Browsing Tag



Swedish Brand Light My Fire Brings Style to Your Outdoor Activities

light my fire outdoor meal accessories

Nature doesn’t have to be the only beautiful things that surround you when in the wood, at the top of a mountain or fishing with the practical and colourful outdoor accessories by Light My Fire. Their latest outdoor accessories prove to be as practical in the city as they are in the wild.

modern picnicware
photo credits: Fancy Picnic picture from Light My Fire on Facebook

My Picks: What’s New 2013 Collection

For picnics, camping trips or to carry your lunch to the office, you will find everything that you need to eat a delicious, civilized meal with their Lunch kit or the MealKit 2.0. Continue Reading


Three Festive Platters and a Tray for Summer Entertaining

platters for outdoor entertaining

There is nothing like great patterned platters to cheerful an outdoor table. Two of of three would make a cute Father’s Day gift that the kids could give to their dad.

platters for outdoor entertaining
Kärringen mot Strömmen Tray
$32 USD at Huset | French Bull Multiplaid Platter $18 USD | Striped Carnival Tray $9.99 USD at World Market

As a bonus, I suggest BÄRBAR, a cute birdie tray by IKEA. I received it at an event earlier this year and love it. BÄRBAR won’t break too much the bank of the kids.
barbar tray


Outdoor Valentine’s Day Decoration: Ice Hearts from Poppytalk

poppytalk diy winter valentine's day heart

poppytalk diy winter valentine's day heart

We may not think of decorating our outdoor spaces for Valentine’s Day, but this uncomplicated idea by Poppytalk contributor Margie Oomen of Resurrection Fern has us reconsidering our options.

The combination of colorful natural elements frozen in heart-shaped ice is a beautiful contrast to what can be a rather gray month overall.

poppytalk diy winter outdoor decoration heart

Make a few to hang in spots where they’re sure to surprise and delight. We love them strung along a clothesline (shown above), but they’d look just as lovely as a winter wreath alternative on your front door or on barren tree branches in your backyard or neighbourhood park.

It’s a quick, simple project kids will love too. Check out Poppytalk for full instructions.

+ Hearts of Ice DIY on Poppytalk


Spruce Outdoor Centerpiece

spruce outdoor centerpiece bhg

spruce outdoor centerpiece bhg

Delightful outdoor decorations greet your guests with style and character. I got tired of the big lit house decorations. It might be because we pass the Holiday at the cottage that I am more inspired by this birdbath evergreen tree centerpiece. The idea behind this project is to set up a welcoming woodsy vignette at the bottom of your stairs or next to the walkway.

spruce outdoor centerpiece details

I suggest that you use LED outdoor lights that are battery-operated. Look for snowflake lights of 5 to 6 inches. We want to see them from a distance.

+ project: Better Homes and Gardens
+ Set of 2 Blue/White LED 6″ Snowflake Outdoor Ornaments $19.99 USD on sale at Mr. Light


Entrance Decorations for Halloween

spellbinding style halloween decor

spellbinding style halloween decor

Illuminate to the exterior of your home by adding a lit twig gate to your porch and hanging a spider web on a window. Your trick or treat visitors will feel welcome and know where to enter. I like how they create a path by putting the crow luminary string lights on the floor instead of hanging them.

Lit twig spider web

I also like the caged crow string lights, but they are not out of stock. You could try to assemble something similar to regular string lights by inserting a few plastic crows into cheap bird cages that you painted black.

caged crow string lights for halloween

+ Lit Twig Gate on sale at $89.99 USD / $114.91 CAD – only through catalog or online
+ Lit Twig Spider Web on sale at $89.99 USD / $114.91 CAD – only through catalog or online
+ Crow Luminary String Lights on sale at $26.99 USD / $34.47 CAD – only through catalog or online


Simple and Delightful Ideas for Entertaining at the Cottage

outdoor movie :: pillows on the dock

outdoor movie :: pillows on the dock

Entertaining at a cottage by the lake must leave you time to enjoy the view and all the outdoor activities. A few simple steps is often enough to make your guests feel welcome.

You could start with these three ideas from a Montauk Surf Shack that was featured on The New York Times. What I like about these ideas is that you can reuse them over and over. The key component is to provide comfort in a fun and stylish way.

canvas teepees

  • Create your own outdoor theater with vintage webbed lawn chairs and a canvas screen. Ask your guests to bring the sangria, beer, popcorn and their favorite movie.
  • Spread a large collection of comfy pillows on the dock. Pillows are easy to make with outdoor fabrics and use less place than lounge chairs.
  • If you often invite a large group of people, why not build your own canvas teepees? This way, your guests will not have to bring their tent. Better yet, you will be ready for impromptu guests. Building the teepees could be a fun group activity one weekend.

+ Webbed Lawn Chairs at Lawn Chairs USA $29.99 USD
+ photos: Randy Harris for The New York Times


A Look at Upscale Outdoor Playhouses + My Modern Favorite Playhouse

custom cape cod playhouse

custom cape cod playhouse

I was surprised when I read this article from The New York Times by the spread of high-end, custom playhouse makers. I would have never imagined building a playhouse with air conditioning, a kitchen with running water and a 32-inch flat TV on the second floor. The article clearly depicts the world of the rich and super rich niche.

But more than that, the article made me realized that the playhouse market is not only parents but also for grandparents who wish to provide their grandchildren with the best entertainment. For example, it makes perfect sense for a family gathering place on a lake. And the best thing is that the family members can pitch in (money and/or labor) to build a fun play zone for the kids.

Modern Style Playhouses

illinois modern playhouse

Personally, I would pick a modern style for my son like the ones made by Smart Playhouse. I like the clean, airy lines of the Illinois model with its eight large windows.

hobikken maxi

The Hobikken playhouse model is available in three sizes: mini, junior and maxi. It becomes a playroom outside your home.

+ Child’s Play, Grown-Up Cash from The New York Times
Illinois model from Smart Playhouse $12,485, including interior lighting
+ Hobikken playhouse by Smart Playhouse


For The Birds: Modern Feeders

birdfeeders J Schatz egg modern outdoor decor

modern birdfeeders wood etsy outdoor decor

Rustic wooden birdfeeders are perfectly charming in a country garden, but they can ruffle the feathers of urban outdoor spaces with contemporary design leanings. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of modern, quirky feeders that are sure to have friends – both of the human and feathered variety – all a twitter. These stylish options are on the pricey side, but would make a unique gift for new homeowners feathering their nest.

Canopy Bird Feeder Series from StudioLicious

Though made-to-order in Canada, this series of feeders has more of a Scandinavian sensibility. Available in various shapes and stain colours.

J Schatz Egg Bird Feeders

birdfeeders J Schatz egg modern outdoor decor

Want to add a little pop art pizzazz to your backyard? These candy-coloured bird feeders by NYC designer J Schatz will look like jewellery amongst backyard foliage. Bonus: they’re squirrel proof! Available in 8 colours.

Glass Birdhouses from Eva Solo and aHa! Modern Living

birdfeeders glass modern outdoor decor

There’s not a chance anyone will throw stones at these sculptural glass houses. Not only will they add sparkle to the backyard, it’s easy to see when these feeders need filling.

+ Canopy Bird Feeder Series from StudioLicious, from $52
J Schatz Egg Bird Feeder, from $135
Glass bird feeder from Eva Solo
+ Roost Utopia Birdhouses from aHa! Modern Living, $75


Tiki Torch Alternatives: Keep Bugs At Bay

outdoor lantern entertaining citronella candle

outdoor lantern entertaining citronella candle

I don’t know what’s worse: spending an otherwise gorgeous summer weekend attempting (and failing) to ward off pesky mosquitoes, or doing so surrounded in retro-in-a-bad-way tiki torches.

I wish I’d made time during pre-long weekend supply shopping trips to search out a few stylish alternatives. Pottery Barn has no shortage of pretty vintage-inspired lanterns just begging to disguise citronella candles, while German design company Blomus creates gorgeous, contemporary stainless steel torches that will last for years of hot summer nights.

Of course, not every outdoor occasion calls for fireside chic. These cheery Crate & Barrel citronella candles-in-a-can have portability on their side. Just stash a couple amongst your camping gear or with your evening picnic accoutrements so you’re primed to keep bugs at bay.

And, since there’s nothing stylish about scratching the evidence of a weekend out-of-doors, you may want to keep this list of home remedies handy too.

And if you are looking for more cool outdoor inspirations, revisit Kim’s Modern Style at the Cottage that she wrote for

+ Mercury Glass Lanterns, Pottery Barn, $8.40 – $89.13 CAD
+ Blomus Stainless Steel Patio Lantern, Lekker, $60 USD
+ Citronella Candle-in-a-Can, Crate & Barrel, from $1.50 CAD
+ 9 DIY Home Remedies for Relieving Mosquito Bites from Secret Tips from the Yumiverse


Eco-Friendly DIY Sandbox

diy covered sandbox oh dee oh

diy covered sandbox oh dee oh

If you have the space, a sandbox is wonderful backyard addition that can keep kids occupied for hours. It provides an instantly-accessible outdoor space for kids to build and create.

The builders of this DIY version – Carla and Jason of Small + Friendly – definitely thought outside the sandbox with the double-duty lid/deck design, and paid special attention to make it eco-friendly and safe for their son.

Not only is it built with salvaged wood, the hinged cover helps keep the sand free of environmental waste (like leaves and grass clippings). They also sealed the wood with low-VOC sealant so the mini deck is safe to play on.

What kid-friendly features would you like to add to your backyard?

+ Deluxe DIY Sandbox on Small + Friendly (via Oh Dee Doh)


Host An Outdoor Movie Night

outdoor movie night

outdoor movie night

Prairie Hive is a new digital lifestyle magazine following in the designer footsteps of other publications like Rue and Lonny. Though the first issue – which just launched last week – has considerably fewer pages than it’s decor-focused precursors, the pages are readable in one sitting and pop with colorful, creative design and party ideas.

outdoor backyard movie night prairie hive magazine

If you’re looking for a backyard barbecue hosting alternative this summer, don’t miss the outdoor movie night featured on page 22. Mini lights, paper lanterns, pom-pom garland and cozy blankets give this casual party an eclectic, cheerful atmosphere.

outdoor backyard movie night snacks

A well-stocked snack bar is a movie night must. Brightly-colored candy in retro canisters, gourmet sodas and giant bowls of flavored popcorn give this party a youthful vibe. You can read on their blog that they used a PVC coated drop cloth that is almost white and has a smooth slick side to get an inexpensive movie screen.

Check out Prairie Hive for more ideas on how to host a backyard movie night, including movie and music suggestions, plus recipes for rosé sangria and curry and maple bacon flavored popcorn!

+ All photos Prairie Hive Magazine