When my husband and I moved into our condominium six years ago, my gardening flourished. You are restricted in what you can do to the outside when you have a Homeowners Association so my challenge began. Each year, I have created spaces outdoors that you can sit, read or reflect in. One of my passions along with decorating is gardening. I have a dear friend, Barbara, who loves to come over and “share” my outdoor spaces with me. As we were sitting in the deck space one year, she took a deep sigh and said, “I feel like I’m in a little slice of heaven.” Even small condominium outdoor spaces can become “rooms.”
I have what I call three separate outdoor rooms during the summer. The first, is the deck, which has wonderful all weather wicker chairs and a high top dining table set made of woven vinyl that I sell from Lloyd/Flanders. Potted flowers and herbs, wall decor, outdoor bakers rack, and fountains envelope the deck. I bought an old shutter and corbels from a salvage yard to create a wall server for food and drinks when entertaining. I had a piece of Plexiglas made to fit on top of the shutter.
The “screen room” is what I call our second space. With the condominum covenants you can’t erect a permanent structure so, my husband and I put up an 11′ x 11′ hexagon screen room (after getting approval of course). What a wonderful space. I put up grommet draperies held by thick ropes on shower rods my husband cut to fit. Added an outdoor rug and furniture. We love it at dusk when the mosquitoes come out. A lot of times we’ll have dinner on the deck and move inside the screen room for coffee. My husband cleverly erected a way to get into the screen room from inside the house. We are able to leave the living room sliding door open to get in and out. Our two Abyssinian cats love the access to go in and out although they are more in the room than out in the summer. Sarah Susanka, architect and author states in her book; “the not so big house,” “that a screen room celebrates summer weather and the outdoors.”
Our third space is my recently installed small pond with a waterfall in the front courtyard. My husband calls it, “The Secret Garden.” It’s so very peaceful and private although there are many condo’s surrounding us. I sit in the Adirondack chair (don’t you just love how the Adirondack chair symbolizes water and peacefulness in your mind.) So many Adirondack chairs have been photographed with two facing the water. My husband and I were in the Adirondacks in Blue Mountain and I shouted to my husband, “stop!” I wanted to take a photograph of two wonderfully old adirondack chairs facing the lake. The photograph on the top of this page is of my pond with one of the seven frogs that kept me company all summer. You can view more pictures of the pond and a larger picture of the screen room by clicking at the top of this page to go to my website.
I shall leave you with a quote from Paige Rense that’s in a little book my friend, Claire gave me: “Everyone has, I think, in some quiet corner of his mind, an ideal home waiting to become a reality.
Enjoy your home today!
Don’t you just love this! This article is in the February/March 2013 issue of Traditional Home Magazine. The furniture featured is a line I sell called Somerset Bay. I just ordered three new pieces for stock. Everytime I place the new pieces in my studio/home, they go right out the door.
One piece I ordered is the Augusta Box on stand. It’s a wonder piece for next to a chair or sofa if you don’t have a lot of room. The other piece I ordered was the Sarasota Nightstand (see picture below). I’m going to put it next to my sofa in the den. I’ve had an antique table that originally started out being red with turned legs there and I painted it a rich cream color from Benjamin Moore called Cloud Nine. Time to change!! This piece will look fantastic there. I ordered it in the finish it’s featured in – Vanilla Bean. That’s one of the wonderful things this company offers is they have a lot of different finishes to choose from.
I originally became familiar with the line when my husband and I journeyed to The Traditional Home Ocean 3 Showhouse: Beauty on the Beach in Montauk, New York. One of the Showhouse sponsors was Somerset Bay.
View one of the Showhouses here: http://www.traditionalhome.com/design_decorating/showhouses/oceans-showhouse-beauty-on-the-beach_ss1.html or visit Somerset Bay’s site you will love it; www.somersetbayhome.com
“Mate-Lesse” – that’s what my husband said the other day. When does the “mate-lesse summer spread come out?” “It’s February,” I said. He thinks that’s a cool word and he uses it whenever he can. I myself find it an interesting word as well. For those of you not quite sure what it means, it’s a jacquard loom and used esp. for clothing, upholstery, and bedspreads and marked by raised floral or geometric designs with a puckered or quilted appearance achieved by the interlacing of threads in the weaving or the contracting of threads in the finishing (see picture above).
I love using words in the “designer world” when speaking with my husband, Rick, about my various projects I’m working on. “Oh the draperies were unbelievably beautiful on my clients window,” I said. “They had grommets and they undulated in and out.” “Undulated in and out!” “What the heck is un..ju…lates…..?” My husband elongates the word to emphasize it. Ah another word in the designer world.
Stay tuned for more “designer words” I use on my husband.