I don't know what it is about the changing seasons, but as soon as one starts slipping away and melting into another, I get the urge to redecorate some area of my house. My husband Marcus sees it coming: he watches me appraising some corner of our home, quietly tutting and tsking, and he knows the time has come to gird his loins, and prepare for a (possibly arduously) long honey-do list, propelled primarily by my whims. This winter-into-spring it was all about painting our family room. And now? As we say goodbye to Mother's Day, and spring slips into summer?
It's all about the outdoors, baby.
This time, as the warm weather heats up, I've become obsessed with my
back garden. "We must plant our own vegetables!" I demand. "The
furniture is looking old and tired -- there must be repainting!" I
cry. "WEEDS! DEATH to the WEEDS!" I bellow. And Marcus, bless him,
quietly obliges. We now have tomatoes growing in containers behind our
house. Our old outdoor furniture is now a bright, fire-engine red.
And the weeds that were growing between the pavers of our patio have
gone to meet their maker. And while I do offer to help, I'm generally
useless at these sorts of things, and so Marcus lets me off the hook,
preferring instead the efficiency of doing it himself. Bless him.
Now, of course, that all the hard work is done, I'm busy looking at innovative (read: inexpensive) ways to brighten up the entire area -- you know, to really make the most of those warm summer evenings. And, as always, the internet provides much inspiration.
In this great post on Desire to Inspire, I love the idea of using containers to help make a garden even more lush. My husband and I have planted our very first vegetable garden (I know, I know ... what took us so long), but we have it pretty much relegated to the back of our home -- I'm sort of digging the idea of perhaps having a wall of potted herbs or huge pots of giant flowering plants in among our sitting area. Also? I love the cushions everywhere. Because nice, lush gardens should be lounge-y, don't you think?
And possibly the most wonderful example of making an outdoor space lovely on a budget, check out what Nicole of ... what else? ... Making it Lovely did with her front porch, as her entry in the 48-hour Challenge (she transformed her space in 48 hours with $500 -- all while 9 months pregnant. That alone should be reason enough for her to win!). My favourite part of her design? The painted "area rug" that Nicole did by hand. Absolutely inspired.
And finally, when I do feel like our back garden is ready for a summer dinner party, I do love the place setting featured on Stephmodo, with its lovely Provençal yellow-and-blue fabrics, mini-champagne bottles with straws, yellow bandana napkins and lemony name tags. And the best part -- the giant pot of sunflowers. Perfection.
Yup -- summer's almost here. Are any of you doing anything specific to prepare your home for the warm weather around the corner?
Karen is a writer and photographer in Houston, Texas. You can read and see more of her work at Chookooloonks.
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