[photo source: http://ciaonewportbeach.
We can’t help but be overcome with Porch Love this time of year. The thought of cooler nights by a fire, the perfect place for a morning cup of coffee, or lounging away on a lazy Sunday afternoon gives us serious porch envy.
[photo source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/
[photo source: http://www.houzz.com/photos/
You will find us on the porch all fall until the winter air chases us inside. What about you?
Its your turn. Lets talk (on the porch).
We hope you had a great weekend! With this wonderful, late-summer weather, we’re getting inspired by the outdoor space that designer Amber Doggett shares with her husband and her four children. You can tour the interior of the home in the August issue, but at this time of year, Doggett says the family spends most of their time in the home’s outdoor living spaces. In the covered patio, she adds various delicate shades of blue to the neutral palette to bring in a little extra color. Doesn’t it look like a perfect place to spend time with family and friends?Click here to read the full story and see the rest of Doggett’s home, or find a copy of the August issue on newsstands. Or scroll down to see how the color palette of this serene outdoor space inspired us. You’ll find our inspiration board below, which includes a mix of images and paint colors we gathered from around the web. What’s your #1 must-have item for your own outdoor living space?
Quick: How many rooms do you have in your house? I bet you can rattle the total right off! Next, how many bedrooms? how many baths? I bet you even know the total square footage without even thinking about it. But, I bet you are leaving out one area that you NEVER thought of! And I’m not talking about that ‘bonus room’ realtors like to list in the selling details. If you have a patio, terrace, stretch of yard loosely bounded by a wall and plantings, or even a relatively level bit of ground beneath a tree, you have a whole new room to use. One to decorate, accessorize, just have fun in. It’s time you turn your eye to that area and create a great space in which to live, congregate, contemplate, enjoy and take those moments to live life to the fullest.
The idea of garden ‘rooms’ is not new. English landscapers all the way back to the middle of the eighteenth century considered them an integral part of garden design. But what passed for a garden ‘room’ in those days—a lone wrought iron bench placed on mown grass, maybe paired with an urn on a pedestal, shielded by an impenetrable hedge—didn’t lend itself to real gatherings or informality. Think Tom Jones, or a scene out of many Jane Austen novels. What you need to think about for your room is what you like to do, what sort of stamp you want to put on your decorating there, and then have at it.
First, let’s start with seating. How many people do you usually entertain? What sort of party do you like? The options for chairs, sofas, ottomans, and settees are endless, so you need to consider your space, what sort of configuration you have room for, and how you want your guests to interact. And remember that you want a place where people can feel at ease, so look to something new, maybe even something rounded, like the piece here. Formality doesn’t always translate to the outdoors, so you can be looser—and more inventive—than if it were inside. And don’t fear upholstered pieces; the days of mildew and faded prints are over. New processes mean fabrics are now able to last longer than one season, and can repel stains or relentless sun. And nothing has to match, unless you want it to. Gardens lend themselves to serendipity, and yours should be no exception.
The translation of al fresco dining is literally taking the meal outside, so think about a table. Many travel articles about the Mediterranean feature smiling dinner guests seated around an oak table that has been brought outside, and placed under a gnarled olive tree. You should think about something more permanent, maybe a fixture you can use many months out of the year, and won’t need to cart into storage. If you have a grill and someone in your family who likes to show off prowess with it, then you will want a table large enough to feed a group of hungry guests. Keep this in mind, guests that are seated around the table in such a way, with your landscape surrounding them, good food being prepared as they watch, tend to linger, and remember the quality of your entertaining.
Now you’re thinking about how to fill your new room, where do you go to find the right stuff? It’s easy. Crate and Barrel, CB2, West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware all now have catalogs devoted solely to outdoor furniture and accessories. And they have great websites where you can see everything. Lots of retailers are getting in on the outdoor entertaining trend, so you won’t have trouble finding what you seek. You can add to the square footage of your home, decorate it as you see fit, and find one more place in which to show your guests a good time.
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.
We’re kicking off this month with our all-new May “Before & After” issue. It’s packed full of fresh ideas for every room in your home, including a few outdoor spaces. We’re all ready to entertain al fresco, right? This Little Rock home renovation included a team who transformed it to fit the homeowners needs perfectly, including architect Tom Fennell and designer Bill Beringer. After hearing the couple’s needs, Fennell decided to enlarge the back of the house by more than twenty feet, which also allowed for this spacious new covered deck. Accessible from the great room and kitchen, it’s furnished with comfortable pieces in the same neutral palette as the home’s interior. Find lots of before photos and read more about this full renovation online here or grab a copy of the new May issue on newsstands.
Barbi and Nolan Rushing’s beautiful antique-filled countryside estate can be found in our April issue and the outdoors are equally enchanting. Our color inspiration comes from the beautiful ‘Peggy Martin’ roses that frame their patio seating area. These roses are named after a New Orleans Garden Club member who discovered this variety and was the only one at her home that survived Hurricane Katrina. “I grew up in the Heights, but I have always loved gardening and we had a longing to move outside the city,” says Barbi. The home’s garden features more than 200 rose bushes, including many David Austin roses. ‘Old Blush’ rose bushes are abundant on the property. This is the setting the couple has dreamed of inhabiting for years. Be sure to read the full story online here or find a copy of our April issue on newsstands.
Since it’s Spring Break time, we’re rounding up images from our archives that just scream “Fun in the Sun!” Enjoy! (And to see the original articles from which these shots were pulled, just click on the images.)
So, even if you’re not traveling to a tropical locale this week, dust of those shades and sandals and have a very happy Spring Break!
Donna and Jim Bottin are ready to host garden parties at their West Little Rock home thanks to Providence Design and Palette Catering, who helped them set the perfect table and menu. Providence Design. Co, owned by sisters Talena Ray and Mona Thompson, designed the interiors and selected the exterior furnishings and fixtures of the Bottin home, so a party on the patio was right up their alley. “We always use a layered approach to our designs and we like to have a continuous flow from one space to another,” says Ray of the pair’s philosophy. A great tip for hosting a party: by adding a rolling bar cart, it keeps beverages close by and prevents the host from having to leave the company of guests to refill glasses. Read more here or find a copy on newsstands. You can also find extra recipes from Palette Catering here.
Our March issue is packed full of outdoor living inspiration and this outdoor renovation does not disappoint. Garry Mertins and Chris Olsen worked on this Hillcrest-area outdoor renovation. When it came to the family’s must-haves, the addition of a new fireplace and conversation space on the pool level was high on their wish list. Thanks in part to the cool color palette of the outdoor fabrics, which were selected by the owner with an eye for both function and fun, it has become a favorite space for guests. There’s so much to see in this feature, including a beautiful pool, landscaping and outdoor kitchen. It’s the perfect spot to entertain friends and family. Cheers to getting outdoors this spring! Read the full story online in the March issue here or find a copy on newsstands.
Hurry up spring! We love the easy-going casual appeal of Sheb and Danny Fisher’s cottage courtyard. They realized they had created the ideal backyard patio after the footprint of a home renovation fell into place. They mixed traditional-style outdoor furniture with colorful accessories for a happy and inviting atmosphere amidst a backdrop of beautiful blooming white hydrangeas. And, to add creative detail to the courtyard, designer Chris Milligan incorporated a freestanding pergola to highlight the sitting area. “Whether we have the fire going or the fan, it is such a great gathering spot,” says Sheb. Read more about this colorful gathering place here and find more outdoor inspiration in the March issue on newsstands or online.