Thursday, June 6, 2013

Guest Post: Eva Stephen on Outdoor Summer Decor

Today I'm doing something a little different from the norm.  A guest post!  Eva reached out to me a while back and offered to contribute some inspiring ideas for outdoor living spaces.    She's a passionate blogger and design enthusiast who likes to write about home styling, decorating, organization, DIY how to's and anything pretty much about home.  You're speakin' my language, Eva!

Hi all.  I am Eva Stephen and many thanks for Lo who introduced me with her readers.  I have some thoughts for outdoor decor as summer evenings are celebrated for bbq's and snacks + tea parties.  Hope you like.  Enjoy the summer season.

It's Summer, like indoor, outdoor also needs decor
No longer is decor confined to the inside of the house; nowadays there are an abundance of products and ideas that are specifically designed for outdoor use.  Easy-to-install decking makes it a doddle for almost everyone to have a fabulous outdoor area that can be beautifully offset with garden furniture, a chiminea for those chilly evenings and even decorations to enhance the whole effect.


Polish the setting first of all
Even the most beautiful gemstone loses some of its allure when placed in a grimy, ill-proportioned setting, and it is the same with outdoor decor! Trim the lawn and pull out any large and ugly weeds, not forgetting to tidy up the edges by the fence and garden bed borders that are sometimes overlooked. Once the lawn is looking good, and your bedding plants are on display give the patio or decking a good scrub, especially if it hasn't been used since last summer. Protective varnishes and treatments can spruce up tired or weathered looking wood and restore it to a natural warm shade.


Fit furniture to the available space
No-one likes to feel cramped and constrained, especially when outside, catching some sun and feeling the pleasant breeze. Close proximity to others can ruin the whole 'al fresco' vibe and cause tension in the party. Lay the furniture out generously, giving every piece a decent amount of space, and rather leave out one piece of furniture rather than squeeze the entire set into too small a space.
Rather than a large table up to which the chairs are drawn, invest in a lower level coffee table – perhaps even pinch the old one from the living room, and treat yourself to a stylish new one from This will enable you to spread out the furniture in a more casual and friendly manner.

Accessorize with care
A tall elegant chiminea add a touch of class to an outdoor area, and also provides a point of focus around which furniture can be placed as an alternative to the table. 


The chiminea also provides welcome warmth after a leisurely day in the sun, as the evening draws in and it begins to get a little chilly, yet everyone is enjoying the day too much to want to go in! Must have a look at the chiminea range at Garden Incinerator for a good variety. Vibrantly coloured windmills to catch the gentle breeze, sparkly sun-catchers that twinkle and gleam in the sun and soft wind chimes that resonate all enhance the out-door experience. Bright and cheerful colours appeal to everyone and make us all feel happier and more relaxed. 

Practicality disguised as novelty
Rather than setting out a host of small tables or having to resort to the large unyielding central table scenario make use of innovative features – old barrels standing on one end make wonderful flat surfaces on which to rest drinks, snack bowls or even lamps or lights and add rustic charm to the scene. Miniature greenhouses can serve as shelving while bringing green and leafy touches to the patio area.


Boost that summer feel!
There is not much call for soft furnishings outside, but comfortable chair cushions, handy tea towels and aprons and perhaps even a rough floor covering can all be made from waterproof fabrics. These can add a tremendous burst of summer fun to your outdoor seating with sizzling summer colours!


A little investment of time and money can give you the outdoor dining area that you have always wanted. Sure to be a smash hit with family members and friends alike, you will soon find that your barbecues are the most hotly anticipated events of the summer in your neighbourhood!


Great inspiring ideas, Eva, and perfect timing for everyone who's getting their outdoor living space ready for summer.  I'm totally digging that wine barrel end table!


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