6 Designer Tips For Creating An Outdoor Dining Space

6 Designer Tips For Creating An Outdoor Dining Space

There’s something so magical about dining outdoors. It could be enjoying breakfast or a cup of coffee on the porch in the early morning hours of the day, an afternoon cookout with family and friends, or outdoor dining under the stars. Creating an outdoor dining space can be fairly simple. However, I have some tips that can help you create an outdoor dining space with a little extra designer ambiance.

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ONE

Make your outdoor dining area a destination. Select your outdoor dining location carefully. If you have a small yard or a balcony, it can be fairly simple; you can create a cozy dining area in a small space a lot easier because of the space restrictions. You will automatically locate the furniture closer together, which will make a more intimate space. However, if you have a large yard, the tendency is to spread things out a little more, making things feel more disjointed and random. Suppose you have a large yard; you want to create distinct areas throughout the yard. For instance, for an outdoor dining area, keep the furniture and dining area furnishings in a clearly defined space. Creating a destination that you can see from across the yard, create a path to this area, and it will now function just like a room.

TWO

Create a definition for the outside dining area using architectural features. Architectural features help you to define the space. If you don’t have existing architectural features, consider adding a pergola, a gazebo, a patio, or a deck. You could also define the outdoor dining space in simple ways. Like adding an outdoor area rug, free-standing columns or garden structures, a grouping of large potted plants, large furniture groupings, or landscaping; this will help you create the bones of the outdoor space.

THREE

Choose sturdy outdoor dining furniture and consistent with the style of your home and yard. Suppose you have a formal house and yard structure. You don’t want to use super rustic primitive furnishings. You can mix styles, much like mixing styles on the interior of your home. However, more than likely, you’ll have fewer furnishings in your outdoor seating area—so less opportunity to balance out choices that are not keeping with the style of your home. If your dining area is in a covered space, you don’t have to worry about the wear and tear of the weather. However, if you don’t have a covered space, you’ll have to be more mindful of your furniture finishes as they will feel the full brunt of the sun and the harsh weather. Choose fabrics that are water repellent and have UV protection.

FOUR

Bring the indoors outside. Don’t be afraid to set an outdoor dining table just like you would prepare an indoor table. Outdoor dining doesn’t mean that you always have to use plastic plates and utensils. Make your outdoor dining special by using special touches on your table. Replace the standard patio furniture cushions with custom outdoor cushions. You will have a more customized look. There are hundreds of designer fabric options that are rated for outdoor performance. This will add another layer of luxury and personality to your outdoor dining space.

FIVE

Create an ambiance with accessories just like you would in an indoor space. You can use potted plants, potted trees, architectural pieces, vases, and lots of candlelight in an outdoor space. Outside lanterns and varied lighting sources can create a beautiful, layered look to your outdoor dining spaces.

SIX

Use your imagination when creating your outdoor dining space. Even if you don’t have a yard to create an outdoor dining space, simply setting up a dining table near an open door or window could help you create a unique outdoor dining experience.

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Simple Ways To Decorate For Your Easter Celebration

Simple Ways To Decorate For Your Easter Celebration

Easter is a holiday in which many people choose to entertain in their homes. Whether it be a small, simple gathering or a large family dinner, this is certainly a holiday that you would like to add some simple, easy decor that coincides with the season. Easter coincides with the spring, in which we see changes in the weather and changes in the landscape. All of these changes influence the colors that we are drawn to when decorating our homes. Spring colors, including icy pastels, bright pinks, and yellows, are great colors to use in your spring decor. These colors might not melt well with your overall home decor. But there are some simple ways that you can add the fresh spring feeling to your home, even if it’s just for your Easter celebration

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ONE

Keep your Easter decor confined to specific spaces. I love to decorate a very formal Easter table setting; this allows me to really play with the different textures and colors and still keep my overall decor in most of my rooms. Even if you’re serving a simple buffet brunch, you can still decorate your table with spring colors using simple dishes and a few sparkling decorations.

TWO

Add touches of spring flowers throughout your home. It is an easy way to bring in a hint of a springtime feel into the rest of your home without doing seasonal decorations throughout the space, allows you to transition the colors easily. For instance, if the spring colors that you’re using on your table don’t go well in your living room, you could certainly use simple arrangements of white tulips in other areas. It would still blend in well with your seasonal Decour and your existing room decorations.

THREE

Use a seasonal front door wreath. A great way to transition the season and keep decorating to a minimum. It also allows you to use different colors than you might use in your home. Be sure your wreath colors contrast your front door so that they become a focal point when you look at your home from the road or driveway.

FOUR

Use groups of flowers that are all the same. Very casual-looking fresh arrangements. This type of arrangement is also simple to put together with a few grocery store flowers. When in doubt, use white flowers or soft colors and display them in a clear glass vase. The simplicity of the arrangement makes it easy to mix into any existing decor in your home.

FIVE

Choose seasonal decor carefully. If you were going to use Easter eggs, bunnies, and any other seasonal item in your decor, choose carefully. Anything made with glass or ceramic will look a little more tasteful in your home. Since I have little ones in my home for Easter, I use a few mercury glass bunnies on my kitchen counter and a few other strategically place items that the children look forward to finding every year. Then, of course, they each have an Easter basket filled with toys and candy that they can play with if they are not too worn out from our annual Easter egg hunt.

SIX

If you have young children, and you want to involve them in the decor, go all out by making decorations. Table setting with handmade Easter eggs and handmade paper decorations can be a thoughtful addition to your table decor. An excellent activity for the kids that will also add to your home’s festive feel.

Until Next Time,
Happy Easter!
Gia

From The Blog

5 Ways To Say “I Love You” With A Project At Home

5 Ways To Say "I Love You" With A Project At Home

This year, you might be thinking about exchanging the annual Valentine’s evening out for a quiet evening at home with some take-out from your favorite restaurant.

Since there is such a large focus on our home environments right now, why not think out of the box this year and plan a little Home project that you can work on together with a spouse or family members.

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You could surprise a loved one with a quick home project or work together on a project that will show your home a little love, choose a project that will give you quick results and that both of you will enjoy once completed.

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ONE

Decorate for the holiday. If you plan a quiet evening at home, or a night at home with the kids, make it memorable with some simple decor. Think about your favorite restaurant and what makes the ambiance so unique. Fresh flowers, candlelight, music, and layered lighting can re-create a special evening or for a little romantic vibe for the whole month of February. Add some heart-shaped accent pillows, some touches of red and pink to your home decor, or involve the kids making some homemade decorations to spread a little love throughout the house. Make a music mix with some favorite love songs. Enjoy the Valentine’s Day holiday for a few days or throughout the month!

TWO

Collaborate on an organizing project. Show a little love to each other and your home by tackling an area in your home that frustrates you. Empty that pantry or hall closet and re-organize. Purge unused items and group like items with storage bins and baskets. Create a system that works for you and your family.

THREE

Organize old family photos. Organizing photos is easier now that most of our photos are conveniently stored in digital format. However, many of us have physical photos somewhere in our home, especially photos from previous generations of family members. Spend an afternoon sorting, scanning, or scrapbooking these precious photos. You will feel great after completing this task and might have some fun revisiting some old family memories.

FOUR

Start planning that master bedroom renovation that you have been talking about. Spend an afternoon making a list and looking through inspiration photos. Put all your dreams into one list. Dreaming and planning together can help narrow down the options when you finally get serious about the project, and planning gets you one step closer to your goals.

FIVE

Plan a small gathering and share the love with a few family members or friends. A little Valentine’s day brunch could be a fun way to share some love. Plan a Valentines themed table setting and enjoy the holiday!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Designing A Festive New Year’s Eve At Home

Designing A Festive New Year's Eve At Home

Although everything this holiday season might be looking a bit different from in years past, your home can still reflect the holidays’ joys. Many people have enjoyed decorating their homes for the holidays more than ever this year. Now that New years eve is upon us, we can enjoy the season’s decor a bit more since many will be celebrating a bit more quietly at home, whether you plan a quiet evening at home with your immediate family or have a few people over.

Here are a few ideas to enhance your decor for a New Years’ Eve at home.

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ONE

Frame some of your favorite holiday photos to display around your home. A great way to extend the joy of the holiday season and remember the time spent with family and friends from seasons past. So often, our favorite moments are stored somewhere in our phones. Print out a few and frame them so that you can see them often. Create a slideshow of your favorites that you can enjoy or your tablet or photo frame.

TWO

Warm-up your home with some candlelight. Even if you have taken down your Christmas decorations, you can create a glow in your home with candlelight creating a wonderful ambiance for a New Years’ Eve at home. Even battery-operated candles are a great choice as they are very realistic. Fragrant candles are great as well.

THREE

Even if you have decided to forego cooking in that newly renovated kitchen and order takeout, make dining special. Use an unexpected color scheme or set your table with your seldom-used china. Pull out vintage dishes and create a unique New Years’ Eve Table. It’s a great way to make the evening feel special.

FOUR

Create a project for the kids. Have the kids make some decorations, encourage creativity by using what you have around the house, old Christmas cards, etc. Create a festive backdrop for that family zoom call. Fill the house with metallic balloons; simple ideas can really make the evening feel special.

FIVE

Bake with your family. Try out some old family recipe or search out a festive confectionary treat to create a great family activity

SIX

Add some fresh flowers. I love fresh flowers, especially this time of year. Grab a few colorful, fragrant blossoms at the grocery store to enjoy on New Year’s Eve and throughout the upcoming weeks. I always grab a few of my favorites right before Christmas, they last right through the New Year.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

A Peek At My Thanksgiving Table

This year I’ve decided to hold my annual Thanksgiving dinner a week earlier than usual. My adult children have to go to several homes to attend numerous Thanksgiving dinners—eating Thanksgiving dinner sometimes four times a day. For many years they were more than willing to do this. I decided that this would make it easier for everyone, including the newest 2-month-old addition to the family. Also, giving us more time to visit together as a family during our Thanksgiving celebration. Since my Christmas decorating officially starts on Halloween (this provides plenty of time to decorate my own house and my client’s homes and time to photograph my holiday decor). Most years, my own home is in full-scale holiday decorating mode completing just before Thanksgiving. This year my early Thanksgiving idea lost me a week. However, somehow the house is ready, and I am excited to share a peek at the decorations with you.

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As always, my tablescape is a mix of old and new Items. Some of my cherished pieces of blue and white china from my many years of collecting, mixed with new items like my jewel-toned velvet pumpkins and the beautiful new chinoiserie pumpkins that I stumbled upon earlier this year. I added silver and mirrored chargers purchased for previous events that I have held, antique crystal candle holders, and a few silver pumpkins wrapped with iridescent pearls. This year, I am using cobalt blue and silver for all of my holiday decorations in my dining room, so my Thanksgiving table is following suit. The numerous combinations of colors that I have used for this room are always one of my favorites, so I have used it again this year—an easy transition to my Christmas Decor.

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This year, I’m using cobalt blue satin napkins folded with the silver metallic linen blend napkin. Silver napkin rings trimmed with rhinestones will hold these napkins on top of my place settings. As I’ve mentioned before, don’t be afraid to mix and match when you set the table. When I use my blue and white collection, you might notice that there are about four different patterns of blue and white in one of my table settings. I prefer this layered look of compatible patterns mixed rather than the look of just one pattern on the table, which gives it a lot more interest. It also allows me to add pieces to my collection without worrying about having a certain amount of plates. I know I can always mix a new piece in with the others.

If you prefer a more clean-lined look, you could certainly use one pattern or solid colored plates. When using solid plates, I like to add some contrast to the table with color or pattern in another way. Maybe a more colorful centerpiece, or even a simple floral strong in structure, like an orchid, gives you a much more modern look. When I’m setting the table for a sit-down dinner, I try to keep any centerpiece or center decoration low enough to where you can see over it, especially crucial during Thanksgiving when you are probably going to be sitting at the table for a while. Depending on your table’s shape, you will need to decide how much space you need to create a centerpiece accordingly.

I always use place cards at my holiday table. When my kids were little, it was always a fun project to create place cards for everyone. I still enjoy creating different place cards for everyone joining us for dinner and coming up with different ways to display the place cards. When it comes to glassware, I treat this the same way I treat my china or plates. For this table, I’ll be mixing and matching. This year I combined two patterns of cobalt blue glassware with silver goblets. I also mixed in a few silver-rimmed antique glasses since we were using silver on the table. I try to mix glasses of complementary proportions; this is the key to mixing glassware.

Instead of fresh flowers, which I usually use, I used a few potted flowering plants on my tables for this tablescape. The small lacey blossoms on these flowering plants were pretty and delicate, and I knew they would look great with all of the chinoiserie patterns. I placed these flowers in white ceramic pots. The details on these pots complement the Chippendale details in my high gloss white dining room chairs. I have enjoyed these potted flowering plants in my home all fall and decided to work them into my Thanksgiving tablescape. A few ice and glitter-covered greenery stems add some additional sparkle to the table and complement the room’s Christmas tree, which is ready and waiting to greet guests in this dining room. I’ll add a few more small details to finish out this tablescape, but I thought I would give you a quick peek. Happy Decorating!

Until Next Time,
Gia

From The Blog

Preparing to celebrate the holidays at home

Preparing to Celebrate the Holidays at Home

After a crazy year of making adjustments in our lives due to the pandemic, many of us might be adjusting our holiday plans slightly. You may have fewer events to attend, smaller events at home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and more time at home. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t still celebrate the holidays with style and beauty.

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Here are a few tips:

ONE

Decorate! Over the many years of decorating professionally, both year-round and for Christmas, one thing I know for sure, your environment affects the way you feel. Walking into a warm, inviting, and well-decorated house can be a great boost to your mood throughout the year and the holiday season. Maybe this year, you are working from home; this could give you a little more time to try some of those Christmas decorating ideas that you never seem to get around to doing. Start early to avoid the stress of getting your home in order. Make your home as festive as possible. If the kids are home, involve them in the process by making some decorations. It’s an excellent idea for a kid’s activity and a great way to personalize your decor with handcrafted ornaments or decorations.

TWO 

Mix things up a bit. If you usually host a Thanksgiving dinner for 30 with paper plates buffet style. This year, since you might have just a few people, bring out your china and be a little more elaborate on your table setting. Allow yourself to explore some possibilities that you couldn’t do with 30 people. Setting the table for a sit-down dinner might be a fun way to do things a bit differently

THREE

Instead of one large party or gathering, try hosting a few smaller gatherings with friends and family throughout the season. Spread out the fun and visit with your guests on a more personal level. Maybe plan an activity done with just a few people, like cookie baking or gingerbread house decorating. Take advantage of the smaller-scale gatherings and plan accordingly.

FOUR

Fill your house with the sounds and scents of the holidays. Even if your holidays will be more low key than you might have envisioned, enjoy the holidays’ sounds and smells throughout the season in your home. The sounds of the season’s holiday music and aroma can be uplifting and enjoyed even if you are just by yourself working from home.

 

Until next time,
Gia

 

From The Blog

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