Archive for the 'Outdoor living' Category

Pottery-Can’t Live Without It

Bolivian pottery with a traditional twist

Bolivian pottery with a traditional twist

Sounds extreme but pottery is one of the most basic of man’s utilities and has developed in progression through history.  Think about it….those cave mens first inventions were bowls,urns, flasks and cups.  See what I mean when it’s said that ”good design is timeless”?!! Well the rest of us modern types have taken our contemporary pottery’s look to new heights by incorporating older techniques .  What better way to add a richness that IS truly timeless and certainly not boring.

Sully Gallery Display at Columbus Cultural Arts Center

Sully Gallery Display at Columbus Cultural Arts Center

Shown on the left is a snap when I recently visited the Cultural Arts Center in Columbus, Ohio and found this amazing exhibit.  It’s only on display until May 8th so you’ll have to hurry to soak it in .  This pottery is from Nicaragua and is made by their local, contemporay artists in the indigenous style with natural paints and clay materials.     Can’t imagine this style in your more traditional home???…think again and check out the snap from  a back issue of Veranda here on the right.

But within the world of ceramic collectables my suggestion to any of you would be to check out YOUR local galleries around the country and on your travels..  Often you can find wonderful artful creations that are well priced and voila…you won’t see the same things in your neighbors bookcase!                                                             

majolica

Lots of Color with Italian Majolica

I find that colorful ceramic pieces look best gathered together with varied shapes that are artistically clustered.  Choose a color you would love to mix into your homescape and …cluster away.  Neutrals like off-white,

Garden stands make great side tables

Garden stands make great side tables

beige and brown containers balanced in rows of similar shapes make a strong impact.  Find something you love in an antique shop that’s very collectable like Majolica, Asian Blue and White, American Indian pueblo pottery…. the list goes on.  If you’re shopping the internet it’s still not difficult to find well priced items to get on the path to mixin’ and matchin’.  Garden urns are great indoors as a little side table …they come in every color in the rainbow so get creative and think ceramic!

Horchow fishbowl can go inside or out
Horchow fishbowl can go inside or out

Hope you’re inspired to think spring, think color and add a little something different to your homescape.  Until next time let me know what’s on your mind.  Comments are welcome…just click on the posting date. 

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April 29 2009 | Outdoor living and Pottery | No Comments »

Spring is springing…get outside asap!

Outdoor living is one of those things that northerners with cabin fever can hardly wait for -come springtime! No matter where you live-expanding to the backyard, porch or deck is the best way with good weather to stretch your living space.  It’s time to think spring and summer and get going outside.  Here are some of my “bright light” ideas for a jump start.

PILLOWS: Add some color punches to your seating areas with multicolored pillows.  Choose a 2 color theme and smatter it throughout.  Repeat those colors with other accessories.  Many retailers on line have great pricing on pillows ready made in that wonderful invention-Sumbrella fabric- which is very sun and moisture resistant.  Check out these sources: Potterybarn.com, RestorationHardware.com, BallardDesigns.com

Great price and look from Restoration Hardware

Great price and look from Restoration Hardware

NATURAL LIGHT: Check out these wonderful lanterns which add a touch of elegance and can come inside as well.  Try using citronella candles to ward off those little flying pests.  Want a more casual look and a little less expensive…Tiki torches.  Slide them into your deck railing or simply in the ground…or line the walk to the backyard.  Home Depot and Lowes carry these all summer long with refills of liquid fuel.
Elegantly beautiful day or night from Pottery Barn

Elegantly beautiful day or night from Pottery Barn

INDOOR-OUTDOOR RUGS:  Even in the places the rain might fall, these new composition rugs can tolerate outdoor living and warm up the gloomiest area with charm.  I especially love these patterns and colors from Ballard Designs.
Inside or out these charming patterns will cozy up the living space!

Inside or out these charming patterns will cozy up the living space!

A few other thoughts….Boston ferns…if you don’t have a green thumb, these always add a hint of softness to your outdoor spaces.  They are inexpensive and it takes alot to kill one off.  They are easily found at your local grocery store often in the 10$ range/per plant.  I like them tucked up next to a chair or lounger or flanking an entrance in an urn.  And don’t forget a little whimsical pottery to add a little character…animals shapes or garden urns.  Just mix and match.  Your back yard may not be Paris in the springtime but with a little tweekin’ you can get  pretty close!  Hey, I’ll mention one more thing before signing out….if you have a question or comment,,the blog door is always open.  Just click below or comment by clicking the date above, as I welcome your thoughts!

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April 20 2009 | Outdoor living | 3 Comments »