Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Patio Time ~

Canadian summers are short, but that doesn't mean you can’t enjoy the months that you have. I took inspiration from a warmer climate, California, to transform a patio into an LA style getaway in the middle of Toronto. For those of you who are seeking inspiration to jazz up your small patio or balcony space, I have some fabulous design tips to help you get started.

Firstly, how do you want to use your space - lounging with friends, or dinner around a table with family? I opted for a living style hangout area, where I could sun on the sofa when I need to relax, but also have enough seating available for entertaining friends.


Always keep in mind sizing, especially in a small space. I choose to go with small profile L-shape sofa with lower backs so that I didn’t close in the space or make it seem cramped. I found this great outdoor sofa in greys and tans at Homesense so that my LA theme could truly come together.

I couldn’t forget the bar cart area a must for those summer parties. Again, Homesense is my go-to when stocking the prettiest of bar-carts


When dealing with a balcony in the city, privacy is always an issue. I created a modern free standing privacy fence with 1x6 wood bought at a Lowe’s. I installed the boards horizontal to save on wood but to also create that more urban modern look which is a continuation from the inside to the out. 

I added an umbrella, not to block the sun, but to block the view of the neighbours above me. Taking away that fish bowl feel and creating a relaxing room. 


Adding planters of different heights to any balcony helps to keep the space interesting. Choose low maintenance plants so you aren’t fussing with them all summer and the space always looks great.

I ended up mixing faux and real greenery for easy care. If you have trouble keeping plants alive, switch to faux. If you have a green thumb, go real/living all the way, but if that’s not you, go faux. Great new faux options have all the beauty of living, offering a green, lush looking patio, without any of the work.


In small spaces try to stay away from adding to many different colours with plants and décor, keep it simple so that it is easy on the eyes giving the illusion of a larger area. I added a touch of pink for that punch in my indoor outdoor pillows designed by me joalcorn.ca and can be purchased on Etsy.ca and then found a cool sign for the back fence to really make the space POP! 

The final addition was a water fountain. Not just visually pleasing, the soft gurgling of the water gives the illusion of being near a lake and helps to drown out road traffic. It also happens to be a great conversation piece.

As you embrace the warmer months, get out and enjoy an extension of your home in the great outdoors. Let your creative juices flow as you create a perfect outdoor space for your entertaining or relaxing (or both!) needs. Happy Patio Season!

Until next time,
w&c designer girl!

Source guide:
All furniture, rug, décor, faux plants, sign, bar cart, and accessories Home Sense homesense.ca
Pillows, Jo Alcorn Indoor Outdoor Pillows joalcorn.ca collection on Esty.ca
Fence, fountain and real plants and planters, Lowes.ca  

Friday, June 3, 2016

Creating that Cottage Feel

Looking for ways to create a warm and inviting inside space that is inspired by the outside? Look no further! Jo shares her top tips on how to create a great indoor retreat for rainy spring days so you can still enjoy that outdoor feel.

 There is nothing like adding a raw edge piece to a space to make it feel like you’ve brought a touch of nature inside. They are an investment worth the price tag. http://www.artemano.ca/

 It’s utterly easy to switch out your art to really update your space. If you are looking to add a little outdoor feel to your space, think about changing your artwork to something nature inspired. http://www.posterjack.ca/

 On a dreary, rainy, spring day it is imperative you have a cozy comfortable spot to curl up on. I love the look a sectional gives a room. http://www.urbanbarn.com/

 When choosing lighting, there are so many wood inspired options. If you want to infuse wood into your décor, it’s an easy way to test out the trend.  http://www.urbanbarn.com/. You can also consider a cool sofa table like this one made of drift wood from http://www.artemano.ca/ - everything they have is truly original and nature inspired.

 The easiest way to update your décor may just be with accessories. Add some wood pieces or décor accents. Accessories are where you can really have fun when trying out a new motif. www.bouclair.com

 If you truly want to make a statement in your space and want to create a feature wall, I’d suggest starting with a single wall and trying a stone veneer. It’s easy to install and makes a huge impact in a small space.  http://erthcoverings.com/

I also love using throw cushions with animal prints on them to bring a light and airy feel to any space. http://www.urbanbarn.com/

I love to add rugs to really tie a room together. Carpet tiles allow you to mix and match a pattern and shape to make your space comfy and cozy. http://www.flor.com/

There is nothing like a cozy little nook on a rainy day to cuddle up in. Find a big comfy chair and some toss cushions and you are all set. These pillows are from my collection and can be found on Etsy now.

Let’s also not forget about our furry friends! They too need a great place to snuggle up on drizzly days!  On Etsy.ca https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/JoAlcornCollection?ref=hdr_shop_menu

 Until next time,
w&c designer girl! 


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