Thursday, April 7, 2011

Come on baby, light my fire

A trip to any grocer or market in April will remind you that summer is truly almost here again... bunches of bright yellow daffodils, vibrant iris flowers with their intense purplish-blue hue, and armfuls of tulips in almost every shade of the rainbow are displayed at the entrance to most markets.  Just the sight of these new blooms of life are proof that the sun's rays are warming the earth and air all around us.

Which leads my designer mind to thinking about.... patio design!  What refreshing details can I add to my outdoor rooms this year that will give new life to them? What colors and patterns will be dominant this year in design that I can incorporate to give a current, renewed energy to my neutral outdoor furniture?

Well, patterns we'll see again this year are lattice, coral and other sea life, and classic stripes - much like last summer.  Hot color combinations continue to be black and white, lively leaf-green with accents of hot colors like yellow and orange, and this year the addition of a lot more aqua.  Aqua is really hot in design still and is working it's way into the outdoor products and textiles for 2011.  It looks fabulous when contrasted against nautical navy blue or paired with it's complementary opposite orange. 

Outdoor fireplaces in eco-burning fuel options are more abundant this year and I don't see this trend slowing down anytime soon.  The fuel containers are easily available and are a corn byproduct that burns cleanly, and unlike wood burning fireplaces, they require no clearance or venting.  Most products in this category have been contemporary in style, but other options like the barrel style below by Restoration Hardware give traditionalists a great option now too.  Time to mix up some sangria and move the entertaining outdoors again!

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