Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Little Love for our Patio & A Few Photos from GNO & Random Spring Pics....

As we are heading into our 2nd summer in our new home, I wanted to give a little (design) love to our back patio.  Last summer, we were still getting settled, and we just made do with our patio furniture that we purchased twelve years (and 5 cities) ago.  Basically, just your standard wrought iron chairs and tables from Home Depot, (which endured wild climate changes from Boston to Atlanta, by the way!)  This year, the rust spots were screaming at me a little, so I decided it was time for an upgrade...

I researched patio furniture for days, and I have to say, this was a tough one!  First, outdoor patio can be SO expensive, and although I do believe you generally get what you pay for, I just did not want to invest a lot of money in outdoor furniture.  I found the perfect set through Costco, but they were out of stock online (and I needed delivery).  So, I ended up buying a set from Target, their Smith & Hawken Edgewood set in all weather wicker.  I have no clue how long it will last, but it was reasonably priced and I love how it creates a neutral backdrop for my boxwood plants, black cabana striped pillows and cushions, and hot pink flowers! I wanted to get the patio ready for a GNO (Girls Night Out) I was hosting for some neighborhood friends to kick off summer. 

Here are a few before and afters.....














Cool view of Lake Erie on a stormy spring day

Cool view of Lake Erie on a stormy spring day

Beautiful Hydrangeas at local discount store, Marc's (each May)

I used painters tape to create a clear glass stripe against the gold sprayed glass vase

Found these cute little chalkboard stands at Michael's...yummy BHG Cucumber & Melon Sangria (recipe below)

I was trimming a tree in the yard and my 5-yr old suggested that I use the small branches as a little greenery arrangement, as she saw her grandmother do this in St. Louis last week!

Found these beautiful azalea plants at Petitti's Nursery in Avon

Again, found this little hanging chalkboard I used as a sign for front door
(hung behind my faux boxwood wreath)

Beautiful roses from Costco....always great selection and prices!

Pinterest idea....frozen water balloons help to keep drinks cool...

Some more pics from our GNO...Thankfully, we had beautiful weather!!

My "Buts & Guts" workout group, fun to catch up while NOT doing burpees or push-ups!

Group shot!

Had to include this little ones, Charlie & Caroline trying to stay dry while watching their brother play soccer!!

Better Homes and Gardens Cucumber & Melon Sangria...

1 small honeydew melon
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
12 fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
1 750 mL bottle Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine
1 1-L bottle carbonated water (or I used Lime Lacroix, and a bit less?)
Optionally, add vodka to 'spike'


1.) Cut melon in half; remove and discard seeds and rind. Cut melon into thin slices. In large pitcher, combine melon, cucumber, lime slices, and the 12 mint leaves. In a small bowl, stir together lime juice and honey until combined; pour over melon mixture. Add wine, stirring gently. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

2.) To serve, stir in carbonated water. Ladle or pour into glasses. If desired, garnish w additional mint.

Note > I doubled this recipe to use for larger drink dispenser.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Crazy for Cane: Loving this British Colonial Pattern....

It is a pattern that has been around for thousands of years: the cane weave print.  I recently purchased a cute navy cane-weave print lamp shade from Home Goods that I placed in our master bedroom, and it got me thinking more about this pattern....

I also have a cute flat weave cane pattern rug from Garnet Hill that was very reasonable (and versatile) fitting into our new home as well...Sadly, it is no longer available, but I wish they would bring it back!

Canecroft Flat-Weave Rug, Garnet Hill 

Cane Patterned Rug in our guest bedroom, previous home...

Cane Patterned Rug in our master bathroom, current home...

From, "Caned furniture is classic in a British Colonial interior. Lightweight and airy, it seems at home in a palm house or on a veranda. But while cane was especially popular during the Victorian height of the British Empire, it is one of the most ancient techniques of furniture manufacture, used by Tibetan warriors, Peruvian princesses, and Egyptian pharaohs, for thousands of years."  (more on its history provided below)

Lately, I have been admiring the incorporation of the classic cane weave print into contemporary designs.  Its hypnotic, graphic quality works well in both large and small-scale prints.  Seemingly, a close cousin to the Greek Key pattern, (link to my prior post is here...Giddy for Greek Key), it is visually stimulating and interestingly, lends both a traditional and modern vibe (depending on its application)....

Some fun cane weave inspired design pieces are provided below.  Note, some are true cane weave patterns, while others are more of a bamboo design, but they are closely related....Enjoy!

Cane Rug Pillow Cover, Williams-Sonoma

Cane Rug Pillow Cover, Williams-Sonoma

Cane Embroidery Bedding, Williams-Sonoma

Williams Sonoma Garden Stool

Jonathan Adler Southampton Pillow
Jonathan Adler Southampton Rug

1960s Gilt Glass Old Fashion OKL

1960s Gilt Glass Tumbler OKL

Brighton Nutmeg Chair, Zinc Door

Calypso Rug, OKL

Cane Printed Throw Pillow, Overstock
Cane Printed Throw, Overstock

Cane Throw Blanket, Cococozy

Decatur Coffee Table, OKL

Ficks Reed Green Flamingo Dining Table 

Ficks Reed Schumacher Chairs OKL

Frontgate Cane Bath Mat

Frontgate Cane Towels

Ficks Reed Trellis Schumacher Chairs OKL 

French Neoclassical Armchairs Cane, OKL

Horchow Garden Stool 

House Beautiful, Green Retro Wallpaper

Oomph Southport Side Table, Zinc Door

Natural and Navy Cane Pillow, Pulp Home

Regeant Kiwi Armchair, Zinc Door

Regeant Octagonal Nutmeg Mirror, Zinc Door

Havana Pillow, Serena and Lily

Geometric Shade, Sweet Dream Shades @ Etsy

Trellis Lamp Shade, SassyShades @ Etsy

Haymarket Designs

Haymarket Designs, Lucite Trays
 (more of a Greek Key print, but wanted to share!)

Haymarket Designs
(more of a bamboo print, but wanted to share!)

Haymarket Designs Beach Towel

Kate Spade Ferry Tote

(history continued from above, from

"Cane is the term for the material that comes from the outer skin of the rattan stalk. Rattan is a climbing vine-like plant in the palm family. Native to Asia and Africa, it is most commonly found in Indonesia. Rattan grows in strong, solid stalks...that can extend hundreds of feet as it climbs toward the sunlight in dense tropical forests. it is harvested without harming trees, and there are currently efforts underway to ensure the sustainability of rattan harvesting. Since cane is the skin of the rattan plant, it is durable, somewhat flexible, glossy, and non-porous.

Cane strips have been used in weaving objects since ancient times, originating as basket material and evolving into furniture.  Caned furniture first appeared in Holland, England, and France around the 1660s, thanks to bustling trade with Asia. Caning was typically used for the seats and backs of wooden chairs.  Caned chairs were not only hygienic and airy, but also lighter weight than solid wood, and less formal that the typical seats heavily upholstered with silk or tapestry.

In the 19th Century, caned furniture became associated mainly with Dutch and English colonial furniture, because these countries had colonies in places like Indonesia and India where rattan was easily accessed and where the technique may had a long history. This colonial aesthetic spread across the globe to other European colonies as well; caned furniture made sense in tropical climates because, unlike solid woods, it would not warp or crack from heat or humidity.  

Caning became the typical seat material of the cafe chair in the mid-19th century thanks to Thonet, whose No. 14 chair from 1859 revolutionized the furniture industry. The simple caned seat contributed to the chair's extraordinary lightness, which meant that it was less expensive to produce and transport.  Twentieth century designers like Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier also admired the chair for its sense of hygiene, and how it contrasted with the heavy old-fashioned upholstery that was in style at the turn of the century.  The caned Thonet chairs he placed in his radical interiors were, like the caned chairs of the 17th century, a healthful and modern alternative."