Housekeeping: Random Spring Break Happenings

In between lots of doing nothing with my kids during spring break I have been a little busy with some design projects.  I’m working on a  plan for a greek restaurant I am designing for my commercial design class…really love my pink, green and blue palette so far.greerestaurantcolorpalette copyI also spent some time finally making some headway on my basement re-do…the accent wall is painted and ready for shelves and I finally found the perfect sofa…I snapped a quick photo with my phone (try to overlook the poorly styled mantel)…can’t wait to add more layers.  basement redo copyAnd, even though the weather turned chilly, I spent some time in my backyard prepping and planting and just generally enjoying all the new blooms.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI hope your week was just as enjoyable as mine!  See you Monday.

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Design is in the Details: 6 Finishing Touches to Create A Cozy Outdoor Room

I think perhaps the reason the Room of the Week backyard is so successful is the many small details that help it look and function just as well as any interior space.  Here are six of my favorite details inspired by this space that would be easy to incorporate into any backyard, but make a big difference in how you use and enjoy the space.

design details for a cozy outdoor room copyWhat’s your favorite detail of the room?  Is there anything you would add or take away?500-daisy-upholstery-nails-brass-furniture-studs-tacks-[2]-436-p copy

Color Palette: Monochromatic & Modern Outdoor Space

Outdoor fabrics have really improved over the last decade and you can now get cushions and pillows and umbrellas in any pattern you desire.  But, the thing I love about the Room of the Week is that the designer didn’t go crazy with color and pattern in the backyard (a place that is already full of color pattern from foliage), but stuck to one specific shade of red and one pattern.  The result is a monochromatic, matchy-matchy and modern outdoor space.  Plus, sticking to one exact shade makes for easy decision-making.

If you want a similar look in your backyard I have just a few tips:

  1. Once you know the shade you’re after go grab a paint chip in that color to carry with you when you’re trying to match the rest of the furnishings and accessories.
  2. Shop at just one store.  You can often find everything you need in just one place, as stores usually offer cushions, pillows, and umbrellas that coordinate perfectly.
  3. Less is more.  Less is more when you’re searching for a pattern to coordinate…nothing fussy if you’re going for a modern look.  Less is more when you’re adding furniture and accessories…you want to enjoy your backyard all summer, not worry about maintaining the mountain of accessories and pillows you filled it with.

And, here are a few examples I put together from major retailers, to show you how easy and nice this look is to put together.

matchy-matchy monochromatic outdoor copySOURCES:
One (Crate & Barrel Red): Umbrella | SofaPillow
Two (Target Green): Umbrella | Sofa Pillow
Three ( West Elm Gray): Umbrella | Sofa Pillow

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The Anatomy of a Modern Patio

I know I said I was going to spend the month talking about transitional spaces, but after spending the weekend in my backyard working to make it ready for spring I feel more inspired to talk about backyards this week…particularly the backyard I chose designed by Monica Kuhn.  The first time I spotted the design on Style at Home I was blown away by the amazing use of space and the bold color palette.  But, there is so much to take away from this thoughtfully designed space, even if it’s not exactly your style.

the-anatomy-of-a-clever-backyard copyphotography by Michael Graydon

The bold red color used in this backyard is probably my favorite design element.  Rather than using different shades of red, or even throwing in a secondary accent color, the designer chose to use the exact same shade of red anytime a color was used.  I especially love that the red color was matched exactly on the wall feature as well.  Using just one bold color really simplifies the design for a very clean look.  Plus, the red color really helps to unify the dining and lounge spaces. If you are looking for a similar look in your backyard, it doesn’t matter which color you pick as THE color, as long as you keep it exactly the same in all the elements.

I’m always tempted to mix lots of patterns together, especially in a casual space like a backyard or patio.  But, I love that the designer stuck with stripes as the pattern of choice in this backyard.  The stripes are bold and noticeable, but don’t overwhelm the space, or detract from the rest of the design elements.  In a crisp modern space, just one pattern goes a long way.

I really love the amazing viewpoint we have in this photograph…it really helps us to see the way the backyard was split into separate areas for dining and lounging, and we can also see the cool shapes created by the “flooring” materials.  The large square slabs used to create a walkway between the dining and lounging areas are a cool way to add interest in a simple organized way.  When you are considering the materials you are going to use underfoot be conscious of their shapes and the shapes or patterns they create when put together.

The designer did such a great job of using scale to create focal points and also separate space.  The red wall and giant umbrella definitely help focus your eye on the dining area.  And, the large-scale of the plants used in the borders help to separate the dining and lounge spaces, and also create a shield of sight and sound from outside the garden.  I can imagine that the large-scale plants make this space feel very cozy.

What’s your favorite part of this room? Check out the entire article to see more amazing photos of this backyard.

Can’t wait to share some more of my favorite things about this room, but my posts will mostly be quick and light this week, as it is spring break at our house and I am planning on spending more time IN the backyard than just talking about it.  See ya back here tomorrow!

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Housekeeping: A Pretend Retail Store Project

I am just sharing a quick post to wrap up the week. I need the extra time I usually spend blogging to work on finishing my website for my design business and finishing projects for my first clients…hopefully they’ll be ready to share soon!

In the meantime…I just turned in a huge project for my commercial design class.  We were tasked with creating a pretend retail store in South Carolina.  I based mine on the Clare Vivier stores that already exist in LA and NYC, but altered it suit its southern surroundings.  I created a floorplan, elevations of two walls in the office, and selected furnishings to go into the store.  Here’s a peek at the floorplans and moodboards I created for the project.  Now, I only wish it was actually being created!


clarevstore copysmall

 (click on the images to enlarge)

I hope you have a great weekend enjoying this springtime weather!

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