Vineyard Daybed by Vondom will Elevate Outdoor Living Space

outdoor living

Vondom rolled out its 2020 collections a few months back; the Vineyard Daybed designed by Ramón Esteve is the first product out of the collection. It is a simple, hut-shaped daybed that will elevate your outdoor living space to a new height. It will make a cool place to sit, converse, meditate, sleep, or simply relax.

The Vineyard Daybed features clean lines and a pyramidal shape inspired by traditional architecture. It comprises an aluminum structure and a double reclining mattress that ensures complete comfort.

Each unit has two sides open and two canopied sides with a unique pattern that blocks sunlight while also allowing adequate light inside. The placement of the daybed will also decide the amount of shading it provides. The Vineyard Daybed sits on small legs that ensure just appropriate height from the ground. It can accommodate two persons at a time.

Also Read: Charpai Daybed by Hanne Willmann is Modeled After Indian Charpoy

Customers can choose from two finishes – fabric and woven according to their requirements. With its smooth blend of materials inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle and modern architecture, the Vineyard Daybed will sit just perfectly alongside the swimming pool in your property.

Image: Vondom

This content was originally published here.

Homeowners ‘Remodeling’ Outdoor Living – ShadeFX

outdoor living

One of the great joys of owning your own home is having the space inside and out to live, relax and entertain. That’s why many house hunters yearn for spacious homes with equally spacious backyards. They picture themselves setting up an outdoor barbeque and inviting some friends over.

But why stop there? Recent trends show that for most homeowners, outdoor living means more than just firing up the grill. The ideal outdoor space now looks like an extension of your interior. In fact, a recent landscaping survey found that 88% of homeowners are taking on projects to upgrade their outdoor living areas by adding elements that make spending time outside more comfortable.

Earlier this year, Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design, surveyed a group of U.S. homeowners who are planning, in the middle of, or recently completed a landscaping project. One of the biggest reasons stated for starting a landscaping project was to improve their outdoor living space.

Homeowners are looking to spend more time living and entertaining in their backyards. As such, results show that they are outfitting the outdoors with decor pieces we’re used to seeing inside. For 43% of respondents, that means lounge furniture, while 34% bring in dining furniture. Other outdoor furnishings include string lights, benches, ceiling fans and rugs, all of which make the space look like a cohesive room.

What truly completes the outdoor room are the heating and overhead coverage. Heating sources such as firepits were popular with nearly half of the respondents saying that they installed or were thinking of installing one. Installing outdoor heating and a retractable roof or canopy are valuable. They can extend the season for outdoor entertaining especially in the colder months.

Once those updates are made, 67% of homeowners said they spend more time outside, with most spending their time relaxing. On the other hand, some intended to be more active by taking up gardening while others got straight down to entertaining. Results also show that after the renovations, homeowners are spending more family-time outdoors.

So, when it comes down to it, the outside of the house is just as important as the inside. Homeowners just want to have an outdoor place to unwind. They want a space that is as comfortable, accommodating, and as relaxing as the inside.

How do you spend your time outdoors? Comment below and let us know.

This content was originally published here.

Homeowner’s Outdoor Space Features Trex Outdoor LIving Products | Trex

outdoor living

Creating a home that blends the modern design aesthetic with the needs of a nature-loving family of five challenged Andy and Jacqueline Sears when they set out to build their custom home three years ago.

Color choices were a key element in the design. “We wanted modern, but not cold modern; not stark or sterile,” Sears said. Island Mist was perfect because “we needed something compatible with the (house’s) color theme that stood out and made a statement but also blended in.”

The main 16’x30’ deck outside the kitchen area and a smaller 8’x16’ deck off the living room were designed to keep the view of the river front and center. Nothing was left to chance. A small outdoor kitchen is intentionally tucked around the corner so it doesn’t draw the eye away from the backyard. Decking boards create solid walls to block street noise and anchor the deck to the house, giving the space a more intimate feel.

“So many decks feel like they are just a platform on the back of a house,” Sears said. “This deck wraps around the side to tie it into the house.”

Because a traditional rail would have felt too heavy and blocked views with its chunkier composite balusters, the couple chose Signature aluminum railing with its sleek rails and smaller, round aluminum balusters.

Trex® RainEscape® deck drainage system, with its troughs and gutters that divert water away from the deck, provides a 16’x20’ storage space under the large deck. A shower, added under the small deck, gives the family a place to clean off after a day spent kayaking on the James.

This content was originally published here.

MVRDV orients ‘villa stardust’ around an outdoor living room akin to a moroccan riad

outdoor living

MVRDV has transformed a former commercial building in rotterdam into a sunlit and spacious private home. inspired by the typology of a moroccan riad — a type of traditional interior garden or courtyard — the internal living spaces of ‘villa stardust’ are oriented around a vibrant central garden patio. the chosen materials and palette of colors give the dwelling a mediterranean sensibility and lend a rich visual texture to the villa’s tranquil interior.

MVRDV orients 'villa stardust' around an outdoor living room akin to a moroccan riad
all images by daria scagliola

MVRDV has designed villa stardust’s central garden as an outdoor living room enclosed by the building at its four perimeter faces. as a former commercial building with limited privacy due to neighboring structures, the insertion of the 230 square meter central patio became a key element in the site’s transformation. perforating the building’s deep footprint, the garden allows the building to breathe and ensures that all interior living areas receive ample natural light and ventilation. sufficient floor space remains internally to not only house a family of five and offer a clear interior-exterior connection, but also to accommodate the client’s small medical practice, all on a single level.

internally, moroccan embellishments become elements of emphasis within an otherwise quiet palette. the fit-out includes a kitchen with a powder-coated stainless steel block, as well as a tribune structure in the living space which simultaneously incorporates a media room and storage. this hierarchy establishes a consistent rhythm that creates harmony both within the home, and between the dwelling and its surrounding environment. 

project info: 

year: 2020
project name: villa stardust
location: rotterdam
size and program: 770m2 private residence

architect: MVRDV
founding partner in charge: nathalie de vries
partner/director: fokke moerel
design team: roy sieljes, elien deceuninck, daniella persson, natalia lipczuk
images: daria scagliola
copyright: MVRDV 2018 – (winy maas, jacob van rijs, nathalie de vries) partners

project management: DEGVAST huisadvies & ontwerp, ron de gast
contractor: AvT interieur en bouw, adriaan van trigt
planting advisor: stek, rotterdam

This content was originally published here.

Energy-Efficient Windows Help Close Holes in Your Envelope  – Zero Energy Project

The first time you look at an energy modeling report, one thing jumps out: Windows are big holes in the energy envelope. They are responsible for up to 48% of the heat loss from a typical home, but comprise only 7% of the envelope area.

That’s not really surprising. Wall insulation is required to be no less than R19 by most building codes. The typical new double-pane window has an insulating value between R2.5 and R3. The performance gap becomes ridiculously wide in zero energy homes, where great attention is paid to building insulation, and the wall can be anywhere from R25 to as high as R60. How can these holes in zero energy envelopes be closed cost effectively?

Reducing Window Area While Improving Lighting, Ventilation, and Views

Reducing the window area of a home is an excellent way to reduce heat loss and save money, but it isn’t a big hit with building designers who emphasize natural light, outdoor views, passive solar heat gain, and the architectural aesthetics of windows. And, there is a limit to how far one can take the window elimination approach. Windows also provide natural ventilation and emergency egress from bedrooms. So trimming window area becomes a balancing act between the energy efficiency gains from reducing window area and the many additional  benefits windows provide. Thoughtful design that prioritizes window placement and sizing can help get the benefits of both worlds.

Improved Double-Pane Windows

In recent years, double-pane windows have improved significantly — routinely achieving a heat loss rate of U-0.30, which is the building code in some cold climates. Low-E (emissivity) coatings, inert gas fill between the panes, and thermally-improved spacers all contribute to improved performance. Some manufacturers, such as Milgard have pushed the limit with double- pane windows that offer a heat loss rate as low as U-0.23 (R4), which is as good or better than some triple-glazed products. This Milgard window offers an excellent value in a standard production window and has been used successfully in affordable new zero energy homes as well as in zero energy and other energy-efficient retrofits.

Triple Glazing

Moving up to better quality triple-pane windows can reduce heat loss to around U-0.20, or an insulating value of about R5, although not all triple-pane windows achieve this rating. And some exceed it. Very high performance triple- pane windows are available as low as U-0.10 (R10). Most of these windows are made in Europe or Canada. For example, Intus Windows, a leading European manufacturer of high R windows, has triple pane windows with R values ranging from about 5 to 11 at a premium price.

Triple-pane windows have a higher R value because they use all the performance features mentioned above, such as low-E, plus three layers of glazing instead of the typical two layers. Adding a third pane of glass improves efficiency but makes them bulky, heavy, and expensive.

The time is ripe for a production window that provides all the benefits of triple-pane windows without the drawbacks of weight and bulk that come with the current crop of triple-pane windows.

The Manufacturing Challenge

High-performance windows have been improving for decades with additional layers of glazing, low-E coatings, low conductivity spacers, and inert gas fill in a sealed unit. The stumbling block has been the additional layer of glazing required to reach the next level. An extra layer of glass is thick and heavy. Typically, each piece of glass in a window is about 3 mm thick. Adding a third layer of glass requires a wider window frame and that means using more material and retooling manufacturing lines, which leads to more cost.

Suspended film has been used for decades to create lighter triple- and quad-pane insulated glass units (IGUs). However, it has been difficult to automate their assembly and it has remained essentially a manual process. So multi-pane IGUs based on suspended films are expensive with little prospect that they can scale up enough to bring the price down.

Go Thin

A breakthrough that may provide the benefits of triple-pane with the cost of double is the development of thinner glass. Taking advantage of growing demand for very thin glass (0.7 to 1.0 mm) used in flat-screen televisions, window manufacturers can now acquire thin glass to slip a third layer of glass into the same sash thickness as a double-pane IGUs without redesigning the frame or adding significant weight. The manufacturing process can also be automated to reach higher economies of scale. Krypton gas replaces argon in the spaces between the panes and thermally-improved spacers replace metal spacers. This package of features reduces the heat loss rate to as low as U 0.14 (R7).

“Drop In” High-R Replacement Windows

Easily and economically replacing existing windows with high R-value windows is one of the challenges to getting existing housing stock on the path to zero. One big advantage of thin windows is that a thin triple-pane IGU can simply be “dropped-in” to existing double-pane frame profiles as part of energy-efficiency upgrade projects. This opens the possibility to eventually replace double-pane IGUs in millions of windows to improve the performance of existing homes. The drop-in thin triple-pane IGU would improve the overall window performance to around U-0.20 (R5). For example, Alpen High Performance Products claims U-0.17 for their Winsert replacement unit. This thin window retrofit could reduce whole-house energy use by as much as 16% in existing homes in cold climates and move existing homes rapidly toward much better energy performance.

The Future Will Be Thin

The development and commercialization of thin-triple technology was spearheaded by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The Lab has been working to improve the energy performance of windows for several decades. Currently, Alpen High Performance Products and Andersen Windows are collaborating with LBNL to bring these super windows to market. The State of California and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance are developing plans to move the window market to the greater efficiency of the thin-triple products — and Alpen already offers them. In the near term, expect prices similar to existing triple-pane windows, but they will likely be less expensive as demand and manufacturing efficiency grow. While high-performance triple-pane windows have been available for many years, a new affordable, light, thin triple-pane window will boost zero energy homes — both new construction and retrofits. If the product lives up to its promise, mainstream builders would flock to a product offering significantly better energy performance, little additional cost, and no changes in design, detailing, or labor.

Getting Windows Right with Energy Modeling

The choice to use lower cost, lower R-value double- pane windows or higher R-value triple- pane windows, including the new thin ones, can be informed by energy modeling. The model can show the difference in total building energy use for different window choices. Using window cost estimates from local suppliers, you could then calculate a cost/Btu for each window package and compare that with other energy-efficiency measures such as high- performance heat pumps or solar electric panels. One place to screen for good windows is the Energy Efficient Windows website, which allows you to search by your location and building characteristics. You can sort the resulting list by U-value to see the most efficient windows and then click through to see more information on specific products.

Closing the Holes in the Envelope

While no window will completely close the holes in the envelopes of highly energy efficient homes, window R-value  has come a long way in the last few decades. Checking out the window alternatives described here and using energy modeling to find the most cost- effective option for further “closing the holes in the envelope” is an important step in building cost comparable zero energy homes and retrofits.

This content was originally published here.

Things We Love: Outdoor Living Rooms – Design Chic Design Chic

outdoor living

We’d love to have a nice sit and a long chat on any of these porches with all of you! 

Thanks so much for stopping by Design Chic! We love having you here!

Click on each image Below to Learn More About the Product:

Already read and loved Feels Like Falling? It would mean the world to me if you would take a moment to rate or review it on Amazon and/or Goodreads! Anyone can review, no matter where you bought the book!


This content was originally published here.

Outdoor Living Ideas – Our Southern Home

outdoor living

Is there anything better than the lazy days of summer? As an adult, I’ve always looked forward to summer, especially in my elementary school teaching days. 

When the kids came along and they were in school, it was the best time to have everyone home with carefree schedules. 

Today with Home Decor Encore & More we are sharing fabulous ideas for summer outdoors!

A couple of years ago, I created my first patriotic porch at our home. It was so EASY and cost very little money. I don’t typically decorate a lot for patriotic holidays because we are usually at our family beach house for Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. 

I discovered that I loved the look and have decorated more and more with a patriotic theme for our home at some point during the summer. 

Check out the other fabulous ideas from my blogging friends below.

Ideas for home and entertaining indoor and out!

This content was originally published here.

Watson’s Can Help You Create Your Dream Outdoor Living Space – Cincinnati Magazine

outdoor living

Backyards in 2020 are all about style, design, and function. With families spending extra time at home, it’s more important than ever that you create a space that you love to spend time in. We know it needs to work for you and your family’s lifestyle, too.

Photograph courtesy of Watson’s

To help you bring that space to life, Watson’s has launched a new service: virtual design consultations. Schedule a free appointment with a designer to plan your dream space, inside or out. During your consultation, our designer will understand how you’ll use your room or space.

If you’re looking for outdoor furniture, for example, our designer may ask you: How do you use your backyard? Do you like to host family BBQs or pool parties? Is it a spot for you and your husband to have a cozy night cap?

Then they’ll factor in your personal style—like color or design taste, whether it’s contemporary, modern, traditional, or beyond—and, of course, your budget. You’ll receive recommendations on how to layout your space and the furniture that will help bring your vision to life.

Request a free design consultation online here. You can choose from a video call, a visit in your home, or a private consultation in our store.

What’s trending in outdoor design?

Banquette seating

A new customer favorite, our selection of banquettes pairs sectionals with dining tables for a stylish look that’s also highly functional. Designers say banquettes make the space feel larger yet cozy, and you can easily accommodate seating for a variety of people without having to move chairs around.

Photograph courtesy of Watson’s

Fire pits

Watson’s carries one of the largest selections of fire pits in the nation, with more than 100 options to choose from. Neighbors in Greater Cincinnati love the brand-new functional fire pit, where the cover slides seamlessly over the top to convert into a table. You could also choose a standalone fire pit and surround it by comfy chairs, or add a dining table that has a fire pit in the center.

Photograph courtesy of Watson’s

Cantilever umbrellas

Cantilever or offset umbrellas are by far the most popular choice for sun protection for dining, seating, or even pool areas. Gone are the days where you need to attach an expensive awning to your house to escape the sun. Cantilever umbrellas offer 360-degree rotating frames or easy tilt functionality that will help you customize your shade, so you can sit outside in comfort.

Outdoor accessories

Add function and style to your outdoor space with Watson’s all-new collection of outdoor accessories, including customer favorites: outdoor rugs and lighting. From lights and lanterns to garden stools and coolers from Yeti, Watson’s offers the perfect finishing touches—all at the lowest price in the U.S. guaranteed.

Photograph courtesy of Watson’s

This content was originally published here.

A California Outdoor Living Room – Hej Doll | Simple modern living by Jessica Doll.

outdoor living

This post is sponsored by World Market.

Last month I shared a modern tropical moodboard to help guide and inspire me with my indoor-outdoor planning, and since I’ve made major progress. I’m happy to say that for the most part all of the work is done! Today I’ve partnered with World Market to help make my vision come to life and to share some of the major progress we’ve made in our side yard, as well as some tips I’ve learned along the way. Do you remember what the yard looked like before? Hint: see above photos.

Renting a home is so tricky sometimes, and while our landlord is very laid-back and loves to see us take charge with projects and be creative, we have very much crossed most people’s line of investing in a rental property v.s. owning your own home. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is one of the highest priced real estate markets in the United States right now, perhaps even the world. Buying a simple starter home here would mean a sale price of well over a million dollars, which sadly isn’t in our budget unless we’d like to give up the quality of life we enjoy. We’ve looked at other rentals but haven’t been happy with the value v.s. cost ratio. Simply put, we’re not ready to be house-poor before we’re actually house-poor so we’ve vowed to make improvements to be happy where we are.

The side yard has been a big work-in-progress for us since we moved in over 7 years ago, and while it has never been officially completed, it has been what we needed when we needed it. It has housed stock tank swimming pools, sandboxes, gardens, and judging by what we dug up in the dirt when we had to level it so many other projects long before we lived here. Now that we’re ready to settle down, we’ve put in hours and hours of work to finish the job and aside from a few finishing touches, it’s ready for us to sit back and enjoy.

The plan I had in mind has so far gone off with only a few issues, mainly that we had no experience in actually installing pavers like I wanted. Maybe I’ll share a behind-the-pavers post later, but I still don’t feel like we are knowledgeable enough to do a how-to by far. Since we are only renting, we try to stick to a lower budget with any improvements we make to the house or yards, while still maintaining the type of aesthetic and quality that we would want for a home that we actually own. We did our best to level the soil and double-lined under the pavers with a natural weed blocker fabric.

Although the sedum seeds have not yet sprouted to grow in between the pavers, we’re happy that the bulk of the work is done and are excited to share our progress.

My takeaways and tips:

Shop The Look:

What are some of your favorite ways to bring the indoors out?

This post was sponsored by World Market, a place I’ve loved and shopped at for years. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you so much for helping to support the sponsors that make life here a little sweeter.

This content was originally published here.

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Turn your tailgate into an outdoor living room with CARSULE, now $300 (Orig. $379) – 9to5Toys

outdoor living

Most tents are designed to provide shelter while you are sleeping. But what happens when the sun rises? The CARSULE Pop-Up Cabin extends your campsite, with a covered space for standing and sitting. You can get this innovative camping accessory now for $299.99 (Orig. $379) at 9to5Toys Specials.

As the name suggests, CARSULE is designed to work with your vehicle. You simply open your tailgate, open up the tent, and connect the two. Within seconds, you have a space that is both waterproof and UV resistant.

CARSULE is compatible with any car that has a tailgate that swings up. The tent is cube-shaped, measuring 6.5ft in all directions. This means you have plenty of space for chairs and tables, and the roof is high enough for most people to stand.

The pop-up design of this tent makes it easy to erect and put away. Diagonal lines on the ceiling provide strength in the wind, while the waterproof floor has a soft felt upper surface.

CARSULE also has see-through windows that you can roll down on hot days, and a built-in mosquito net to keep the bugs at bay. It’s easy to see how this accessory raised $17,700 on Kickstarter.

Usually priced at $379, the CARSULE Pop-Up Cabin is now only $299.99 with a carry bag included.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

This content was originally published here.

Redeemer Lutheran Church Outdoor Living Nativity 2018 –

outdoor living

Map Unavailable Date/Time Date(s) – 12/15/2018-12/16/20187:30 pm Location Redeemer Lutheran Church Outdoor Living Nativity 2018 Categories No Categories The Annual Outdoor Living Nativity Pageant, now in its 55th year, is a retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus, with music, narration, actors, and live animals. It will be presented nightly on the lawn …

This content was originally published here.

Local Lodging with Outdoor Living in Covington – Country Roads Magazine

outdoor living

Local Lodging with Outdoor Living in Covington

When you’re out and about in Covington, there’s plenty to keep you busy: critically-acclaimed dining, vibrant cultural festivals, and miles of outdoor recreation abound. But there’s a time and a place to slow down the pace a little as well, and the gracious porches and courtyards of the city’s many locally-owned accommodations invite you to sit back, take a load off, and enjoy the beautiful Louisiana fall. Skip the chain hotels and discover the rejuvenating experience of true Southern hospitality.

That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Camellia House Bed and Breakfast. Besides the top-notch service and amenities, some of the biggest draws of Camellia House are the built-in opportunities for guests to enjoy a little (or a lot of) time outside. The B&B features expansive porches for some classic Southern outdoor relaxation, with each suite sporting private access and its own outdoor seating areas. Beyond that, there’s also the pool area compete with hot tub, beautifully landscaped gardens, swings and hammocks, fire pits…you could spend your whole stay just luxuriating on the grounds!

“You could sit on the poolside and not even know the town exists,” says Camellia House owner Linda Chambless. “But if you wanted, you can walk off the porch and straight into downtown.” It’s as easy as stepping out of the gate and into your next Northshore adventure!

The Southern Hotel is another boutique Covington gem that draws on both its historic roots and contemporary local art vibes to create a space that is elegant yet welcoming—much like the city itself. That atmosphere extends to the hotel’s classic courtyard and lush gardens, perfect as a retreat from the work-a-day hustle or as a venue for a memorable event.

No matter what your trip entails, there are plenty more places to make your Northshore getaway a scenic retreat. Snuggle into a cozy suite at the Blue Willow B&B, or sprawl in Southern luxury at Annadele’s Plantation. Book your stay in Covington today, and look forward to cool autumn breezes and a warm Southern reception!

This content was originally published here.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Decks And Outdoor Living Spaces

outdoor living

With Summer soon approaching it is the perfect time to renovate your decks and get the most out of your outdoor living spaces. By updating your living space, you can ensure that everyone in your family is able to enjoy these summer days while we have them. After all, before we know it winter will soon return.

With the modern world being focused on phones, tablets and gaming consoles, the outdoor time we spend with our friends and family has become more important than ever before and with modern innovations, you can make your decking as comfortable as your living room. Here are some of the most recent trends available on ways you can enhance the aesthetics of your property whilst making your outdoor time more enjoyable.

Invest In Your Furniture

Unlike the furniture that is found around your home, your garden furniture will undergo significant wear and tear throughout the year. From rain and wind to snow and sun, it is very easy for cheap furniture to become damaged and require replacing every year. Rather than buying cheap replacements, we suggest finding high-quality furniture you can invest in. There are many ways in which you can find such furniture. When looking at the materials, make sure they are heavy and durable as this will help them to withstand the pressures of various weather conditions. On top of this, we also recommend purchasing fitting furniture covers that can be used when it is not in use. This is perfect for the rainy seasons as you can simply cover your rather than finding storage.

Enhance The Size Of Your Patio

While grass may look great in the garden, it is not always the most practical. If you are adding stone pavers, wooden decking or poured concrete, we suggest that you make this area as large as possible. This will significantly enhance your outdoor space to function as an outdoor dining area, kitchen, or any purpose you may have. For the best results, we always suggest that you look for a professional to complete the job. One company with experience within this niche can be found at By having a professional complete the job, you can ensure it is completed to the highest standard and will provide maximum efficiency.

Create Shady Spots

Have you ever been outside on a warm sunny day and realized that the sun is just a little too hot? By creating shady spots throughout your outdoor living space, you can create something for everyone. Even those who love the sun will appreciate a little shade and relief. The easiest way to create this is by using an umbrella, which can be an attachment with many outdoor tables. Additionally, you can also plant trees in the garden, providing areas that will fluctuate with sunlight throughout the day. If you don’t know which option you would prefer, why not have both? This way your family and guests will have a choice as to which shady area to use if they have had enough of the sun.

Install Outdoor Lighting

By installing outdoor lighting, you can enjoy your garden after the sun has set. Outdoor lighting can be anything from simple porch lights to mood lighting across your decks. For dining areas, you can make use of candlelight and lamps which help to create an atmosphere and add character to your garden. In order to preserve energy, there are many solar-powered or low-voltage options available on the market that can highlight your paths throughout the night. For the best results, combine a range of lighting options to create the perfect balance.

The post How To Get The Most Out Of Your Decks And Outdoor Living Spaces appeared first on urdesignmag.

This content was originally published here.

Outdoor Living and Furnishings You’ll Love Inside or Out!

outdoor living

Hi Guys,

*Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I have some very good news that I just realized. The summer of 2020 is the “longest” possible summer. That’s because the beginning of summer on June 21 and ending on September 21 is false.

No, summer begins with Memorial Day weekend and ends on Labor Day, the first Monday in September. And, this year, Memorial Day is the earliest day in May it can be, and Labor Day is the latest day it can be. Hence, the summer of 2020 is over 15 weeks long! But, I’m fine if you want to begin summer now and end it on the 21st of September.

Folks in the south, please stop your eye-rolling and snickering.

It’s so unbecoming. Us Yankees know full-well, that summer for you, begins on December 22nd and ends on December 21. haha

But, whether your summer is 366 days this year, or 108+/- days, there’s one thing I can pretty safely predict. And, that’s that we’re going to be spending more time outside than ever before.

Of course, we all know why.

By the way, if you have not seen this documentary, (below), I highly recommend it.

I have the attention span of a fly. However, I was riveted the entire time. That’s just how good this documentary about the flu of 1918 is.


And, the antidote. Well, at least for me.

That is watching darling 19-yr-old Maria Khoreva (ballerina with the Mariinsky Theatre) discuss what’s inside her dance bag. In addition, to being one of the top ballerinas in the world, her English is perfect.


Okay, just a little extra for you, if you’re interested. If not, I have plenty of eye-candy coming your way.

However, yes, because of the virus, I am thinking that we’ll be spending more time outside.

One) because we’re going bonkers being cooped up.

two) it’s somewhat safer being outside (provided you’re still heading proper six feet social distancing and/or wearing your mask, if not able to do so.)

Of course, with this thing, anything can change from moment to moment. The fact remains that millions have caught the virus, even AFTER stringent measures were put into place. We don’t need to belabor the reasons for that. But, some of it, I’m surmising, are folks not heeding the requirements.

Of course, there’s no better opportunity than Memorial Day Weekend; which, just happens to be one of the most prolific weekends for fabulous sales in all industries.

For example. Serena & Lily.

Anyone who’s read my blog for a while knows just how much I love this company. And, have for the last 15 years! But, raise your hand if you know anyone who actually lives like this gorgeous outdoor living room suggests. If you do, then I’m demanding an invitation. Well, at least, when it’s safe to do so. ;]

However, the furnishings above blow my mind.

The truth is, most of our outdoor spaces are after-thoughts, at best. I know that because I’ve been in a lot of homes.

This is more like it. Right? Just so you know, what you’re seeing is my little yard where I’m staying in Northampton, MA. I haven’t touched anything out here. And, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s your standard Home Depot outdoor furniture. But, of course, you don’t need me to see the likes of the same old.

My son, Cale, and I have gone for a lovely walk, three days in a row, and I’ve been snapping pics along the way.

Northampton is such a lovely town. It’s full of charming homes, bike trails, and the Hungry Ghost.

Oh my. You haven’t had bread until you’ve had THIS bread. I’m just not kidding. Lucky me. I’m only four blocks away. I understand that the folks across the street now only get their bread delivered.

That’s because they can no longer fit through their door. haha

This is another shot I took on our walk. Granted, these apartment dwellers don’t have much space.

And yes, the lilacs are in full bloom, here in Northampton.

Northampton, MA lilacs - May 2020 - bee flying - photo - LBernYesterday, I got this shot, complete with buzzing bee! These lilacs stopped me in my tracks because of their deep shade of purple. I heard the bee buzzing around. And, for once, an insect cooperated.

outdoor living Northampton, MA - outdoor wicker chairsHere is one more outdoor living shot in Northampton on a street with lots of HUGE old trees like this one. And, a pair of indoor/outdoor wicker chairs.

World Market sells these for about $100 for a pair. Of course, they’re out of stock right now. You can find them in the new outdoor furnishings widget. Hopefully, they’ll be getting more in soon.

The outdoor furnishings widget is part of the HOT SALES pages. Please check out the Hot Sales, because this is a fabulous weekend to get stuff super cheap.

Okay, enough cheesy jokes on the best bread ever and super cheap chairs you can’t have right now. It’s time to go back to our fantasy, outdoor living and furnishings world.

Serena & Lily Riviera chairsThis is how Serena & Lily does seating with a big tree. We know this is fantasy because nobody is going to be having any gatherings like this. That is unless they’ve all been quarantined together. That could work.

Otherwise, they’ll need to remove at least half of those chairs.  As you probably know, I adore the Riviera Collection of chairs and stools. You can see the Riviera armchair and stools in this kitchen I had a hand in.

olivia-indoor-outdoor-star-pendant-Pottery Barn porch - outdoor livingI’m including this image from Pottery Barn because I think that most of us would find this porch quite approachable. And, also, I’ve always loved PB’s Star pendant indoor/outdoor light.  Plus, it’s on sale for only $139! That can’t be beaten. I’ve seen Moravian star pendants that are 20 times that amount. No exaggeration!

The only thing is it’s only 13″ wide. That’s on the small side. So, it would be terrific for a smaller front door area. Or, you could do two or three down a longer overhanging porch.

I know that many of you would like me to do a post about outdoor lighting. Keep thinking positive thoughts. :]

Gray Malin - benches - planters front porchAbove you can see the benches from Serena & Lily better. Those benches were discontinued fairly recently.

Here’s a side view. As you can see, this porch is quite shallow

Above is a closed-in Porch or patio with another bench, from Serena & Lily, that could work. Of course, it all is. Love that. And the dining table too. Also, their collection of indoor/outdoor rugs is sublime.

There’s a wonderful and inexpensive Chinese Chippendale style bench here. That could also work beautifully on a porch.

Serena & Lily Sundial Outdoor Side Chair in Performance Navy Surf Stripe. You can find the equally beautiful Sun Dial armchair, here. I would definitely use these chairs inside, too. Why not?

I included this chair because I think it’s awfully good looking. And, it’s a stacking chair. So, one idea is when it’s not summer (for some of us), and you need extra seating, you can go and grab your outdoor chairs. Of course, these would work in a more casual dining situation. I wouldn’t put them with Mahogany Chippendale style chairs. haha

I know that a lot of you hate the thought of nice furniture, even with sunbrella-type fabric outside. And, I don’t disagree with you. It depends where you are. If you’re in a more arid part of the country where it doesn’t rain in the summer, then it’s probably fine. That is unless it gets super dusty.

However, a covered porch or patio, or a screened-in porch offers more protection from the elements. Serena & Lily also has a wonderful collection of outdoor pillow covers.

As I’ve mentioned before, on this post about sophisticated twin bedroom decorating ideas, Serena and Lily is a terrific source for decorating inspiration. And, not just the furnishings, but the architecture of the homes they choose is absolutely wonderful, IMO.

Hint: Sometimes you’ll find the best images if you look up the accessories, like pillows and throws, or lighting.

Another wonderful outdoor living room by Serena & Lily.

How fabulous is this tropical outdoor living area with the most delicious pool, ever!

I think my blood pressure just dropped 10 points. haha

So, I guess I’m wrong. People DO live like this. Actually, what am I saying? It was almost a year ago when I went on that sublime garden tour in Greenwich, CT.

However, I’ve saved my favorite find of the day, for last.

I found an Instagram feed by a woman in Denmark who is definitely living the fantasy. But, not only that, she’s stepped it up a few notches with the most exquisite gardens and styling.

Frankly, I wanted to help myself to every shot on her stunning Instagram account. I think I need to update this post about some of my favorite Instagram pages.

Laurel? Who is she already?

Oh, sorry. Yes.

Of course, I’m going to tell you, but for now, only that her name is Gina. I want you to see the photos I’ve selected, first. (and no fair peeking ahead) ;]

I’ll take you in gently before I hit you between the eyes with the most incredible outdoor living spaces and gardens. The house ain’t too shabby either.

I love this charming outdoor living area!

@gncgarden on instagram - gorgeous - garden - outdoor living - diningYou’ll notice that Gina loves to move things around.

Okay, get ready

@gncgarden on instagram - gorgeous - garden - outdoor living - hydrangeas for dayssick

This is so beautiful, it hurts.

I love those baskets. I think it’s so interesting that much of her garden is in containers. That might give some of you who can’t have a flower bed some inspiration.

@gncgarden on instagram - gorgeous - garden - outdoor living - adirondack chairs - wisteriaI’m presuming that Gina is a landscape architect? And yet, her profile has no link or information.

@gncgarden on instagram - gorgeous - garden - outdoor living - table - chair hydrangeasReally?

And, here is the garden in the fall. I imagine that it’s gorgeous year-round.

Okay, now I’ll tell you. Gina’s insta handle is @gncgarden. And, she has 164,000 followers, so I bet that some of you are already following her. Every photo is fabulous, so please go check out her fantastic feed.

Antique white Adirondack Collection World Market - super cheapI found a similar Adirondak chair and stool like Gina has at World Market. These pieces are also sold separately and come in four other finishes.

I hope you enjoyed these homes, outdoor furnishings, and gardens. And, I hope your Memorial Day is full of love and peace.

* This is from the first sentence in the post.

Every year, I say “Happy Memorial Day Weekend,” And, unfortunately, at least one person feels it necessary to remind me that it is not a HAPPY day.

First of all, I never said it was. I said, Happy Memorial Day WEEKEND.

Second, what should I say instead?

Hey Guys,

Hope you’re having a miserable Memorial Day Weekend!

Is that better?

Third, my best is to wake up from not having slept the night before to find someone shaming me for expressing a loving sentiment.

However, I feel that the best way to honor those that gave their lives for our freedom is to BE happy.

Isn’t that why they were fighting in the first place? I mean, when my time comes, I hope y’all have a big party.

And, please make a BIG chocolate cake with extra frosting.

Of course, I realize that some of you may have lost loved ones. I’m sorry for your loss and understand that it might be difficult to feel happy at this time.


The post Outdoor Living and Furnishings You’ll Love Inside or Out! appeared first on Laurel Home.

This content was originally published here.

Sponsored: A $500,000 remodel creates beautiful indoor-outdoor living in Almaden Valley – The Mercury News

outdoor living

Turn the key, open the door and start living in style at this recently remodeled Almaden Valley home.

This more than 2,000-square-foot, single-story home at 1093 Cloverbrook Drive comes with four bedrooms, including two master suites, and three-and-a-half bathrooms. 

A $500,000 remodel turned an ordinary home into a spectacular single-story dream home at 1093 Cloverbrook Drive. The remodel also included beautifully designed and professionally landscaped front and back yards, which are now filled with low maintenance drought-resistant plants, slate tile walkways and patios, and inviting entertaining spaces. Stylish lighting and an inviting front walkway to the porch create instant curb appeal.

Gorgeous solid wide-plank walnut flooring flows throughout the more than 2,000-square-foot home. There are four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, including two master suites.

The formal living and dining rooms are full of light. 

A solid mahogany front door with beveled glass panels opens onto the spacious formal living and dining rooms that are drenched in natural light. The living room has a large front-facing picture window and slider to a private outdoor deck. The formal dining room has a tray ceiling with up lighting and also front-facing window. A wall of custom cabinetry provides lots of additional storage space.

The home’s open living plan brings together the casual dining area, chef’s kitchen and family room. 

The masterfully designed chef’s kitchen showcases beautiful finishes including Caesarstone counters and large island/ breakfast bar, a stacked stone backsplash, stainless farmhouse sink, and custom cabinetry with upper frosted display glass cabinets. Top appliances include a Bertazzoni five-burner cooktop with Gaggenau stainless hood, dual Bosch ovens, Bosch dishwasher with custom panel and refrigerator with custom paneled facade. There are skylights in the kitchen for additional natural light. The kitchen is open to the family room that has a fireplace with the same stacked stone surround, built-in cabinetry and oversize sliding glass door to the backyard space.

Two of the four bedrooms feature en suite full bathrooms, also beautifully redesigned. One bathroom has a single vessel sink vanity, shower with mosaic marble tile floor and decorative tile surround. The other master bedroom has a bay window with backyard views and a bathroom with dual floating vanities, undermounted sinks, stylish wall-mounted faucets, and wall of custom cabinetry and wardrobe. A walk-in closet with custom shoe racks and organizers is behind a pocket door. The walk-in shower has dual showerheads.

Two additional bedrooms are spacious with large closets. A full hall bathroom features a large soaking tub/shower combination with ceramic tile surround and single-sink vanity.

Entertain and relax in the professionally landscaped backyard that features slate pavers with grass, an outdoor kitchen, garden beds and a bocce ball court. 

Entertain and relax in the redesigned and landscaped backyard that features slate pavers offset with grass, a built-in outdoor kitchen with cement counter, 60-inch double Jenn-Air grill, Dacor stainless sink and counter seating. A raised covered dining pavilion has a view of the bocce ball court and an intimate seating area that wraps around a gas fire pit. There are also raised garden beds.

Additional features include a large laundry room with cabinetry, utility sink, room for stacked washer and dryer and counter space, top-down window shades, Trane HVAC, copper pipes, a two-car garage with floating storage cabinetry, heating and air conditioning, and laminate wood flooring and floor-to-ceiling mirrors ideal for home gym or dance studio or two cars. Extra attic storage. All bedrooms have built-in closet organizers. The powder room features a chisel-edged, leathered granite counter with vessel sink, floating vanity and mirror with stylish lighting.

The home is in a fabulous Almaden Valley neighborhood and located close to shopping centers, restaurants, and freeway access to other parts of Silicon Valley, San Francisco and south to Monterey County; multiple parks and recreation areas including the Almaden QuickSilver County Park and its miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails; the Almaden Country Club, and top-rated schools including Leland High School.

Price: $1,599,000
Where: 1093 Cloverbrook Drive, San Jose
Open house: Wednesday, Oct. 10, and Friday, Oct. 12, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Listing agent: Therese Swan, 408-656-8240,, Alain Pinel Realtors

This content was originally published here.