Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Outdoor Styling

This past few weeks has been a period of major accomplishments around the Koch household.  Jady passed scary oral exams and defended his thesis to finish his PhD... and I led a women's retreat!  Ok, so I realize it's not exactly on the same scale of magnitude, but I have never really done any public speaking, and I had certainly never been THE speaker at an entire weekend-long retreat.  As in, I'm IT for three hours of talking.  Yikes.  

It turned out to be a wonderful experience, particularly because the group of sweet ladies I was speaking to were super encouraging, non-critical and easygoing-- thank goodness.  No tomatoes thrown, so I consider it to be a major victory:)

Since I needed to prepare for the retreat, I wouldn't let myself work on any major house or yard work until I got home on Sunday.  So now it's been over a month since I've done a project, and I'm full of pent-up energy and need to reign in the spastic, ADD excitement and decide where to focus next.  

I'm thinking it might be time to revisit our deck decor, especially as summer has arrived and we're spending more time than ever lounging in our outdoor furniture.  I'm still enjoying our old Goodwill sofa that got a makeover with its new white cushions, but the whole simple, black and white palette of the outdoor space could use a little boost.  I love the black and white, so whether we keep the clean, graphic look or go bold with pops of color, we need some throw pillows for comfort, pattern and added visual interest.  

(Sorry, these are old pictures from back before I finished the deck railing, but it's all I could find.  I think it's time to snap a few updated ones.)

These black and white oversized Greek key print pillows from Overstock would tie in the black frames and the white couch cushions and help make the whole look more intentional and tied together.  Plus I love a Greek key pattern.  These would be great either in an all black and white look or paired with other colorful pillows.  

Also from Overstock, I'm liking this blue ikat pillow with a little yellow detail.  The more organic shapes of an ethnic print pair up so nicely with linear, graphic fabrics; the juxtaposition keeps things interesting.  

One Kings Lane has some great looking outdoor pillows right now-- I want them all!-- but at around $50-80 each, you're paying for all that style.

Etsy has some fun, different outdoor pillow covers out there, and the prices are often less than other big retailers, so it's worth digging through the website to find what you're looking for.

Or there's also always the option of a monogrammed pillow.  

If I decide that none of these outdoor pillows are exactly what I want, I can always find some outdoor fabric and sew my own pillow cases (like I did with these for the side screened porch).  Right now, JoAnn's Fabrics has a huge selection online of outdoor fabric, and at the moment they're offering a huge sale.  All of these patterns are only $9.99 a yard right now!  Which means, even including buying the pillow insert, sewing my own would 
make this outdoor upgrade super affordable.

I love the pool-blue color of this fun Better Homes and Gardens pattern.

This outdoor canvas in Baja Fret would be perfect for a gray and yellow or gray and lilac color combination.

Waverly's Centro Mimosa pattern... I LOVE hot pink and orange together.  This one's tempting.

Creme de la Creme in Fresco Teal (don't you love some of these names?  How do they come up with this stuff?)

 If we only had a beach house... HGTV's Sea Legs Equator fabric is adorable.



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