Even though tents and tipis are probably better suited for Summer, I'm tempted to get a head start by experimenting with my own backyard adventure. Suited for afternoon naps and starlit dinners, they really are quite versatile. While I like to think of them as adult forts, I don't think there is any reason not to be inspired by stylish ways to dress them up. Take a look at the tipis and tents I'm falling for this week, and see if you're tempted to pitch one as well!
The small Southwestern town of Marfa, TX, may be just a dot on the map, but it has plenty to offer. Home to a vast collection of works and installations by renowned artist Donald Judd (who moved there in 1971) and a breadth of new gallery spaces, it is a destination for minimalism and modernism enthusiasts. It is also perhaps most famous for the Marfa lights, unexplained, spheric lights seen on clear nights since the 1800s.
If you're hoping to make a trip to the American town, you won't find much in the way of hotels, but El Cosmico is all you need. The very unique home away from home offers a choice of beautifully restored vintage trailers, yurts, tepees, or tents. If you've got money to burn, you can stay in a 1950 Branstrator Trailer with full bed, toilet, outdoor tub, and cedar deck for $90/night or a 1956 Imperial Mansion with king bed, twin bed, toilet, shower/tub, and cedar deck for $125/night. For a more affordable option, you can sleep in a 115-square-foot yurt with bamboo floors, weatherproof fabric walls, queen size futons, and lantern lighting for $60. Or perhaps a tepee with a king-sized futon bed and a fire pit is more your style; rates are $75/night. Really pinching pennies? Try a tent for only $20/night.
In addition to your unusual "hotel suite," El Cosmico has a bath house, dutch tubs, a hammock grove, a shared outdoor kitchen, picnic tables, Public Bikes, and wireless Internet for you to use. Sounds like a recipe for a relaxing, low-key vacation with plenty of great conversation.
You don't have to be a kid or on a camping adventure to enjoy a tent. In the Spring and Summer, a pup tent can be a nice place to lay outside and escape the sun. Make it a romantic little getaway shelter for a picnic with your one and only, or use it as a quiet place to read. With a few simple steps, I whipped up this DIY fabric pup tent, and you can too! Pick a cute patterned fabric and add some liveliness to your outdoor space.
What You'll Need
- Three yards of cotton fabric (upholstery weight is best)
- 20 half-inch finishing screws
- Power drill
- Four two- to three-inch wood screws
- Four six-feet-long boards, anywhere between four and six inches wide
- One one-inch square, five-foot-long board
- A friend who can hold the structure as you're building it
To find out how to do it, read more
Calling all concert-goers! Coachella is just a week away. If you haven't sorted out your accomodations, you're not completely out of luck! This year, Valley Music Travel is offering Safari Tent On-Site Lodging: a two-person Shikar style tent fully furnished with one queen size bed, linens, tables, shag rugs, pillows, chairs, air conditioning, electrical outlets, and more. Sounds cushy, right? Well, it'll cost you . . . $5,000 to be exact, and $1,000 for each additional person. The package includes two three-day all-access and VIP festival passes, so there's that!
From the looks of it, the safari tent is actually furnished entirely with Ikea furniture, so don't be expecting any fancy Westin Heavenly mattresses. In fact, why not keep the five grand, and just buy yourself all of this Ikea furniture for under $1,200?
I've built many a fort in my day, be it as a kid with siblings and friends, or recently, helping younger cousins. Each time, the design took on a new form, but mine never looked as pretty and ethereal as Graham's daughters' tent in The Holiday. Yes, "building forts is for kids," but does it have to be? I wouldn't mind having one of these; they're so fun! I recently discovered that a couple of my friends had never built a fort (or tent), and I felt sorry for them . . . poor things. Have you built one?
Z Gallerie's Soho Pavilion ($399.99, reduced from $599.99) is water- and fade-resistant, so you can host a chic party outdoors rain or shine. But, would you blame me for wanting to set up this chic tent indoors? I'm imagining a cross between Nick Olsen's tented workspace and interior designer Marjorie Skouras's oversize indoor topiary bedroom. We don't all have yard space, but this tasseled, Greek-key item could create a loungey, magical space in any room at least 10 feet in height, depth, and width. Just throw in some sisal or a Moroccan-style rug, plants, a hanging lantern, a few floor pillows, and a sofa like west elm's Overlapping Squares Daybed, and you're done. So cozy, yet so transportive and chic!
If you like the idea of camping, but not the reality, then Philippe Malouin's Tent Sofa (inquire for price) may be the perfect compromise. Created for Italian manufacturer Campeggi, this transformable piece of furniture exudes a childlike whimsy, but actually provides a practical solution to unexpected overnight guests. What begins as a sofa can be rearranged to create a private, comfy mini-bedroom. This design debuted at this year's Salone del Mobile, and will be widely available later this year.
Want to see how this sofa transforms into a tented bed? Watch a video when you read more
This room, which uses Michael Devine Home fabrics, is quite extravagant. Between the pedestal, chandelier, floor lamps, six different textiles, and floral arrangement, there's a lot going on. Normally, I'd pass over this style of interior design, but I was immediately drawn to its tented drapery. With a busy pattern like the fretwork shown here, I'd pare down the furnishings and accessories to solids and clean-lined shapes, and lose the fringe! The tented drapery is already the center of attention; too much else going on just competes. You could also go with solid fabric for the tenting, and upholster the sofa in a bold pattern to create a focal point within the room. What do you think? I think it's a wonderful alternative to wallpaper, and it creates an intimate setting.
As we all know, Summer, like its counterparts, is an ephemeral season. Just as you've kicked the blisters on your new gladiator sandals, it seems like the leaves have already begun to change, and you catch yourself eyeing Fall's new collection of boots. But, it is possible to enjoy the Summer despite the fact that you know its fading fast. Aside from hopping on a plane to your favorite equatorial locale, you can have an endless Summer by extending the time you spend outdoors. You can do so by creating an enclosed outdoor retreat for yourself.
Start by setting up a canopied tent, or hang sheets or curtains between trees to DIY one (keep them in place by hooking them to a stake in the ground); they'll shield you from the breeze. Then, set some outdoor furniture inside your tent. Make it cozy by setting outdoor cushions on the floor with a a Summer quilt and some throws. Fill in the corners of your retreat with potted plants, including fragrant herbs or flowers. Set an outdoor heater inside to keep you warm when the temperatures really get low, and use candles to create calm, romantic lighting. Bring out a tray to serve food and keep candles from being knocked over. Pick up a couple of rocks from your yard and use them as paperweights for any reading materials or wrappers you bring out. Enjoy Summer while it lasts!
The gift-giving holidays are just around the corner and to spare you some of the last-minute shopping stress the Sugar sites are creating ever-helpful gift guides.
Here are some essentials for the camper in your life. Great gear is so important when out in the woods in order to stay safe and comfortable, and these gift ideas are sure to be loved by anyone who loves the outdoors.
Petzl Tikka Plus LED Headlamp: This super-strong flashlight is worn on your head, so you can see in the dark and have both hands free. Use it when walking, cooking, going to the bathroom, or looking for firewood.
Marmot Angel Fire +15 Sleeping Bag: This goose down sleeping bag is designed to fit a woman's body. It's wider at the hips and narrower at the shoulders, and has a hood so you'll stay cozy warm even in frigid weather. I love the heater pocket near the feet that can hold heat packets so your tootsies won't freeze. This sleeping bag is great for temperatures 15°F or higher.
REI Mountain 3 Tent: This tent can sleep three people, but would be really comfy for two campers (it's big enough to hold a full-size blowout mattress). The tent is simple to set up with only five poles, and has two doors so you can get in and out easily. It can be used through all four seasons, is waterproof, leak proof, and weighs under 10 lbs. when packed up.