Written on June 24, 2013 at 5:00 pm , by Kate
The Fourth of July is a little over a week away, and it’s one of my most favorite holidays. It’s so much fun to gather together with friends, families, and neighbors and share food and fireworks in celebration of our country’s history. To get you in the mood, I gathered up some decorating ideas that are so simple and each is a way to say three cheers for the red, white, and blue!
Outdoors, tie up red striped cotton fabric with blue ribbon or rope to create your own unique bunting.
On the porch or above the dining table, use colorful markers to add festive firework motifs to plain paper lanterns.
For an easy DIY craft, print out the template for these Happy Fourth coasters and adhere them to plain chipboard.
Suspend large glittery stars on a string to set the party scene.
Play off the traditional colors of the day by inserting red blooms into a collection of blue glass cups and bottles.
Written on June 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm , by Kate
I was swapping out a few accessories on the mantel over the weekend, and got to thinking about all the different ways there are to style a mantel in the summer when the fireplace is not in use.
When we’re not using it in summertime for its warming purpose, it’s still fun to accessorize the fireplace mantel to fit the style of your home. Here are a few ideas from the galleries sure to inspire your summer decorating!
Mirror Mirror on the Wall. Mirrors continue to be one of the most popular choices for above the mantel, they play along well with the focal point philosophy and bounce light around the room. Partner them with candlesticks, and vases or urns filled with summer blooms.
Be Artistic. A large scale piece of art, be it an abstract or landscape, sets the tone for a space. Play off the color cues with accessories layered around the room (think vases, throw blankets, or shapely ceramics.)
Written on May 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by Kate
Today we’re wrapping up the Outdoor Room Series with a look at spaces that aren’t enclosed or covered like we’ve seen with previous articles. Now we’re talking about outdoor rooms that anyone can create in a small area with just a patio, deck, or balcony. All it takes is a few square feet, some furnishings, and accessories to make a sweet and scenic space for enjoying the summer months!
The best outdoor rooms mimic what we love about indoor spaces – they include comfortable seating and practical and pretty accessories, but they have the added benefit of being situated out in the sun and surrounded by foliage. What could be better? So I rounded up five favorite elements for creating your own blissful outdoor room!
A Gathering Space. There must always be seating for a group, so consider a small sofa and chairs with a coffee table or ottoman in the middle for setting beverages or reading material. Choose neutral seating or make it colorful!
A Cooking Place. Outdoor kitchens come in many shapes and sizes, but having a barbeque, perhaps a sink, and some prep space are all you need to create memorable meals infused with seasonal flavor.
A Dining Space. Once the meal is prepared, there’s nothing quite so delightful as dining alfresco on a warm summer night. Combine a table and chairs for a sit down experience or get creative with a bar type scene for enjoying informal appetizers and beverages.
A Growing Place. An outdoor space is incomplete without greenery – your blooms can consist of just a few succulents, an enchanting collection of thriving botanicals, or could include a lush pathway that welcomes anyone who enters your patio scene.
A Warming Space. Mankind has gathered together around the fire for centuries, and in modern times we use fireplaces and fire pits to warm our surroundings and also to create ambiance. Invest in a permanent structure with a chimney or a simpler chiminea or fire pit.
You’d never need a vacation away from home if your outdoor patio possessed all five elements mentioned. The most perfect outdoor room would incorporate seating, dining, cooking facilities, greenery, and warmth!
This concludes the Outdoor Room Series, I hope you’re inspired to create a fabulous space of your own! To read the entire series, don’t miss the other spotlights on covered porches and patios, screened porches, sunrooms, and cabanas!
Written on May 27, 2013 at 6:00 pm , by Kate
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.
Hang colorful paper lanterns up above and include a daybed that also acts as a sofa for gathering or lounging with friends.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Later this week, we’ll wrap up the series with some inspiring ideas for uncovered alfresco spaces, including patios and balconies!
Written on May 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm , by Kate
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.
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.
Some sunrooms repeat the home’s exterior on the interior walls with shingle siding, stucco, or brick adding a textural element to the space.
Space permitting, tuck a dining table and chairs into a corner to enjoy the view while you linger over lunch.
Invest in a large outdoor sectional to guarantee a comfortable seat for everyone.
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!
Written on May 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm , by Kate
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.
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.
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.
Or decorate around a favorite summer holiday in red, white, and blue to embrace the Fourth of July.
Screened porches are a wonderful place to grow potted botanicals since they receive ample sunlight.
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!