Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yummy Outdoor Spaces

I am so glad that warm weather is finally here! It seems like it has been the looooongest winter. I know, I am spoiled, because winter is hardly winter in Florida. But still, it has been cooler than usual, I think.

These images of outdoor spaces are so inspiring to me. There are do-able ideas in every photo. I love the awning and drapes in this photo. Look how they painted the wicker wing chairs two different colors. The stripe of white along the top pulls from the white on the seat cover. This setting looks so inviting.

photo via BlissMe

Gorgeous...A handy person could easily copy this cabana. The construction looks simple. Notice how there is space between each wooden slat, this allows for air flow. A cabana like this wouldn't have to go near a pool. It could go out in a pretty yard, sans the pool, for just a nice place to relax or take a nap. Also notice how the groups of lounges are placed close together instead of spread out. Together, they make a statement.

photo via BlissMe

What a neat mural in the background! By painting the planters bright blue, it gives this area a WOW factor. Elevating them on the rough, wooden pedestals also adds drama.

photo via BlissMe

I wonder if this could be re-created using a ready made tent? Probably. The stripes are the key to this look. They lend a yacht-y feel. Lanterns like these are all over eBay. The round tables counter all the lines in the space and echo the round lanterns above. It's all about balance.

photo via BlissMe

Another photo pulled from Cote de Texas... What makes this spot so great? The HUGE palms. This photo would have fallen flat had there been two dinky plants flanking the settee. The visual weight of the plants balance the busy-ness of the tiles, etc. They act as ANCHORS. I am a believer in LARGE plants, indoors and out. If you can't afford large plants, at least group your small ones together. Nothing is worse than a lone, little plant. Another idea from this photo is the way they draped the blanket over the center of the settee. If they had not done so, there would have been too much white in the settee and it would have competed with the white walls. The blanket breaks up the white.

photo via Cote de Texas

OK - there are no huge plants in this space, but they DID group the small ones together to create visual weight. My point exactly. Notice how the tile top of the table pulls all the colors from the flowers and the pillows on the bench. If the table had been all white, there would have been an imbalance in the space. If you can't do a tile table top, why not fake it with paint?

photo via PointClickHome
This outdoor spot is serene and clean. Again, the Moravian star lighting can easily be found on eBay and is not that expensive. The wood trellis is an easy project. It echoes the color of the teak furniture. There is a pattern here, BALANCE. Side note - I have teak furniture around my pool and it is a BITCH to keep up. Unless you enjoy cleaning and oiling, stay away from teak. I have decided to let mine go gray - Hampton's style.

photo via La Dolce Vita
This looks more like the color of my teak at the moment. I love this large table. It looks very user friendly. Keep in mind, though, that the reason this table works is that there is plenty of green in the background. If the table sat on white concrete with little landscaping around it, the glaring, white would blind you.

photo via My Home Ideas

More graying teak...beautiful. Another beautiful Moroccan lantern. If wiring is not an option, just put a huge candle inside. Love, love, love the landscaping.

photo via MyHomeIdeas
The Moroccan lantern can make any space look special. See, candles inside, not light bulbs...
photo via MyHomeIdeas

The simple trellis in this photo is definitely a DIY project. It works against the heavily wooded background. Outdoor, propylene rugs, like this one, are a great invention. They are inexpensive and beautiful.
photo via MyHomeIdeas

WOW - this furniture is gorgeous! The structure is simple, yet the furniture is very ornate and it works. It appears that the inside of the loggia is painted a light blue - SO PRETTY!
Big impact can be made in small spaces. The HUGE plants soften the corners in this space.

Lots of small plants soften the corners in this space. The large stone carving makes the statement here.

photo via MyHomeIdeas

Concrete floor? Paint it! Concrete is easy to paint. This pattern looks simple. Tape it off and start rolling! Just be sure to choose subdued colors so as not to make the floor the main attraction. If it becomes the main attraction, all of your painting flaws will be center stage.

The bright colors work in this photo because every thing else in the space is white and subdued. The only color comes from the green painted, glass doors, the large plants in the corner, the pillows, and the furniture. I love using fabric curtain panels outdoors. An inexpensive alternative to custom , outdoor panels is to buy ready made, white panels from Pottery Barn. I washed mine before installing them because they shrink when washed. Now when they get dingy, mildew-y, or dirty I can throw them in the wash with a little bleach and they come out like new.

photo via Cottage Living

All of these outdoor rooms have something in common, they are INVITING! They make you want to go outside and enjoy the fresh air instead of plopping in front of the television. Make your outdoor space a place for YOU to enjoy, don't save it just for entertaining. Have breakfast out there, sort the mail out there, talk on the phone out there, do WHATEVER out there, just get out there and enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dining Room Inspiration

I am still organizing the decorating images that I have stored on my computer. The following collection of images are "dining room" images. Enjoy...

I love the painted floor in this dining space. The black and white pattern makes the wood of the table and chairs stand out. The chandelier is also very beautiful and perfectly fits the mood.

photo via Cottage Living

I saved this one because I love the combination of the dusky blue and the rich green. The silver ceiling is gorgeous and really finishes the room. I love the chandelier in this room, too. The light colored rug would not last long in my house, though. Maybe it is not a rug? Maybe it is painted or some kind of engineered flooring? I'm not sure.

photo via Southern Accents
Another dark dining area...check out the HEAVY mouldings in this room!!! WOW! I like how they used white panels on either side of the arched opening. It softens and lightens the space.

photo via Carolina Eclectic

More dark walls...cozy!

This dining area appears to be part of a larger area, maybe a large living room? I like the light, airiness of the room but I don't think I would really enjoy eating in this area. It feels like there should be someone waiting tables in this room. There is too much empty space IMO.

photo via Southern Accents
Another living and dining combination...I like this one better. This table could be used for more than just dining. It could be a game table. It could be a really fancy place to do homework. I like the dark walls in this room and I like the large chandelier and the huge windows.

photo via PointClickHome
This is a lovely dining room. I LOVE the built in corner cupboards. I like the lantern light fixture. This room is just pretty.

photo via Southern Accents
The finish on the inside of the cupboards is different than the outside. I LOVE this! See how the dark finish of the table echoes the dark finish of the cupboard interior? Imagine how pretty this could be at Christmas with boughs of greenery and red ribbons....ahhh!

photo via Southern Accents
I love round dining tables. They promote conversation and they make it easier to squeeze in an extra person. I like the dark floors in this room.

photo via Elle Decor
This is a pretty dining room. I like the chandelier and the vintage inspired wallpaper. The dark door and trim complete the look and the white chairs pop against all the darkness. Beautiful!

photo via Point Click Home
This image is from a local designer, Rod Mickley. I like the light walls and ceiling mixed with the dark blindes and chairs. The red, coral chandelier is the perfect exclamation point in this room.

image via Rod Mickley Designs

This dining room has a loft feel to it. I like the little, antique car as an accent.

This photo was featured on Cote de Texas. The colors in this room just blow me away. The blue accents against the dark gray walls and black trim is perfect.

image via Cote de Texas
This room is from the same house featured on Cote de Texas. It is the breakfast room. This one features red accents instead of blue. Both of these rooms look rich and well-traveled.

image via Cote de Texas

The portraits featured in this dining room are unique. I like the way they used the multiple candelabras on the table. I also like the green velvet on the chairs. This room would be very easy to re-create on a small budget.

photo via Point Click Home
I like the little table and chairs tucked in this kitchen. What a nice place to have breakfast or lunch.

photo via Nate Berkus
Another dine-in kitchen spot. This one features a banquette. The tile used on the floor is fabulous. I also love the artwork above the banquette.

photo via Point Click Home
This little eating spot is so cute. Another easy-to-create look - all from Ikea. The candelabras on the mantel in the background are gorgeous. Notice the fireplace, too. They inserted mirror and covered the hearth with candles. I bet when this is lit at night, the effect is dramatic. What a great way to treat a fireplace in the summer!

photo via myhomeideas

I can't tell if this is an actual dining room or a screened porch. Either way, it is lovely!

photo via MyHomeIdeas
Bon appetit!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone!

I wish everyone a joyous Easter! That's me on the right. Isn't this homemade Easter tree cute?
Here I am again with my Easter basket.
This is what Easter is really about...

Love, Nancy

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HGTV Green Home 2009

HGTV's 2009 Green Home is located in Port St. Lucie, Florida, which is not too far from where I live. The home features green products, design, and outdoor spaces. Check out these photos from HGTV's website.

The exterior of the home features native, low maintenance, and drought tolerant landscaping. The home has wide overhangs for optimal cooling. On the website there are photos of the vegetable garden in the back yard along with the compost and the rainwater collection systems.

I like how they showcased this pop of color in the foyer.

The dining area is open to the living room and also opens up to the back porch.

Another shot of the dining area...

I like the color combination in this lounge area. The orange really pops against the dark cabinets. There are two beverage refrigerators on either end of the long cabinet. This area could definitely be used as a bar for entertaining.
I love the huge bird print as well as the large planters. The scale of this room is nice.

This area is located on the back side of the foyer wall. Through the door is the master bedroom. This room doesn't do much for me. I do like the matching mirrors and tables in the background, though.

I like the wall of tile in the kitchen and the long, dark cabinets.

I like the hood above the stove. It makes the less expensive appliances look beefier. I would rather have seen a glass top range with a separate built in oven below. I found out not long ago that, overall, electric ranges are more energy efficient than gas. That is probably why they chose to use electric appliances instead of gas in this "green" home.

I noticed a neat design trick. Look at the door to the pantry. See how they added a false transom to the top of it to make it seem taller? It looks more substantial than a simple door. Now, go back to the dining room photos. They did the same thing on the sliding doors.

Nice colors in the guest room. I like the fabric covered bedside tables. All kinds of things can be hidden behind the fabric. The glass on top protects the fabric from stains. This is a low cost decorating idea.
The child's room is bright and cheery and TINY! Cute bed, but I hope she doesn't have plans for sleepovers...

The children's bathroom is nice. I like more mirror space, though. Maybe it would have been better to place this mirror on top of a mirrored wall?

I like the lines of tile in the bathtub/shower area and the super, soft pink walls.

This bathroom is the hall bathroom. I love the tiled wall. Since this bathroom will be used more as a powder room, the small mirror doesn't really matter. I like the brown and blue combination.

This is the sitting room. I heard on the news this morning that there are over a million alligators in Florida. Because of the drought, they are more active than usual right now, so dog walkers and joggers - BEWARE!! I digress...

Anyhoo- nice gator prints on the wall.

The master bedroom is soothing in soft blue and the turquoise keeps it from being boring. I like how they swept the drapery panels to either side of the windows.

There are identical mirrors flanking both sides of the door leading to the master bath. Notice the door trick again!

The master bathroom...

The screened, back porch area has a cute, little daybed.

Check out the HGTV website for a complete virtual tour of this year's GREEN home!