Vail Design at Altitude column: Get ready, get set, get outdoors
April 12, 2015
We are so ready for spring, and maybe even summer, that we are going to take a little creative license today. We are going to soften the lines and think outside the box — or the patio, as the case may be. With the past few weeks of ridiculously warm and lovely spring-like days, we're ready to move our lives outside.
However, we're not so naive as to think winter is really over. So although we pine to dine al fresco and listen to concerts under the stars, we know we'll be stuck indoors for a little while longer. How do you meld the indoor with the outdoor? It's pretty easy, actually.
CATCH SOME AFTERNOON SUN
It might be too chilly for after-work backyard picnics, but it's the perfect time to enjoy a leisurely afternoons on porches, lanais and patios. It's also wedding season, which means shower time is nigh. Make it an outdoor event for your bestie: Combine outdoor furniture with some of your favorite indoor accessories for a romantic and festive party.
Cover your outdoor dining table in a flower tablecloth, fill your mother's punch bowl with something that will make the bride blush. Put some of your favorite accent pillows on the chairs, unroll a rug from the dining room and pull out your best silver and china. The party on the deck suddenly feels grown up and fit for a bride — and you can see how different pieces work together.
BRING YOUR PATIO TO YOU
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If it's a bit too chilly for outdoor lounging, throw open your doors and pull some patio furniture inside. Wicker chairs and a wrought-iron table indoors looks completely different than it does outside. Add some lush green plants and a few stems of tulips and the indoor-outdoor look is complete.
It stayed warm late enough the other night and my wine glass wasn't quite empty, so I grabbed one of my latest favorites — a faux fur throw. I lit a few votives and three glass hurricanes in different sizes and enjoyed the quiet splendor of the night. The moon was just rising as the sky darkened to that perfect shade of midnight blue, and I was surrounded in the golden hour, that perfect time of night.
ADD SOME WARMTH
We are all loving a different kind of heat with firepits that are lit not with propane but with ethanol. No pollution, no soot but plenty of heat, they warm us on early-spring evenings. These outdoor fireplaces are much more than a heat source, they are a combination coffee table, eye delight and conversation piece in one. Made out of cement, they are perfect for long winters and temperature extremes, but most of all, they are perfect for our penchant for outdoor living.
We are lucky enough to see a ton of trends and new styles come through our doors. Every designer, it seems, has a different favorite. The high-end favorite by far has clean lines and the attention to every single detail could make us weep. The Masters Aluminum collection is obviously made for the outdoors but looks just as at home in the living room. It really feels like it's from an era gone by. Sleek and slim but with heft — not even one of our wind gusts could knock the furniture over; it's stunning.
We know not everyone is ready for the less-is-more look though, and for those who want the more traditional look, we love oversized chairs and comfy rockers. Hop in, snuggle with your 5 year old and let the furnishings bring style to your patio.
Yvonne Jacobs is the president of Slifer Designs and has been with the company for 17 years. For more design inspiration, check out http://www.sliferdesigns.com.