A good friend emailed me the other day. She was getting ready to replace her cushions on her terrace and could not decide what to buy. Her practical self was pulling her toward a pattern to hide stains and spills. My reply was swift and exacting. No patterned cushions!! They are always dated looking and way too busy. (There are exceptions. A gorgeous high end cushion with a Greek Key design, or something along those lines is wonderful, but it has to be just right.)
My firm belief is solid or stripes. Stick with this and you won't go wrong.
Don't be afraid to try things and then live with them for a time to know if they are right or not. I did. The lovely hanging iron wall baskets have come down and are for sale in a shop downtown. Once I added the classic pillars and urns to my yard they just looked too busy and a touch Victorian, which is not my look. In addition, I am leaning toward filling my pots with just foliage and greenery. I did a huge boxwood in one and hostas in two others and I love how it looks.
It makes me think, as we go on in our designing does our taste get simpler, or do we learn the value of shape and texture so we need much less busyness and color?
I have been spending a great amount of time studying books and blogs. It can take several attempts to get it right. If it doesn't work, change it.
Below are some examples of what I am writing about. Study the photos and see how the simplicity of color use causes you to see what nature offers so much better.
When you choose a shrub or plant to use, REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT. The is nothing worse than a yard full of a bazillion different plants. It says you have no idea what you are trying to achieve. Repetition of plants is soothing and makes a much larger statement.
Read books, study and check out all the wonderful garden blogs.
One of my favs, www.taradillard.blogspot.com
The black and white cushions with all the white woodwork is perfect with the greenery.
Very little color is needed.
Carolyn Rohem does beautiful tablescapes. Again, the use of just one color with the backdrop of green is all that is needed.
This is lovely like it is, but I like it because you could throw any accent color into it and have a whole new look.
Shingles are just the best. The touch of blue is lovely, but it would be just as beautiful with a neutral shade.
All earth tones, it is very soothing. Who wouldn't want to spend the evening dining at this table!
Elegant, green and white, natural wood, soft gray stone.
One of my favorites. Shingles again, just a hint of color, solid black cushions are a statement.
White cushions and topiary. It really is all you need. Just beautiful.
The ivy covered walls are divine!
Similar to a previous photo, solid cushions and light blue hydrangeas. Repeat the flower/shrub.
Carolyn Rohem again.
The double chaise in the corner is calling my name.
The use of solid cushions allows the addition of patterned pillows for more interest.
I love this cabana.
But then I love black and white stripes!