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

     

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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

 

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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?

 

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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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Built-in cabinets and bookcases are one of the most desirable architectural accents in a home. Sought out by buyers and valued by homeowners, built in shelves and cabinetry add practical storage and a place to showcase your personality. The trick is how to style them so that they look attractive yet also serve the purpose of storing your necessities and keepsakes. Here are some inspiring images I rounded up, with helpful tips on accessorizing built-ins in the home.

The five best built-in bookcase fillers will always be 1) books 2) decorative boxes or baskets 3) ceramic or sculptural objects 4) artwork and/or photographs and 5) favorite mementos. 

built in library shelving

When you combine several of these categories and stagger them between shelves, you’re sure to end up with a stylish display.

white built in cabinets

The key to a well balanced presentation is proper scale and careful editing, and the incorporation of color, pattern, and texture through clever repetition. Fill smaller cubbies with singular objects and larger spaces with stacks of books, patterned boxes, or baskets.

family room built ins

 

family room built ins bhg

Take a cue from this simple yet stylish sitting room and fill shelves with framed family photographs in black and white in a gallery style. Couple them with a few small sculptural objects and favorite artwork.

black and white pictures on shelves bhg

Hanging framed artwork on the front of your bookcases is another way to add interest and also showcase favorite prints or unique paintings in large or small scale.

art on bookcases bhg

 

built in bookcase in bedroom

Painting your built-ins something other than white is guaranteed to bring drama to your home. Deep charcoal adds a sophisticated touch to a home office, and blue glass front built-ins add both color and storage in a family room.

painted office built ins

blue painted built ins

 

Wood finishes are warm and inviting – highlight the unique beauty of the wood by purposefully leaving empty space around collectibles so that the grain is visible, and choose objects in lighter colors and sculptural shapes that stand out against the stain.

styled wood bookcases

 single object in wood built ins

 

Do you have built-in bookcases or open shelving in your home? What strategies do you use to fill them with style and personality?

 

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Remember last year when I was advocating for breaking up dining sets?  I still stand by that opinion because the principle makes for good design. Dining spaces are more interesting when the chairs and table are not a matching set! How do you bring a dining room with a matching set into this century?  Here are a few ideas!

Replace a traditional chandelier with a contemporary orb version and remove the matching chairs from the space to use elsewhere in the home. Bring in upholstered chairs in two tone fabrics like this geometric yellow paired with navy velvet and nailhead trim.

yellow and navy chairs

 

Mix modern zig zag velvet chairs with chinoiserie print for an unexpected twist on tradition. 

zig zag and chinoiserie chairs

 

Partner a comfy wingback chair covered in linen with a barnwood table and benches for a welcome juxtaposition of textures (soft meets rough).

rustic table wingback chairs

 

Or instead of investing in upholstered chairs, pair your rustic table with brightly painted mismatched versions for a welcoming dining space.

 

Update a traditional matching set by replacing the seating with curvy tufted chairs upholstered in a pale fabric to contrast with the dark rich wood – a zebra motif rug also adds a modern edge. 

white tufted chairs on zebra rug

 

Modern Louis Ghost chairs are an unexpected addition of lucite to a traditional space, but just the right dose to keep it fresh and fun.

lucite chairs in traditional dining room

 

Industrial chairs and wire pendants bring cool metals tones to this farmhouse dining room dominated by wood surfaces, and their presence gives it contemporary appeal.

industrial farmhouse mix

 

If your style leans traditional or European, continue the theme with upholstered French linen chairs but mix the wood tones to keep it interesting.

French style chairs

 

Another easy way to modernize your dining room is it to slide a few chairs over and make room for an bench upholstered in a complementary geometric or botanical fabric.

upholsted bench in dining room

 

If you’re not prepared to replace the matching chairs with new ones, there is an easy alternative. Paint your existing chairs in a fresh color or in classic black or white and reupholster the seats in a pretty patterned fabric.

black chairs pedestal table

painted reuphostered chairs

It’s a no fail approach to giving your dining space a fresh modern look in a weekend!

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