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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
+ 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
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.
- 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 HGTV.ca.
+ 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
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)
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.
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.
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