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Saturday, March 31

enjoy your saturday

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

Be a kid again this Saturday! 


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Friday, March 30

let’s make your outdoors great – part V

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 


These past few days, I’ve been focused on suggestions to get our outdoor living spaces ready for the warm weather ahead. Remember when you create a living space outdoors – you could possibly 'double your living space square footage' and with the right planning, you might be able to use it all year long.
Themes5PF When working with the great outdoors, the old adage “Less is more” still applies – if you keep the “Less” large enough to make a grand statement outdoors. In My List of Top Design Sins, Number 1 is Wimpy Houseplants. Well, most design sins apply to your outdoor designs as well as to your indoor designs. Sure it's fine to show off your green thumb. Just don't scatter so many small plants around that you feel like you're in a green house or nursery. There’s a much better effect if you arrange just a few large-scale plants in very specific locations to create a bold statement. Remember ‘less is more’. Also, large plants are easier to care for and take less of your valuable time to water. Using greenery and plants in any design element can bring additional life and warmth to your outdoor space.

garden-with-urn_preview Create a floral centerpiece for your  garden. Try placing a large glazed urn in the center of a planting bed to create a beautiful focal point. Sometimes a huge ginger jar looks just as beautiful as any flowers or shrubs and if it's in a complementary color – it will look as if it's been there forever.

Containers-water-flower2_090301Build a Planter Fountain. Try a simple homemade fountain as your Garden Centerpiece; you can use a terra cotta container supporting a strawberry pot and hide a small water pump inside the arrangement. In one short afternoon, you can create a peaceful, relaxing focal point for any outdoor living space.

butterfly-garden-2_monarch-butterfly-in-garden_s600x600Invite a Butterfly to a Buffet. Fill your garden or planting bed with nectar-rich flowering plants, and monarchs and other winged beauties will drop by regularly. You will be able to sit in your garden for hours of relaxation and enjoy beautiful invited friends that create amazing living pieces of art!

043fbc7e7e896f6de28e46c778a9f55f98f6180482 Transform your backyard into a Modern Oasis. A garden courtyard off the side of your home can provide a welcome escape from the summer heat. Add a reflecting pool with a waterfall and you will have an evaporation cooling effect as the water flows over the edge and down into a trough below. With added platform decking and a few steps leading off your house, your simple backyard will be given an amazing makeover into an urban oasis!

There is still plenty of time to get started on doubling your living space square footage before summer arrives. I hope that some of the outdoor suggestions I've offered over the past few days will start you thinking that paradise might be just outside your own back door.

Thursday, March 29

let’s make your outdoors great – part IV

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 


The warmer weather is here and it’s time to start taking advantage of it.  You know the warm outdoors is calling your name... What a wonderful place to start entertaining and with the evening weather at the peak of enjoyment, how about dining alfresco?

Dining al fresco - known as "out in the fresh air" - has been standard operating procedure on much of the planet since the days when al fresco was the only ambiance available. With the coming of Spring, this means that you no longer have to eat meals while sitting cross-legged in front of the television. Longer daylight hours and warmer weather all add up to one thing: al fresco dining.

SU0007097o_1_x One way to create an Alfresco Dining Room is to enclose an area by using translucent mosquito netting for walls. Slip bamboo poles into PVC piping sleeves and center them in four large flowerpots - one at each corner - and tie horizontal rods to the netting for support. In just one weekend, you can create a beautiful and unique outdoor dining room.

69314-covered-porch-r-x Transform the corner of a deck into a remote entertaining space with a set of table and chairs. Folding chairs are the most portable (and no one says they have to match!) How about keeping an eye out for some resale shop finds? Their color and style add character and charm to your outdoor event at a reasonable cost. Simple patio furniture makes dining alfresco easy. With nearby access to a grill, entertaining guests (and cooking for them) is simple and efficient. Maybe instead of a grill, you prefer to transform your backyard into a spacious outdoor kitchen. A covered pavilion, stainless outdoor cabinetry and custom wood, charcoal, and gas burning grills allow you to entertain outdoors year-round. Your imagination (and your wallet) could be your limit!

0707_sunset_odnook_l How about an intimate outdoor nook for 2? A filigreed gazebo can turn a yard into an enchanting setting for alfresco dining. These lovely iron structures can be picked up at local stores for less than $1,000. Add a candle chandelier (or two) and a pair of tall candle stands for nighttime ambience and you are ready to enjoy alfresco dining in no time.

Whether it's a camp site, your beach cottage, or your own backyard, dining outside offers the perfect opportunity to think beautiful accessories.

504489_0_4-0410-traditional-dinnerware How about Speckle Ware? Virtually everyone should have some of this enamelware hiding in their cupboards. If not, it's easy to find and inexpensive to purchase. Mix and match colors for plates, mugs, bowls, salad bowls and pitchers. And larger older pieces are great for flower arrangements.


garage-sale-bw Think Vintage Tag Sales and Flea Markets are great places to find brightly patterned glassware and accessories such as salt and pepper shakers, cream and sugar pieces and sometimes you'll stumble across a real find, like cutlery with colorful baked handles.


dining-al-fresco-vintage-rose-gardenYes, you’re outside, but don’t forget the table cloths and linens Some of these are best found in someone else's basement. More often than not you'll see complete sets that have never been used. Remember, the more vibrant the better! And the great thing about linens is that you can always mix and match. How about an impromptu tablecloth – do you have an old quilt laying around?


master_RE038 Add some extra color above your head What about dressing up your table’s market umbrella?You can add lanterns & simple fabric panels to the interior of a plain umbrella and you've created the ideal setting for a romantic dinner alfresco.


138402_F08_72_hsInclude Lighting Accessories Votive candles and tin lanterns can shed some light and add atmosphere as the sun sets on your dining experience.


254 Personalize Your Table Think about adding a personal touch to your cloth napkins by wrapping them with something you could find outside – like tying raffia around them and adding a place card for a casual feast.


Just because you are eating outside doesn’t mean you have to ‘rough it’. Dining alfresco is the perfect excuse for relaxing some of the rules of the table setting, adding multitudes of vibrant color and making the occasion memorable for all.

Check back tomorrow, I will discuss how to create a Garden Centerpiece





Wednesday, March 28

let’s make your outdoors great – part III

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

With the arrival of warmer weather, it's time to start really focusing on our outside spaces.  In case you missed any of my previous posts, I've discussed improving your Curb Appeal in a dayin a weekend, and in a month and I given simple suggestions on how to bring the feel of the warmer weather into your home. I've also give a small definition of patio and porch - did you know that they really aren't the same thing?  And yesterday, I shared some tips on how to expand your living space to the outdoorsRemember, when you create a living space outdoors – you could double your living space square footage and with the right planning, be able to use it all year long.

When designing your outdoor living space, think about creating distinct areas for distinct purposes. Yesterday, I discussed creating a private open-air sitting room. Today, let's complete that design.  You should treat exterior spaces the same as you would your interior spaces. Plush furnishings and special accessories evoke a feeling of being an indoor living space but with the extra beauty of being outdoors.


81518_2_23.inddAdd Candles A collection of various sized candles can brighten any space at sunset and they can add a warm glow to your outdoor setting. Housing candles in containers such as antique carriage lamps or even ordinary mason jars not only shelter the flame from the breeze (or ceiling fan), they can evoke a glowing ambiance to a backyard that will draw people in like moths.
 

sisal rugInclude Rugs Adding a sisal rug to any outdoor space will add a finishing touch to hard floor surfaces and a feeling of indoors. Instead of a large floor cloth, maybe try overlapping a few small woven rugs to add warmth underfoot and make the space feel like you are relaxing in your favorite room of your home.
 

landscaping-lights-6Scatter Night Lights Having your outdoor landscaping look beautiful both day and night can be as simple as installing low voltage lighting. This feature is available in an abundance of styles and can add emphasis to the key elements of your home or garden at night. Outdoor lighting will also make it safer on your walkways after the sun goes down. If installed correctly, low voltage lighting should give you a soft nightly glow rather than making your yard light up like a football field.

 
James-outdoor-loudspeakersListen to Music How about bringing your outdoors a musical atmosphere? The great outdoors presents a different listening environment than your typical room. Inside your home, there are walls to reinforce low-frequency response and reflect and contain sound. Outside, of course, it's wide open, and there's usually much more background noise - wind, traffic, barking dogs, and even crickets. You can find great easy suggestions on the internet to help give your outdoors a musical ambiance by placing sound system speakers appropriately.

fireplaceBuild a Focal Point For those cool evenings outdoors, a fireplace makes a great gathering spot. It creates a feeling of intimacy while letting you stay outside and take advantage of crisp cool evenings. Install one in a sheltered entry courtyard, along the rear wall of a home, or at the boundary between paved and planted areas. A fireplace can be a patio's focal point. With a prefab box; framed in wood; and capped with stone veneer, you have a beautiful anchor to any outdoor living space. One of my favorites is a portable fire pit to warm a patio corner. Something as simple as a wide copper bowl with wrought-iron legs can be an easy solution to taking the chill off the crisp evening air.

With your sitting room complete - containing candles, music, and lighting, all you need to do to enjoy this space year round is toss in a fleecy throw on a chaise, bring out a mug or two of steaming hot chocolate or tomato bisque, sink into the cushions, and enjoy the view.

Check back tomorrow, I will discuss how to create an Alfresco Dining Room


Tuesday, March 27

let’s make your outdoors great – part II

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

With the warmer weather settling in, I thought it would be nice to start really focusing on our outside spaces.  I've discussed improving your Curb Appeal in a day, in a weekend, and in a month and I've given suggestions on how to bring the warmer weather atmosphere into your home. I've also given a definition for patio and porch - did you know that they really aren't the same thing?

Now, I thought I would share some tips on how to expand your living space to the outdoors (either porch or patio) so you can enjoy more of the Spring and Summer weather ahead!

When you create a living area outdoors – you could possibly double your living space square footage and if you plan your area accordingly, you could use this space year round. Sometimes it's too cold for even the staunchest cold-weather lover, but that doesn't mean you can't still appreciate the great outdoors. Comfy furniture-filled semi-outdoor areas adjacent or attached to the house can give you a bird's-eye view to the frosty outdoors without having to bundle up and walk outside. And when the warmer weather arrives, you are ready to step outside your door and enjoy the space even more!


purple-patio-1206_xlg Think about treating your private outdoor space as an open-air sitting room. You can chose all-weather comfortable furniture for your seating areas – say a cozy sofa, maybe an overstuffed chair or two, and an oversized ottoman that can double as a coffee table.
 
outdoor%20living%20room%20design%2012 Maybe you would prefer to place four comfy cushioned lounge chairs around a coffee table to fashion a seating area.
 
67813-living-room-outdoors-xlThink about using weather durable wicker as an option for your outdoor furniture choice.
 
Themes5PF When you are planning your outdoor room, be sure to choose materials carefully and opt for all-weather furnishings and fabrics. The wonderful thing now is that cushions can be covered with durable outdoor fabric so that your furniture can weather any type of climate. Outdoor fabrics are made from a wide variety of synthetic fibers, polyester, acrylic, and even cotton blends. Outdoor fabrics are woven textiles that undergo a chemical treatment during manufacturing. This process allows them to repel water and resist soiling and rot, while blocking mildew growth. Because these fabrics are manufactured to accomplish many of the same goals, the different textures (smooth vs. rough); finishes (matte vs. shiny); and colors or patterns should be your deciding factors when choosing what to use where. Also, believe it or not, the price for different materials is a reliable indicator of its durability and longevity.
 
Outdoor-Living-Room-designs Remember to complete the exterior design the same as you would your interior design. Plush furnishings and special accessories evoke a feeling of being entirely indoors. You can finish your outdoor sitting room so that it has an “interior feel” by including durable area rugs, practical table lamps, ceiling fans and beautiful planted greenery.

Check back tomorrow, I'll discuss more on how to put the finishing touches on your open-air sitting room

What are you doing to get your outdoor living space ready?




Monday, March 26

let’s make your outdoors great – part I

Welcome to All in the Detail... I am so glad you are here! 

It is warming up here in Georgia and I just can't seem to keep my mind on task - call it Spring Fever, if you like - but this distraction is definitely taking its toll on my work.  So, if you can't beat them - join them, right?

With the warm weather settling in, I should focus on getting outside spaces ready for enjoyment.  I've already given some suggestions for improving your home's Curb Appeal within a day, a weekend, and a month and I've offered simple suggestions on how to bring the warm weather inside your home through decor.

Now, I thought I could share some tips on how to expand your living space to the great outdoors to help you enjoy more of the Spring and Summer weather ahead! 

large_real4 Remember, when you create a living area outdoors – you could possibly ‘double your living space square footage’ and if you plan your area accordingly with some very important considerations - you might be able to use this space year round.
Let's start with a simple definition for Patio and Porch.
Did you know that they really aren't the same thing?

A patio, which is defined as a paved outdoor area adjoining a residence, can be the perfect place to entertain, dine, or just relax outdoors - even now while the temperatures are still cool. When the air is brisk and a light rain is falling, all you need to do is provide for warmth, shelter, and comfort in an outdoor area and you can spend many enjoyable hours in your expanded living space.

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A porch, which is defined as a structure attached to the exterior of a residence, can be enjoyed year-round as well, especially when screening is used to keep mosquitoes and bugs at bay and an over-head cover can shelter you from the rain. A spacious screened porch can promise year-round comfort.
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Porch swing on an old victorian house I just LOVE a porch swing.
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When designing your outdoor living space, think about creating distinct areas for distinct purposes – for instance, an area to watch television, maybe an intimate space for a sunset dinner, a seating arrangement to sit by the fire for year-round enjoyment, or a quiet place to just sit, enjoy a cup of coffee and read the morning paper.

No matter what your requirements - or the location of your outdoor living spaces – always keep in mind that these areas will most likely become incorporated into your home’s interior design and they could possibly be the view that you see from your home’s windows.

So whether it’s simple or elaborate, a patio or a porch... an Outdoor Living Space can be your own private oasis or an expansion of your home’s square footage – it all depends on exactly how you decide to design and decorate the space.

Check back tomorrow, I'm going to discuss things to take into consideration when furnishing an outdoor seating arrangement.