It's been so hot this Summer that there haven't been many cool evenings for strolling and sitting outside. But there will be soon enough. I love having a place to sit outside and relax or just look at nature. Recently I saw some wood benches painted beautiful colors in a friend’s garden, and it got me thinking about how you can make your outdoor furniture really come to life and be a year-round color accent in the garden. It's easy--just paint it a beautiful color!
If you have a wide expanse of lawn (especially one that overlooks a vista or other pretty view), a bench gives you a place to perch and enjoy. Imagine sitting here in the late afternoon or early evening with an iced tea or glass of chardonnay! Or even a place to go in the early morning with your coffee and newspaper. For a situation like this, I love using blue, because it's a component of the green of the lawn--different but harmonious--and picking a punchy shade that'll make an impact even from a distance. I prefer a semi-gloss or matte finish, but if you want the look of the wood to show through, consider an Arborcoat stain.
Here's another example, this time in eye-popping red, which makes the bench really stand out from its surroundings, almost like a piece of sculpture. It doesn't look out of place--just bold and inviting. This is a great way to create a special refuge in a tucked-away area (maybe a place to go for a little romance!)
If you don't already have a bench, or can't find one at a local flea market or yard sale, you can find inexpensive ones and paint them. This one's called ÄPPLARÖ from IKEA, it's solid acacia wood, and it costs $79.99!
Don't feel like painting yourself, or don't have a spot for a bench? These bistro tables and chairs, from the French company Fermob, are available in over 20 colors. They have many sizes and shapes as well, so you could put together a really amazing grouping on a small patio or terrace. They're metal, can stay outside, and fold-up for storage or to clear the deck for some dancing. You can find them at:
Okay. One more example! This charming outdoor love seat, in an intense robin’s-egg blue with violet undertones, is something i found on a wonderful gardening blog called Life In Sugar Hollow
. It's operated by Tracey, a certified horticulturist and organic gardener in Charlottesville, Virginia. (She's also a wife, mom and amateur photographer). There are tons of images on the site of her beautiful gardens in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Highly inspirational for ideas about gardening and good living.Do you have a favorite blog where you go for gardening inspiration? I'd love to hear about it!