Decorating Ideas

The focus on outdoor rooms continues today with a peek at unattached spaces, namely converted sheds or cabanas that are freestanding in a rear yard, often requiring a short but worthwhile walk to the destination.

Converting a shed or erecting a breezy cabana are two ways to get creative with an outdoor room when your home lacks a covered patio, screened porch, or sunroom. Both give you the same benefit of an enclosed space designed for lounging throughout those fair weather months. 

Remove the walls of an old shed and use its frame to create an inviting sleeping nook for lazy summer afternoons.

outdoor bedroom bhg


Hang colorful paper lanterns up above and include a daybed that also acts as a sofa for gathering or lounging with friends.

sofa in converted shed bhg


Hang an elegant crystal chandelier for contrast against the rustic wood paneled walls and include cozy linens for catching up on your summer reads or stealing an afternoon nap.

converted shed bedroom bhg


Sheds also make wonderful playhouses for children – include all the adult amenities like curtains, window boxes, and bistro sets for summer fun on a small scale.

playhouse space bhg


Cabanas are readily available from many retailers and a wonderful way to enclose a small deck. Curtains add to the ambiance and also allow for greater sun protection.

cabana bhg


A comfortable sofa or sectional is all you need to make your cabana style space a welcoming one. Combine colorful stripes and solids in summery shades of blue and green.

bhg deck with cabana


Posed under a favorite tree, a small yet sophisticated black and white cabana provides both shelter from the sun and a stylish spot to chat for hours.

outdoor cabana bhg


Later this week, we’ll wrap up the series with some inspiring ideas for uncovered alfresco spaces, including patios and balconies!



The conservatory dates back to 16th century when British and European civilizations living in colder climates realized citrus and botanicals could be cultivated indoors. The modern day sunroom is a successor of the conservatory, and is also referred to as a solarium or a Florida room.

The sunroom is a space that is filled with natural light, hence the label and one of the most desirable rooms for relaxation because it allows residents to enjoy the light and view of the outdoors any time of year and without fear of inclement weather.



Architecturally, sunrooms are defined by their multiple walls of windows, ones that often stretch from floor to ceiling. Some sunrooms are designed to capture a scenic view while others are designed to collect sunlight for warmth and light.

rounded sunroom with view bhg


sunroom with view bhg

enclosed sunroom bhg


Take the opportunity to dress up your sunroom as you would any other indoor living room with colorful upholstered furnishings, keeping in mind that outdoor fabrics which resist fading are smart choices due to increased sun exposure. 

colorful fabrics in sunroom bhg


decorated sunroom bhg


Some sunrooms repeat the home’s exterior on the interior walls with shingle siding, stucco, or brick adding a textural element to the space. 

brick walls in sunroom bhg


sunroom with siding bhg


sunroom with brick walls bhg



Space permitting, tuck a dining table and chairs into a corner to enjoy the view while you linger over lunch.


dining room in sunroom bhg


Invest in a large outdoor sectional to guarantee a comfortable seat for everyone.

 sunroom with sectional bhg


Or convert an empty corner into a daybed for reading and snoozing in the soft sunlight. How clever is this solution placing three trunks together?



Next week we’ll wrap up the Outdoor Room Series with a spotlight on patio rooms and cabanas, see you then!



Part two of the Outdoor Room Series continues today with a look at a variety of beautiful and comfortable screened porches. As we saw with the beginning of the series and the focus on open air covered porches and patios, having a space that combines the comfort of the indoors with the pleasure of the outdoors is a bonus for any homeowner.

My brother has a screened porch at his home in Savannah, Georgia and during our visit last year we spent every night enjoying beverages and playing games in that cozy and comfortable space, while a few neighbors stopped by to say hello and linger in the conversation.

Screened porches are wonderful in any area where insects are active during hotter weather and can be used for dining, entertaining, or simply relaxing with family and friends. Dress up yours with a sectional that includes bright colored fabrics to welcome both comfort and good times.

screened porch with bright pillows bhg


Like with open porches, you can always incorporate decorative or textural elements into the design plan – think planks of wood on the ceiling and fans for circulating air.

  screened porch with ceiling fan bhg


It’s fun to be fearless with color in these transitional spaces. Spray paint your furniture in unexpected bright colors and include cushions in vivid fruity shades from orange to pink to yellow.

pink cushions outdoor sofa bhg[6]


Or decorate around a favorite summer holiday in red, white, and blue to embrace the Fourth of July.

foru season porch bhg


Screened porches are a wonderful place to grow potted botanicals since they receive ample sunlight.

screened porch with plants bhg


Be playful with your lighting and furniture choices too – why not a whimsical chandelier or a curvy rattan piece you’ve freshened with spray paint!

screened porch bhg


Read more

The urban dictionary defines a “staycation” as a vacation spent at one’s home enjoying all that one’s home environment has to offer. Transitional outdoor rooms than include the comforts of the indoors and the pleasant atmosphere of the outdoors are one of the most desirable spaces in a home. Covered porches, sunrooms, converted sheds, or screened porches are all examples of sheltered outdoor rooms that extend our living spaces and also our hours of leisure at home.

Because they are protected from sun or unpredictable summer rainstorms, the covered porch, patio, or loggia has the benefit of circulating fresh air with the bonus of a roof that provides shelter from the elements. Ceiling fans are a smart addition to a covered porch or patio and provide necessary air circulation, especially in regions where temperatures can creep above 100 degrees.

covered porch with columns

  covered porch with ceiling fan bhg


Covered porches are an opportunity to use furniture just as you would indoors since their surfaces are protected from direct sun or moisture.

covered porch with wicker sofa bhg


Consider the addition of a bright swash of paint to your porch ceiling like these planks coated in a cheerful yellow also repeated in the fabric toss pillows below.

outdoor porch yellow ceiling bhg


To encourage lingering among guests, or create a space where you wish to spend many hours relaxing, invest in furnishings with deep seat cushions in stylish outdoor fabrics.

covered loggia striped sofas bhg


cozy seating covered porch bhg


Read more

Last year I wrote an article tackling the topic of decorating with a brown sofa, a practical choice of furnishing in many homes. Tan sofas are another popular choice because of their neutral color which is why most retailers offer them for sale in tan fabric! Here are a few inspiring ways to decorate with a tan sofa to avoid an overdose of beige and instead have the piece be part of a space that is cozy and collected.  

Bringing color into the living space can be done in an afternoon by painting the walls. Pick a hue that is soft or vibrant, then repeat it with decorative pillows or throw blankets arranged on the sofa.

tan sofa 7

tan sofa 6


Area rugs ground a sitting space and are another opportunity to add pattern under a pale or tan sofa. Consider modern geometrics or more traditional motifs to pull a variety of colors into your living room.

tan sofa colorful pillows bhg

tan sofa rug and wall galelry


Partner your tan sofa with upholstered chairs in colorful solids or patterns and repeat the color or pattern on the chairs in the form of decorative accent pillows for a coordinated look. 

tan sofa colorful pillows

tans sofa with accent chair bhg


Neutrals look livelier when there are several textures or metallic tones present. Include organic surfaces in your space design, such as a set of woven chairs or faux fur accents and incorporate warm or cool metals in the form of brass, pewter, nickel, or bronze.

tan sofa textured chairs bhg

tan sofa 5


A tan sofa in a classic shape is a smart and timeless choice for a living space – with it come limitless opportunities for decorating around it. Layering a space with artwork, textiles, colorful accents, and wood finishes will result in a room that feels collected over time. 

wood bookcases colorful accents


How do you decorate around your tan sofa?




It’s a common dilemma when decorating a bedroom space, what thing or object or accent is the right choice for that space above the bed? In my master, I’ve chosen option number one, but there are nine other ways to get creative with that zone above the headboard or bed frame.

1) Mirrors   A popular choice for their sculptural or textural frames that act as a focal point above a bed, mirrors also have the benefit of reflecting light around the room.

mirror above bed bhg


white mirror above bed bhg

  sunburst mirror above bed bhg


2)  Artwork  Large scale paintings are a perfect jumping off point for a bedroom’s palette and also provide a serene backdrop. 

abstract art behind bed bhg


abstract above bed bhg


3) Folding Screens Intricately carved or detailed folding screens can replace the headboard – use them to make a dramatic statement in a bedroom.

filigree screen bhg

folding screen headboard bhg


4) Fabric   Beautiful fabric frames a bed and adds both softness and pattern to a sleeping space. 

patterened fabric behind headboard bhg


fabric behind bed bhg


5) Framed Photography or Prints   Use a series of prints or black and white photographs to turn the bedroom into a mini art gallery. 

black and white prints above bed bhg

charcoal prints above bed 

6) Decorative Plates  Whether your style leans colorful and eclectic or traditional, plates are another way to add movement and pattern.

plate collection above bed bhg

plates above bed bhg


7) Wallpaper   Modern wallpapers were made popular once more a few years ago, continue the trend in your bedroom by choosing a soft botanical or graphic geometric. Paper one wall, the entire bedroom, or simply a small section above the bed. 

wallpaper behind bed bhg

geometric wallpaper behind bed bhg


8)  A Cornice or Canopy  This traditional treatment is a way to use fabric to envelope and separate the bed from the rest of the room.

bed cornice bhg

bed canopy bhg


9) Window Panels   For those whose bedrooms don’t have the luxury of a blank wall or prefer the natural light above, placing a bed under a window is another way to  frame it in soft fabric panels.

curtains behind bed bhg

window panels behind bed bhg


10)  Nothing   A statement bed or headboard can speak for itself and needs no embellishment above. Suspend a dramatic light fixture above the bed instead!

glamorous headboard bhg

carved black and white headboard bhg

Or choose nothing at all to give the eye a place to rest. 

curvy linen headboard bhg


What decor is hanging above your bed at home? 

Have you chosen to keep it blank, or are you still on the hunt for that perfect focal point?



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