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Summer Patio Styling

So yesterday I wandered the aisles of HomeGoods just trying to kill time until my car was finished getting tires at the nearby service station.  I know, this is a dangerous combination, free time and HomeGoods… the potential for frivolous spending was high.  I rounded the corner in the kitchen/dinnerware section (a section in which I had no business being in, since I don’t need anything for my kitchen) and there it was.  It was an oh, so, cute display devoted to a number of items covered in flamingos.  They screamed summer (my favorite season).  In particular this set of Isaac Mizrahi melamine flamingo plates really caught my eye.  But I showed restraint.  I left those plates at HomeGoods, but thought about them for the rest of the day.  They were still on my mind this morning so I thought I’d dedicate the blog to them today.  I’ve put together a summer patio styling based on these adorable plates, just in time for the unofficial start of summer this coming Memorial Day!

The Inspiration

Summertime plates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Patio Styling in Time for Memorial Day

Summer patio styling

  1. Isaac Mizrahi Flamingo Melamine Plates       $4.99 ea      Available at HomeGoods
  2. West Elm Soleil Metal White 42 in. table and 4 chairs       $1295
  3. Capri Blue Scalloped 9 ft. Umbrella Canopy        $69.99
  4. Eamonn Aqua Blue/ White Indoor/Outdoor Area Rug        $74.10
  5. Bormioli Rocco Rock Bar Set of 6 Highball Glasses – Pink             $29
  6. Shore Tall Polyterrazzo Planter         $99
  7. Grand Nain ‘Naine’ Banana Tree        $24.95
  8. Kate Spade New York All In Good Taste 20-Piece Flatware Set        $59.99
  9. Fiesta Bistro Large Serving Bowl              $38
  10. Pink Melamine Pitcher, 1L         UK 12.75
  11. Flamingo Bird Napkin by Mannzie     $29.36

Maybe if these plates stay on my mind I’ll go back and pick a few up.  Is there anything out there that you totally don’t need but can’t resist because it’s just so darn cute?  Let us know, we’d love to hear about it!

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Creating Curb Appeal: Easy, Moderate and More Difficult Projects

Sure, it’s nice to flip through the pages of Southern Living or troll Houzz to longingly gaze upon houses with sweeping verandahs, wrap-around porches, or terraced front yards lush with mature shrubs and blooming flowers.  However, the more realistic view of our home’s curb appeal likely consists of a small patch of lawn that may be more weeds than grass, a miniscule porch or portico, and an ugly cement walkway.  If you have a smaller home and a smaller front yard, how do you get that elusive “curb appeal”?  The simple answer is to distract the eye with appealing things to look at, which is, truthfully, easier said than done.  Here are a few tips to up your small home curb appeal from the simple to moderate to the more difficult.

Easy:

Add 2 planters that match on either side of your door or walkway.  Go for a tall planter with a simple boxwood or evergreen for a classic look. This simple front door from Cococozy  looks loads more put together with the boxwoods flanking the black front door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The biggest mistake people make with large pots and tall planters? Well you spent probably over a hundred bucks for large planters and then you figured that you’d want to show off some colorful flowers in them…. only the flowers are usually miniscule compared to the scale of the pot.  So, if you’re using a large pot or tall planter, go with a large plant that matches the scale of the planter.

Easy:

Change up your house numbers.  Most of us probably have numbers that look similar.  Why? Because whomever built the house put the cheapest numbers possible on.  They probably look something like this, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new font can make a big difference.  There are a ton of options out there, modern, art deco, a variety of metals or tile.  Such a simple switch, for just a few dollars and a screwdriver…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderate:

Brighten up the front door with some paint.  Sure, it may be a bit of a hassle, especially if you have to go through the process of getting approval from a homeowner’s association, but a new coat of paint on the front door especially in a bright or unexpected hue can make a world of difference.  Be sure though to limit the colors on the front of your house to no more than three or it can go awry quickly.  So, if you have red brick (a neutral, doesn’t count as a color), white trim, black shutters, you can introduce a new color on the front door.  But if you have a blue house, white trim, cedar accents, adding another bold color might be a bit too much.  These doors here are so bright and inviting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderate:

Add new porch lighting.  Typical homes probably have front porch lights that look like this.  The ones that builders put on community homes are almost always too small (and usually lacking style).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead, opt for a light or a pair of lights with a bit more visual impact, in either size, finish or both.  These are all better scaled and have much better visual impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Difficult:

Swap out that boring cement walkway for pavers.  For most, unless you are an uber-DIYer, this will require you to hire someone, especially to remove the old cement walkway and to haul it away because your garbage man won’t appreciate gigantic chunks of concrete in your trashcan.  However, the impact will be amazing and immediate.

This is not appealing, I would not want this walkway to welcome me home every day:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, these walkways would be downright enjoyable to stroll along:

 

Difficult:

If the front of your house is naked and adding a complete porch is out of the question, consider adding a small pergola.  Sure, you’ll still need to probably consult a professional to do it but it’s not nearly as much of an investment as a porch but will provide instant curb appeal and visual impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Knock Knock Knockin’ on My Front Door

A home’s entryway can make or break its curb appeal.  I was in a home recently that had such unique hardware that it made the whole house very likeable… a fox doorknocker, lions head knobs and other little touches made it totally charming.  Seeing this unique hardware got me intrigued about what was available out there – turns out, you can get just about anything as a doorknocker.  I think that whale tail will be finding its way to my beach home in the Outer Banks and maybe the koi will take up residence here in Virginia.  Here’s some great ones I found:

door-knockers

 

Michael Healy MH1101 Bumblebee Door Knocker, Brass $125

Twisted Ring Iron Door Knocker – Rust  $34

Mayer Mill Brass NCBK-C New Crab Door Knocker, Chrome $93

Signature Hardware Squirrel Door Knocker $60

Foo Dog Door Knocker  $38

Sly Fox Knocker $24

Michael Healy MH105 Whale Tail Door Knocker $115

Gary Kerby Indian Chief Door Knocker  $350

Koi Fish Doorknocker  $22

Claddagh Brass Door Knocker  $33

And an idea for styling a perfectly inviting front porch:

entryway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Koi Fish Doorknocker  $22

Dunn-Edwards Evershield Citron DE5473

Jeld Wen Craftsman 6-Lite Primed Steel Prehung Front Door with Brickmould  $237

2.5 Qt Japanese Boxwood (will take some work to shape it) $19

Hampton Bay 180-Degree Oil-Rubbed Bronze Motion-Sensing Outdoor Wall Lantern  $50

Home Decorators Collection  Ella 11 in. Square Black Resin Planter  $59

Monogrammed Coco Border Door Mat  $29 -$129