I must admit, I’m not much of a camper. I love the idea of it — roasting marshmallows, cooking over a campfire, enjoying nature and so on. But I’m not a fan of bugs — more like terrified of them. And I can’t seem to get comfortable in a sleeping bag (who’s with me?). So, in honor of National Camping Month, I decided not to go camping, but glamping (glamorous camping) instead.
Now, this chic bedroom turned campsite is more like it. You get the best of both worlds — great views of nature AND the luxuries of home. Once you get the right music and lighting going, you can invite some friends and make a dinner party out of it. Happy glamping, everyone!
Fiber optic Christmas trees have a certain something, and y’all flipped for the twinkly bathroom I posted a while back — which achieved the dazzling effect with Swarovski crystals lit by fiber optic lights – so, I figured this starry garden path lit with (you guessed it) fiber optic lights would be perfect warm weather inspiration for you.
Outdoor entertaining would be magical in a space like this, I think. The lights give off a subtle glow here at dusk, but I imagine at night it looks like a glittering galaxy — or like dozens of fireflies came to join the party. Want a little sparkle in your own garden? Head to the Starscape site to learn more about getting the look.
What are you planning to do in your garden this spring and summer?
Living in New York is amazing because you can find almost anything you’d want in the world here, but one thing I always find myself missing is trees. Unless you’re lucky enough to live near a good park, greenery is a bit hard to come by. Even if you do live near a park, being able to enjoy that park between the months of October and March without turning into a human popsicle is a concern. (This winter has been mild, knock on wood, but I always feel like the other shoe is about to drop. If NYC can sneak another freak snowstorm in before spring, it will.) Which is all a roundabout way to say that I like these tree tables by Estudio Nomada very much.
Created for the cafe in Galicia, Spain’s City of Culture building, the sweetly sparse oak braches and long communal tables impart a feeling of community. And oddly enough, the space reminds me of all The Great Hall dining scenes in the Harry Potter films. I guess being able to eat under a canopy of trees in the dead of winter seems magical to me! Estudio Nomada, please bring your enchanted forest to my concrete jungle?
I didn’t have a treehouse when I was growing up, but I noticed one in the backyard of some of my neighbors that never seemed to be used. The couple built it for their son who had long since gone off to college, leaving the fort abandoned. They kindly told me I could play there whenever I wanted, and I didn’t have to be told twice. Seeing this piece in The New York Times‘ Home & Garden section about the treehouse Alexandra Meyn built behind her Brooklyn apartment brought me right back to those days.
Photo: Trevor Tondro for The New York Times
This structure is architecturally more sophisticated than the fort we played in (French doors!), but still has an air of youthful whimsy about it with the eclectic furnishings. And though it’s in an urban space, the worn wood and mulberry tree foliage lend it a natural rusticity. Meyn and I are neighbors of a sort, since we live in parts of Brooklyn that border each other. I wonder if she’d work out the same visitation arrangement with me that my old neighbors did. It’s worth a try, right?
Remember two months ago when I was bemoaning the end of the summer? I’m sure those of you in warmer climes thought I was being melodramatic, but, listen: WE’RE SUPPOSED TO GET SNOW TODAY. Snow. People, it’s not even November. This is exactly the kind of wackadoo weather that makes me wish for a lazy (albeit humid) NYC summer day. But I’m not giving up the ghost on enjoying the rest of the fall outdoors. Not when this rustic metal fire pit from At West End exists.
I like how casual and charming the design is. Makes me want to heat up a mug of hot chocolate, light some kindling, and rub my palms together over the crackling glow. Snow be darned! These weenies aren’t going to roast themselves!
I hope you’re all in the middle of enjoying a long holiday weekend, and riding out the summer in style. If you’re hosting or just hitting up a backyard BBQ tomorrow, here’s a party suggestion: LAWN JENGA.
I came across this photo on Pinterest and it cracked me up. The stakes are definitely higher with giant Jenga…about 5 ft. higher! And wouldn’t it be the perfect companion piece to Backyard Scrabble? You can purchase large-scale Jenga sets on the Internet, but this Instructables DIY tutorial seems easy enough to follow. Just watch your feet if you’re wearing flip-flops, and please, “enjoy Lawn Jenga responsibly.”
Photo: Scott Phillips
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I was invited to a backyard barbecue at a friend’s house where I was surprised to find inspiration for a blog post. Our host has turned his formerly dull backyard into a mini urban oasis brimming with edible plants and lit by lanterns he made himself.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me to photograph his handiwork, but I found something similar (including a tutorial to make your own). You can set them on tables, hang them from trees or under umbrellas. These lanterns cast such a lovely glow in the evening and the candles themselves are protected from the wind by the tall sides. Plus, if you have a mosquito prone yard, they’d make a beautiful holder for citronella.
If glass is more your speed, we’ve got ideas for that too!
The new issue of Rue is chock full of wonderfully summery images, products and ideas like this charming outdoor dinner party.
Party planner extraordinaire Mindy Weiss created this sea green outdoor fête for Rue. I love how she incorporated bold pinks and oranges, colors that just scream summer, to compliment the minty green. The lush table is set with “indoor” dishes and silverware – a great tip if you want to add a fancy touch to your next open air party.
Don’t these mason jar luminaries make you want to have a warm weather evening soirée?
The vintage jars are made into hanging lanterns by Etsy user TreasureAgain and come in either add-your-own-candle or solar light styles. I love the soft glow of the light bouncing off the thick glass.
It is rare for an American city to acknowledge the need for smart, greener growth. However, a New York City zoning regulation states that any new residential unit must a have 30′ yard.
I admit that I was shocked to hear that there was a such an law was on the books in this densely packed, land-starved city. So I wanted to celebrate this smart, green rule on Earth Day and show you the gorgeous way MESH Architects accommodated it in this North Brooklyn home with a center atrium. This former industrial garage space invited the outdoors in and became a stylish home.