Monday, June 21, 2010

"In Search of Beautiful"

A recent article in Sunset Magazine reminded me of all the fun I had decorating my dorm this past year, and has got me eagerly anticipating the day I have my own home to decorate (and re-decorate).  I love the whole process....assessing the space....deciding on appropriate sizes and styles of furnishings....picking the colours....arranging and rearranging to get the perfect combination of elegance, whimsy and practicality.  Even the before and after shots are thrilling to me.  

It's the process of making things beautiful that keeps me coming back for more.  I thought today...Maybe I should have named my blog "In Search of Beautiful," because that's what I love to do.  I look for beauty in people, actions, things, and situations.  And even more so, I love to watch things become beautiful.  A messy room getting organized.  White walls being decorated.  A bad attitude turning to a thankful one.  These things all bring me so much joy!

So, back to the article....They showed several different themed dining setups for outdoor spaces.  On a warm, sunny day there's nowhere I'd rather dine than en jardin.  It reminds me of blissful lunches with my host family in our back garden in Brussels.  Here are some of my favorites from Sunset's expos√©....

Tuscan Dining: the PlanHenderson's garden plan
Tuscan Dining: The Courtyard
Tuscan table

I would be a little concerned about getting splinters from the furniture in this last setting, but the rustic yellow is such a beautiful accent colour!

Dinner on the Deck: Concrete Side Table
Concrete side table

I love the idea of that green slate slab as a smooth, level, elegantly shiny countertop that's easy to keep clean.  The pullout drawers underneath add valuable outside storage that's also fashionable.  And the striking blue barbecue tops it all off!

Mediterranean Patio

Isn't the multi-coloured tile gorgeous?!  This setup would work well for those less apt to "eat in the dirt."  The ultra-clean low-walled patio makes for a relaxing setting without compromising a beautiful backdrop.

Social Backyard
Social backyard

This arrangement would be great for a modern, young couple who entertain mostly young people  sans back problems.  Otherwise I'd consider investing in some more chairs offering comfortable back support for the older crowd.   But you can't deny, the corn-cob candles are pretty cute! 

Floating Paradise...on a houseboat!
Floating Paradise

The couch complete with pillows really does it for me.  Very zen, and very comfy-looking.  Imagine sitting in this little houseboat garden and looking out over a lake (this is a real photo of some lucky guy's houseboat).

Mission Magic
Enchanted gardens: Mission magic

I've fallen in love with the mosaic table shown here.  I actually found an almost identical one in TJ Maxx last year and instantly knew I had to have it.  It was a great deal....$150 for the table and two chairs!  And thus my little dorm room was turned into a garden cafe :)  

Just the way I like it.


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