Spring is here and summer is coming! Is your outdoor space ready for you, the kids, summer BBQs, outdoor movie nights…? Is your outdoor space everything it could be? Do you have a space for reading, lounging, playing a game, eating, relaxing, a sunny spot, a shady spot…? If not, include as many of the below as you can to make your backyard special. Want help or know someone who does? Call me and together we will get your yard or deck ready for a summer of outdoor fun.
#1: Good quality furniture – it is worth the money! Anyone who has bought inexpensive outdoor furniture knows, it rusts, it cracks, it splinters, it wears out fast. The elements are harsh on outdoor furniture and buying high quality is worth it. Be smart, invest in furniture that will last. I have clients who have had their brand name outdoor furniture for over 20 years, and they only recently had them re-strapped and powder coated – something you can’t do with the bargain furnishings.
#2: A water feature. Nothing beats the sound of a beautiful fountain or pool water feature. I think it taps into something primal in us, like sitting near a babbling brook – only with a nice beverage and a comfortable seat.
#3: Lighting. The outdoors isn’t only for daytime use. With proper lighting your back yard can be used day or night. Plus, isn’t there something romantic about a night garden with soft lighting? The kids love it, the adults love it, and even the pets love spending an evening around a fire pit making s’mores and connecting. In my back yard we project movies on a movie screen we hang from our pergola and snuggle on the couch for an outdoor movie – everyone loves it.
#4: Gorgeous fabrics. Whether modern and bold, or traditional and delicate, fabrics can bring your outdoor to life. The outdoor fabrics today can look as good as their indoor counterparts plus face the elements. Look for solution-dyed acrylic, it wears like iron, and is washable. Chella has a great outdoor line available through your design professional.
#5: Shading. Whether a pergola, umbrella or spanned fabric, shade protects us from the sun’s powerful rays. Shading also helps to create a defined space creating a cozy feeling without being enclosed. Shading can be traditional or modern like this modern spin on a pergola:
#6: Plants. Nothing makes a garden better than the right plants. Select plants based on your zone and watch them flourish while softening the harsh lines of your hard-scape.
#7: Fire pit. It’s like making a campfire without having to sleep on the ground afterwards. Fire pits are great for warmth, making s’mores, and generally creating a place to gather in the dark.
While you don’t need all of these elements to have a welcoming back yard if you can incorporate 4-5 you will be well on your way. It can be a little tricky to not overdo or under-do it but, with a plan that considers scale, proportion and visual balance in place, you can create a yard that transitions from day to night or from a boisterous game of kick-the-can to an adult soiree.
Last weekend I, with the help of others, hosted a back yard baby shower in Los Angeles for my little sister. The afternoon was designed to be elegant but casual. In honor of the father, a Brit inspired concept: a tea party, was spun on its pretentious head with the boho chic decor.
How we mixed it up:
One. The decor. We didn’t want to go for the typical English tea where the tea cups are dainty, donning pink roses, nor did we want pristine white table cloths embossed with vines or 4 tiered food stands. Instead, we selected a variety of large saucer-less cups with modernized flowers and colors, burlap tablecloths, wild flower bouquets, and stem-less glasses for a more casual look. Mix and match patterns that worked seamlessly gave the table a collected look. Chevron, stripe, dots and flowers all worked together to create the eclectic boho look.
Two. Farm to table foods, which, as we all know, are all the rage in all metropolitan areas. The makings of our finger food buffet: from whole wheat bread, fresh caught (rather than farm raised) salmon, pasture raised farm eggs, to fresh squeezed organic tangerine juice (from the tangerines in my back yard) were all home made, farm fresh and yummy.
Three. A theme that didn’t bang you over the head. Most of the time you can tell a theme from a mile away, I prefer a more subtle approach. The inspiration was our invitation, which had an elephant on it and referenced “a little peanut is on the way”. Our diaper cake, which I made with receiving blankets, baby towels, and burp cloths, had an elephant topper made of baby wash cloths, is both completely reusable and subtly themed. We had a few martini glasses scattered on the table filled with peanuts and again topped with elephants made of baby wash cloths. The path to the back yard was scattered with peanuts leading the way for guests to enter.
As a memento for guests and a nod back to the tea party, our favors were honey jars, labeled “sweet baby boy”. Our 18 guests seemed to enjoy themselves but more importantly the mother and father-to-be were thrilled to share the day with friends and family.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this tea party!
3 ways to bring spring color trends into your home
This year the spring colors are mixing brilliant brights with novel neutrals. Combining them however, is a balancing act. Below are 3 great ways to bring these colors into your interior.
#1 Monaco Blue and Alloy, two of Pantone’s spring color trends along with crisp white make this bedroom a very dramatic and luxurious place to rest your head. The mercury glass lamps and mirrored nightstands add that va va va voom glamor.
#2 The warm brown wooden bookcase works as a backdrop for the white rug, dining table and Bertoia chairs pictured below. In addition, the seat cushions and accents in the bookshelf of Pantone’s african violet, add just the warmth this modern dining room needed to not feel too sterile.
#3 Sunflower is the stunner in the picture below. Here the chair pairs well in contrast to the deep and rich colors found in these natural wood backgrounds to create a charming rustic look.
What is the spring color you are most attracted too this season? If you don’t want to change your decor, just add gorgeous bouquets of flowers in your favorite spring 2013 color to your space. Stay up with the trends and enjoy the scent of your selection.
Ever wonder who determines color trends? For over 20 years, Pantone, the global authority on color, has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week and beyond to bring you the season’s most important color trends. This report previews the most prominent hues for spring 2013.
Often overlooked, orange, a happy cheerful color can be considered bright and bold and too brilliant to use in our homes. However peach, vermillion and apricot are a tint of orange that are quite common. A warm and inviting color, it is both physically and mentally stimulating, so it gets people thinking and talking. The color psychology of orange is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit. Orange brings spontaneity and it helps to keep us motivated and looking on the bright side of life. Being around orange raises our enthusiasm, helping to rejuvenate us by restoring balance to our physical energy. While not as excitable as red it is a stimulating color, that helps us to find the strength to face consequences, take action and make changes.
Orange conjures up images of autumn leaves, pumpkins, and Halloween. It represents the change between the heat of summer and the cool of winter. Because orange is also a citrus color, it can evoke thoughts of vitality and good health. Peachy oranges are less flamboyant than their redder cousins but still energetic and friendly, yet soothing.
Using bold color in small amounts is a good way to introduce stronger hues into your home. Use orange as a feature wall to create a focal point, add a blue or purple accent on the table and you have a striking color combination. Throw around some bright orange cushions to enliven up a dull color scheme, or add some orange flowers to a vase to brighten a room.
What shade of orange suits you best?
A bold orange is a great color choice for teenager’s bedrooms as it is happy and active and has anti depressive properties. For a fresh, fun look, team orange with yellow.
The neutral can be a main color in the color scheme while orange makes a bold accent color. Orange goes well with black, white, gray, cream, brown beige and other neutrals.
Paler oranges such as salmon, peach, and apricot work well in bedrooms
Entertainment areas are ideal for orange as it is a happy, fun, social color, but should be avoided in kitchens if you are trying to lose weight as orange stimulates appetite
If working from home you may need a bit of an energy boost to keep you motivation. A splash of citrus orange may be just the injection of color you need to keep going.
If you are after a retro look, try shades of brown with a burnt orange
For a crisp beachy look think about touches of turquoise with tangerine orange. As blue is the complementary color to orange, the blue will make the orange look more orange and vice versa.
Should you really hire a designer when building a home?
The better question is, can you afford not to hire a designer? Designers work daily with vendors, contractors, architects and anyone else that works on a home. Project by project this extensive knowledge is developed and grows, and allows designers to add value to the design/build process by looking at it from the end perspective. Remember, designers are the closest to the actual home owner, in that designers work with the finished shell in the furnishing stage of home building. Because of this, designers know the possible pitfalls and wrong turns that could come your way as the home is being built.
A few examples of some pitfalls, I’ve personally experienced in San Diego:
no place for window treatments to minimize glare from western exposure
door swings heading in the wrong direction
small closets in a large home
doors without screens and no windows in the room
lack of privacy in baths from neighbors or passerby
Designers will help and guide you through the process by:
managing the decision making process to minimize stress,
conveying decisions to the builder,
overseeing the building process,
looking out for your best interests and guiding you through this stressful time to ensure you get your dream home.
Consider this, creating lists and organize your project will likely take you 10 times longer than an experienced designer. Finding fixtures, fittings, appliances, furnishings, etc will take you 3-4 times as long as a designer who does this regularly. One of the problems is this, you only know of a few places to look for the things you need to specify, different showrooms show different things. You probably only know 3-5 brands. You only have access to retail sourcing and, and, and. If you do this yourself, you will be giving up your weekends and week nights, searching 1/4 of what is out there, likely get frustrated and loose sleep in the process. A designer can help mitigate these stresses. So, you need to ask yourself, what is peace of mind worth to you?
If you are on a tight budget you can still work with a designer but may have to work with them in a less convention way, to get the best results for your project. Consider paying a designer to review plans, walk framing, create space plans, suggest brands, schedule meetings to ask for advice, and make choices for your project from the selections you have found. Please note that fees, for consultation only, are typically more expensive than hiring a designer to design your whole house, expect 1.25 – 2.5x the hourly fee, but trust me, this is well worth getting an expert opinion, especially on something that isn’t easily undone.
Please feel free to contact me Rebecca, of REDinterior.com to talk about your project.
So what is a non-color? A color that compliments any other color is considered a non-color or neutral. Gray is a neutral and can be combined with almost any color and will help to neutralize colors that in their full intensity might be too much. Think of a bright yellow, potentially too much on its own but when paired with gray works. Gray can be both contemporary and traditional whereby suiting everyone’s taste. Gray can create understated elegant spaces that are easy to change by changing accessories.
ash, battleship, cadet,charcoal,
dove, gunmetal, mousy,oyster,
payne’s gray,pearl,silver,slate, taupe
Gray is a reassuring, comforting, subtle color that subconsciously helps ward off mental strain, creates the feeling of stability and reduce fear. Selecting the wrong gray can lead to dull, drab, and dingy looking interiors.
A gray hue may function the same way as a beige tone, providing a calming effect to a brightly lit room or alternatively, bringing warmth to a dim room. Grey has undertones of blue, pink(red), purple so when mixing with other colors it is important to know the undertone of the gray that has been selected so that you aren’t mixing colors unintentionally. As an example in this top picture here the undertone is blue and it has been played up using a more vibrant blue to create a contemporary look. Where as, the image at the bottom of the page has a green undertone and has been combined with creams to create a sophisticated traditional interior.
What color comes to your mind when you hear gray?
use lighter grays in place of white
use darker gray in place of black
taupe, a grayish brown neutral is a conservative, slightly earthy, warm shade of gray
light grays with pastel shades are feminine
light grays with dark colors are more masculine
use gray and pale neutral hues to create elegant designs
metallic grays can make a space look luxurious and opulent
Nature shows us that green is the ultimate neutral color. Any possible color you can imagine is shown in combination with green in the plant world. Think of your local florist and how spectacular their windows look teaming with the multitudes of colors, red, yellow, blue, etc. all supported by one shade of green or the other.
It symbolizes growth, harmony, freshness, and fertility; it suggests stability and endurance. The cool, tranquil effect of green makes time pass more quickly and it can help you sleep. On a subconscious level green is a restful color for the human eye, it can help to improve vision and creates a feeling of safety. However, sometimes green is associated with a lack of experience, envy and jealousy.
What color green are you attracted to?
Soft greens are restful and calming ideal for kids rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms for its relaxing and calming effects, however it is not good for skin color rendition so be sure that when used in bathrooms that it doesn’t reflect in the mirrors
Green works well with strong and vivid colors
Green appears rich when seen in velvets or silks
Watch for combining with red and avoid a Christmas themed room
We have covered red, blue and now yellow, all know as primary colors, meaning all colors can be created by mixing these 3 colors and adding white or black to make them lighter or darker. Whether contemporary or traditional, yellow can really brighten up a room making it friendly, warm and welcoming.
Yellow makes me think of sunshine. On the color spectrum it is one of the warm colors that, like all colors, has conflicting symbolism. On the one hand it denotes happiness and joy but on the other hand yellow is the color of cowardice and deceit.
The subconscious effects of yellow are numerous, it stimulates digestion and circulation, raises alertness, sharpens memory, inspires imagination/creativity and raises spirits. Like all good things, too much yellow has a negative effect and can increases hostility and irritability. Color researchers believe the color yellow strengthens overall well-being and increases self-esteem.
What shade comes to your mind when you think yellow?
cream, yellow mixed with a lot of white, is an extremely popular color as it is warm but not overpowering and can be mixed with almost any other color
use lemon yellow to create a crisp, lively, summery feel for an outdoor space
when red or orange are too strong or too dark, use bright yellow to create an exciting room
golden-yellow or ocher are great forms of yellow for a Mediterranean home creating warmth and depth
chartreuse is an excellent accent color for contemporary homes, giving a crisp, fresh and clean feel
shades of yellow can be used in place of gold when a metallic isn’t desirable
khaki is a form of yellow, we all know that khaki is a wonderful ground to any accent color you may be using
Very pale yellows can work as neutrals alongside darker or richer color. .
Colors are so much more than just their pigment combinations of red, yellow, blue, white and black. They are non-verbal communication, each having an effect on our psyche. Colors evoke emotion which can be both positive and negative depending on how much, where, and the intensity of the color used in your interior. On the color spectrum going from warm to cool, blue is considered to be a cool color.
Consider the colors of the sky to the various shades of water, blue a nature inspired color, is known for its calming effect. The subconscious effects of blue are numerous, it encourages deep breathing, slows heartbeat, drops blood pressure, and decreases appetite. Blue can also have a negative subconscious effect creating extreme feelings of calm associated with sadness or depression.
The cool, tranquil effect of blue makes time pass more quickly and it can help you sleep. While blue is a good color for bedrooms and baths, too much blue could have an adverse affect on mood and create dampen spirits. Blue can be striking and formal in combination with white. It can be playful and great for kids rooms when combined with pale yellow for infants, mint green for toddlers or orange for grade-schoolers.
What color comes to your mind when you hear blue?
Dark blues such as royal blue or indigo convey sophistication and maybe a touch of superiority
Navy blue (almost black) creates a feeling of security (think logos and the military)
Pastel blues convey a sense of playfulness (think baby’s rooms and spring time colors)
Grey blues convey a modern sophistication and work as a great neutral to add pops of color
Combining shades of blue create a conservative yet sophisticated look
Combining dark blue with metallic accents create an elegant rich look
Combine pure blue with its complimentary color orange and get a room that will waken the sense. Or use this color combination in more muted tones and have a sophisticated room with some contrast and color depth.
There is no escaping the effects of color since it is all around us. In this series on color, I will review the effect the color of choice has on mood and feeling of a room. I will start with red as it happens to be the name of my company – REDinterior.com. (for me the name is an acronym for Rebecca Elisabeth Design.)
Red is associated with high energy, strength, and romance. If you want to draw attention to something use red, it is the most powerful color you can use in a room. Red is a great accent color creating drama and excitement in a space promoting activity and alertness. Too much red however, can overwhelm a space, creating feelings of aggression and impulsiveness. Red can be both traditional and contemporary depending on its hue. A warm red leans toward orange while a cold red leans toward purple. So choose the hue (warm or cold) of your red and how much you use wisely in order to create the desired feeling for your space.
What shade of red do you like best?
burgundy, the color of a fine wine, is a great color to add sophisticated color for a powder room
carmine is a color that you will find in many Persian rugs and is a great grounding color
vermilion is a wonderful accent color with a youth flair
while green is the complimentary color to red it is often associated with Christmas so be cautious using this color combination
consider toning down red by providing contrast of cool blues and grays
red and white provide a dramatic combination that must be done right to look good
Rebecca Soechtig of REDinterior.com aka rebecca elisabeth design, is a certified interior designer. Rebecca has passed the rigorous NCIDQ exam and a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Rebecca believes that professional interior designers can do so much more than recommend furniture, fabrics and colors. In addition to in-depth knowledge of products, materials and finishes, we have the training and expertise to plan, schedule, execute and manage your project from start to finish. Red knows and works closely with many vendors, contractors and other service providers. REDinterior also provides specification and purchasing services to procure materials, furniture, accessories, and art, some of which you might not be able to find on your own. Whether it's one room or the whole house, let RED help you navigate your next design project. Design services offered are: space planning and utilization, including organizational and storage needs; long-term project and lifestyle planning, Safety and accessibility, including design for people with special needs; conservation and green design; custom furnishings and drapery design; selection of appliances, plumbing fixtures and flooring materials, and kitchen and bath design.