The unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, is behind us and three more months of summer are ahead of us. This month's issue will give tips for outdoor decorating so you can take full advantage of the beautiful weather and improve your outdoor living space.
This issue offers outdoor decorating ideas, outdoor trends, and a green approach to gardening. The color of the month, gold, is representative of all the days of golden sunshine ahead of us. Finally, you will love the quick and delicious recipe for Margarita-Grilled Chicken Salad.
I hope you are all tuning in to my radio show "Ask the Design Diva" on Saturday mornings at 8. You can hear it on WAVO1150AM or you can tune in via U-Stream on the website askthedesigndiva.com. Questions about decorating can be called in during the show or emailed anytime to email@example.com.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call 704.987.0277
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
When decorating your outdoor areas, it is first important to determine what kinds of activities you are going to be planning. I like to "divide and conquer," planning separate areas for relaxing, dining, playing, etc. However, if you are only dealing with a balcony or small deck, your outdoor living area will need to be multi-purpose. No matter which situation you find yourself in, plan for the following:
Nobody will feel relaxed if their every move can be viewed by random passers-by. In a big yard you can achieve privacy from large plantings or tall fencing. Balconies and smaller areas can achieve some level of privacy by hanging weather-resistant drapes or lattice.
When planning for your outdoor furnishings, decide how you want to use the space. If you plan on lots of picnics you'll need a picnic table and chairs. Prefer having cocktails out on the deck with friends? Make sure you have plenty of seating - benches or chairs can work along with a few small tables for drinks and snacks. If you just want to go out and relax, a chaise lounge or hammock will suffice.
Outdoor area rugs are great for making your outdoor space feel more like a room. They are so low maintenance, all you do is hose them off if something spills. For that reason I am even recommending them for the inside of homes with messy kids and pets. Weatherproof lighting and artwork come in traditional, contemporary, and eclectic styles which will complete the look and feel of an outdoor room. Don't forget the citronella candles or torches so you can remain bug free while enjoying the fruits of your labor.
The Color of the Month
Bright sunshine is the inspiration for this month's color, and the room below is one glowing example. Yes, I know it is over the top, but I had to share it with you because my motto is Shiny=Pretty. Don't worry, I only do shiny for clients if they request it. Otherwise I save all the shiny and glittery stuff for myself! What you can
take away from this is the idea of hanging an interesting wallpaper behind your bed. You aren't making the huge commitment to a room full of wallpaper and you got tons of bang for the buck!
For those of you looking for a calmer, more restful bedroom in gold, I share this monochromatic room that is full of comfort and luxury. There are many different shades and textures of gold, but they all blend together beautifully.
Gold isn't just for traditional interiors. The photo below shows its use in a more modern interior. Notice again, the graphic use of wallpaper on one wall. I simply love the back of the chair!
If a room full of gold is too much for you, consider the addition of some gold accessories to your existing decor. This hall table is elegant with the liberal use of gold accent pieces.
Quote of the Month
Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo
|The Trend Report|
Since we are talking outdoor living, our Trend Report is about a unique design/garden trend that started in Miami and has spread cross-country, both indoors and outdoors. It is called "living walls."
They can be used to create areas of privacy in your yard, or divide the yard into "rooms," or just add an interesting look to a blank wall. The wall below was created by planting succulents in hanging vinyl pouches.
Urban dwellers can satisfy their desire for a little piece of paradise by growing their patch of garden on the wall. Likewise, suburbanites like this townhome owner created a relaxing getaway with the soothing sounds of the fountain and the beautiful greenery to look at.
The Green Report
Ever since the recession hit in 2008, gardening has become more popular with each passing year. Not only can you save money by growing your own vegetables, you can also ensure they are chemical free and organic. Their carbon footprint is also smaller, since the vegetables don't need to be transported anywhere.
One key to green gardening is not using chemicals. But there are some plants that grow so profusely that you might be tempted to use some chemical intervention to keep them in their place. Instead, when planning your garden, think about using old tires as a way to contain plants in separate areas.
If you don't like the look of the tires, you can paint them (which keeps them cooler to the touch) or cover them with mulch.
Recipe of the Month
Two of my favorite words in the English language are Margarita and Chicken. So how can you go wrong with a recipe containing them both? Try it and tell me what you think.
Margarita-Grilled Chicken Salad
4 medium skinless, boneless
chicken breast halves
1 1/2 C margarita drink mix
(contains no alcohol)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely shredded lime peel
1/2 C mayonnaise
2 T lime juice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
4 med. tomatoes, sliced
2 med. avocados, halved,
seeded, peeled, and sliced
1/2 med. red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1. Place chicken in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade combine margarita mix, cumin, and lime peel. Pour over chicken; seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours. Drain chicken, discarding marinade
2. For a charcoal grill, grill chicken on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduced heat to medium. Place chicken on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.) Remove chicken from grill; cool slightly.
3. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, lime juice, and cayenne. Arrange tomatoes, avocados, and red onion on 4 salad plates. Coarsely chop chicken. Add to salads. Drizzle with mayonnaise mixture and sprinkle with black pepper. Makes 4 servings.
| Summer Accessory Sale
We have a tremendous selection of accessories to beautify your indoor or outdoor summer decor. Select from lighting, artwork, area rugs, and so much more!
Call 704.987.0277 today to schedule your in-home or in-office consultation and save 15% on your entire purchase.
Feel free to share this special offer with friends, family and co-workers.
|Offer Expires: June 30, 2012|