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  • Tips For Enjoying Good Weather With Outdoor Style

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    Outdoor Style

    Image from Helen Green Design

    Good weather is nearly upon us, which means we get to spend more time on our outdoor style. Hooray! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to be out and about enjoying it all. Why not enjoy warmer weather all from a thoughtfully designed outdoor space?!

    Outdoor spaces tend to take a back seat to the design of interiors but in the warmer months, they could certainly be used more if only styled in the right way. Here’s how to do it.

    Outdoor Ideas

    1.    Create focal points. Create focal points with your outdoor spaces with planters and arches. These arches dramatically frame an otherwise boring hallway. Now, they make you feel like you’re in the Mediterranean.

    2.    Built-ins. Rather than bring in temporary furniture, make it a bit more permanent with built in furniture like this sofa placed in a nook. Painted in the color of the walls, it feels cohesive. I’d love to bring my laptop and work in the space!

    3.    Plan for people. Style a space based on the functions of what people will do. If you want to eat, set up a bistro table and chairs.

    4.    Model your outdoor space like a living room. Bring the same techniques of an interior to the outside. Set up a sofa with coffee table surrounded by chairs and don't forget the outdoor lighting!

    Outdoor Lighting Ideas

    5.    Style for small spaces. Even small spaces can serve a function. Adapt your function so that it is useable. Instead of placing a full table with chairs, adapt it to 2 lounging chairs with a small side table.

    6.    Fruit trees! Bring a pop of color into green spaces with a fruit tree, specifically a citrus tree. The pops of orange or lemon will add a touch of color and whimsy.

    7.    Single tree. Let the architecture of the space speak with a simple tree in a courtyard. The focus becomes the beautiful lines of the tree.

    8.    Lighting. Lighting is paramount at night. Whimsy it up with beautiful outdoor lighting.

    9.   Use wood boxes as planters to frame a bench, like the top image. So easy!

    What are your tips for an outdoor space?

    Images: Helen Green Design, Group 1:  Sarah Cain Design, House Beautiful, Mark D. Sikes, The Home Journal  Group 2: The Style Saloniste, Vecro Ave, JTJ Design, Entouriste

  • Design Tips For A Backyard That Twinkles

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    Design Tips

    Image from Justina Blakeney

    I recently rehabbed my patio, but, as you can see from the above photo, the design is far from complete as I'm missing something quite essential: outdoor lighting! Since dining al fresco is one of my very favorite activities especially on warm SoCal evenings, I'm thinking a lot about the mood outdoors and how I want to light up my outdoor space to make it cozy, warm and inviting.

    White Dining Chairs

    Zuo Modern White 33-Inch-H Set of 2 S-Chairs

    I want my yard to twinkle! I want something to illuminate my front door and am considering this Toledo Old Silver wall light. Love the vintage look of it and it reminds me of the streets of Florence, Italy where I lived for many years. I also love this Corbett Bangle Modern Gold outdoor light.

    Gold Outdoor SconceI like the idea of making my outdoor space feel like an outdoor living room and I think that the warm glow of the gold would help with that--this Milo Antique Brass one is pretty sexy too. I love post lamps for outdoor spaces too. They remind me of secret gardens and fantastical places. I think that this ornate Bravada Glass Outdoor Post Light would add just the right amount of whimsicality to my yard.

    Outdoor Post Light

    Something low is also key...something that illuminates the succulents and flowers I've spent so much time caring for...for that I'm thinking something modern, and I love the Maxim Marlex Nautical White Small Outdoor Post Light-- It's got those mid-century modern lines that I love.

    Outdoor Dining

    Image from Apartment Therapy

    I can't wait to light up my yard this summer!

    Images: Justina Blakeney, Apartment Therapy

  • Design Ideas For Adding Accents of Yellow in Your Home

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    Yellow Accents

    If you're in search of that perfect accent color to introduce to your home, may I suggest yellow?! Yellow doesn’t always have to be a youth color of choice. When done right, it can be a classic option to add a little color to your space.

    Just like any color, don’t overdo it. If you are considering a yellow couch on a yellow wall, you may regret that decision in the end. But adding a yellow pillow, like seen above, on a neutral sofa is the perfect pop of color. Another great tip is adding the same color in an art piece or in a blanket. It all feels balanced.

    Modern Kitchen

    If you are wanting to add color in your kitchen, rugs are a great option. Especially when you are working with an all white kitchen. And if you are worried about getting that rug dirty, just spray it with Scotchgard.

    Modern Home Design

    Bright colored furniture pieces are the new black! If you are a confident, brave person, then you will not have a problem with adding bright splashes of color in your furniture. Just make sure to pair the colors with neutral pieces.

    Kitchen Design

    See how just one pop of yellow creates a modern, fresh space? Don’t feel like you have to add an overabundance of yellow. Keep it simple and you won’t be disappointed!

    Images: My Paradissi, SF Girl by Bay, Stadshem

  • Zen and the Art of Office Design

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    Modern Office Design

    Image from French by Design

    I've been thinking about office design a lot lately. But I'm not thinking fax machines and cubicles and worker bees crammed-in like sardines. I'm talking about decorating the office intelligently. Making a space that induces calm, creativity and productivity.

    Office with Plants

    Image from Femke Pastijn

    As you can see above, bringing nature into the office is easy and a great way to maintain morale. The more outdoor-oriented among us might want to consider the cooling and calming effect of modern LED fountains.

    Big Office Windows

    Image from French by Design

    Contrary to logic, a comfortable office isn't about having lots of space. As you see both above and below, work stations are stacked on top of one another. Open sight-lines and ample sunlight help keep the claustrophobia away. 

    Industrial Style Office

    Image from Tyyli & Koti

    You may have noticed the backless counter stools in a some of the pictures above. Often stackable and always stylish, these designs maximize space and minimize visual clutter in the work place.

    Modern Bar Stools

    Set of 2 Rubin Modern Natural Counter Stools, Zuo Twin Peaks Modern Wood Bar Stool, Set of 2 Marius Antique Black Metal Counter Chairs, Sallie Contemporary White Stool

    Lastly, you probably noticed that all the decor pictured has a weathered look. I did that deliberately to illustrate that a comfortable, zen-like office isn't about how much you spend. The well-designed office is all about how well you plan your space. 

    Images: French by Design, Femke Pastijn, Tyyli & Koti

  • Wall Decor: Six Favorite Mirrors

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    Wall Decor

    Today I'm showing you a few of my favorite wall mirror style ideas. Mirrors are a great piece of wall decor to utilize, both functionally and aesthetically.

    Functionally, it looks great to place a mirror above a console table in an entry way, over a dresser in a bedroom, or place a floor length mirror in the master bedroom. You can also decorate with round mirrors as a way to make the room feel more grand.

    I love hanging mirrors on walls opposite of a big window, allowing the light to come into the room and be reflected in the mirror. This doubles the amount of light in your space. If you have a room that feels dark, this might do the trick.

    Entryway Style

    You know that typical "builder" mirror you've had in your bathroom hanging over your vanity since you moved into your home years ago? Perhaps it's time to replace that with a unique mirror, trimmed in a beautiful frame. This will take your bathroom to the next level and really give it that "collected" feel we all desire.

    Bedroom Dresser

    The mirrors I've chosen to show you today are beautiful and can play to many different styles. If you describe your style as rustic or industrial, a mirror with a chunky metal or wood frame would suit you.

    If you love the contemporary look, choose a simple, sleek frame in silver or gold.

    If you love the eclectic look, perhaps a sunburst mirror would look great in your house. Are you more glam or retro? Try a uniquely shaped mirror, like this gold hexagon mirror on the inspiration board. 

    Wall Mirrors

    Hill and Dale Silver 32-Inch Decorative Wall MirrorSunburst Reflections Antique Silver Resin Round Wall MirrorAntiqued Silver Foil 28-Inch-W Rectangular Wall MirrorGold Orb Round 33-Inch Modern Wall MirrorLangford Wood 50 1/2-Inch-W Uttermost Wall MirrorJamie Young Large 24" Round Jute Wall Mirror 

    Whether you're looking for a small mirror to go above a dresser, a large floor length mirror for the bedroom, a round, rectangle, elegant, or modern mirror to hang in the entry way, there is certainly a style for everyone!

    Images: House Beautiful, Style Me Pretty

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