Decorating with Cece Fourchy Quinn: Patina Perfect

One of my favorite possessions is a gilded mirror that hangs over my dresser. The mirror has seen better days: bits of wood have fallen off of its detailed design, the mirror itself is scratched and aged. A friend of mine recently suggested I get it restored but its rough appearance is precisely why I like it so much. Every scratch helps tell its story. I think every room needs an element like that — one with serious patina. I love the look of an all-white space with a rougher wooden piece thrown in or a painting that has transformed with age. For this month’s post, I’ve gathered together some of my favorite spaces with patina, in both large and small doses.

Design by Kay O’ToolePhoto by Patrick Cline

Lonny

Design by Oberto GiliPhoto by Joy Sohn

Domino

Design by Daniel KeeleyPhoto by Nancy Nolan

At Home in Arkansas

Design by Michelle NussbaumerPhoto by Melanie Acevedo

Veranda

Design by Gwynn GriffithPhoto by William Waldron

Elle Decor

Design by Soho HousePhoto by Robbie Lawrence

WSJ Magazine

Design by Pamela PiercePhoto by Laura Resen

Veranda

Design and Photo by Valorie HartThe Visual Vamp

Cece Fourchy Quinn is a native Californian who fell in love with the South during school at Ole Miss. She created her blog, Mississippi Maven, to share inspirations on interiors, fashion and all things stylish. After college she relocated to Little Rock where she worked in design and further honed her aesthetic. Now back in her hometown on the West Coast, she spends her time scouring flea markets for unique finds, hoarding shelter magazines and dreaming of the South.

Living the Good Life with Chris H. Olsen: Down to the Bones

Did you know that Halloween is now becoming the top holiday for spending on decorations? Even exceeding Christmas. You have a lot of competition out there, so you might just need to up your game. We all know about creating a bit of interior spookiness, but, if you have a walk and a bit of green space, you can create shivers at the curb.

You won’t need to hire a grave robber to find you some bones. Lots of really good (read: lifelike) skeletons are now available, and they’re not limited to humans, either. A great way to display a skeleton, since we’ve all seen them hanging at eye level, is to elevate it a bit and maybe splay it out. Spread out the arms and legs, as if it were tossed by something not quite human, and wire to a tree trunk, so that the head is just above your gaze.

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If you don’t have any slim trees in your yard like these birches, you could attach your skeleton to a wall, even, or to corner of the house. The idea is to bring it up higher to maximize the effect, and don’t just leave it relaxed and standing, as if it were hanging in an anatomy lab. And a pile of bones is also a great way to add a further element to your design. You don’t always have to use a complete skeleton.

And you might also like using animal skeletons as well. What’s great about these dogs is that they fit the scale of decorations along a walk. Visitors can’t miss them, and they’re unexpected. You might need to assure guests that, no, that’s not the skeleton of your retriever.

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If you use pumpkins, really use them. One or two will never be enough. And don’t just line them up, either. Create a feeling of bounty and texture by creating drifts of pumpkins along a walk, or on a porch. Also, a great way to use them is mix real with artificial. It’s also a good idea to mix varieties of pumpkins. Avoid using nothing but the traditional orange. You’ll find stripes and all sorts of hues, plus the great ‘Ghost’ pumpkins, with a pallor that will punctuate your design, and echo the skeleton’s whiteness.

You’ll find many fake pumpkins already ‘carved’ as jack o’ lanterns, and you can mix them in. One trick I have for making them a bit more lifelike—and even elegant—is to stain them. Take a cloth dip it into walnut stain, and wipe the entire pumpkin and stem. This action calls for a light touch; you don’t want a pumpkin that’s too dark.

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Once you’ve achieved your mix of pumpkins, add mums. They’ll provide a shot of color to your display. When the holiday is over, you can simply plant the mums. Another advantage they have is that they also pick up the light, which is crucial since many of your guests will see your handiwork only at night.

And speaking of lighting, if you have it, use it, or even create it. The light tubes here were once PVC pipes that were drilled with random holes and then filled with strings of white lights. Just bury them and display your bones and pumpkins around this bit of impromptu light. I sprayed the tubes orange for the occasion, and I like the effect so much, I leave the lights on during the day.

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Once your skeleton is hung, you might need a bit more texture, since you’re bringing your guests’ eyes up into the trees. Instead of using the nylon cobwebs, try Spanish moss. And you won’t have to get in the car and drive to the coast to get it. You can pick up packaged moss at Botanica Gardens, and it creates a nice decrepit effect.

Once you have your large pieces in, step back, appraise your work, and add elements as needed. Then add some more.

Pumpkins, jack o’ lanterns, mums, and seasonal bits like bunches of bittersweet, which you can place in groupings on the ground, and in pots along the entryway, will mean you’re really enjoying a ‘haunted’ life. Just the right thing for the season.

 

Outside the Box with D. Keeley: August Update

Hello again and Happy August! As I mentioned last month, my birthday is July 3rd, and…well…I don’t know if I should read anything into this or not, but all the gifts I received had to do with entertaining, cocktails and imbibing of one sort or another. So, I thought I would use this theme as an excuse to get together with some friends, give the gifts a try and share them all with you, as well!

This gift from my friend Christopher Todd of Christopher Todd Design was the perfect inspiration for a garden cocktail get-together. It is a prepackaged, miniature herb garden meant to inspire gourmet drinking.

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It comes complete with seeds, soil markers and even a book of recipes to get you started.

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You sow the seeds right in the packaging, and my friends and I had fun getting them all planted. I’ll let you know next month how they turned out!

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The herbs inspired me to serve up a variation of one of my favorite summertime cocktails: a classic gin and tonic. Cool and refreshing, a G and T is the perfect drink for relaxing in the garden. This time I decided to mix the drinks (in lovely glasses given to me by my parents) with San Pellegrino instead of tonic for an even lighter flavor and to accompany them with fresh herbs from the garden. Either muddled into the drink or used simply as a garnish, the herbs add flavor and a little gardening activity to the evening.

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While I was in the veggie garden, I also harvested a couple bunches of the Arkansas native ‘Cynthiana’ grapes that grow along the fence. The grapes [they are the little green ones] aren’t really that tasty yet, as this is only their second season, but I am so excited to see them growing! I used them as a garnish to go along with a wonderful St. Andre cheese served on a beautiful stone platter that was another birthday gift.

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While I was at the store getting the cheese, I also picked up this Pinot Grigio infused summer sausage, which I thought fit the evening’s theme just fine!

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It all came together nicely. Friends and I set up a small buffet at one end of the courtyard and decorated the table with some hydrangea blossoms, cut fresh from the garden and placed in a vase that was yet another birthday gift.

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The evening also let me make use of another gift from some close friends: silver mint julep cups. Instead of another cocktail, I simply served white wine out of them this time. I think mint julep cups are great for just about any drink, really. Their simple, shiny style is even good for decorating: I often use them as vases and votive holders, too!

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And that was my little boozy-birthday-gift-inspired garden gathering, haha! As I was cleaning up, I enjoyed one last nightcap and one final birthday gift: a simple beer from a Yeti coozy, guaranteed to keep your suds super cold. Thanks, Sis!

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Just so I am not the only one getting all the gifts around here, though, I want to leave you with a little gift from my friend, chef and entertainer extraordinaire Jen Lewis. Below is the recipe for her Spicy and Sweet Cocktail, sure to spice up any garden party! [check out more recipes here]

 

Muddled strawberries and jalapenos to taste

2 ounces Vodka

2 teaspoons basil and jalapeno simple syrup

Juice of 1 lime

Shake or stir over ice and top with club soda

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See you next month!

Exterior designer Daniel Keeley is an Arkansas native and founder/principal of DK Design. His work has won numerous awards and accolades and is featured regularly in various publications. For more information visit dkdesignoutdoor.com.  

Living the Good Life with Chris H. Olsen: Public Places, Private Spaces

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Since the dawn of civilization, humans have created open spaces within their active areas of livelihood, places to gather or linger, areas devoted to expression. These sometimes-unexpected meetings of hardscape and plantings can also serve as markers of entrance or exit or as punctuation for the grid of streets surrounding them. By creating and opening up such areas, we provide a certain respite from urban chaos and make an area, although carefully planned and executed, that is serene and almost pastoral. The design elements for these plantings are really quite simple, and you can follow them to either establish a design for your neighborhood or create such a space for yourself.

What you need is an area that is somewhat level and always accessible. If you’re designing something for your neighborhood, think about the entrance or even an available empty lot. (Yes, seek permission first.) You want a place that can be seen.

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Craft your bed for planting, remembering one fact: Nothing square is found in nature. Use a pattern that is circular, somewhat so, or even will have a bit of a curve to it. Always raise your bed. It will make your planting more important. Now play up texture, by using something like the stones used here. Since raised beds mean your plants will be closer to eye level, be mindful of heartiness and color.

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Work your way into your space, by first using lower plants. Then, add a secondary element. This can be taller plantings, bloomers, or greenery. You want a bit of contrast. And you’ll also want to find plants that are easy to maintain and hardy in most weather.

Then add the focal point, like a bit of sculpture shown here—although your piece of interest doesn’t have to be metal; you could just as easily select an urn placed on a pedestal, or even a tall plant or tree, blooming or not. The idea is for you to select whatever pleases you and will provide year-round interest, for the focus of your design.

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Your design for a public place can also be full of rangy color, like this bed full of rudbeckia, begonia and gomphrena. If you want something that is seasonally vibrant, here’s the one for you. Emphasis is placed not on art, but on color.

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Good design needn’t be complicated or require lots of sourcing of materials. Find an area for your design, then fill it with what you love, what speaks to you. You can take the principle of ‘public place’ and make it your own ‘private space.’ Just remember scale and good siting for your design. Assemble and sit back and admire. Or forget it until the next time you walk out your door or round the corner. It really is that easy.

Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.

Decorating with Cece Fourchy Quinn: Wild Wonders

I am a serious animal lover, and that extends into my decorating tastes as well. My heart skips a beat anytime I spy a critter in a fabric motif– even snakes! Although I’m less fond of those in person. I especially love the birds in chinoiserie wallpaper, any sort of creatures in a nursery scheme, and of course those Scalamandre zebras that graced Margot Tenenbaum’s walls. This month I rounded up some of my favorite snapshots of nature-inspired fabrics and wallpapers in decor.

Design by Kimberly Harper
Photo by Nancy Nolan
At Home in Arkansas

 

Design by Adam Charlap Hyman
Photo by Reid Rolls
Domaine

 

Design by Maryam Montague
Photo by Patrick Cline
Lonny

 

Design by Susan Walsh
Photo by Nancy Nolan
At Home in Arkansas

 

Design by Miles Redd
Photo by Simon Upton
Elle Decor

 

Design by Bailey McCarthy
Photo by Kimberly Chau
Style Me Pretty Living

 

Design by Stephen Sclaroff
Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg
Habitually Chic

 

Design by Rita Konig
Photo by James Merrell
Domino
Do you ever use animal motifs in your decor??
Cece Fourchy Quinn is a native Californian who fell in love with the South during school at Ole Miss. She created her blog, Mississippi Maven, to share inspirations on interiors, fashion and all things stylish. After college she relocated to Little Rock where she worked in design and further honed her aesthetic. Now back in her hometown on the West Coast, she spends her time scouring flea markets for unique finds, hoarding shelter magazines and dreaming of the South.

A Penny for Your Thoughts? Copper Love from Lindsey Binz

I love using metal in design and I love to mix metals. One of my favorites is Copper.
It looks good with EVERYTHING.
If I saw this door, I would absolutely have to enter it…
I mean what could be on the other side, besides a lot of STYLE!!!
My Villa Life
A copper backsplash, counters and green cabinets… This is amazing!
If you look closely, you will see the stainless range.
I am not the only one who likes to mix it Up!
Elle Decor
Again, copper mixed with stainless… and white this time!
This is so chic
Lonny
Copper Walls, I can’t even!
This application is something that I have been trying to convince clients to try for years.
It is a little pricey, but a little amazing too!
Please, Please, Please someone let me try this!!!
Del Weale Interior Design
Sheet metal (copper or otherwise) is an easy-to-install material that (below)
becomes both headboard and statement wall!
Bikini Berlin/Hotel
This simple DIY would make any furniture piece or cabinet more industrial.
Click link below for how to.
Upcycled Treasures
You can also use copper pipe to make curtain rods.
Our Vintage Home
If you are wanting to add some copper, but it’s not time to renovate, how about trying a ladder?
Here’s another DIY project…
Click on link below for instructions
Brittany Makes
Another inexpensive way to add copper
Baskets!
H&M
CB2
Another (non Permanent, but not inexpensive) way to add copper is Furniture.
Photo speaks for itself!
jmarxatelier
I have used copper in many of my projects
Here is a custom copper mantle that I specified for a client to add to her existing design
Lindsey Binz Home
I am always on the lookout for copper while shopping Estate Sales and Antique Stores.
I got a steal with this Found Vintage Copper Pot. I used it in the bathroom
 I designed for the Symphony Designer House Spring of 2014
Lindsey Binz Home
In my client’s Kitchen, we had this custom copper hood made to coordinate with the
 hammered copper apron front sink and other copper accents.
We also used stainless steel, brass and oil rubbed bronze.
Lindsey Binz Home
Lindsey Binz Home
What do you think about Copper? Will you join the trend?
I would love to see how you have used copper in your designs!
Lindsey Binz is the founder and principal of Lindsey Binz Home Company,
a firm specializing in helping people find and make their dream home(s).
If they need to sell another one first , LBH can get that done too!
Visit her website at lindseybinzhome.com

Outside the Box with Daniel Keeley: July Update

Hello again. I hope you had a wonderful Independence Day weekend! I love the 4th of July, and my birthday just happens to come the day before, so I always have a lot to celebrate in July. This year I spent the weekend at the lake, soaking up the sun and eating all my favorite foods, generously prepared by my friends. It was a lovely time, and I couldn’t resist sharing this sunset photo from my birthday night. Glorious!

 

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I hope your weekend was as good as mine. I also hope you have had a chance to check out the July issue of the At Home magazine. I am so thrilled that our Independence Day get-together feature made the cover! It was such a fun time.

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So fun in fact that it inspired me to give my house and garden a little festive flair, as well!

 

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As you can see, the hostas in the front garden were in full bloom, adding to the celebratory mood.

 

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And, now all the hyrdrangeas are beginning to explode!

 

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In the perennial garden, things have been doing pretty well, especially the Chaste Tree, which has been in full force for a couple weeks, now.

 

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In the fountain garden, the iris bloomed nicely…

 

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…but the Crabapples unfortunately suffered from a bought of fire blight. I treated the blight, and all in all things look fine, however I may have to consider replacing the Crabapples with something less prone to disease. If so, I am thinking of going in a different direction altogether, perhaps with columnar Junipers. What do you think? If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear your ideas!

 

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Around the corner, the cabana received its own dose of patriotism for the holiday!

 

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And finally, the vegetable garden has been growing like a weed, producing piles of yummy vegetables, all thanks to this gorgeous gal, the sweet daughter of a good friend. With just a little help from ‘pops,’ she has been learning the ins and outs of gardening and has made the veggie garden a complete success!

 

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So that is what has been happening Outside the Box around here. Now that the rains have stopped and hot summer temps have arrived, I might just be staying inside a bit more, haha, but either way I will see you next month. I hope you have a wonderful July!

Exterior designer Daniel Keeley is an Arkansas native and founder/principal of DK Design. His work has won numerous awards and accolades and is featured regularly in various publications. For more information visit dkdesignoutdoor.com.  

Decorating with Cece Fourchy Quinn: Spaces for Outdoor Entertaining

When I saw the Red, White & Chic feature in this month’s issue of At Home, I knew I wanted to highlight indoor/outdoor entertaining for my post. While July 4th may be behind us, the feature still inspires fun summer soirees. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a little space (beyond the average patio) just for throwing parties? I’ve rounded up some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Design by Daniel Keeley
Photo by Rett Peek
At Home in Arkansas

 

Design by Claire Stansfield
AOC Restaurant
via One Kings Lane

 

Design by Mark and Mary Sage
Photo by Tara Dunne
Garden & Gun

 

Design by Domaine Home and Dianna Agron
Photo by Justin Coit
Domaine

 

Design by Hutton Wilkinson
Photo by Patrick Cline
Lonny Magazine

 

Design by Mario Buatta
Architectural Digest

 

Design by Martha Stewart
Architectural Digest

Cece Fourchy Quinn is a native Californian who fell in love with the South during school at Ole Miss. She created her blog, Mississippi Maven, to share inspirations on interiors, fashion and all things stylish. After college she relocated to Little Rock where she worked in design and further honed her aesthetic. Now back in her hometown on the West Coast, she spends her time scouring flea markets for unique finds, hoarding shelter magazines and dreaming of the South.

Living the Good Life with Chris H. Olsen: Pots!

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Not all of us have the luxury of living with lush lawns sweeping to the horizon or deep flowerbeds that contain lots of color and beauty almost every day of the year. Many of us reside in urban areas, where space is at a premium, and plantings are used as simply a border–an afterthought. But you can use pots—and potted plantings—as a possible space usage solution, as well as that “what the what” factor for design, and even a focal point in an existing landscaped space.

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In terms of design, what I’m talking about here is creating and using vertical emphasis in your plantings. You don’t need a towering palm tree or garden sculpture to create height appeal. One interesting pot—or several—full of foundation plants or a seasonal color mix will give any area that bit of pop and wow that will bring the eye up, rather than being focused on the ground.

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First, use one or more good-looking pots. You have two choices here; go with something in a dark color like charcoal, which will recede into the architecture and design, or go with a bright, almost eccentric color choice to really create an unexpected, happy space. I always say to think big and streamline. A large pot will not only make your design more sophisticated; it will also mean you don’t have to worry about watering all the time. Take an under-used, blank space or corner and line up some pots. Then add some seating. You’ve just created another ‘room,’ which you probably didn’t even know you would have. One design trick here: uniformity. Use the same planter in matching color, as well as the same plants. Repetition of elements will mean the space appears larger. And isn’t this blue against the white walls cool and refreshing?

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You can feature one large pot raised on a simple platform of stacked rock and fill it with something hardy for a really effective use of space. Using rock as a base for your pot means you won’t have to worry about the pot shifting in the garden soil. And you’ve created something special out of what was just an ordinary planting space next to a walk. Notice the pot isn’t overly dramatic, nor is the plant material overtly bold. It’s all in the presentation.

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Or you can get adventurous and use a bright color for your pot(s). And bear in mind that you won’t have to use orange-blooming annuals in an orange ceramic pot. (Although you can, if you wish. No one will ever condemn you for using color. Certainly not me.) The idea here, however, is emphasis is placed on the pot itself, so more green than color is used in our planting. And a word about planting these featured pots; place as much into them as you can. Like I always say, “Shove it and Cram it”! More plants in tight spaces means more drama.

And a reminder: Repetition of pot shape, color, and planting material will be your ally in this kind of design. Use more than one pot, and use the same type pot and color.

Using potted plantings in various ways to augment borders, walls, or corners will mean your landscape takes on further dimensions and another bit of sophistication. While gardening in the ground is wonderful, using pots as further expressions of your taste will mean you can enhance what you already have, and create something unexpected.

Chris Olsen is a nationally known home and garden guru, designer, author, TV personality and public speaker. In his book, Chris shares his landscape and gardening knowledge along with his unique flair for home decor and design.He is also a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. Learn more about Chris and all of his work at chrisholsen.com.

Fabric “Freedom”

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In the long hot days of summer, it’s hard to concentrate on any kind of upgrade or design challenge that you may have put on the back burner.  However, when you are with your family during these months, it might become more apparent what part of your home might not function in the best possible way. We always tend to feel more cramped up in our spaces when there are more people or when your children are at home for longer periods of time. I have always been in a more focused and family-aware mindset in the summer months. It is a great time to change things around in your space to reach a better accessibility for your entire family. In the month of July, we are talking and thinking a lot about our freedoms. So what better time to assess your freedom to change your surroundings?

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Perhaps it only means some new pillows on a sofa or changing the fabric on that one special chair that you’ve had forever.

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 Whatever the case may be, take advantage of the lazy days of summer to do that one special  project in your home to add that essence of family.  And remember, textiles are the easiest of changes to make a HUGE impact!

Kelli Wilson is the creative mind behind Kelli Wilson Consulting, now based inside Ellen Golden Antiques in Little Rock!