If there’s one style that never goes out of style, it’s the nautical, beach-inspired look, perhaps because of the nostalgia that it carries with it. After all, what better childhood memories are there than of Fourth of July barbecues and sand castle contests at the beach?
The trick to creating that cozy waterside atmosphere inside your home, though, is to avoid the kitsch and keep it looking natural. “Remember not to get carried away with beach shtick like rope and boat floats and fishing nets,” says Jeff West, owner of the store Jeff West Home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. “It starts to look like a tacky seafood restaurant.”
With school out of session and summer officially here, now is the time for summer outdoor living. In light of the season, Manja Swanson, Chief Creative Officer at Lamps Plus, the nation’s largest lighting specialty retailer, offers ten tips for getting outside in style. Starting with outdoor lighting and diving into the finer points of outdoor decor, Swanson’s list reflects a progression in customer behavior and an evolution the outdoor decor industry has seen over the years.
“With a spate of new technologies and weatherproof materials and finishes, outdoor furniture and decor has seen an evolution in recent years, from solar LED lighting to all weather rugs and cushions,” explains Swanson. “This has made it possible to transform the back yard into a second living room. And we’ve seen a lot of interest in these new outdoor designs from customers.”
Q: Dear Debbie,
I’m looking for some ideas to fix up a plain (boring) city concrete patio. The concrete is old and cracked but I am renting, so not able to resurface. I’m not much of a gardener, and the area is very shady so I can’t grow much in colourful blooms. Thanks for any suggestions.
A: Dear Rita,
You can infuse this space with colour in many ways that will elevate its character from plain to punchy. Paint some second-hand wood garden furniture in bright white or a hot pastel shade. Why not two chairs in funky colours and a tabletop with a bold daisy face? Painting furniture is easy to do, and you can make up any design you like from crazy bold stripes to circles that overlap. For a more traditional look, you could use a weathered paint effect on the wood and some cushions covered in a brilliant variety of weatherproof fabrics.
“The sun has finally been shining this week, sparking a dash for the patio and barbecue.
And if you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space, it deserves as much attention as your indoor rooms.
A survey by Lloyds TSB Insurance has found that over the last year Britons spent £14 billion turning their gardens into luxury havens. Our holiday budgets may still be tight, which is all the more reason to make the most of the summer at home.
The survey found that furniture, hot tubs and summerhouses are increasing in popularity while sales of plants declined.”