Outdoor spaces and inspiring places

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It finally felt like Spring this weekend here in Milwaukee with Easter reaching 75 degrees (77 according to my phone). I was a happy camper and it made me think of how I need to get my patio life together. Browsing stores like Target and Pier 1 can really make you want to buy-every-dog-on-thing. However a few bright items can jazz up any blah outdoor space.

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Fabric Walls
This makes me want to buy a funky pattern and hang it on the walls of my patio with velcro. Actually, I may just do that. It can also hide unsightly areas. Just make sure you use outdoor fabric.

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Sun Shelter
Scalloped umbrella tables are pretty much everything. They aren’t cheap but worth the splurge if you live in a climate that utilizes outdoor areas more than 4 months out of the year…

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Pillow Happy
Add fun pillows to seating you already own. Make it even more worthwhile if you get pillows that match the interior decor. You can always add them to sofas during the office season. Target usually has some for as little as $14.

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Plants
Potted plants are great for adding privacy between balconies, patios or yards. They also help liven a space. They’re little easier to maintain than flowers and lower maintenance.

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Rugs
Rugs are another way to add color to a space. Though you want to be mindful of materials so that it can withstand temperature and elements of nature, you can possibly have more leisure with a covered space. My patio is shaded and covered so I’m debating on buying a cute coral kitchen rug for the area under my patio chairs. There isn’t much sunlight that would cause discoloring and the cost is so inexpensive it wouldn’t be a huge loss if it did.

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Flowers
Lastly flowers are nice but if you’re like me, you may not want to take time upkeeping them. Go to any Michael’s, Jo-Ann fabric (both having sales 50% off stems) or even Dollar Tree for affordable and often times realistic looking faux flowers. I swear all of them aren’t tacky and you won’t have to worry about animals and bugs munching on the petals or wind blowing the petals off. I was very shocked at how cute some of the flowers were from the dollar store. They sell everything to make your own planters. My next post will show you some of my weekend flower diys that may change your mind.

{Images via American Trade Hotel, Cote Paris Mag, Ikea, Doug Meyer, Pernille Kaalund, The Fab Guide & First Home}


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David Jimenez Palm Springs home plus the perfect gift for mid-century design enthusiasts

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Jimenez is VP at Williams-Sonoma and Williams-Sonoma Home. His role as a visual merchandiser includes creating inspiring displays, theatrical settings and creating a great visual shopping experience (sounds like a dream job). One of the challenges in his mid-century bungalow was replacing dated tiles and creating unified flooring throughout the space. I think the poured concrete is a great pick and has an industrial feel when you combine the ceiling beams and exposed brick walls. The furnishings produced in different eras keeps the living room retro chic, from a 60’s Regency French chair, an 80’s tan chesterfield sofa to a 70’s canary yellow velvet sofa.
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I think what’s funny is he rented a truck and went vintage shopping in different Palm Springs antique and thrift stores. Whenever I read blogs and see someone who bought a large piece of furniture, I always wondered if they just happened to be in a large pick up truck or what. It just seems a bit out of reach at times to get such cool pieces ALL OF THEE TIME. I know I personally would have to check with my father or brother and see if they were available to pick up something and I don’t see that working out all the time. Renting a truck to scour is pretty doggone genius especially if you are going to places that ALWAYS have cool things. Read more and see other areas of his fab home in Adore Home‘s latest issue.

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Speaking of mid-century architecture, I was gifted the release of Palm Springs Mid-Century Modern Postcard Book By Dolly Faibyshev from Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.  You will find beautiful 30 perforated postcards of some of Palm Springs landmarks and landscaping and even Elvis’ Honeymoon House. If you know someone who is a lover of palm trees and mid-century curb appeal, then this book is for them.

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See this Palm Springs Moroccan influenced hotel and how I’d design a So Cal outdoor space here.

{Images via Adore Home & Schiffer Books}

I received this book free for review but views are my honest opinions.

A Brooklyn home tour

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Sofia Berger’s Brooklyn home is full of old charm and architecture. The bathroom is like a spa. It’s totally not something you would expect from the rest of the house. It’s perfectly decorated with carefully organized jars to see things you need at a glance (qtips, cotton swabs, etc). It’s all so beautifully arranged that it feels like……a spa. I love that and the raw edging of the granite stone.

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Lots of molding and woodwork are left original and some of her furniture has a vintage vibe mixed in with some modern elements like the capiz shell chandelier and some of the mirrored dressers. I especially love the modern fireplace.

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I also love the outdoor space but you will have to go here to see the actual fireplace mantle she has outside. Perfect for afternoon and nightly parties.

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I also like the shelves with the exposed brick as a backing to highlight all of the stainless steel appliances and culinary tools. For me, some of the wood is a bit much for my taste. I’m that girl that would paint it all white or high lacquered black. But other than that it’s a great place to highlight what she can do in interior design. You can see before pics on her facebook. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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Sofia is a banker by day and an aspiring interior designer. Something tells me she will do well.

{Images on Apartment Therapy with photos by Andrea Sparacio and Sekiya Dorsett}

Hotel Indulgences: The Korakia Pensione in the Palm Springs Desert

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The Korakia Pensione is a Mediterranean-style resort and spa located next to mountains in the Palm Springs desert. I like the Moroccan architectural details and decor found through out the space.

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The black and white striped lounge chairs are exactly what I would want for my so cal outdoor space.

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MMMMMmmmm yummy. Lately I’ve been cutting fruit up at night, storing in containers and taking to work to eat alongside my daily instant oatmeal. Fruit really does make a regular breakfast feel much more special.

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This is so picturesque. See more on 100 Layer Cake.

Tuesday’s Tips: budget friendly bed & breakfast wedding ceremonies

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Face it. Weddings cost a ton but that is no reason to start your marriage off in debt if you don’t have the means to pay for an elaborate affair. Having a small scaled wedding but want the details to remain elegant? Consider an intimate wedding gathering by booking a bed and breakfast.

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Book all the rooms to the house (which b&bs typically are……big ‘ol mansions) and if it’s picturesque enough (most have nice pretty yards), have the ceremony there. Depending on how far in advance you book, try to book all the rooms in the B&B so that the entire wedding party can stay. Arrange it where everyone stays overnight so that the morning of the wedding you won’t have to worry about rushing to the location site. You also will save money by not having to rent party buses or limos for the wedding party since you all will already be there.

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If the party is small and there are more rooms, consider booking a room for the hair stylist and makeup artist too since they play important roles in the wedding party look. You may want to eliminate any chance of them running into traffic the day of your wedding.

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As a thank you, host a Thank You brunch the morning after for everyone if it’s a destination or road trip. Otherwise a brunch for the wedding party is a nice parting gesture.

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Most B&B’s tend to have a fancier backyard and landscaping. Look for one with fountains, a gazebo, manicured landscaping, pool, rose bushes and flower gardens. The more flowers and already decorated, the less money you will need for the florist. Also if there are benches along the property, you will less likely need to rent additional lounge seating for “cocktail hour” or informal times during the reception.

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You can also look for a B&B located on a wine vineyard, rolling hills, polo ground (horse back riding would be amazing for picture taking or possibly a horse drawn carriage), ranch, along a golf course or lake. The more beautiful the surroundings, the better. It will make the guests stay that much more enjoyable too. If the B&B is a short road trip away, and the whole guest list is staying in the same place, arriving the day before, you may wish to do something with them as a welcome. You could arrange for various activities to get the families to mingle like horse back riding, golfing, chartering a boat ride or fishing.

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Indulge Daily 7.24.13 poolside fly

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I often find myself typing 2014. I don’t know why I’m subconsciously trying to rush this year but one thing I want to prolong is summer. It is flying by entitely way too fast and I want to be sure I do all that I want to do. If I could enjoy some leisure on that couch with that view, it’ll be way better. A girl can dream….

{Image source unknown}

Tuesday’s Tips: 5 ways to give your balcony privacy, stylishly

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Small balconies are already bad enough but small balconies without privacy is even worse. I’m talking the ones that extend outward from the building with wrought iron fencing all around. Everybody can see what you have and what you’re doing and sometimes hear your entire convo if it’s a shared balcony. You know, the kind where it’s really ONE balcony but they add a little fence divider. Yeah, completely uninspiring. You want to be sure not to create an eyesore for the neighbor next to you but you want to eliminate the feeling that all eyes are on you. So here are a few ideas to give yourself some privacy, stylishly.

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{Alice Masin}

 1) Use planters and pots with tall greenery, flowers or boxwoods to shield yourself from neighbors

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Like how the flower beds filled the gaps instead of being placed at the top of the banister…
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2) Line it with fabric to give your space some color, block unsightly rooftops (if opposite buildings are lower), & block some of the wind (if you live in a high rise). It’s also perfect for allowing your pets to get some fresh air without them jumping off. Make sure you purchase fabric made for the outdoors so as to not fade in the sun and ensure it can withstand the elements. Check with leasing offices if this is something you can do. Typically apartment owners want their spaces to have a cohesive look outside and something this bright may get the no go so maybe opt for a neutral palette and a material a little sheer. If you can't put this in the front, just line the sides.

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3) Hang sheer curtain panels to create an airy oasis

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4)  Use benches and daybeds for seating instead of chairs. If you place them on the sides or in front of the banisters versus the apartment wall, and stack pillows on top, that creates some division as well privacy.  I frigging love the first image over the Miami skyline. The fabric, the bright color, the green carpet which looks like grass something I usually cringe at but it works here, and the plants!!! I want this for my own patio. Having the daybed with it’s back to the railing stops potential eyesores when looking down on other buildings.

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 5) Use bamboo or reed fencing. It would go great for a tropical themed décor space.

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Just for fun one night, create a nighttime camping experience for the kiddos by hanging a sheet or blanket over fishing line. Pad the floor with soft cushions, conforters, flashlights and glow sticks and smores melted from the oven for a city camp experience…

{Images viaErrez Design, Apt therapy,  Decoist, Patio Design Ideas, & Home Design Lovers}