Looking good on the outside

Home Front

July 26, 1998|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Sun Staff

Decorating outdoor living spaces is just as important as decorating the indoor spaces - though it poses its own challenges. Here are some tips on creating inviting decks, porches and patios, from Waverly, which produces fabrics, linens and wall coverings, and from a new book, "Pure Style Outdoors," by Jane Cumberbatch (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1998, $27.50).

* Use strong and vibrant colors, such as bright yellow, bright blue, deep pink, aqua and apple green to complement the greenery and flowers outside. Accent with lots of crisp white.

* If you already have porch furniture, think about treating it to some colorful cushions - including the chaise longue and porch swing. Use complementary or contrasting fabrics to make table linens for outdoor dining.

* For practicality, cover cushions with zippered slipcovers, so they can be taken off and cleaned, and look for fabrics that are weather- resistant (Waverly's is called Sunbrella).

* Maximize porch time by blocking punishing sun with roll-up blinds in fabric or bamboo. For covered porches or screened porches, simple fabric panels hung on rods add color and shade, and can be held back with bright tie-backs when not needed.

* Mix and match textures and colors of plant containers for visual interest. Try terra- cotta pots and metal items such as pails and old-time kitchen containers.

* For a romantic touch, set pillar candles inside Mason jars (dribble a little melted wax inside to hold the candle).

* Old metal furniture can be rejuvenated with a new coat of paint. Sand the surface, removing rust, and use a rust-preventive primer, if necessary. Try some of the new colors available in convenient sprays, such as sage, mauve, mustard and burgundy.

Furniture with a French accent

Furniture with a French accent is part of the new Country French line at Ethan Allen. There's a baker's rack and console, with iron ++ latticework and coved birch base ($1,799; console only, $999), that would suit a sun room, dining room or country kitchen, and a Provencal-style oval dining table with cabriole legs ($1,199) and splatback side chairs ($399). Ethan Allen stores are at 2401 Solomons Island Road in Annapolis; 8727 Loch Raven Blvd. and 6612 Baltimore National Pike in Baltimore; and at 2108 Emmorton Road in Bel Air.

The lure of lavendar

Lavender from the South of France casts its gentle scent on the air from these candles from the French Country Living catalog. The candles,designed to resemble traditional lavender sheaves, sit in miniature pots of Anduse earthenware ($32 each). The candles are just one of 224 items in the catalog, which was recently named best new consumer catalog at the annual Catalog Awards in Boston. The catalog comes from Bringier and Sally McConnell, whose shops, French Country Living and FCL Tile and Stone, are at 10205 Colvin Run Road in Great Falls, Va. To order merchandise, or for a catalog, call 800-485-1302.


Butterflies will be flying freely beginning Saturday at the "Wings of Fancy" butterfly show daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Brookside Gardens' South Conservatory at 1500 Glenallan Road in Wheaton. You can witness the life cycles of hundreds of butterflies and a couple of moths (hummingbird cedarwing and luna), from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to hatched adult. You can also visit the outdoor butterfly garden to discover what kinds of plantings attract butterflies native to Maryland. Admission is $3. For more information, call 301-949-8230. (The event runs through Sept. 27.)

Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Karol V. Menzie, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519.

Pub Date: 7/26/98

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