Add a shine to your porch or patio with copper lighting. To get this look on a budget, you can take copper buckets, tubs or big bowls, which you can find new for less than $50, and drill a hole in the bottom, says designer Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson with Terracotta Design Build in Atlanta. Add a light kit, which are sold from $5-$20, depending on the finish, and you have one-of-a-kind outdoor lighting.
Rabbits make quick work of plants—and they’re not picky. They’ll chow down on your peas, beans, lettuce, petunias and even potted plants. When they’re the culprits behind vanishing plants, you’ll often find leaves missing with stems intact or stubs where an entire plant used to stand. To keep rabbits at bay, try repellents, chicken wire, netting or a free-running dog (with an underground fence). Clean up yard debris that could give rabbits hiding places, and plugs any holes that lead under sheds, decks or porches.
Architect Adam Kalkin, co-founder of Industrial Zombie, has made a name for himself by taking shipping container design to the next level. Bunny Lane in rural New Jersey is a real mind blower, as it looks as though a shipping container swallowed a traditional house. The latter is a replica of a 19th-century cottage, complete with a porch, and could easily exist as a stand-alone structure. Unlike, say, a museum exhibit, both spaces are furnished and easily flow into each other. In another trippy twist, there’s even a three-story wall of nine cube-shaped rooms (glassed in), creating a real-life dollhouse effect.
An excellent way to create a sturdy, level underfoot surface in courtyards, patios or porches is with brick pavers. This classic look mixes perfectly with all different styles of architecture and decor. To install pavers, the exterior area must first be leveled and then a thin layer of sand is laid before the bricks are put in place. Once all bricks are set, another layer of sand is poured on top to fill the gaps and keep the bricks from shifting.
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.
A brick walkway leading to the front porch of this Charleston-style southern home is extra welcoming, thanks to its unusual width, which also keeps it in proportion to the horizontal lines of the house. The plants and miniature lanterns along the walkway emphasize the curved shape of the path and give visitors plenty to see before they even reach the front steps, as seen on HGTV's Curb Appeal.
This home is located on a steeply sloping ridge top and is designed to sensitively step down with the land. The steep topography influenced the linear design as it hugs along a natural rock outcropping. The layout is perfectly harmonious to the land and sun, allowing the home to orient its long faces to the north and south while minimizing its east and west exposures.
Tall, north-facing window walls capture cool, even lighting throughout the day, while deep overhangs along the south protect from overexposure from the sun. The main roof sheds to the south, providing maximum solar collection potential. Decks and screened-in porches along the south face also provide areas for outdoor entertaining and a means to capture prevailing breezes that blow up from the canyons below.
Hops vine brings beautiful foliage in shades of golden-yellow to the summer garden. Summer Shandy hops (Humulus x ‘Sumner’) is an ornamental variety bred for its good looks (not for making beer). This hops vine isn’t aggressive, as hops tend to be. It’s well-suited to training on a trellis, fence or porch rail in a home garden. Vines grow 5 to 10 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5-8. Why we love it: This hops variety is undemanding, easy to grow and adds season-long color to any garden.
Pamper yourself by transforming an outdoor space into a custom retreat. Japanese forest bathing research shows that time spent in the Great Outdoors brings significant health benefits—lower blood pressure, less stress, greater empathy. Green spaces soothe both body and brain, and you can reap the results with a spot in your own yard. Start your project by choosing an area with easy access. A small deck, porch, patio or corner of a garden provides a terrific foundation for a home-sweet-home getaway. Approach your project with an eye to design by including touches that speak to your style (retro? chic? urban?). You don’t have to spend big bucks to make it work. This welcoming retreat features a crate coffee table that blends beautifully with wooden chairs. Pots of colorful annuals bring nature near. Annuals include purple Angelonia with Raven (dark) sweet potato vine, Yellow Chiffon superbells, Royal Velvet supertunia, and ‘Banana Cream’ Shasta daisy with Vertigo purple fountain grass.
Part of Sandy Springs' cultural renaissance, this 14-acre $229 million combination city hall and performing arts center is being posited as a jewel in the city's arts crown. Visitors can enjoy a black box theater, an 1,100 seat auditorium and a lineup of lectures, music and performances as well as a city green with outdoor concerts and performances. Even cuter, City Springs boasts a very Southern "porch" entrance complete with rocking chairs, not something you see at a city hall in every city. A mixed-use development of apartments, restaurants and boutiques rings City Springs for plenty of pre- and post-concert offerings including another location of the French-style patisserie Cafe Vendome.
Some clematis showcase bicolor blooms. One of the most well-known in this category is ‘Nelly Moser.’ This beauty unfurls very big, 7- to 9-inch flowers in late spring and early summer, followed by a second bloom in early fall. Each blossom displays pale lilac petals with a glowing pink bar down the center. Colors tend to fade in full sun, so give ‘Nelly Moser’ a spot with light shade. Flower centers sport shades of deep purple. For best flowering, remove top growth by one-third in early spring. Vines grow 6 to 10 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Grow beside a porch where you can enjoy the bicolor blossoms on a daily basis. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.
Mint is a workhorse in the garden when it comes to giving insects the brush off. To release the strong mint oils in leaves, brush against plants or crush leaves and rub on skin or clothing. Try tucking lightly bruised leaves (still attached to stems) into pockets or bouquets on your porch or patio to confuse and repel mosquitoes. This minty beauty (foreground) is variegated pineapple mint, but you can also use any mint, including spearmint, lemon mint or peppermint. Mints spread aggressively in the garden. Always plant it in containers, even in beds, keeping the edge of pots elevated at least an inch above soil. When mint flowers, the blooms attract beneficial insects, including ones that sting, like wasps. If you don’t want these insects near seating areas, keep plants trimmed so blooms don’t form.
Whether you are near the Atlantic coast or not, great weather is always the perfect excuse for outdoor entertaining, and an oyster roast should be at the top of your list. Explore new ways to use what you have in your home to create a unique outdoor space for entertaining. Use these tips to elevate your outdoor party skills for a relaxed yet elegant experience your guests will be sure to remember all while bringing the beachfront to your front porch.
Why not use your local grocery store for inexpensive tabletop décor as an alternative to flowers? Nothing makes a more attractive table display than fresh vegetables, and no water is needed to keep these arrangements in bloom for your guests. When picking vegetables for your table, be sure to play with color and texture. A kitchen staple such as corn adds a great pop of color especially when paired with red potatoes and bright lemons.
Once the center of the American slave trade, Charleston is a city always contending with the good and bad of its history even as it has transformed into a food-centric and sophisticated Southern city where wealthy New Yorkers and Hollywood types flock for the easygoing pace and refined lifestyle and have scooped up homes at a ravenous pace that has threatened to price-out locals. Charleston is consistently named one of the country's top cities by glossy travel magazines and websites beguiled by its idiosyncratic beauty and charm. Homes, gardens and the people of Charleston are exceptionally gracious (especially so considering the 7 million tourists who flock to the city each year), furnishings lean toward the traditional but there is experimentation galore when it comes to the arts and food. There are endless options in high-end lodgings from the nouveau luxe Hotel Bennett to the bespoke, chic Zero George whose epic porches are the local answer to Prozac.