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Monday, April 12, 2010

I Will Take Quaint and Charming Please!!

I feel very fortunate to live in California where we have a pretty nice climate in the Spring and Summer months. I love being  outside to enjoy my backyard. I have never been one to want the perfect matching outdoor furniture or the large outdoor kitchens that are so popular now. I tend to like an area that is pulled together with comfy pieces and looks rather relaxed and quaint. I have saved a few inspiration photos that I would like to share with you. In these photos there was something that drew me in or maybe just one element that spoke to me or inspired me. I hope they do the same for you…..
Too most this is not that special. All that is here is a small table to be enjoyed by two people. I on the other hand see a charming place with two charming chairs and an amazing table that looks as if it has been made with a found top and a wonderful old pedestal. I find this much more charming than a matched set. What do you think?
I think what I like the most about this setting is the lighting. I love lanterns and candles outside. Notice this small patio area is just pavers surrounded by what appears to be pea-gravel. the metal pergola has a nice see-through quality and yet it makes the area feel special and makes it a destination in your yard.
I love this area with it’s old weathered furniture. It is using the shade of a tree to make it a special area. Simple rocks and moss lead you to this special spot. Notice the use of all the rocks for texture and interest. Everything here is natural and looks as if it has always been this way.
Another spot made with simple pavers and using the greenery to make it seem almost like a secret hide-away. I love how they hung a candelier from a tree branch. I can only imagine how wonderful this would look at night.
I had to show you this live moss runner with candles in the center. I think this would make any table seem special. Years ago I watched a TV show where they took a card table and used pavers on top around the edges and then the center had moss in it. I have never forgotten that. Simple,low cost and such a wow factor for outdoor dining or indoor for that matter.
I know that this is a matched set and it is finished very nicely but what I want you to think about when looking at this setting is the use of color. I love the colored lanterns on the wall that is echoed in the garden bench and even in the glass top on the console table. Look at how effective the large leaves in a simple vase are to bring in the green from the surrounding area. I for one would love to sit here and have my breakfast.
Having a party and need some quick shade? Get 4 matching pots put in some lovely flowers and bamboo rods, attach a painters drop cloth and Voila, instant shade and a special place to dine. Anyone could do this and the cost would be nominal.
In this picture we have a complete matched set of  wicker. It is not the furniture nor the rug I want you to look at but the wall behind the settee. I love this concept to divide an area in the yard. A see-through wall with an oval window. Think of putting just this wall up behind an area that you make with pavers and a table for a little dining outside. I love this idea.
I love the idea of a console table made with a board on top of two old urns. I would love to do something like this in my yard and I am thinking very seriously about doing this somewhere. This is not only decorative but would make a great table to set-up as a buffet for outdoor dining.
I am showing you this picture not for the custom built patio and fireplace but look at what they are using for a coffee table. Love the natural element of a rock coffee table. Anyone could do this. I love an outdoor fire but it does not have to be as elaborate as this. Why not a chimnea or a fire pit. Both of these items can be purchased for very little monies.

Isn't this amazing, Now this is ingenuity at it's best!! When I saw this on Kristin's blog Covetable designs, I almost gasped!! Love this idea and I want to be sure and remember this one. Kristin was so generous to share this image with me. Thankyou Kristin!! Be sure and take a look at her wonderful blog!

I hope this post of outdoor spaces gives you some inspiration for your own yards. We are getting closer to outdoor dining months so it is just the right time to start thinking about our yards.

“Enjoy the Process” Of: Finding a spot in your yard for a special seating area.