May is here and with it the official beginning of outdoor entertaining season. Since ambience is almost as important as the food (ahem), we have rounded up our favorite outdoor lanterns so you can concentrate on the menu.
When your garden is in full bloom, nature will do the work when it comes to outdoor décor. But the rest of the year, you can get by with a little help from your local flower shop. The tree in your backyard may not be dripping in blossoms, but thanks to a trick from interior stylist Paul Hopper, you can still transform it into a floral fantasyland. Wrap some wire under the lip of a mason jar, twisting it to itself. Then, with the same piece of wire, create a handle, and fasten it back to the wire under the lip of the jar. Fill the jar a quarter of the way with water. Snip the stem off of a big blossom (try a peony or gardenia) from a flower shop and set it floating inside the jar. Make several more, and then hang them from your tree. Suddenly your garden is in full bloom!
The Bay Area climate is almost perfect for an outdoor shower — though its long rainy season makes the concept of one rather redundant. When I've had the opportunity to partake in outdoor showers while at vacation stays, I've never passed it up. There's something so serene about showering under a blue sky.
What about you? Is this something you long for in your own home, or could you happily go without?
The Summer and Spring seasons present ample opportunities for outdoor entertaining — who doesn’t like lounging on a sunny back deck, drink in hand? But moving the party outdoors in the cooler seasons is riskier and, depending on where you live, may be out of the question entirely. Personally, I like bundling up in sweaters, lighting the outdoor fire pit, and firing up the grill with friends, but then again, San Francisco boasts a pretty temperate climate. How about you?
A friend of mine is an avid entertainer and gracious host, and fittingly, her husband is beyond skilled as a bartender. So the couple has expressly designated a patch in their garden to grow essentials for their favorite cocktails — basil, mint, lavender, and lemon verbena among them. Closest to the kitchen door, they grow regulars needed for their cooking routine, such as tomatoes and avocados. While most gardeners decide the locations of their plantings based on factors like aesthetics and sunlight, my friends created their garden plan based on the function and usefulness of their plants. Interesting, no?
So I'm wondering how you decided upon the plants in your garden. What do you grow? Where do you grow your plants? Why and how did you decide what to grow? Tell me by commenting below!
With temperatures rising all across the country, I'm sure those of you who have pools will be mighty glad you do this August. For those of you in chillier climates, a hot tub could be a key feature of your home. Perhaps since you built a new deck in your home, it's become your favorite place to entertain. One of my favorite places to escape outdoors is to my rooftop hammock. A friend of mine barbecues and grills literally every single night of the week on her new Weber. So tell me, what's your favorite outdoor feature of your home? A pool? A lounge chair? An outdoor kitchen? Tell me by commenting below!
Now that Summer is officially here, it's time to better perk up your patio! Whether you have 10 square feet on your apartment balcony to decorate or acres of green grass and a poolside cabana, injecting some vibrant, weather-resistant textiles into your outdoor space will go a long way to making you feel the heat of the season. But a simple solid-colored Sunbrella throw pillow won't do . . . you need a boost of pattern and some hot hues! Try mixing and matching some of these festive cushions to really light up your lawn.
I've been obsessed with Summer style changes lately, so I perked up when I spied the Williams-Sonoma Home Semi-Annual Sale. With discounts up to 40 percent, you can find serious steals on home accents and furniture to outfit your warm-weather digs.
I'm particularly fond of the playful color palette of these Printed Outdoor Pillows ($40, reduced from $60), which would make any outdoor area more adorable. Lest you think Williams-Sonoma Home is too stuffy for your taste, I think you'll be surprised by how hip my picks are. Here's what I have my eye on.
Summer is officially here! So it's time to enjoy the great outdoors. What better way to enjoy the warm breeze than from the comfort of your beautifully styled patio, porch, balcony, or rooftop? To help you get your outdoor space into tip-top shape, I have 15 outdoor design ideas for you to steal.