Just a few garden sculptures wrapped with colored lights can instantly bring a holiday touch with minimal fuss. At night the graphic shapes of the garden sculptures are easy to read from inside the house, and the bold color casts a vibrant glow on the otherwise dark and dim area.
The vision for this home office was a contemporary, functional space with room for the children to sit and read. The walnut cabinets and shelves provide a richness to the space and is the prominent architectural feature. The light counters add a crisp, airiness to accentuate the built-in wood storage and not deter from the color and patterns on the floor and accessories.
Since white is easily influenced by any colors it's surrounded by, it's best to choose ultra-white tones that read as pure white. This color is lacking in both beige and brown undertones which makes it excellent for pairing with bold and dark colors like the patterned rug and green and blue bed linens. The white elements are highlighted in the natural light keeping the space very bright.
The desk in this second floor landing provides an elegant modern addition to the space. The modern desk gives the family a place to read or write with a funky lamp that provides plenty of light. The modern orange chair provides seating for the desk and a pop of color to the otherwise neutral space, tying in the two framed orange designs on the opposite wall.
Changing out light fixtures in small spaces can make an enormous difference in how they look, feel and function. The key to a swift, successful lighting swap is choosing fixtures which will fit with existing junction boxes. For situations in which junction boxes require relocation, it's best to hire an electrician; however, keep in mind this will create somewhat of a mess due to patching holes with drywall mud and creating dust from sanding. This three-bulb nickel and acrylic fixture features a linen drum shade which diffuses the light, allowing the wall color to read more clearly.
Create a retreat just like you would an interior room by starting with furnishings. Consider your style and budget, along with how you’ll likely use the space. If your retreat is a cherished space for reading and hanging out with family, include plenty of seating options. For a retreat that provides an escape for morning coffee, you might just need one seat and a spot to park your favorite mug. Include container gardens to give the space a touch of greenery and nature that will minister to you, body and soul. These pots sport a mix of annuals: dwarf purple fountain grass with ‘Sweet Caroline Light Green’ sweet potato vine and Intensia blueberry phlox, dark Vertigo purple fountain grass, and Blushing Princess sweet alyssum solo and with Supertunias Royal Velvet and Trailing Silver. A pot of Diamond Frost euphorbia adds a just-right blooming accent to the coffee table.
Since holidays often attract more guests to the home than other times of the year, be sure to keep walkways brightly lit. An easy way to do this is to take advantage of any smaller trees or shrubs along or around the walkway and outfitting them with just a few strands of lights. Although they may be too small to properly read from the street, the subtle glow cast onto pavers, trails or concrete walkways will help guests make their way up to the house safely.
This home in Decatur, Georgia outside Atlanta has five boys all under the age of 5, which means lots of mess. Designer Gina Sims solved that "problem" by creating an adult nook in the kitchen where the boys' art supplies are hidden away in the buffet. Sims advising going up when it comes to design and other elements you want to keep out of kids' reach. "The wine storage went up the wall out of reach, and we added impactful art, lighting and window treatments to draw the eye up," says Sims. Sims was also strategic in her choice of materials for the seating. "The plastic molded chairs are easily wiped down (or hosed off!) and the machine made (read: inexpensive) rug has lots of color and pattern which hide stains," notes Sims.
Also known as coralbells, heucheras bring season-long color to the garden and vase with their tinted leaves. Look for heuchera in a host of shades, including gold, purple, lime green, burgundy, almost black and silver. In the garden, heuchera is versatile, growing in full sun to full shade. Some varieties have a specific light preference, so be sure to read the plant tag prior to purchase. Use heuchera leaves to add color to arrangements, or pick the airy flower spikes. Blossoms appear from early to midsummer, depending on variety. Deer-resistant plants grow 6 to 8 inches tall by 10 to 12 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9. Good vase companions for heuchera: gas plant, Oriental lily, hosta leaves, zinnia and anise hyssop.