An Inspired Patio

I saw this drop dead gorgeous image of the terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York and thought it was fantastic inspiration for anyone’s own patio!  I have some of Peter Dunham’s Fig Leaf pillows in my own sunroom and even though it’s been seen everywhere I have to say I STILL love it above all other pillows in my home.  Some things just stay fresh, and this print is one of them.

8c4a80c2c0813c5cfa59324cf8791135

So here’s how I’d translate this terrace into a patio or porch design…

inspired

sofa // curtains // light // pillow // glasses // table // chairs // lantern // string lights // rug // planters

And if the Peter Dunham is too pricey, there is a great alternative on Spoonflower by Domesticate called Tropicali Afternoon.

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 7.28.18 AM

Prep for Spring: My Patio Project

Spring is supposed to begin in a couple of days- it certainly doesn’t feel like it here.  It’s still flipping freezing and hope is waning in these parts.  But as the snow melts (and we pray we don’t get any more) I can start thinking about outdoor living again!!!  In the warmer months I spend as much time as humanely possible outside, it just makes me happier.  So when we bought our house I knew I HAD to get a patio installed sooner rather than later. Luckily, we did to get to design and install a fabulous one last summer thanks to the fine folks at Quikrete ,Pavestone  and Chris Miller Brick Paving.  If you are thinking of adding a patio or re-doing one at your home this spring I thought a little step by step may be helpful!
before

We have a long narrow yard, but after living in the city for years it felt like a farm to us. 

1. Product arrives!  Yay!  Site preparation – level patio area and remove any tree roots, stumps, or anything you may find (there’s more on this whole process in my book because it was kind of hilarious/dramatic.)   The fun part of excavating any area new to you is you NEVER know what you might find!

EOSPatio-photos(lowres)-1
2. Lay down QUIKRETE HardScapes Base Sand and make it level so the pavers have a level surface to be placed.  Note: slope patio away from any structures for drainage. This protects your basement from water problems which we ALL want to avoid! You’ve seen Property Brothers- wet basements are a HUGE bummer.
EOSPatio-photos(lowres)-2

3. Place the pavers on the level surface. I used the Venetian Stone™ Combo 80mm in charcoal and in 4 different sizes to achieve a slightly more “natural stone” look.  The grey color is great and works nicely with the classic New England style of our house.

EOSPatio-photos(lowres)-3
4. The pattern, while seemingly random, needed to follow the design so it seemed random.  Follow your plans and the pattern plans to make sure the repeat looks it’s best!  It’s a OCD person’s dream to figure out and perfect this puzzle!

Yard Crashers, EOS Style!

So, we’ve been here almost a full year (September 1) and we are finally getting down to redoing our little yard!  I love the privacy it gives us, the fun it provides our dogs and the size, which is just enough to not be a total pain in the ass to take care of.  But one thing it’s currently lacking is a PATIO!  I am someone who loves being outside- so having a space to hang out and entertain outdoors is super important to me in a home.  So we are going to maintain some grassy space for the pups and future EOS spawn while adding a fabulous new patio to the mix!

While bluestone would be lovely, it’s not in our budget.  So we decided to work with Pavestone and Quikrete on a patio project showcasing what you can do with a smaller budget and just as good looking materials that also happen to be durable and practical.  First we decided on a material- it was between these two forms- on the left is Venetian 80mm Combo and on the right is Vintage Stone Combo (as well as the Rumble Stone border we are embedding around the planting beds next to the house). Everything will be installed by Chris Miller Brick Paving.

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 6.54.33 PM

Both of these looked great, and I loved the grey color, but I ended up choosing the one on the left due to it’s larger size stones.  I thought it looked more like bluestone and it looked better when wet (something to think of when choosing- I sprayed them down and it made the choice easier for me!)  So, we have a material, now for the layout.

It was VERY important to Andrew that we be able to have 2 chaises for us to relax on- we do love lounging in the sun!  But we also needed a place for the grill, a dining space and I wanted an area for 4 chairs where we could sit with another couple and have drinks.  We also had to plan for our future garage/master suite/ laundry room renovation/ addition in which we tear down the garage and rebuild it larger and taller to accommodate all those spaces.  So the door from the mudroom/garage/ kitchen to the patio will change locations in a year- we had to make sure the patio was planned accordingly.  So here are the “before” pics- so bland and in need of help, my goodness:

photo 3-3

(notice the marks from me spray painting my nightstands?? Ooops.)

photo 1-6

Ugh! It’s so sad looking!  We need to jackhammer up all that pavement and grade the area (which happens to be quite lumpy and uneven) before we start the install.

So here’s my sketch including details we are also adding like a trellis above our back door, rose trellis’ to either side of the door and a mini deck and steps being built out of wood.  We actually decided against the built-in firepit and instead will just keep using our freestanding copper one to allow us to have more flexibility with the furniture layout.

Patio(2)

Pavestone did a KILLER video rendering of what the space will look like when completed!  We’re doing some different landscaping and furniture layout but you get the idea :)  It’s going to be time to call in my Mom for some serious landscaping advice after this is complete!

The trellis and porch we’re doing will look a lot like this:

Scan_Pic0037

We also have a little shed, we affectionately call “the barn” which needs painting and updating.  I have been enamored with black sheds with white trim, but also like Benjamin Moore’s Deep River, which has a smidge of green and is more of a grey then black (you can see my test patch by the door). Still undecided.

shed

An example of the black/ white option for the shed- our patio will be that color too!

3a55998434044edd4c6827a9974d9492

ha7

It would match perfectly with my patio decor plan- which is- wait for it….. BLACK AND WHITE!!! I know, it’s SO unexpected coming from me! :)  It all began with this vintage Brown Jordan patio set my grandparents left me that I love, love, love.  I had it re-enameled in glossy black.

patioset

And here’s where I am with the patio furniture (all IKEA because that’s how we’re rolling these days) and accents so far- still not sure about what accent color I’m using, but I do love coral mixed with black and white.  I’ll have to think about what colors my plantings will be and coordinate!

patio

1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9.

Stay tuned here to see progress- we break ground August 9th! I can’t wait to have a backyard I’m proud of!

Post Sponsored by:

Screen Shot 2013-07-23 at 9.47.26 AM   quikretelogo

 

12 Fab Outdoor Chairs

I have an early meeting with patio people this morning as I plan out and get ready to renovate my backyard just in time for summer!  I’ve been perusing all sorts of patio furniture lately and have found some shocking bargains (chair #1) and crazy fabulous indulgences (chair # 4,8) and wanted to share twelve great lounge chair finds!  Of course, I’m keeping things black, white, grey and green- like my interior- but want to be sure it’s a comfy space to lounge with friends and a chilled bottle of wine…. because isn’t that what summer is all about? Pull four chairs around a coffee table and you are good to go!

outdoorchairs

1. // 2. // 3. // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. // 12.

** Grandin Road is such a good resource for awesome, funky outdoor furniture and pieces!!!

A Kennebunkport Weekend

This past weekend we got to cruise up to Kennebunkport, Maine for a little R&R and to attend some events at the Kennebunkport Festival hosted by Maine Magazine. We stayed at the adorable English Meadows Inn and were greeted by a new friend- BAILEY the Goldendoodle!

Don’t you love those lamps from our room? And the peaceful rocking chairs on the porch?

Friday night was a fantastic dinner hosted by Maine Home + Design at the inn.

The chef came up from New York’s Bar Italia (and previously was the chef at the famed Cipriani) to whip up some seriously amazing food.

The menu and some bolognese (each course paired with absolutely delicious wine…)

Which lead to a really tough next morning (” Honey, I drank ALL the wine. Ever made, I think”)

But the best cure for the over-served? Bailey’s irresistible little face and some insanely good breakfast (cardamom french toast anyone?) The inn’s breakfasts are some of the best I’ve ever had!

Looking up at the perfect blue Maine sky.

We strolled through some of Kennebunkport’s galleries and shops (how cute!)

We swung by one of the most magical places I’ve been in Maine- Snug Harbor Farm.  My mom had told me about it, but as a non-gardener I thought that I wouldn’t be as into it as she of the Green Thumb. I was wrong. It’s GORGEOUS!

These fabric and nailhead lanterns were amazing! I can only imagine the glow they would give off with a candle inside!

Awesome little terrariums (and cute little price tags!)

The barn is also chock full of goodies, but the majority of gorgeousness sis outside!

THEY HAVE MINIATURE HORSES!!!!! It was like Christmas morning!

I was seriously obsessed. They were not as impressed with me, but I could not stop petting them.

I mean, just look at this place!

We were amazed by this huge hydrangea in one of the greenhouses.

ADORABLE!

I bought a pair of topiaries for my mantle. I hope I don’t kill them.

Then we made our way over to the festival’s Grand Tasting and Art Show. I had no idea what to expect but was blown away by this massive and awesome grouping of tons of local food and wine vendors serving up tastings of their goods. One could get seriously wastey-face at this thing but I was still feeling a bit under the weather- hence my empty glass.

Andrew manned up and participated though. I was more into sitting in the sun at the lovely Colony Hotel.

The art show was really cool- as a designer I of course loved the play of modern works on top of the historical wallpapers of the hotel!

How awesome is this wallpaper??

I squealed when I went into this room- pink moulding?!? And that cow painting made me smile.

Later that evening we drove over to Goose Rocks Beach to check out the Tides Beach Club for drinks and dinner. It was a gorgeous night and an equally lovely and cool place!

We sipped and chatted here on the porch looking at the ocean.

Some awesome corn and clam chowder and just LOOK at the lucite barstools and tufted bar with nailhead trim. There has never been a bar more “me”!

Such great design int he lobby/bar/restaurant! Awesome.

And how about this breathtaking beach? We walked and watched dogs swim int he ocean and swore we’d come back soon.