summer

BHG Guest Blogger

5 Tips for Setting the Perfect Summer Table

Hi! I’m Camille Styles, founder of CamilleStyles.com and author of Camille Styles Entertaining.

I would definitely call myself a “summer girl” — it’s the season I most look forward to all year long. Growing up, my end-of-May birthday usually fell during the last week of school, and even now the day represents freedom in my mind: the time to lighten up and have some fun! There’s nothing like that first dip in the pool that recalls sunny childhood memories and gets me in the mood to ditch work early for a picnic in the park complete with cold fried chicken, juicy strawberries and fresh-squeezed lemonade. This is the season for unfussy, effortless entertaining; fine china and perfectly-arranged flowers just don’t feel right at this time of year! Here’s how I set a table fit for a dinner party that captures the carefree vibe of summer.

1. Dress the table in summery textures. In the same way I might throw on shirts in fabrics like linen when it’s hot outside, think in terms of light, breathable materials like cotton and linen when dressing your table for a dinner party. I have a collection of light blankets from India and Mexico that I repurpose as the most gorgeous tablecloths — their vibrant colors and textures feel festive without trying too hard, and are bold enough to set the tone for an entire celebration.2. Incorporate elements that feel like summer vacation. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than at the beach, and since my home in Austin is pretty landlocked, I’ve always been obsessed with collecting textures and shapes that recall marine life: the wild shapes of sea coral, spiral patterns of shells and roughness of sand are all so beautiful. I place elements I’ve scavenged from past beach vacations around the house to instantly take me away, and place them on the center of the table for a simple, 2-minute centerpiece.

3. Celebrate color! Summer is when I really embrace color on the table. I usually choose either all cool shades (blues, greens, lavender), or all warm shades (pinks, reds, oranges), and then go to town! Layer different patterns like florals and stripes in striking color combinations for a bold look, then pile on vibrant dishes, mismatched napkins and colorful cocktails. I love pieces that incorporate textural or exotic touches like woven Guatemalan patterns or Indian-inspired tassels to satisfy the wanderlust that strikes more frequently in the summertime. If the minimalist in you is cringing at the thought of all that color, try sticking with a neutral palette and adding one vibrant pop. My bright teal tablecloth always makes a statement in our dining room that’s otherwise cream, white and light wood.

4. Let summer produce take center stage. Summer is a constant reminder of the earth’s generosity: just take a stroll past farmers market stalls brimming with juicy peaches, heirloom tomatoes in every shade, and summer squash begging to be tossed on the grill and devoured. Set out a big platter of your market haul – a colorful salad or sweet slices of watermelon sprinkled with sea salt – and let it play double-duty as family-style feast and beautiful centerpiece.

5. Create a glowing ambiance. As the sun sets, create a magical glow with some strategically-placed candles and lights. For my husband’s birthday party a couple years ago, we surrounded the pool with tons of votive candles that lit up the night in such an unforgettable way. String up white café lights overhead, place a few lanterns with candles inside around the patio or scatter bamboo torches filled with citronella oil along the perimeter of the yard. They’ll ward off bugs while adding light!


Jennifer OBrien

Vintage Style-Decorating With Demijohns

Vintage Style-Decorating With Demijohns BHG Style Spotters

Ahh,the sound of spring is in the air and I for one couldn’t be happier. After a long winter I am ready for a style overhaul & living coastally I seem to embrace this idea a little early, I tend to skip over spring & head right for summer. One decorating element I can never seem to get enough of this time of year is glass. Whether old or new, it’s transparency gives a worn, causal layer to any space without it feeling large or heavy. Demijohns and glass bottles have become a hot trend, if you walk into any home décor store you will have a variety to choose from. They come in an assortment or sizes & colors and can be used as pure decoration or for purpose. Here are some of my favorite vintage style inspirations using demijohns and glass…

A variety of glass containers in different sizes and hues make this mantle feel cohesive and fun, a perfect look for spring or summer.BHG Centsational Style{BHG}

This vignette feels organic and unified with the turquoise tones and warm worn textures.

VIBEKE DESIGN-White, wood, aqua glass, greenery {via}

Varying size and scale can make any stylized area feel effortless.

VIBEKE DESIGN great grouping with vintage posters, basket and demijohns{via}

Decorating a built-in or hutch is a perfect place to mix and match your collection and give yourself some creative freedom. Layering height, color and odd number assortments are a few things to keep in mind when trying to achieve this look.

summer hutch craftberrybush {via}

Adding or interchanging just a few glass elements into a space will instantly give you a casual, coastal look without redecorating the entire room.

Rooms for Rent Printers Cabinet With Demijohn{via}

Varying sizes, heights and colors gives this collection a casual, cohesive look.

Perfectly Imperfect - A Seasonal Refresh Using Demijohns {via}

Glass bottles and demijohns on a woven tray gives a casual coffee table look, ideal for this time of year.Life On Virginia St-Coffee Table Styling With Glass Jars{via}

Adding a few worn bottles to open kitchen shelving makes this space feel stylish, original & uncluttered.

In the Kitchen with Skye Gyngell, London's Chef du Jour - Glass Jars on Display{via}

Decorating your open shelving with large purposeful glass bottles & jars brings function to your space and by balancing that with whites and organic textures it gives a stylish & rustic look.

Ella Claire Bathroom Makeover Using Open Shelving & Glass Jars {via}

Layering moody tones in with your vintage demijohn collection makes the space feel grounded and unified. This rustic, coastal look is timeless and be worn all year long.

Eclectically Vintage Assorted Demijohn Mantle{via}

Using your glass bottles and demijohns as a purposeful collection is a fantastic styling idea. Whether its cut flowers or branches, using them as vases brings function & beauty together and also makes for a great conversation piece.

BHG Adding Texture & Vintage Style With These Demijohns{BHG}

Another example of how a collection can seem organic and have flow by simply repeating color and texture. BHG Cottage in the Minimalist White soft blue sideboard + blue glass vases{BHG}

This is the perfect time of year to keep your eyes peeled for glass bottles, you may even want to start a collection{smile}. I hope this inspired you to see beauty in imperfection.

Have a beautiful week,

Jen-City Farmhouse


Ellen Miller

Can you believe it? Birkenstocks are back!

Image created via Polyvore

I’m shocked, mystified—and maybe just a little bit excited. Sales of Birkenstocks have spiked, and once again, the German orthopedic sandals have stepped into the sartorial zeitgeist. Since spring, the two-strap version called the Arizona has been popping up on fashion blogs and city streets, and now the style is frequently selling out at retailers like J.Crew, Zappos, and ASOS. Introduced by the company in 1973, you may also recall that the shoe cycled back into closets in the 90s. I saved up my babysitting money and—cringe—proudly wore mine with flannel shirts, baggy jeans, and baby T’s. Full disclosure: These fashion flashbacks have kept me from actually opening my wallet the second time around, though I’m close to caving. Here’s my justification: While I’m still not sold on the way the super-chunky Arizonas look with dresses, they feel fresh with distressed jeans and a white T-shirt. And, unlike strappy sandals, ballet flats, or flip flops—this summer shoe is actually good for your feet. What do you think? Is this comfy trend worth trying?

 


Michael Wurm, Jr.

For the Love of Color: Cherry Red

‘Tis the season for patio sitting and front porch rocking.Every year I look forward to the month of May when I get to clean off the deck, break out the patio furniture, fire up the grill, and plant a few flowers. There’s something about basking in the sun or dining al fresco that makes life just a little sweeter.

Every year I’m always on the hunt for inspiration when it comes to decorating my porch. I have fairly standard wrought iron furniture pieces, so I like to add in different colors to really bring the space to life. While I’ve tried a variety of colors over the years, one color I always return to is cherry red. I’m not sure why I love this bright and bold color for outdoor decorating. Maybe it’s because of the association with of geraniums or checkered tablecloths, but red instantly reminds me of summer fun with friends and family.

I especially loved this gorgeous screened-in porch. With a mostly neutral background, a few red chairs tucked around the table make this space instantly inviting. Today, I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite cherry red pieces that will add a bit of summer color to your home.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12

What colors to you like to incorporate into your porch and patio decor?

Happy Decorating!
Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm


Alexa Fornoff

Get the Look: Seaworthy Style

Trend: Nautical Home Decor

Maybe it’s because I live in a landlocked state, but I’ve always been drawn to the sea. It feels exotic yet familiar, and the lived-in style of coastal cabins probably has a lot to do with that: crumpled linen, sun-bleached colors, and sturdy finishes that can stand up to salty spray and sandy feet.

I love the mix-and-match nonchalance of the bedroom, which proudly displays several humble collections (nautical flags above the bed, stick-straight arrows on the night table, and rough-and-tumble baseballs and softballs nestled in a basket). Plus, the classic color combo is nothing to scoff at!

Nautical bedroom

And the more formal living room, with it’s tufted yellow leather ottoman and chic rope-wrapped tray, shows how to play up texture while still maintaining a sophisticated style.

Chic rope accents

To bring the nautical look to your own space, you don’t need to complete a full-on makeover. Add a few key pieces to refresh the room — think thick rope accents, woven baskets, sea-inspired patterns, and a little candlelight for ambiance. Here are my picks:

Clockwise, from top left: 1 \ 2 \ 3 \ 4 \ 5

Want more? Check out another sea-inspired guide here!

– Alexa Fornoff, shopBHG editor


Victoria Smith

get the look: sophisticated summertime bedroom.

With summertime on the horizon, freshen up your space to compliment the warm flower scented breeze that will soon be floating in through your windows. A mix of antique and modern pops of color come together to create this bedroom oasis – just in time to welcome your family and friends into your home for a visit or two.

Get this look: 1. Start at the top – this antique brass chandelier brings a mid-century modern touch to kick off your space. 2. A sleigh bed like this one in antique mahogany is an excellent piece that can work with any trend. 3. Classic hotel style bedding keeps everything sleek and clean. 4. These Z Gallerie pillows provide great accent patterns to keep things fun. 5. The Harriet Clear Glass lamp is a versatile to brighten your room. 6, 7 & 9. A framed vintage print and glacier blue flower vases add layers and interest to the elegant demilune nightstand. 8. Hang a few rattan placemats to create your own art and add texture to your walls. 10. This red and ivory hand woven rug finishes off the look with a classic yet contemporary bold pop of color.