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 »
Friday, January 14th, 2011
To wrap up a week of purple we’re going for saturation. I’m talking about deep, royal purples. There’s nothing bashful about this color. It says “I’m purple. Like me or don’t like me, I don’t care.”
Look at these deep purple walls. They add drama all on their own. In the dining room the furnishings have minimal lines and silvery accessories add a restrained touch of modern glamour. You could be bold and choose a saturated purple velvet for your sofa and mix it up with old shutters as wall art to create an unexpected pairing. Or stick with a neutral sofa and let the wall color, mirrored tile and artwork be the focal point of your room.
Incorporating purple in your bedroom could be an exercise in all out layering (see the bedroom on the left) or just a couple of accessories could be added to a otherwise quiet palette (see the bedroom on the right). Notice how they upholstered a folding screen to create a headboard, and pulled the pale pink color from the fabric for the trim color. Unexpected but interesting. The living room in the middle has deep purple layered in the rugs, throw pillows and wall art. Mixed with gold, chartreuse, violet, silvery grey on the couch and charcoal on the armchair the palette feels balanced and not focused on one specific color. It feels like it has evolved over time, which is always a good quality to achieve in a room.
So, have these purple posts made you a convert yet? Are you itching to paint or run out and pick up a couple of new purple accessories to update a room? I’m actually thinking about painting my own bathroom!
Have a great weekend. I hope you get to enjoy fun decorating projects to give you a fresh look for the new year. And if you want a designer’s perspective and ideas, I’m here as always to help make your home a place you truly enjoy living in day after day.
Friday, January 14th, 2011
Maybe the color lavender makes you think of fields of lavender swaying in the afternoon breeze in France. Perhaps it evokes a favorite baby outfit you dressed your daughter in every chance you got. Color memories and associations are different for everyone. No matter your associations with this shade, lavender is a flattering color that works well in most rooms. The glow from lavender walls would look lovely against white tile in a bathroom (a client just selected this for their bathroom yesterday in fact!) A master bedroom in this shade would feel restful.
Here are some examples of how others have integrated lavender into their spaces.
This dining room balances simple lines in the furniture and lighting against a colorful wall. I find it interesting that they chose to wallpaper the opposite wall in a gray-green overscale floral wallpaper (seen in the reflection in the mirror). Without seeing the whole room in context I’m not sure how I feel about that pairing. But otherwise the room is nice.
The living room on the right showcases how you can furnish a room with major pieces in neutral colors but interesting shapes and then update it periodically with an accent color like lavender. Here the lavender is utilized for the ottoman, small side chairs and window treatments. The side chairs by the fireplace are a great element to include in every home as they provide flexible seating that can easily be pulled up when you have a larger crowd over or brought to the dining room when you need additional seating there.
Painting the table in this dressing room to match the Quartz wallpaper from Osbourne & Little creates a special corner to play dress up. Lavender in a nursery with taupe and white accents is mellow and sweet without being predictable. I like the arrangement of art over the glider chair in a mix of sizes and frames. The chaise lounge with pale lavender walls, sitting on a purple carpet and piled with assorted purple pillows is a great example of how to layer different shades and tones of purple without it feeling like a PURPLE room.
Now the color rendering of these paint colors isn’t exact since they been photographed then shown on a computer monitor, but this gives you an example of all the shades of lavenders out there. On the 5 color cards you would want to stay in the top 2-3 colors if you are looking for a lavender. As you can see, each color is violet, grey, purple, grey-purple or grey-violet in tone. All are lovely, it’s just a matter of preference and what you are going to coordinate with it.
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
Labor Day has passed us by, everyone has made their last pilgrimage to the cabin before school starts, and now all that’s left before us is crisp fall breezes and the exciting prospect of shutting down the cabin for the winter. Okay, not so exciting for most.
But now is the perfect time to brainstorm how you are going to refresh that cabin next spring to make it an even more inviting space to spend every weekend (and maybe a few fridays too, if you can sneak out without the boss noticing). Now I don’t have a family cabin (how un-Minnesotan, right?) but we periodically rent out a place for a week to escape the city and soak in views of pine trees, water and lots of sky. And the sad truth is that most cabins I’ve seen are a place where ugly furniture goes to die. I think it’s time to change all that.
I propose the following cabin as an excellent case study (the name of the resort will be withheld to protect the design challenged.)
Yes, I realize that southwestern plaid sleeper sofa adds room for extra guests, but you do realize the cushions lost their filling about 5 years ago and I’m sitting on the springs?
And can someone please explain why the recliner that always leans back (with no one sitting in it) has a log under it? It seemed to weighs 300 lbs, so it is no small feat to rotate it to look at the lake instead of the fireplace. Very functional, wouldn’t you say?
The big farm table is great for craft projects during the day (note the glue gun above if you doubt me), and big or small family meals in the evening. But while those chairs might be sturdy, I honestly think they’re ugly. (There, I was blunt and just said it.)
I won’t even mentioned that “carpeting.”
So, with this beautifully furnished cabin as a retreat, whether for a week or every weekend in the summer, you are definitely going to want to spend all your time outside. But imagine if you took these good bones and gave them an update with a budget. I know most people can’t afford to buy nice furniture for a second home or rental property. But uncomfortable and ugly is good for no one’s soul (especially when you are trying to relax!) So with that in mind, I gave this place an imaginary IKEA makeover.
So here’s the basics:
1. New sofa – available with or without sleeper sofa. Pick a darker neutral color that won’t show wear and tear. When the fabric starts getting worn, you can order a new slipcover in a wide variety of fabrics from Bemz. Check them out if you haven’t already!
2. New armchair – if you have to stick with a big recliner, at least get one that swivels! You still get the pop-up leg rest with this model, and in leather it wipes clean after sticky marshmallow hands.
3. Additional armchair(s) – if you’re fine with skipping the big recliner, these two smaller scale chairs still offer lots of comfort and flexibility. Especially since they are light enough to move around the room if necessary. People like their own seat, so I think having more small chairs is preferrable to one large chair, especially if they are all comfortable.
4. Dining room chairs – the big farm table works for me, and with new chairs in a simple, classic silhouette in looks fresh again. I like the contrast of the dark black-brown finish, but the grey-brown finish is nice too. You could even mix and match the two finishes!
5. Accessories – don’t forget plenty of soft throw pillows for the couch and floor. Add other accessories that pull from all the beautiful natural materials outside the cabin door. Turquoise duck head bookends do NOT count. Instead, use a couple of large beautiful rocks from the shoreline as bookends. If they aren’t flat on the bottom, glue them to blocks of wood to make them stable. Or pile up lots of small rocks into a fun formation on a wooden block (see glue gun) to use as art or bookends. The possibilities are endless!
6. Outside seating – at the lake it’s all about the view. And flimsy plastic chairs just don’t cut it. You want to be able to relax and take in the view for more than 15 minutes without a backache. A rocking chair, a cup of coffee, or a stick to widdle sounds pretty ideal to me. The Adirondack chair is a classic all over the country. I like this version with an adjustable back and a fold out leg rest. Don’t you dare buy just one! But be sure the seat is high enough to see over any railings, otherwise you’ll be frustrated every time you sit down.
Okay, that’s my take on the quick and economical update to the family cabin. Almost everything was sourced from IKEA, except the accessories, porch furniture, and existing table. The rocking chair is from Fleet Farm (what a bargain!) and a plain Adirondack chair is available from them for $40 as well. The fancy version is from www.adirondackchairs.com.
What do you think of this makeover? What else would you change or what would you do differently? A rental has different needs than a family cabin, but the idea of updating on a budget works for both.
Do you need tips on updating your cabin or other space? I’m curious what challenges other cabins present.