attractive, space-saving ways, we hit a wall. Well, so to speak. We ended up designing a screen that turns a collection of clay pots into a vertical garden in which the pots seem to be levitating on top of each other. Bubbling over with flowers like nemesias and petunias, it’s also the friendliest kind of privacy screen.

As we share in the “I Did It!” section of the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens, this magical effect comes courtesy of some hardware and a little bit of muscle. We strung our clay pots together using all-thread rods, and turned plastic test plugs (found in the plumbing section of the hardware store) into drainable flanges that, in tandem with nuts and washers, secured the pots in place. Hooks and sleeve anchors allow you to hang your installation.

Another benefit of raising your containers to eye level? The more you see your plants, the more likely you are to take care of them. Keep in mind that hanging plants — especially those in breathable pots — tend to dry out faster than non-hanging plants. You can also adapt this vertical garden to many types of spaces. We’ve hung our floating planters from the eaves of friends’ balconies and attached them to our own rolling arbor.

We also built a custom frame for a super-size installation that’s now wild with glossy tropicals like anthurium and black gold philodendron. Attaching the hanging plants to a frame with casters makes it possible for renters to take their garden with them during a move. Get more gardening tips for renters here!

Want to make your own vertical clay pot garden? Pick up the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens now for the full DIY, or check out our blog for more instructions, photos, and pro tips!


Chinese Chippendale chairs

If there’s one thing I keep seeing pop up every time I turn around, it’s a Chinese Chippendale chair. I just got back from High Point market in North Carolina, and Chinese Chippendale influence was everywhere — and I couldn’t be more thrilled. These chairs are one of my absolute favorites. Characterized by their bamboo fretwork design on the back, they normally feature an upholstered seat and may or may not have arms. While they’re available new from a variety of retailers, you can almost always find vintage versions as well by searching on sites like eBay, Etsy, Chairish, 1stDibs, etc. And if you’re really lucky, as a steal of a deal on your local Craigslist. Originally designed by prolific English cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale in the 18th century, the Chinese Chippendale chair is a classic design that can work in practically any style of interior. If you’re traditional, it’s a great way to toss in a little chinoiserie; if you’re more modern, it’s the perfect contrast and unexpected twist. But above all, I adore it in a bright, bold color.

Chinese Chippendale chairs

Most of the images I found while doing a little Pinterest hunt led me to dining rooms like this fun Palm Beach-inspired room designed by Maria Barros. Pairing a Chinese Chippendale chair with the uber-modern Saarinen tulip table is a fun and unexpected combination of modern and traditional. I also love that the chairs are in two different colors.

chippendale blue green

A pretty little breakfast nook via Quadrille Fabrics – again with a Saarinen tulip table — is rounded out with four white chippendale chairs. The gilded feminine chandelier keeps the scene traditional overall.chippendale breakfast nook

 

Here’s a preppy rustic dining room with loads of texture by AGK Design Studio. A big modern farmhouse table in a natural wood finish is an interesting and unexpected match for the white Chippendale chairs.chippendale brick wall

 

Stunning and bold red chippendale chairs are a statement-maker in this traditional dining room. Check out those tassels on each leg.

chippendale red dining room

But if you prefer something a little more natural, go for an unfinished bamboo chair – I saw a ton of this particular finish at market, too. (Via Sara M. Dorsey)

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For a more subdued or monochromatic interior, go for contrast with bold black against a crisp white table (via The Zhush).

chippendale the zhush

Are you inspired yet? I’ve got my eye on a bright blue set that I might have to snap up!


By Jen Stagg of With Heart

It’s finally here– the great thaw. It’s that time of year when you spot little patches of green grass sprouting up, you hear the birds chirping joyfully outside, and if you’re anything like me, it’s also the time of year when you start itching to jump in a pool of fresh flowers and soak in the sunshine. Since a spring flower bath may not be practical, why not bring all the freshness of spring indoors by switching up some of your decor? Need some ideas? Here are a few that will give you an immediate spring fix.

Bathroom

The easiest way to bring the outdoors in is with live plants and flowers. Breathe life into a sterile and sometimes cold room like a bathroom. Indoor planters not only look beautiful, they smell wonderful as well and add life into an otherwise dull space.

For a small planter, the MANDEL Plant Pot is a great option. Sit it in a windowsill and fill with flowers to brighten a room. If cooking with fresh herbs is your thing, use the SATSUMAS Plant Stand to create your own herb garden. Label each plant so you know what is what when it comes time to cook.

Another idea– try going vertical. Hanging planters can add instant interest to a corner. These handy BITTERGURKA Hanging Planters can be layered by hooking one to another.

Hanging Planters

If you love the look of botanicals, but want more than an indoor plant, botanical prints may be just the thing. Switch out your old duvet for the STRANDKRYPA or RODBINKA duvet covers. Your bedroom will feel springy with just one simple switch.

botanical bedroom

For a living room, toss a DORTHY Cushion Cover into the mix and get an instantly fresh feel. It doesn’t take much to bring the outdoors in, and the transformation will give you a mood boost. Take a deep breath and sigh– it’s spring!

For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


There’s just something about a beautiful porch that conjures up visions of golden sunlight filtering through the trees, the background hum of cicadas, iced tea, and an all-over warmth of summertime. I’m already looking forward to spending plenty of time on our front porch at the lake this summer, and I’m particularly dreaming about installing a big hanging daybed for us to wile away the hours on. I’m particularly inspired by the idea of sleeping porches, a traditional Southern design element that was born in the early twentieth century thanks to lack of air conditioning, as well as some fear of germs/disease (the prevailing idea was that it was healthier to sleep outside in all the fresh air and thus avoid tuberculosis, etc). If you’re a design history buff, you’ll enjoy this article on the history of sleeping porches as well as this more in-depth article on how American culture revolved around the front porch until it started to migrate to the backyard (particularly fascinating).

Larger than a traditional porch swing, most are usually the dimensions of a twin size mattress, although I’ve seen them in both full size or crib mattress size, depending on the layout of the porch. Most have large rope details and are enclosed on 3 of the 4 sides, although some also feature armless versions for a more modern interpretation.

But the aesthetic overall doesn’t have to scream “I live in the Deep South.” There are all different kinds of aesthetic variations, such as this Moorish home below. The porch bed is so dramatic with all the ropes attaching at one point to dark hardware on either side. I love how low the bed sits overall — and it doesn’t hurt that the view is amazing too.

aphrochic porch bed swing

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Another great platform bed via BHG. Uniformly sized Euro pillows line the back and a mishmash of patterned pillows bring in color and personality.

bhg porch swing

A chic outdoor living room with monochromatic black and white accents is the perfect contrast to the leafy emerald palm fronds.The wooden base of the bed adds warmth and character.

dusk jacket attic porch swing

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But if your taste runs more traditional, you’ll love this aqua-hued setting. In this particular look, the bed could have felt really visually heavy, but since they kept everything white, including the flooring, the bed floats lightly overhead and allows the pillows to pop. This is great for a small space – allow the heavier elements to recede visually and keep the focus elsewhere.

house of turquoise porch swing bed

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Look how tiny and cute this little swing is!

Celerie Kemble porch swing - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

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Another dreamy number with some fun bolster pillows.

porch bed swing

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And if you’ve got the square footage for it, everything is better in pairs. These are so dramatic on that gorgeous portico.

saltaire pair of porch swings

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saltaire porch swing

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Finally, I couldn’t help but include this ridiculously awesome hanging nest. I have NO idea how you’d actually climb into it over the water, but it makes for a stunning photograph! It’d be perfect in a big tree or somewhere that you have enough space and scale to let it shine. Definitely a conversation starter – I would’ve died of happiness to have this as a kid and wile away the summer hours reading a book.

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I think I’m going to take some of these inspiration shots to a carpenter in our community and have something custom built to fit the size of our porch. And also there’s that little issue of convincing the husband to go along with it – but seriously, who wouldn’t be convinced after seeing these images? Here’s to a summer of outdoor living!


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