"Five Essentials for Outdoor Living"

Hello there strangers! Hope you all are enjoying your summer. It's just about that time of year when I start to get over the warm weather.  It certainly doesn't help that it's been scorching (95+)  here lately. 

I've just put the finishing touches on my key messages for a local news appearance on Monday.  I'm heading over to Fox 46's Good Day Charlotte to talk outdoor decorating.  Actually, I'll be doing a live patio makeover at the studio.  Fun!! As I was thinking through my messaging, I realized that it might be good info to share here as well.  I'm often asked on social media about my outdoor space. 


People seem to comment on how inviting it is and that got me thinking.  Most outdoor furniture groups come with the essentials; seating, basic cushions, table(s).  But what do you do after that?  There really are only a few key pieces you need to add to create an inviting outdoor space of your own. 

Here are my top five essentials for outdoor living...

1.      Rugs – Rugs define the seating area.  They also add an elevated level of comfort underfoot. 

2.      Colorful pillows – Pillows adds visual interest, style and comfort. There are tons of options available too.

3.      Shade- If you don’t have the luxury of a covered outdoor space, shade is essential. Patio umbrellas can be found in a multitude of colors and styles.  Like pillows, they provide the opportunity to add color and personal style to the space.

4.      Lighting – String lights, solar/outdoor lamps and candles add light and ambiance.  Candles can serve a dual purpose by warding off pesky insects if you opt for citronella.  

5.      Plants- Blooming annuals and/or foliage add texture and color and bring life to the space.  If you have a brown thumb, lovely faux options are available.

Bonus:  Adding a water feature can provide that calming "zen" effect to your space.  Fountains come in all shapes, sizes and price points.

These five essentials can be added to your outdoor spaces whether you have a porch, patio, gazebo, lanai, screened porch, deck or balcony.  Remember, the goal is to maximize your home's square footage and love every inch of it. 

Stay cool y'all!

Client Project Reveal: Home Office for Two

Last week we completed a fun office project for a Charlotte couple looking to convert their new home's formal dining room in to an office for two.  The two young professionals often find themselves working from home and needed a functional workspace that would accommodate them both at the same time.  Additionally, they host a podcast and were looking for a place to record the show. 

After meeting for our initial consult a couple of months ago, we got to work building a design plan for the space.

We decided to keep the existing wall color as it was a great gender neutral color to serve as a jumping off point for the design.

Benjamin Moore - Mountain Laurel
The design stemmed from this bold stripe, that coincidentally neither of them loved. 

Thankfully they trusted me in spite of their doubts. The rich navy, plums, golden yellow and avocado created a modern color scheme that I knew in the end would work perfectly with their somewhat traditional home yet more modern personal style.

We went with this bold geometric rug in a rich golden color to serve as the foundation for the space.
Rugs USA

Hints of modern elements were added throughout, including this square drapery rod by Ballard Designs.  The brushed nickel finish and clean lines struck just the right note. 

Ballard Designs
Here's a look at the space before we started.


The clients moved into the space earlier this year and had yet to get unpacked and settled when I arrived.  I actually prefer it when the clients don't make any decisions prior to our consultation.  It allows for us to ensure we're selecting the right pieces (especially furniture) for the space. 

...and here's a look at it after.

It didn't take long to figure out that we likely needed a peninsula design to accommodate the surface space they needed for the desktop.  We went with Ikea pieces and created our own design using the KLIMPEN collection.


Unfortunately, the drawer bases were back ordered, so we used the black legs as a stand-in until they are back in stock. 

The art is a game changer in the space.  I'm a sucker for a good abstract and this large canvas print by Sydney Edmunds worked perfectly with our color scheme. 

You guys know I love a good bargain.  These desk lamps are from Wal-Mart's Better Homes and Gardens collection and work perfectly in the space.

FUN FACT:  My inspiration was the client's skirt in this photo!

And just to prove you can successfully mix high and low, this gourd lamp is from Robert Abbey and the scale and high gloss finish were perfection!

After a lot of discussion and debate, we decided on this black diamond sputnik fixture.  There were some concerns that it might be too masculine, but I promised that I'd counterbalance that with other pieces. 

Shades of Light

With the accessories, I intentionally kept things pretty....well, pretty.  The pink bowls and Miami coffee table book were my favorites. 

The client's loved it and I couldn't have been more pleased that they did.  Looks like I'll be returning soon to tackling another space in their home.  Yay!  Another project, another satisfied client!

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