Always keep changes of weather in mind when packing, especially if you have long days outdoors planned. When packing for Memorial Day weekend, Trunk Club's Maggie Mee recommends some key pieces that are stylish and multi-functional. "For women, wide leg cropped pants serve as a trendy versatile base. You can pair them with a cami or knit tee. Fitted tops complement the wide pant leg. You might also think about swapping out dresses for jumpsuits this Memorial Day weekend. They're perfect for moving around a picnic and leave you feeling comfortable and carefree."
Many of the residential properties on this lake have a boat dock. The Houghtons bought two lots, making room for a boat dock AND a second "party deck" (this was their wish, in two words!). So HGID designed this as a floating lounge, literally - comfy upholstered seating areas with a huge TV, swimming dock (they're wake boarding fanatics) and wet bar complete with a kegerator (they're fanatical for beer). Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there. We're told the lake is a jet ski drag strip on the weekends, so good spectator seating!
Include beautiful English lavender (Lavender angustifolia) in your garden plans for a plant that’s packed with fragrance. Leaves, flowers and stems all exude that classic lavender scent, and when sun warms the plants, you only need to brush the leaves to release the fragrance. Lavender helps keep biting mosquitoes at bay outdoors. In the evening, reap its bug-busting benefits by crushing flower buds and leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Tuck lavender into pots or planting beds. Plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Floral, copper and rose gold accents coordinate with navy in this gleaming fall tablescape. Instead of chairs, the designer chose to add a bench to one side of the table. A cozy throw draped over the bench adds a feeling of warmth. Set in a beautiful courtyard, the combination of the stone and vines provides texture, creating an inviting space perfect for hosting an outdoor party or even Thanksgiving dinner.
What was once a steep, underused side yard becomes a private garden retreat with a centerpiece fountain, an expansive courtyard for entertaining and lush green borders in the style of a Charleston/Savannah coastal home. A step by step guide from Landscape Studio demonstrates how hardscaping and landscaping can transform your property into the ideal outdoor space.
This pavilion is perfectly situated on the edge of the grassy space. This allows community members a great view of the grass in case of a special event such as an outdoor concert or simply watching the neighborhood kids play a game of baseball in the summer. Out of the fray of the main action, this pavilion is a cool place for an intimate gathering or simply a cool hangout spot.
In the bathroom, designers used the modern, Asian motif from the rest of the home to bring in unique features that give this space a spa like feel. The window above the large soaking tub gives the space plenty of natural light, while the bamboo wood panel helps to create some privacy between the spa space and the outdoors. To create privacy inside the home, panels of frosted glass create a space in the bathroom that is separate from the rest of the room's spaces; however, by using panels of glass rather than glass sheets, designers were able to keep the bath area from feeling cut off and separate-keeping the room's design flow continuous-while still giving this space an amount of privacy.
The renovation of this 12,000-square-foot home will transform into an extravagant mountain retreat featuring a new 2,500-square-foot guest cottage opening onto a summer kitchen and pool bar, 75′ long infinity edge pool, tennis pavilion, extensive water features, garden and hiking trails. Not your typical renovation, this grand-scale renewal and addition will exhibit some of the world’s finest granite and stone, beautiful custom cabinetry, custom wood and glass folding and lift-side doors that open rooms completely to the outdoors, and other exquisite materials and inspiring novelties, all while staying true to the home’s traditional rustic origins. Scheduled for completion later this year, this one-of-a-kind Asheville retreat will be in a class all its own.
Thyme, including red creeping thyme (shown), possesses excellent mosquito repelling properties. The secret is to crush the leaves to release the volatile oils. You can simply place crushed stems around outdoor seating areas or rub the leaves on skin or clothing. Burning thyme leaves also shows skeeters the door, providing 85 to 90 percent protection for up to 90 minutes. Lemon thyme, silver thyme, English thyme, creeping thyme—all types offer some degree of mosquito protection. Tuck them into pots, or use them to edge planting beds.
A fence around a tennis court on a Palm Springs, Calif., property is made of 2-foot square fiberglass panels that allow breezes to flow through. The client wanted an outdoor environment that was “groovy, cool and sexy," according to landscape architect Steve Martino and Associates. The project, with mid-century modern elements in desert style, won an American Society of Landscape Design award.
A reblooming gardenia keeps the fragrant flowers coming through spring and summer. First Editions Sweet Tea gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides ‘PIIGA-II’) unfurls tennis ball size double blooms on plants that grow 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Site plants in full sun to part shade. This gardenia makes a nice hedge or specimen shrub. Place it near outdoor seating areas so you can enjoy the fragrance. Hardy in Zones 7-9.
Like the master bedroom, the master bath is designed to provide a virtual outdoor experience, creating the impression that the space is open to the outside. The seamless glass windows that form the outer walls are made of Starfire glass, a highly specialized glass that is actually clearer than ordinary glass and typically reserved for such purposes as building jewelry display cases and high-end aquariums. The cost of upgrading from clear glass to Starfire glass was more than $1 million. The master bath's freestanding tub cost more than $20,000, as seen on HGTV's Million Dollar Rooms.
Local parks, vineyards and barns are good options for a winter picnic. Find a place that will allow you to reserve the area exclusively for your party. Make sure to visit the venue well ahead of time, taking note of amenities like BBQ areas, regulations and restrictions. Since weather is an extremely important factor when hosting outdoors, be sure there is a covered area in case of rain or snow.
Wicker is my go-to item for an outdoor party. If you can’t afford to buy a new set of wicker lounge furniture, a wicker plate charger is all you need. By planning ahead and buying in the winter months, you can always find a deal at a local showroom or thrift store. With this classic base, be sure to add character with a favorite plate that matches the personality of your guests. No matter if you choose a modern square plate or gold-rimmed china, your wicker charger will add the right element of relaxed style to your party.
Inside the wet room, a sloped shower floor and linear drain system eliminates the need for a shower door, creating universal access and a feeling of openness. The plank tile is continued vertically up the rear shower wall, while the adjacent walls are tiled in iridescent white porcelain for maximum reflection of natural light. Because the window offers spectacular city skyline views, a curtain of beaded crystal is hung to create a permeable layer of privacy and to represent falling beads of water. The installation of a living orchids wall completes the experience of showering outdoors within the city.
This whimsical centerpiece is perfect for spring-inspired dinner parties and is surprisingly simple to create. "I gathered several manzanita branches into a tall vase to bring the outdoors in. These gorgeous branches, with their twists and curls, make such a dramatic statement on a tabletop," Katie Riley of Centsational Girl says. You can even replace the butterflies with seasonal objects, like leaves or snowflakes, for a gorgeous centerpiece to celebrate any holiday or season.
Indoors, keep an eye on houseplants, especially any you kept outdoors for summer. Pests multiply quickly in the warm environs of a winter home. This vining violet is infested with spider mites, which are very difficult to eradicate on indoor plants. The white speckling on leaf surfaces is a clue mites are feeding. Webbing where the leaf attaches to the stem is another dead giveaway.
An outdoor display does not have to be complicated. My go-to trick for table decor is selecting my favorite plates and placing party essentials on them instead of floral arrangements. I love using items such as oyster shuckers, wine openers, and oyster shells to make a unique display with minimal effort. When selecting plates, be sure to find patterns and colors that compliment each other. This type of tablescape is perfect if you have a small table or porch area, so your party essentials also serve as table arrangements.