Seasonal Scapes 2016 | Summer

Well hello there, Summer, I thought you’d never arrive!

I hope you’re all able to soak up some extra time with family and friends over this Memorial Weekend like I am!  And, if you’re like me, that means hosting backyard get-togethers.

Wait, you’re backyard isn’t ready for guests, you say?

Don’t panic!  Keep reading for 3 seriously easy, and affordable!, ways to jazz up your outdoor space in time for hosting those summer BBQ’s and bonfires!

1- Refresh your accent pillows and toss in a summer-weight throw for added style

I typically design my backyard areas to reflect the the feel and decor I have going on inside my home, but also love the fun surprises that bright pops of color can bring to outdoor spaces!  There are no rules when it comes to decorating backyard, in my opinion, so go wild and bold if you’re feeling it!

Switching out pillows and throws is hands down the easiest way to refresh a space, both indoors and out, and make it feel new and inviting.

And, don’t feel restricted to just ‘outdoor’ labeled items made from fabrics such as Sunbrella.  Often times I choose indoor pillows and coat them with a Water Repellent spray like Rust-Oleum’s NeverWet before using.   Keep in mind though that it’s still recommended to bring them in each night.

 

2- Setup a designated ‘serving’ area for beverages and food items with outdoor safe serving ware in a coordinating color

AWellDressedLife by Jaime Spencer

I love shopping HomeGoods’ selection of seasonal items!  They always carry pretty collections of melamine and shatterproof serving ware in fun colors and styles.  And at the typical price point of $2.99/glass, they’re totally affordable, too!

Also, if you don’t already own an apothecary style beverage dispenser, you’re missing out.  I’ve collected several over the years and use them every time I entertain- year round.  They really jazz up your drink selection and look so much more put together over just sitting out basic pitchers of tea or lemonade.  Toss in a decorative tray and you’ve rounded out a simple, but thought out beverage station!

 

3- Ambient lighting

I’m a huge fan of the cafe light trend.  The kits are easily found at any retailer that carries seasonal outdoor decor like Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and AtHome Stores, and pretty simple to install.  If you don’t have a structure overhead to attach them to- like a pergola or low hanging trees, a great alternative is using eye hooks (from the exterior of your home) to posts or tall rods positioned out in the yard.  For easy DIY tutorials, check out these posts from Bright July, Blue i Style – or for a more permanent, commercial take on this look, see Gray House Studio’s amazing project!

Or, if you’re down to the final hour before guests arrive, strategically scattered outdoor lanterns are a quick way to add lots of visual interest to your entertaining area!  I stock up on the battery operated candles made specifically for outdoors- meaning they’re made of plastic, NOT wax!, like 99% of BOC’s.  Trust me, the wax versions last about a day under the hot sun so make sure to read the packaging to confirm their material!  The plastic versions can be somewhat hard to find, but I’ve spotted them at Pier One recently.  My favorite brand, however, is the Luminara that I buy from Pottery Barn (along with the remote!) for their realistic flame.


** GIVEAWAY Alert**

My good friends over at Lauren Nicole Designs are giving away the gorgeous Mercury Glass Hurricane with LED lights ($60 value!) pictured above, far right!  This is a perfect addition to your summer entertaining setup and who doesn’t love the Mercury Glass trend! To enter, all you have to do is comment on their blog post today (Monday 5/30/2016).


And for more Summertime inspiration, head over to see what these sweet girls are doing, too!

 

Happy entertaining, ya’ll!

Red, White & BOOM! 2015 Event Design

Shwooh!  What a busy, fun, creative  weekend it was for AWDL!

This year we celebrated our 2nd annual July 4th weekend blowout party on the lake with family and friends.  I truly enjoyed planning and executing this year’s events and couldn’t have been happier with the decor!

I found these adorable Robin’s Egg blue chargers at Party Reflections Charlotte (give my girl, Linsey Martin a shout, she’s amazing to work with!) and built my decor from there to form a Country Chic vibe that pairs so well with the easy going, southern family feel.

DSC_0853I added in burlap linens, roped flatware, delicate eyelet napkins and vintage crates to round it off.

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I utilized several items from last years decor pile, but really chose to take the floral game up a notch this year.  I’ve had such great luck with FiftyFlowers.com for other events lately, so I ordered all of my stems through them for this event, too.  Everything arrived on Thursday, giving me ample time to unpack and process the flowers so they’d be hydrated and open for arranging come Saturday morning.

I chose the following based on color and heat resistance (since this event was outdoors):

  • Silver Dollar Eucalyptus
  • True White Garden Roses
  • Red Anemone
  • Dusty Miller Green Filler
  • Lipstick Red Mini Garden Roses
  • Dahlia Style Cremon Snowflake (because true Dahlia’s don’t hold up well in the heat)
  • Aquamarine Airbrushed Spider Mum (to tie into the Robin’s Egg blue)
  • Lamb’s Ear Green Fillerfloral stems collage

For the long farm tables, I used the vintage crates to build my centerpieces in.  I simply lined them with .2Mil plastic painting dropclothes (from Lowes), to keep my wet foam from leaking through the gaps onto the table runners.  Then, I placed 2-3 blocks of presoaked wet foam in the bottom of each crate and began to insert my stems.

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DSC_0883I started with the fillers along each outside edge and worked my way inward with flowers.  Making ‘country’ style arrangements truly is easy since they’re free flowing and wispy.

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DSC_0849The Dusty Miller and Silver Dollars were the perfect filler choices!  I love the cool blue tones they lend and how easy they both are to work with.

I alternated the farm tables with other crates that were slotted for bottles- the perfect means for me to reuse a ton of these colored milk bottles I scored on sale from Hobby Lobby last year!  Just tie a bit of twine around the necks and pop in a few stems- super easy centerpieces!DSC_0848

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DSC_0886I found a ton of other amazing vintage pieces at Party Reflections including wine barrel bars (1 for the salad bar turned dessert bar and the other for the DJ table set up on the dock), 2 8ft tall boxed hedges that I used as a backdrop for the DJ and 2 picket fence shelving units that held the personalized Tervis Tumbler party favors.  Photos to come!DSC_0890Buffet collageParty Reflections also had these great wooden risers that I mixed in with serpentine tables for the buffet.  They added extra display space AND an awesome rustic feel!

**Things to note about my floral choices:  The Anemone and Lamb’s Ear both have very short stems, making them difficult to use in the large arrangements.  I had to add watering tubes to the Anemone which was both time consuming and a pain.  I’ll probably steer clear of both in the future, as much as I love their look.

Hope everyone enjoyed the 4th!!  Until the next party…. CHEERS!

Red, White + Beautiful

Have you starting prepping for your July 4th outdoor festivities?
We jumped two feet in as soon as I got the call to plan a weekend long, lakeside celebration! Now, with only a handful of days left until the out of town guests arrive, I’m scurrying to wrap up the loose ends to this over the top family affair!
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The host asked for a Down Home, Southern feel with all of the traditional eats + decor. However, for a fun pop if color, I chose to incorporate a fun shade of teal in place of some of the traditional royal blue.

I started by ordering enough bunting + pull down flags to make Betsy Ross squeal.

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Grandin Road
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To dress the fabulous farm tables I’ve rented, I’ll be adding red houndstooth runners + topping them with vase trios in red, white + teal filled with gorgeous blooms.
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Here are some of my top picks for additional decor.

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We’ll add various ‘America’ themed pillows to the existing patio furniture to tie them in. 20140623-225656-82616539.jpgPotteryBarn

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And some cute DIYs I have in mind…

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Stay tuned for the sneak peek!