Tuesday, April 17th, 2012
Even though the weather in Minnesota can’t seem to make up it’s mind if it should be a cool Spring or an early Summer, the itch to get outside is hard to resist this time of year.
Since the lilac trees are beginning to bloom (meaning the morel mushrooms will be popping up soon!), I’m going to start planning my summer outdoor decor now and remain optimistic that the warm weather will soon be here to stay.
So what items have caught my eye lately?
First I received this email from Crate and Barrel that heavily features this year’s accent color, Tangerine Tango.
Of course I’m digging the orange watering can and wishing for some orange cushions to liven up my standard stacking outdoor chairs we got at Target years ago. I also love the rustic style of the Driftwood Birdhouse as a foil for the modern boldness of the orange accents.
We already have 2 Emmet Lounge Chairs in green from Room and Board we got from a friend when he moved to San Francisco last summer. They’ve held up beautifully without any covers this winter, and they’ve been a great punch of color out the windows in the middle of the bleak winter. So how do I tie the orange and green together? Here are my inspiration boards showing the current state of the deck (it really doesn’t look like anything special in this photo) and my goal end results.
First off, what does this deck look like now? Well, the top left picture shows it in action the FIRST WEEKEND after we moved in. Our friend, Tom, was visiting for business so we had no time to wait before playing hosts. So what do you do? Send the guys off to golf, set up the patio furniture, grill a giant platter of veggies (foreground) and some steaks, open that giant bottle of Heineken beer you got as a gift, and enjoy the company of friends.
Now it’s a year later (almost) and our plans for the deck are pretty settled in our minds.
Step 1: Strip the red stain off the deck and flip/repair any damaged boards.
Step 2: Remove the existing railing.
Step 3: Remove the slanting and shallow depth steps to the yard. (They are tricky for kids and in the winter)
Step 4: Install longer, deeper steps in one location.
Step 5: Install new square posts along the perimeter.
Step 6: Stain the deck, posts and steps a warm gray color.
Step 7: Install a cable rail system around the deck for a more open and modern aesthetic.
Ok, you have that visual in mind now? Now here is how I’ll furnish the deck, utilizing the existing wood slat table and chairs (seen above).
First, I’ll use our existing umbrella that looks similar to the example above, though it’s in more of a narrow two tone gray stripe pattern.
Then pull the punch of orange I’m craving together with our green Emmet Lounge Chairs by mixing in throw pillows with large botanical prints in orange and green.
Though I’d love to buy the Layered Side Table in orange, it makes more sense in white when placed between the green chairs. I like that the width of this piece easily allows for both loungers to have a spot for their drink AND snacks.
The gray dining chairs will get a punch of orange with the striped throw pillows that pull together the gray colors of the house, deck and umbrella.
The deck, front entry, and garden will all get accessories of their own in the form of large gray planters, a new doormat (it’s a Fox!), stone lanterns along the paths for mood lighting, and sculptural pieces to tuck in amongst the plantings.
Finally, a deep orange watering can will inspire me to help with the gardening duties, which is key since my husband is planting a huge vegetable garden for the first time this year. I can’t wait for all that kale, tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh herbs to take over my kitchen!
Since the Fox doormat is sold out, I’ll be recreating this with the plain coir doormat I already have, a stencil and some paint. Easy peasy!
I can’t wait to get started on all these great projects (after I finish the nursery I’m working on now, of course.)
Ad from Crate & Barrel
Photo of my deck taken by me
13. Fox Doormat (no longer available)
Tags: cable railing, color palette, Crate & Barrel, deck, gray, orange, patio, pillows, planters, Room and Board, table, VivaTerra, West Elm
Posted in Design & Home Living Tips, Inspiration Boards | 2 Comments »
Thursday, July 29th, 2010
I found myself craving Oreo cookies the other day, which is unusual for me. It’s not my usual cookie of choice, but cravings must be satisfied or they take on a life of their own. While enjoying a couple of DoubleStuf Oreos and appreciating their simplicity, it struck me that they were a great inspiration for the quintessential color palette combination: black and white.
So here are some of my favorite black and white rooms. I tried to find spaces that only used those two colors. It’s interesting to see how often people choose these colors for their kitchens and bathrooms and how well these colors work in both traditional and contemporary rooms.
This palette works well in any room of the house, even outdoors.
Alexander Wang, a successful product designer/artist, who tragically lost his life earlier this year (in what some believe was the result of his sleep disorder), created playful spaces with a unique mix of textures and forms in his loft in NYC (upper right picture). I love the black trim around the windows in the upper right photo. It’s a trend that’s been emerging over the past couple of years and it can really change the feel of a space.
The white on black paneling on the lower right photo adds a great graphic element. Most people would be terrified to have black walls, so they have guts.
The desk at right is another Alexander Wang piece. What an office that would make! All the other rooms have dark walls, but all of the white trim, artwork, magazines and other design elements create balance to temper the darkness. The dining room at the bottom has classic bones and proportions, but mixing in the contemporary chairs and art hanging over the table keeps it young and fresh.
This final group showcases the power of wallpaper. The graphic nature of these wallcoverings adds instant personality to each room. The background in the dining room in the middle of the top row is actually a wall of patterned curtains with a valance above, but it creates the same type of effect with such a solid wall of pattern. Powder rooms is a great place to experiment with bold colors and patterns since we spend so little time in them and they are small enough that no pattern will seem to go on and on. My favorite room is the dining room with the wall covering of a forest in black and white. I love the juxtaposition of it with the traditional moldings and chair rail and the completely funky dripping chandelier off a natural branch style form. And the table settings in black are so minimal and modern. Brilliant mix.
I love color. But the restraint of a limited color palette can push you in new directions that can be a fun challenge. Remember to include a variety of textures and shiny and matte surfaces. The eye needs visual variety, and if it’s not through color, make sure it gets it through textures and different tones.
Could you live with even ONE black and white room? Which room would it be?