Posts Tagged ‘patio’

Before and After: Outdoor Oasis

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I’ve had an amazing response to my new pool and patio that’s featured in the June issue of Traditional Home! And since we’re starting a fabulous long holiday weekend today, I thought I’d show you the before shots of my home’s outdoor area and tell you a little about how I transformed it!

The existing pool and patio had an aggregate concrete surface and crumbling tile surround. It was way beyond time for a renovation, and I couldn’t wait to get rid of this old and battered concrete.

With the help of outdoor living expert David Munsey III of Better Lawns & Gardens, we resurfaced the patio with black-and-white Techo-Bloc Tux Pavers and the pool with black-and-white frost-proof tile from Daltile. The look speaks to my personal style and to the age of the house, which was built in 1968.

Here’s a shot I took of from the sunroom just as they were about to pull up all that concrete. I was so happy to see that old surface go!

As you can see in the before photo above, the sunroom of my house overlooks the outdoor area, so visual flow between indoors and out was especially important. I wanted to take colors and motifs from my interiors to the patio to make the decor look seamless and integrated.

For the outdoor decor, I wanted to have that 1960s glam vibe, like Palm Beach or the Beverly Hills Hotel. To enhance the cabana feel, I added a valance and draperies to the roof overhang.

And you know me, I have to have color! So I added energetic splashes of pink and green, as well as preppy stripes for extra kick. I furnished the patio with pieces from a line of Chinese Chippendale furniture that I designed for Woodbridge Furniture. And the Duralee fabric on the cushions feels like comfy terry cloth, which is great for a pool area!

To make gatherings even more memorable, there’s an outdoor music system, a pink flamingo float (named Frankie, after Frank Sinatra), and a giant chess set. I found chess pieces online that fit perfectly on the checkerboard tile. How fun is that? And I think Brooks Pools did an amazing job on our pool renovation.

Here’s the fabulous landscape designer David Munsey III enjoying my new patio with me – we may never go indoors!

So what do you think about this new outdoor space? Don’t you love being outside in the summer months? Let me know in the comments section below!

xo,

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Outdoor Room

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When designing outdoor rooms – like patios, screened porches, lanais, and kitchens – most people don’t realize that the same design guidelines for indoor rooms should apply! You want to make your family and friends feel just as comfortable in a chic space outside as they are inside your home. So I’ve put together a few rules of thumb to remember.

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1. Offer a lot of great seating – both in the shade and in the sun. Just like in your home, your guests will need seating that fits the event. So be sure you have fab loungers for sitting in the sun, comfy seats for eating and talking, and of course some umbrellas to cover them when they’ve had enough sun.

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2. Height matters. If the chairs in your dining room weren’t the right height for the table, your guests wouldn’t be comfortable eating there, right? So you need to be sure any stools or seats outside are just the right height for the table or counter.

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3. Lighting is key. I like to have the right light on hand in any area of the home – and the same rule applies outside. You want to provide great light for tasks like preparing food, or to allow your guests to linger over drinks with you and other friends on warm summer nights.

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4. Make them relax. Having a lot of pillows on your seating lets guests get comfortable and enjoy themselves. They can pop these great outdoor pillows behind their backs or use them for propping up their arms. Either way, these pillows look great, and make your guests feel great!

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5. The natural look. If you had a dinner party indoors, you would definitely want to use fresh flowers on the table, right? So do the same outside! Cut some lovely stems from your own backyard, or use purchased flowers that complement the decor. Either way, a bouquet creates a welcoming look.

Use these ideas to create your own oasis outdoors – and start planning those summer parties!

Warmly yours,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

A.W.O.L. Blogger!

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Hello, there!

I’ve been A.W.O.L. for a few days, but I want to give you a quick behind-the-scenes peek at my 12-hour day of shooting yesterday with everyone’s favorite garden guru, P. Allen Smith! We filmed some great conversations for his shows, Garden Style and Garden Home, and we also had a lot of laughs.

I have more to tell you about our shoot coming up soon, but here’s a taste for now!

Tobi and Allen 1 Tobi and Allen 2 Tobi and Allen 7

More soon!

Xo,

Tobi Signature