Category Archives: OUTDOOR

10 OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AL FRESCO DINING SETTING

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Today’s post features ten of the best al fresco dining settings that I could find online. I have tried to make a diverse selection: there are some settings for large gatherings, for small gatherings, a picnic for two and even a photo of a lovely setting for kids. I hope this post gives you inspiration to make the most of the upcoming summer and have lots of meals outdoors!

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WEEKEND ESCAPE: A BEACH SIDE HOME IN SYDNEY

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This lovely 1960s two-bedroom beach cottage belongs to designer Marika Jarv and her husband Matt and their two daughters. It is located near Avalon in Sydney, Australia. Many of the furniture pieces featured in these images where bought on Ebay. The lovely sun-washed master bedroom opens out to the lush back garden, which backs onto a little creek. As many Australians this family loves the outdoors and there is a beautiful sun deck where they spend a lot of mealtimes outdoors. A great family home!

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AMBER LEWIS’ BEAUTIFUL LOS ANGELES HOME

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Amber Lewis’ home is the perfect example of how to add colors and different patterns without creating an overwhelming effect. Her style is bright, fun, relaxing and has a bohemian chic vibe. You can see her personality reflected in her home, which I think is important when designing an interior. Amber Lewis is the owner and designer of Amber Interiors, a residential design firm assisting clients with decorating and designing their homes. At the end of this post you can find product suggestions for creating a similar look. Some of Amber’s designs are also included in this selection.

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OUTDOOR FURNITURE COLLECTION BY NORM

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Danish designers Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn named their company Norm to express their dedication to “working with Danish norms and standards refined over hundreds of years,” says Bjerre-Poulsen, “rather than rejecting them in the endless search for new.” The sincerity of their approach – bypassing flashy design for good design – shows in the quality of their work. Together with US company Design Within Reach they have developed a beautiful collection of garden furniture. The Finn Collection is directly tied to their philosophy in that it was built on a passion for details, tactility in design and creating for the need.

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A BEACH HOUSE IN SOUTH AFRICA

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This laid-back wood-clad bungalow on Cape Town’s Bakoven beach oozes seaside style. The lucky owners are Cathy, Mike and their three children. A lover of bargain finds, the resourceful Cathy did the interiors herself. ‘A well-known interior designer once came up from the beach and had a look, and his advice has always stuck with me – he said that the painting was outside the window and that whatever happened inside shouldn’t compete with it,’ she recalls.

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WEEKEND ESCAPE: GET IN HOLIDAY MOOD

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Holidays are important. Most of us work hard and have busy lives. And during our holidays we relax, recharge and spend valuable time with our kids. But vacation time can be stressful as well. We want to find the perfect holiday destination, get value for hard earned money, have the best time and expectations are high. I used to travel quite a bit when I was younger and our first holiday as parents was a disaster. I still had the ‘old’ concept (do nothing but sleeping in, read 10 books, drink cocktails and go for the occasional swim in the ocean) in mind but did not expect that at our holiday destination I had to do the same things as at home (= changing nappies, get up early, wash tons of cloths, have little sleep). Only the weather was better but we hardly noticed that as we spent most of the time inside trying to get the baby asleep or waiting for him to wake up. And then there was the crying.. most tears that were shed were mine.

I have learned from this experience and now know the criteria for a great holiday (main thing is to make sure that my three year old son is happy). There are more people with the same dilemma as friends and readers often ask me if I can give them advice about child friendly holidays that are parent friendly as well. Next month we are off to Greece for a 2 week holiday and we are planning a trip to the South of France and perhaps to Ibiza (Spain) as well this year. Next year I hope to go to Bali (Indonesia) again. What are your holiday plans? And what are you favorite destinations? Any tips for people with kids? I (and a lot of others) would like to know! Here some tropical images to get in holiday spirit. Enjoy! You can find more holiday and summer related photos on this and this Pinterest board.

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WEEKEND ESCAPE: VILLA KALOS ON ITHACA, GREECE

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In May we will be going on holiday to Greece. I am really looking forward to this and everything that is Greek related is getting my full attention at the moment. This beautiful villa, that I found via Est Magazine, is located on Ithaca, an island located in the Ionian Sea in Greece. Four years ago the completely abandoned villa was still a ruin. South African photographers Gerda Genis and Robbert Koene discovered the old building and saw the home’s potential as a guest house. Their idea is to offer all those who like to spend their holidays in the countryside and are looking for an intimate environment on one side, yet furnished and completed with the top-quality details on the other, a place where all this is actually possible. Villa Kalos has only four bedrooms and each one is different, with hand-picked furnishings, fabrics and accents. The exposed stone, concrete and wood of the structure provide a perfect framework for the harmonious mix of the interior design. The views of the countryside, the almond trees surrounding the villa, the salt-water pool, the magnificent garden that changes with the seasons, the olive groves, — there is absolutely no reason to leave this place.

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