Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Chill in the Air

As summer draws to a slow close here in the Northeast, we couldn't help but dream about these wonderful outdoor fireplaces.  We know its "back to school" time when the warm August days bring us cool August evenings on the patio.

An outdoor fireplace can certainly extend the days of summer into fall.

A cool chill in the air, a nice blanket and a glass or two of red wine . .  perfect!  If we could just skip the winter.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Reserve a Room!

Reserve a room!  What a beautiful, peaceful guest cottage enveloped in natural grasscloth and soft linens.  Even if you do not actually have a guest cottage, this room would be very easy to recreate in your space.

Paint your walls with a shade to resemble grasscloth, maybe even a little textured paint.  We love the coral lamp resting on an old tree stump!

We might even add a dramatic chandelier . . .

And, no room is complete without some accent pillows . . .

A few more accessories . . .

Give your guests a room like this, and they may never leave! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Taste of the Tropics!

A taste of the tropics is elegantly done in this beautifully appointed bedroom.  A simple bamboo bed is embraced by the colorfully island-inspired bedding.  A little blue paint on the walls showcases the subtle green linen curtains. 

 We like the idea of Arterior's Galaxy Mirror against this background. 

Arterior's Millenium Lamp at the bedside brings texture and funcationality to your space.

Of course, a few subtle pillow accents are in order!

And a few coastal accessories . . .

A taste of the tropics wherever you may live!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tropical Hibiscus

For those of us in the Northeast, the arrival of hibiscus plants in our garden centers signals the warm summer ahead. 

The showy flowers on the hibiscus plant only last for one day, opening in the morning and wilting in the afternoon.  Buds do grow quickly and flower constantly.

Hibiscus is native to warm climates and tropical regions and is the primary ingredient in many herbal teas.  It is also used in many cultures for medicinal purposes.

Some of the artfully created linens from Isola Bella capture the beauty and vibrant color of the hibiscus flower.

Toss a hibiscus accent rug onto your floor to add more color.

The hibiscus flower cannot withstand our harsh winters outdoors.  But each year we look forward to their arrival in our nurseries and appreciate their short but beautiful season here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hit the Showers!

 Outdoor showers are a staple at our Jersey Shore.  Every home is equipped with a spot to shower off the buckets of sand we trek home each day.  Some showers are just that, a space to quickly rinse off sand and saltwater.  Others, however, are elaborate and fully-functional showers that just happen to be open to nature!

Equipping your outdoor shower with all the necessary items encourages its use.  Stock your space with towels and bathing supplies to keep everything close at hand for your guests.  A small dressing area with a mirror is a great idea if your space allows.

 Now, to decorate your space.  In our outdoor shower, we have added a few fun wooden mermaid plaques (that we have varnished for protection) . . .

How about a set of seahorses, or a Cape-Cod style whale?

Add a mirror if your space allows . . .

A mildew-resistant shower curtain can separate your dressing space and also give your shower a pop of color.

And there is nothing like some absorbent, white seashell towels to await your guests.

Definitely some hooks to hold towels and bathing suits!

Beyond their practicality there's just something about showering under the open sky!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shutters By the Sea!

There is just something about shutters by the ocean.  Whether made of wood for natural appeal, or painted bright Caribbean sea colors, they are both functional and can truly make a decorating statement.

 In warm climates where curtains may be unnecessary and not a decorating staple your space calls for, plantation shutters may be perfect.  They can help direct sunlight away from your furniture to prevent fading of fabrics.

Exterior wood shutters offer strength and insulating abilities for protection from the heat.  Vacation homes often use working exterior shutters that can be closed when the home is not in use.

This just happens to be the perfect backdrop for weathered wood shutters.

And, shutter furniture choices are bountiful. 

And while we are on the subject of shutters, this is definitely one of the places on my must see list: