ALL DECKED OUT WITH RAYMOUR & FLANIGAN

After the excessively brutal winter we experienced here in New Hampshire, there was no prospect more exciting than preparing for outdoor living as the days began to lengthen and the temperatures slowly but surely rose. Well, the planning actually began in the form of desperate fantasizing about lounging in the sun and nighttime cocktails on the deck as we were pummeled with blizzard after blizzard…haha! We live in a wooded area by a lake and because nature plays such an integral role in our day-to-day backdrop, we’ve made it a point during the renovation of our property to maximize the potential for enjoying our surroundings during those very short months when the weather actually permits it. And here in New England, that essentially translates to deck living.  After the framework to our addition was completed last spring, we built decks in the front and back of our modified A-frame and constructed an attached pergola on the back deck. Although we have a sizeable yard in the back (which is now seeded, thankfully, and no longer a lunar-like wasteland of of weeds, rocky soil and construction debris), our intention was to create one long, expansive space where all of the entertaining/lounging areas would be concentrated. We managed to have all of the structures built and stained/painted before last winter, but we didn’t have the opportunity to actually “deck” it out and properly enjoy it. Until now. I’ve styled it up in partnership with the amazing people at Raymour & Flanigan and it is ready for the season!

So for the sake of visualizing the evolution of this project, I’ll share some before shots:

DECK MAKEOVER BUILD

This was taken last summer as the back deck was being built. Yes, we’ve been living in a perpetual construction site. Check out that luscious lawn!

DECK MAKEOVER PERGOLA

At this point, the attached pergola had just been built and we were about to embark on the always fun stage of endless painting and staining. Irony intended.

Fast forward to over a month ago, when the outdoor furniture from Raymour & Flanigan was delivered! I chose the Tilley Outdoor Sofa and the Tilley Outdoor Chair (I got a pair) to create an outdoor living room beneath the pergola. I was so incredibly excited to see these gorgeous pieces in place, with their incredibly clean, modern lines and deep seating, that I couldn’t help but temporarily set it up, even though there was still quite a bit of prep work needing to be addressed before the install.

BEFORE DECK MAKEOVER

As soon as the weather was warm enough to actually start working outside, we started with retouching all of the white paint on the pergola and restaining the entire back deck because unfortunately, even treated wood takes quite a beating from the harsh elements here in New England.

DECK MAKEOVER BEFORE 1

We also installed waterproof, bamboo blinds on the three (exposed) sides of the pergola so that we’d have the option of sun filtering on those super bright days. And for ambient lighting in the evenings, we hung string lights and a cluster of solar pendant lights which were an easy DIY hack we fashioned using five rattan-style baskets (they’re actually resin-coated, because as you can imagine, everything stays out and needs to be weatherproof around here!).

DECK MAKEOVER BEFORE 2

Now the decorating fun begins. Notice the mammoth pillow pile in the back…those are the Sunbrella cushions for the sofa and chair set.  I have never seen or sat on cushier things in my life! I am strangely obsessed with them.

DECK MAKEOVER BEFORE 3

And so with the outdoor rug down and the seating intact, I brought in greenery and items from my personal hoard (decorative pillows, textiles and tables, etc.) to pull this outdoor space together. Ultimately, I wanted it to be comfortable and inviting; after all, this is where we are going to do some serious lounging, whether chilling out as a family or entertaining. It is where we will have lazy coffees in the morning and unwind after a grilled meal in the evening with drinks. And of course, I wanted it to feel like a bit of an escape. A sensorial retreat from reality…like a vacation, but conveniently, at home. Everything is weatherproof and can be left out in the rain, except for my kilim pillows which I just toss into one of our sheds when the weather promises to be inclement. And voila…

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 5

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 9

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 10

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 13

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 8

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 3

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 15

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 6

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 7

Can’t get over the stunning, modern design and roominess of these pieces! I also fell in love with their black Coil Solar Outdoor Lantern and got a few for scattering around on the floor and on tabletops.

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 12

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 14

AFTER DECK MAKEOVER 4

And there you have it! It took a while, but this deck is finally transformed and more than ready for what is guaranteed to be much use until the cold weather kicks in again! Cheers to spring and summer on the horizon!

  • I have partnered with Raymour & Flanigan and received product in exchange for this post. All expressed opinions are 100% my own.

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme

Advertisements

#BOHOFOLKDECOR WITH LOLA Y TULA

When it comes to defining my personal style – or at least the aesthetic that most resonates with me – it always incorporates elements of the exotic. Worldly environments that are global and artful in their appeal are especially meaningful and inspiring to me because they feel most authentic, for the simple reason that there is an uncontrived, cultural richness and boldness imparted by those special pieces which speak of other lands and their traditions.

So in collaboration with Gardenia, the amazing woman behind the California-based brand, Lola y Tula, we have decided to embrace and celebrate what we both collectively identify with and love in the vast realm of design. #BOHOFOLKDECOR encompasses two essential notions – a penchant for bohemian style and an appreciation for that which is considered “folk”. It is that always original vibe which is an organic and unpretentious fusion of the free-spirited and unconventional with the artisanal.

Here I’ve styled some incredibly unique pieces from Gardenia’s beautifully curated collection of Mexican soft furnishings, including her otomi pillows and Tlaxcala geometric blanket, in the spirit of #BOHOFOLKDECOR … won’t you join us and show us your interpretations too?

LOLA Y TULA 5

Stunning otomi pillows with their whimsical depictions of animalia and delightfully colored thread work.

LOLA Y TULA 3

LOLA Y TULA 2

LOLA Y TULA 7

Playful and saturated hues make these soft goods an absolute chromatic sensation!

LOLA Y TULA 4

This Tlaxcala geometric throw is a stunner with its bold and graphic pattern … perfect for draping on a bed or sofa, curling up with on a chilly evening outdoors, and versatile enough to be used as a beach or picnic blanket.

LOLA Y TULA 1

#BOHOFOLKDECOR vibes…

LOLA Y TULA 6

Don’t forget to check out Lola y Tula to view her full gallery of artisanal offerings which honor the heritage of Mexican artistry and craftsmanship! And don’t forget to showcase your #BOHOFOLKDECOR on Instagram … we’d love to see!

*Images and text by Astrid Insieme