Sweet Freedom! We are now free to dine, read, explore and just plain watch the world outside now that spring is finally here! Priority number one – refreshing the place where you will want to spend all your time in the coming months. The fun in refreshing your outdoor area is to think of them as extensions of your living space. There’s just something about outdoor spaces that allows us to be less rigid and much more playful. With easy-to-please greenery as a backdrop, outdoor rooms are the perfect place to experiment with color!
Layering a bevy of patterns with varied scales, textures and colors will create a place that invites everyone to linger. I love, love this image because of all the subtle things going on with pattern here. There is pattern in the pillows, the candle holders, the baskets, the rug, and even in the lighting. This is all creating a very rich look with a ton of depth. If pattern has not quite been for you in the past, this is an amazing example of how you can embrace pattern without feeling too bold.
Keeping to a tight color palette is also a great way incorporate lots of great pattern without feeling like the pattern is overwhelming the space. Be sure to vary the scales of the patterns you will use in the same space. It is always a good idea to mix in some solid and textured pieces as well so that the eye has several chances for some visual rest.
Don’t neglect those toes! Outdoor rugs are a wonderful way to bring some pattern to your outdoor space. Have fun here! Be bold! Do something you may not necessarily do inside your home. Do consider the texture as well if you are like me and spend most of the season without shoes! This is a great example of how to pair something very rich and dense (the rug) with a pattern that is more open and airy – the pillow.
Whether your outdoor room craves a little color or a lot, even a few well-placed hits of texture and pattern can infuse your space with winning charm.
For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure
In the era of limitless screen time and central air-conditioning, getting outside for more than the daily commute can be a challenge. Lucky for us, these women are in their right mind. They set down their controllers and turned off their tablets to inspire us with their outdoor gaming instead. With their guidance, I’ve compiled a list of my top seven outdoor games to get us off the couch and into the yard this year.
1. Kelly Mindell of Studio DIY engages my inner child with her DIY giant lawn matching game. Her step-by-step guide to creating the game uses durable 12×12-inch cork tiles, but she mentions opting for less expensive cardstock or cardboard if you only plan on playing the game once or twice.
Photo via: Studio DIY
2. This fun game by Kimbo, creator of A Girl and a Glue Gun, is the best for cooling off while having a blast. Kimbo’s Frozen T-Shirt Race has you place damp shirts in the freezer, then race to see who can put theirs on the fastest after it’s frozen. Let the struggle commence!
Photo via: A Girl and a Glue Gun
3. In an Olympic year, there’s no reason not to take a stab at the Backyard Olympic Games. Mom Leana — creator of A Small Snippet — planned her son’s birthday party around the summer games, complete with DIY Olympic snacks; DIY hurdles, javelin throw, and shot put competitions; and personalized “uniform” party-favor T-shirts for each competitor.
Photo via: A Small Snippet
4. DIY these neat giant yard games with just a few supplies, and, bonus, learn how to play Cooties. Megan Harney, mom and blogger from Wit and Wander, shows us how to create giant, reusable yard game pieces and graciously supplies us with a free printable game to play with your new yard-size dice.
Photo via: Wit and Wander
5. Some of the best games include no equipment at all. She Knows blogger Whitney Coy compiled a list of play-anywhere taglike games including a new one to me. Octopus Tag – a sort of cross between red rover and freeze-tag – involves tagging, freezing, fish, crabs, and the ocean, with lots of opportunity for fun.
Photo via: She Knows
6. How could I leave everyone’s favorite warm-weather game off the list? Anything involving a water balloon is sure to ignite a great party. Thanks to Heather, founder and designer of the Chickabug shop and blog, we’ve got this totally awesome list of water balloon games for you to try this year. You can’t go wrong with No. 9 (trust me!).
Photo via: Making Merry Memories
7. Play to your kids’ (or kids’-at-heart) competitive natures, and try Sophie’s clean-up game from Sophie’s World. Those water balloons you just played with are going to create a mess, but Balloon Scrap Pick Up turns clean up into a game. Compete individually or in teams to collect the most scrap pieces in one minute. Play as many rounds as it takes to get the yard clean again.
Photo via: Sophie’s World
So get outside and give these games a shot with your friends and family. As summer rolls in, let me know how they go, or tell me what other games are great for the backyard!
It is always my goal to bust the myth that “organizing is expensive”. Technically speaking, the act of organizing is free. You may even find yourself earning money during the process. It is the storage needed to complete the organizing projects that is typically costly. However, beautiful storage does not have to cause monetary pain. All you need is Craigslist or a thrift store paired with a little creativity and you can create some fairly inexpensive solutions to everyday storage problems. Let’s take a look at a few examples of fantastic furniture makeovers that didn’t break the bank, yet are excitingly unique.
Let’s begin with one of my favorite transformations right away. Old metal filing cabinets are a dime a dozen at general thrift stores, but do you see what some spray paint and a remnant piece of stone can do? Not only is the filing system unique; it also boasts four total drawers while doubling as the perfect drop zone location.
Another hot item that can be found in just about every kitchen is a canning jar. Now we all know that canning jars are darling and can be used for endless storage purposes, but take a look at what the addition of some paint and hardware can do. These sweet jars look like they came straight from the shelves of the beautiful neighborhood boutique.
Bookcases and hutches typically land at the top of my favorite storage furniture list. They can easily be utilized in any room of the house; their versatility truly knows no bounds. Above, a dated hutch is now acting as a makeshift linen closet thanks to the help of some paint and blingy hardware.
While this bookcase shows that a few minor modifications will create an entirely different storage purpose. Dowels really took this bookcase to new organizational heights for a variety of craft and gift wrapping supplies.
If space is a concern, dowels continue to work as inexpensive craft organization when paired with everyday photo frames. Let’s all vow to never pay full price for a decorative frame again; typically the older they are, the better their style!
How about combining two console tables with four casters to create a mobile kitchen island? Extra work surface, added storage and mobility? It’s a kitchen trifecta!
Sure, paint is an instant game changer for most furniture makeovers. However, hardware can also do wonders for everyday pieces. Above, the addition of some simple hinges turned a common dresser into a one-of-a- kind desk!
Let’s not forget our younger pals, the craft desk above was created by modifying a standard kitchen cabinet!
Another make-you-smile spot for the kids can be created in your home’s entryway with the help of a repurposed media cabinet.
Finally, think outside of your home’s walls. There are many wonderful exterior paints and polyurathanes on the market that allow furniture to function big out on your patio or front porch. Pair a variety of hooks and organizers with an old cabinet and your gardening routine just became even more lively.
So what do you think? Have I convinced you to search Craigslist and thrift stores for all of your storage needs?
It’s one of the places we spend the most time, yet sometimes our bed can look a little left out of the decorating process. Hodgepodge sheets and blankets, lumpy pillows, and a bed that may or may not be comfortable, but certainly doesn’t look inviting. I believe a bed should be both– beautiful and comfortable. It can both set the tone for the room, and be something you can’t wait to sink into each night. I give you all the contents for making a bed that’s beautiful and comfortable.
1. Start with a good foundation. Choosing a mattress is a personal decision, so I say test a bunch out.
2. Top it off. The number one thing that made my bed more comfortable was adding a mattress topper. Again, choosing the right one takes some trying it out in person, but I highly suggest one. Why do you think the Princess and the Pea loved layers so much? Ultimate comfort.
3. Good sheets can really make a difference when getting a good night’s sleep. Thread count is usually your first indicator of a quality sheet and the SOMNIG is really impressive for the price point.
4. Dressing the bed. Now that we’ve got some good foundation pieces taken care of, let’s talk about my favorite part– making the bed pretty. For a versatile duvet that can easily translate from season to season, try the HAXORT. It’s a classic look that can be paired with multiple design styles. For a punch of pattern, the EMMIE RUTA duvet’s beautiful checkered design is so fun and yet timeless.
5. Add in some style. For a bed that’s perfectly styled, I think it needs some throw pillows. Make that layers of pillows. A colorful cushion is a perfect opportunity to add personality and pattern. Check out the SOMMAR for just the right amount of interest.
6. Pattern rules. When choosing the right pillow combination, think in terms of thirds. One pillow a solid, one pillow a large-scale pattern, and one pattern a small-scale pattern.
Add a textured throw blanket at the foot of the bed like the OFELIA and you’ve got a perfectly made bed that is not only beautiful, but comfortable too.
For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.
We’re in the midst of updating our backyard patio, especially now that our youngest is big enough to enjoy playing outside. We found a pair of chairs and a low outdoor coffee table on our local Craigslist for a steal and I’m amazed how a simple, relatively inexpensive update has brought us so much more enjoyment of our patio. And with a little creativity, you can create a beautiful outdoor living space for the whole family to enjoy as the weather turns warm. Here’s a roundup of 11 easy ideas to update your patio or porch.
Use unexpected pieces to bring personality to your porch. An old trunk and mismatched side tables add a lot of style and function (think toy storage!). Plus they could easily be sourced from antique shops for not a lot of money and easily updated with a coat of paint.
Just because you’re outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t have great lighting. In a covered porch or patio, set the mood with a pair of lamps flanking an outdoor sofa.
Why not add outdoor curtains to your front porch? They’re a great way to block harsh sunlight and to provide privacy from too-close neighbors.
String lights mounted overhead bring a soft warm glow to your evening dinner party. Wall-mounted sconces embedded in a greenery-laden wall bring an extra layer of polish to the dining space.
Have plenty of little side tables that can double as seating in a pinch. By choosing items that can do double duty, you get maximum bang for your buck.
Outdoor pillows are a great way to provide a comfy place for your guests to relax. Don’t be afraid to have a rainbow of hues. These brightly colored pillows bring an all-white deck to life but stay chic since they’re all the same pattern. Remember – repetition is always your friend when it comes to design.
A long low outdoor sofa is shaded under a broad outdoor umbrella. Sofas are a great way to offer a lot of seating and lounge space – it’s the perfect place to catch an afternoon nap in the breeze.
Try an unexpected indoor element outside: a big round mirror is a beautiful addition to the brick wall and outdoor sofa.
An indoor/outdoor rug will make any outdoor space feel more cohesive and intentional. Plus it will also keep your feet from burning on hot concrete.
Have a consistent color scheme for your outdoor living room. Just like any interior room, a tight color palette will bring a sense of continuity and intention. Balance it with a neutral to give your eye a rest (like the white ceramic garden stool and clapboard walls of the house).
Don’t be afraid to try upholstered furniture in outdoor fabrics, particularly on a covered patio. Specially designed to wick away moisture and resist fading, there’s a wealth of comfortable lounge furniture in a surprising array of fabrics. (via)
Even the smallest of patios can be made extra cozy with the addition of fun textiles, an array of plants, and mood-setting lighting (check out those mismatched candelabras!). (via)
What are your favorite ways to beautify your outdoor space? Share in the comments!
The weather is warming up with every passing day, and that means we’re starting to enjoy the outdoors again. Evenings are spent on the patio while the kiddos run around in the grass and I’m on the prowl for outdoor living inspiration, especially for our house at the lake where we host frequently. Entertaining outdoors should be a no-fuss proposition, especially when you’re the hostess and you want to enjoy your guests. So I’ve rounded up some great ideas from IKEA as we head into the warmer season.
How dreamy is this beautiful patio setting with mix-and-match blue textiles? I love these blue table runners layered over each other – the perfect solution for drop-leaf dining tables so you never have to worry about having the right size tablecloth. Lanterns swaying gently in the breeze (solar powered!) provide major ambience while loads of pillow and cushions keep everyone comfy and happy into the wee hours of the night. And since the dining table expands, you could always easily open the drop leaf to include more friends.
We love bringing our dining room table out onto the boardwalk for dinner with neighbors. A lightweight table and chairs from the kitchen easily transition outdoors and give a stylish eclectic feel to the party. I love the idea of pulling a few flowers or branches from the yard to decorate the table with: place them in a variety of mismatched vases (like this one or this one) and arrange them on a pretty tray for a simple centerpiece.
A simple and beautiful table scene thanks to its natural surroundings is maybe the ultimate definition of effortless entertaining. Think of it as your outdoor dining room with soft green foliage in lieu of walls. It’s the perfect setting for connecting with your friends and family and creating lasting memories.
It’s also the perfect time of year to enjoy an outdoor picnic for the ultimate in casual entertaining. Mix and match your textiles and pull a wicker basket out as a makeshift dining table. Toss your utensils and dishes into a basket to easily transport them outside. Add a few well-placed cushions and throw blankets in case the weather turns chilly after dark and bring out the solar powered LED lanterns for a soft glow into the evening.
I’m so excited to celebrate the warmer months as we transition into summer. Here’s to many a long warm evening spent with friends, making memories!
For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.