This was an enormous staging project in a big ol' beautiful home. I would love to sit down with the original homeowner and find out where the inspiration came from. There is an Asian vibe, a tree house vibe, a Ralph Anderson vibe (see what I mean right here.) and it all works! We had to marry our furniture, accessories and linens with the homeowner's art and paint colors so we stayed with neutrals. It worked!
When I started gardening I would simply copy the recipes in the gardening books until I got comfortable picking out and creating great combinations myself. They work for me and will work for you.
You are starting with a boring container, see below, but that's not the part that steals the show so worry not. I suggest at least 3-5 of these planters. Remember "strength in numbers". They are light weight, a great size and will weather nicely. Buy it here.
Recipe: Alstroemeria, Gardenia & Lobelia.
You have fragrance, a beautiful glossy green and a heady scent in the gardenia and the Lobelia trailing down the sides of the pot. Don't worry how skimpy it looks when you first plant everything. In a couple weeks it will be filled in and you will be rewarded.
Recipe: Purple Fountain Grass, Fushias, Coleus, Asiatic Dwarf and Oriental Lillies.
You get the wispy grass, the intense colors of the other plants and the fragrance of the Lillies. Pot found here.
Recipe: Geraniums, Lobelia, Hebe & Potato Vine
There is room for 2-3 Geraniums in this container, the Potato Vine will be vibrant and beautiful trailing down the pot and the Hebe adds some steady interest. Purchase the pot here.
Recipe: Verbena, Petunia, Maiden Grass & Scented Geranium
I am partial to bold hot colors but the good news is that the flowers come in a handful of colors. And the scented geraniums are over-the-top. You will love this combination!
The great thing about this container is that it brings all the beauty up so that you can actually see it and enjoy it. This container is easy to assemble. Buy it here.
Make sure you have good potting soil and fertilizer. Enjoy your fabulous outdoor space!
This home is more special than all of our other jobs we have staged because it was designed and created by Tara Nelson, my sister and staging partner at Open House. Tara has Seattle dotted with homes that she has restored and each time they get better than the last. This one takes the cake. Sweet design treats in each room. (Note the ceiling in the office.)
Get that Urban Farmhouse look here. Click and Shop!
Tara and I recently acquired the insanely talented "Stager Girl" Maria. She is our "go to" girl for all things paint related. Maria helped with paint colors in my daughter's newly decorated room and helped my sister with her new house. I asked her to share her top Benjamin Moore paint colors that are great for a fresh bright look.
1. BALBOA MIST
This one is great when Revere Pewter is reading just a little too dark and earthy and you're looking for something a little fresher. It has a touch of a lilac undertone that cools it down and can help it look like that perfect soft gray you've been trying to find.
I love this soft green with gray undertones. This is great when you need a color that acts like a white to clean up and brighten a space but you want a hint of color. It's a cool color so it will look great in those southwest facing rooms.
3. ABBINGTON PUTTY
If you're looking for a bit of sophistication but are so very tired of all those builder beiges out there, consider this color. It has more gold tones in it to warm up a space but is still light enough to brighten a room. It's a great neutral and works well with different wood tones.
Oh Angelica, sweet, sweet Angelica. This color is just a wisp of pinkish-gray. It's perfect for a girls room when you don't want an in-your-face pink. It's so neutral and light that it could work in any room that you want to glow just a bit at sunset.
This is a cool gray with definite blue and green undertones. Against a bright white trim you can really see the subtle undertones of this paint. In a dark room the color merges into just a perfect cool gray.
6. MORNING DEW
This color is a breath of fresh air. I once painted a kitchen this color and it looked great with fir cabinetry and white shelves. It's a perfect subtle green that changes color throughout the day. Looks great by candlelight!
And there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions and I will pass them on to Maria. Aren't we lucky to have her!?
I have some great memories with my best friend growing up in a Ralph Anderson designed home. It too was built to bring the outdoors into your space. We could look into the forest from her bedroom's floor to ceiling windows. The "hallway" was a cat walk above the living and dining rooms. It was like no other home in our neighborhood. And to get to revisit another of Ralph's homes is incredibly special.
Years ago my sister and I were hired by Ralph to stage one of his new construction homes. He let us come to his Alki Beach Condo and select any art off the walls to put in with our staging. We knew it was an honor but it was also scary carrying Morris Graves and Guy Anderson originals in our truck!
And here is the 3rd Ralph Anderson home that we have staged! It's a beauty.
It's still cold here in Seattle so we move much slower when it comes to prepping our outdoor spaces. I am here to push you now to get it all ordered and ready for the sunny days.
I am all about bright Melamine plates and platters, plastic tumblers and a sassy tray for them to sit. I love the farm table look with lanterns and candles. Love lightweight planters filled with color and fragrance brought close to your seating area for that cozy vibe. And it all looks better with the lights strung above. I suggest a basket filled with blankets or throws for when the cool evening sets in and the conversations are just getting juicy-it keeps your guests warm and happy.
Have fun shopping some of my favorite items!
Orders $65 and over use: FREESHIP65 for free shipping.
Next week I will help you with planting your containers. It's all about companion planting for greenery, fragrance and color. Let me know if you have any gardening questions that I can help with.
Now focus on your outdoor space!
Whoa Nellie, this is a great new construction view home. We were pleased with the staging result but in full disclosure, some of the furniture is the home owners, who, I might add, have incredible taste. Their pieces set the tone and we tried to meet that fabulousness. (Not a word, I know, but it works!) The sectional in the lower level you sink into and go into relaxation mode. We all had to take a 1.5 minute break to revel in the delicious comfort of it.
I am departing from staging and decorating for a moment of travel talk. Been away on vacation but I am back and inspired!
We have this favorite pocket of Palm Springs where we love to stay. It keeps you just blocks from all the downtown energy. Most of these hotels have bikes to share so you can ride in that warm Cali sun.
My sister, Tara, is the Queen of hotels. When you travel with her you take a back seat. She will check out the room, location and make the necessary changes if it is not on par. That comes from her years in the hotel industry.
Had to do this all on my own this time. For me simple is fine but stylish is a must.
Our last week in Palm Springs was a 10! We stayed at the Avalon Hotel. Where guests fetch their coffee in their fluffy hotel bathrobes, yoga is happening on a balcony, couples are sitting on their lanai planning their day ahead and others lounging poolside reading the newspaper. Incredibly intimate. You do not have to search for a lounge chair because they have 3 beautiful pools-plenty for everyone. Life there just slowly plays out before you...
It's my 3rd time here and I really do want to return but not until I try the hotels below that I found to be just as lovely in their own distinct way. Here is where we stay next:
I met the owner/designer because I got caught stalking the grounds trying to get photos. She took time with us and showed us around. I am sold!
If you phone the hotel personally and use "LOYAL20" they will give you a 20% room discount.
This is another fun hotel in that same pocket of Palm Springs that I love. Give me a white bed and I am all good.
Again, if you phone or book the hotel personally and use "LOYAL20" they will give you a 20% room discount.
I got the impression this place would be expensive but it is right in with the others. Love the decor in their restaurant Azucar-especially if you are a Frida Kahlo fan. The pool is beautiful and the rooms are perfectly dreamy.
Use the "Loyal20" code here as well for the 20% discount on your room. Awesome, right?
][photos from the hotel websites and my iphone][
Now,back to the really serious business of staging...
Back in the day (circa 1975) my cousin had a white acrylic desk and chair. It was so edgy and modern. I asked my mother if I could have new furniture like hers and she said NO. I had to stick with an antique white painted wood set with kelly green and royal blue painted trim.
Well, I have made up for lost time purchasing several Lucite pieces for my grown up home.
Take that Mother!
Click & Shop!
I have done all the shopping for you, all you have to do is Click and Shop!
This is a BIG hint to my shopping sister to purchase some new art for our kid rooms. She is quite busy so I thought I would bring the art to her. I love so many of these pieces that I had to share them with anyone inspired to freshen their space.
Click & Shop!