The days are slowly getting shorter which means your house is in need of some great exterior lighting. Exterior lighting is important for both design aesthetic as well as safety. A well lit house looks marvelous from the street and deters those looking for an easy target.
Here are some tips for making your house look great at night.
Driveways and Pathways
Your driveway lighting can be dramatic or simple. The main use of lighting in these areas is for safety. Be sure you define your boundaries but keep the lights staggered so that you avoid the "runway" look. Your path should be illuminated but try to avoid glare by using shielded lights. Place low voltage lights about 1' from the driveway and should be 30-36" off the ground. A few tall posts at the end of your driveway can provide a beautiful and dramatic entrance to your home as well.
Pathway lighting is a great way to illuminate the path as well as your landscaping. A few extra lights can highlight a specific area of your landscaping, providing an extra bit of beauty on the way to your front door. But be sure not to over-illuminate your landscaping, pick only a few selected areas to highlight and a few secondary areas. Recessed lighting, short stalked lights and swivel spot lights are great for landscaping.
Around the Garage
The garage lighting is important for safety and security. This is a great place to put a motion sensor light or a photocell light. You should place lights on each side of the garage and one above the garages is a great addition as well. The side lanterns can add some beauty to the front of your house so make sure you choose lights that work with the rest of your home's style.
At the Door
We already discussed how important the front door is for making a great first impression. Now it's time to highlight that beauty with great lighting. The door should be well lit with two fixtures with low wattage bulbs or one higher wattage light. Wall lanterns are great fixtures for around your door, but drama can be added with a great hanging light as well. If you have a porch, you can add recessed lighting for a bit more light. This is great on large porches for both safety and beauty.
Decks, Porches and Patios
This is a great place to be more creative with your lighting choices. Just be sure it still fits your home's style. Low voltage lights are great above as well as under railings or benches. Play it up with mini lights. Using task lighting around serving areas is a great addition. Making your outdoor lighting dimable allows for multiple uses and can create great drama.
Getting the right amount of light is difficult. One way to get a feel for what areas need lighting, as well as what type of lighting would work best, is to walk around your home with a flashlight. You can easily see dark, areas and experiment with different angles of lighting before you make your purchases.
All exterior lighting can add safety and usability to your home. When done well it adds amazing drama as well.
Your front door is a focal point, the first impression on anyone entering your home. Make sure it reflects your style while sticking with the style of your home.
Go bold or stick with the traditional. Either way, there are a multitude of materials, sizes, shapes, colors and designs to choose from for your front door.
Here are just a few ideas to get your started.
Sturdy and Strong - Wood Doors
Iron Works - Iron and Glass Doors
Out of the Box - Modern, Contemporary Doors
Going Bold - Pop of Color
Are you ready to upgrade your front door, but aren't sure where to begin? Give us a call to schedule a consultation, 816-891-8400. We are ready to assist to ensure your guests' first impressions are extraordinary.
It's almost that time of year again. The weather is starting to cool and you are ready to take your entertaining outdoors.
There is nothing like the fresh air to create a nice atmosphere. The great outdoors provides many positive aspects of entertaining, but it does take some preparation and thought.
Here are some outdoor entertaining tips for making your next outdoor gathering a success.
Pay Attention to Mother Nature
There is nothing like planning an outdoor get-together only to have it rain. Make sure you have a plan b. Mother nature has a mind of her own and if you don't have a backup plan it's almost guaranteed to provide a hiccup. Along those same lines, make sure you are prepared for other weather related issues. If it's going to be hot, make sure you have enough fans, water and cooling area.
On the other extreme, if it's going to be cool, provide blankets, heaters or a fire pit.
If it's windy, be sure you have weights for tablecloths and other decor. You can really have fun with the weights too, try using shells, stones or other theme type items instead of the store bought weights. Heavier plates utensils and cups are also a plus, if at all possible. Melamine is a great alternative to paper or cheap plastic plates.
Prep the Yard
Make sure you mow your lawn and trim your trees. No one wants to stand in grass to their knees and your trees should allow for walking without ducking, so that even your tallest guest should be ok. If you are in an area with a lot of bugs, spray your grass a few days before, or provide bug spray for guests as they arrive. No one wants to leave a party with bites up and down their legs.
Allow for Shaded Areas
Most people will seek out shaded areas. If you can, provide shade with umbrellas or canopies.
It never hurts to have a few extra umbrellas in open areas especially in the extreme heat.
If you can, provide sunscreen for your guests as well. Red as a lobster is not a good departing gift.
Take a Seat
Like the shade, people want to sit down as well. Provide plenty of seating areas.
Place chairs in clusters for conversation. Put blankets in the grass and provide tables for guests to set drinks and food.
Feeding the Masses
Always plan to have more food than you need. In fact plan for about 50% more, especially snack type foods. As for the type of food. Keep with the theme or make it a potluck. Simple, classic, finger foods are always nice and make it easy for your guests to munch without needing all the extra utensils. Fruit and veggies, chips and dip, anything grilled, rollups, and deli sandwiches are always nice, simple food choices.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Provide an assortment of drinks, or tell the guests ahead of time what you plan to provide so they can accommodate for anything they may want instead.
Always provide plenty of water and ice, especially in warmer weather. Some other great drink options are, lemonade, white wine, beer, and sangria.
Ambiance with Music
Set the mood with music. It doesn't need to be loud, but there should be something playing in the background.
What type of music depends on the crowd. Some parties will allow for loud, fast music, while others are better with soft, slow coffeehouse type music.
Use your judgement. Don't play it too loud, more than likely you will want your guests to have good conversation as well.
Decorate with a Theme
A theme makes decorating for the party easier and makes it look great as well. It doesn't need to be a full blown theme but at least pick the colors you would like to use and a few items to bring it all together. You can incorporate them with your tablecloths, centerpieces, hanging decor, serving ware, and more.
Just a few flowers in the garden can be the start of a perfect color scheme. Nature in itself, provides great color combinations. Use what you have and build on it to create the perfect outdoor decor.
Yard games are a great way to get people involved in the party, break the ice and keep everyone entertained. There are so many great games to play outdoors. Some favorites are corn hole, yahtzee, jenga, ladder golf and washers.
Even just a few footballs or basketballs are great to have just sitting around.
After all the prep work is complete, it's time to sit back and relax. Enjoy the party and your company.
Chances are you've seen vertical gardens (also known as: living walls, or green walls). They can be found indoors or out, and are a great way to utilize, often unused, space.
You can grow almost anything in a vertical garden: perennials, annuals, moss, ivy, herbs, etc.
The containers used are also abundant. They can be freestanding or attached to a wall or fence creating endless options.
Vertical gardens not only make great use of space, but they also help cool buildings and save water.
Done well, these gardens are also a beautiful work of art.
Here are a few vertical gardens for your inspiration.
Is this something you've done or considered creating?
Spring is here and we are getting excited about all the new blooms in the near future! The bright colors, enticing smells and loveliness of plants make Spring and Summer such an uplifting time of year.
Landscaping is an art form in itself and one we love to admire and help with. Getting your yard looking it's best is not as easy as it may seem. A lot of time, planning and preparation go into the beautiful gardens you admire everyday. Here are some great landscaped yards to inspire.
Don't forget about your patio or deck. Potted plants are a great way to bring even more to your back or front yard. We've been adding new pots and planters
daily to our online store
. Here are a few of our newest additions and our new favorites!
Plus thru Sunday 3/29 you get 20% off your entire purchase! Use code SPRING2015 at checkout and get started making your house extraordinary!
At midnight, we say goodbye to 2014. It was a busy, wonderful, creative, fun year for all of us at Pezzo Bello Interiors.
In remembrance of our past year, here are a few of our favorite design memories from 2014.
The challenging, fun, beautiful bedroom redesign - Tween Beach Bedroom Design
The exciting bedroom design just in time for the Royals in the World Series - Kansas City Tween Bedroom Design
An outdoor oasis is completed - Beauty in the Backyard
And our biggest announcement of the year:
The Pezzo Bello Interiors Store got a major facelift - Pezzo Bello Interiors Store Redesign
Cheers to a great 2014 and the many exciting things to come in 2015!
Happy New Year from your friends at Pezzo Bello Interiors.
We all know that first impressions are important in our daily lives. However, have you thought about the first impression of your home. What is the first thing people see when they come to your home? It's not your kitchen or living room. It's the exterior of your house. Is it making a good impression?
There are many things that impact the exterior appearance of your home, your landscaping, grass, driveway, siding, paint colors, etc. Today we are going to focus on the color choices for the exterior of your home.
While being different than all the other homes on the block is important, don't take it too far.
Yes, this house is definitely easy to spot, but is this the impression you want people to have as they drive by. Probably not.
Instead of going crazy take a step back and evaluate. If every house on your block is brown, go with gray. If they are all gray, go with a brown. You get the picture!
Add a fun pop of color on your shutters to make your house different. You can be different without the craziness.
One other thing to take into consideration is the trim color. Some people like a lighter house and dark trim.
Others prefer a dark house with lighter trim.
Some people even stay in a closer color range to make a more uniform look.
All of these options work, it's a matter of personal preference.
If you are going dark with light be sure to remember there are hundreds of whites so don't assume any white will work. Some whites are more brown or gray, others more blue. Make sure you keep the undertone in the same family.
When all else fails get help. We work with homeowners to help them choose the right colors for both interior and exterior.
Make sure you make the best first impression!
Summer is here. Flowers are in bloom. The sun is shining. Pools are open. It's that wonderful time of year where sitting outside and basking in the warmer weather is on our mind.
If you are looking to make your backyard come to life, now is the time to do it! Make the most of your summer with an outdoor area that works for you! Our guide can help you find your way, or call us
to set up a consultation, and we'll do the work for you!
Whatever you decide, start by assessing your outdoor space. Decide on the ideal use for the area you have. Do you want to use your space for relaxing and socializing? Dining? Entertaining? Is there a pool? The list could go on and on; the bottom line is, be sure you know how you will be using your space. This will help you make the space work for your vision.
Follow our guide to choosing furniture and decor to make sure you get what you want.
Are you looking to have family and friends sit back, relax and talk up a storm. Then you will definitely want furniture that allows for easy conversation. This can be done many different ways. One of the more common options is an outdoor patio table and chairs. This can be a great use of limited space. It is dual purpose; sit relax and enjoy the company and/or cookout and eat your delicious meal. Because it is a table, drinks and dinnerware are easily placed with no need for other smaller tables crowding the area.
Another option would be a sofa setup. This allows for comfort and beauty. Because you will be having a conversation, be sure your sofas are setup in a logical manner so that it is easy to see everyone and talk without turning around or straining their neck. Sofas come in many different shapes, sizes and combinations, making it easy to create a unique style to fit your personality. Make sure to have end tables near the sofas so that everyone can set drinks, phones, food, etc. down close to their seat.
Chairs are a great alternative to the sofa or large table options. Chairs can be moved with ease and are great to set around a fire pit or smaller outdoor coffee table. Many times they will take up less space and the arrangement can be altered to fit the mood and company. There are many options for chairs as well, letting you personalize the look and feel completely.
And of course, you can always do a combination of the options. Just be sure everything works well together and heights and sizes are compatible.
The simplest way to create a dining space is to choose a outdoor patio table with chairs. Like we mentioned above, this works well in smaller areas with limited space for furniture. Because it can be used before, during or after a meal. It is a simple combination of conversation area and eating area. There is less furniture so it takes up much less space than a sofa or large chairs making it ideal in smaller areas. But can easily be combined with other furniture in a larger area.
Another option is an outdoor kitchen bar. This works well with an existing outdoor kitchen. It makes serving a breeze and many times adds prep space to the kitchen. Combining the kitchen and eating area saves space in smaller outdoor space or can be combined well with other furniture in larger areas. Outdoor bar stools add the final touch of personality.
If you have a pool area, it is important to have a setup that allows enjoyment of the surroundings. Most pools have loungers that allow a place to sit and relax before and after swimming. Placing these around the pool can help with flow and overcrowding in one area. You can also add some tables and chairs to give your pool area some variation.
Make sure you do not overcrowd the area, you need room to walk around the pool without falling in or tripping. Pools can be dangerous if adequate space is not provided.
Once you have the furniture in place, add your accessories. Here are some ideas on what you may need to complete the area.
- Plastic dinnerware, servingware, utensils and drinking glasses
- Outdoor table decorations
- Tablecloths, placemats and napkins
- Ice buckets/coolers
Now sit back, relax and enjoy your oasis!
In the past month we've discussed outdoor kitchens
, fire pits
but I have yet to mention outdoor flooring. With many options for where you walk, picking the best option for your lifestyle can be daunting. Here are a few ideas to get your started.
One of the most popular outdoor flooring options. Concrete is easy to maintain and can be a beautiful addition to your backyard, but has a tendency to crack even when laid with properly. Walkout patios and areas where an outdoor kitchen or grill are located, are great areas to use concrete. With options to stain and stamp, your concrete can end up being a masterpiece!
Another option for your patio are pavers. Pavers are a great way to create a more modern look while adding pattern and design and still keeping the simplicity of concrete. Keep in mind that, depending on your layout and spacing, grass can begin growing between the pavers, this can be a beautiful addition to your design or a pain, depending on your outlook.
Tiles whether stone, brick or otherwise, are a great way to create pattern, color and uniqueness. With many options in color, size and material, tiles can make even the most basic patio area a standout. Tiles are an ideal addition around a pool and in sunny, hot areas. Many tiles will stay cooler than traditional concrete. Tiles will be more expensive than most other materials but the look is impressive.
Wood is another very popular option for your oasis. Wood decks are great for upper level decking, as well as lower areas and even around pools. There are many types of wood to choose from. Choices range from bare wood to composite and slats to tiles. Each has it's own set of pros and cons, but wood decking, when done right, can be a great easily maintained, beautiful area.
With many options, combinations and endless ways of designing your outdoor flooring, your outdoor area can become an oasis as unique as you.
Since my last post the heat has been turned up! Now instead of enjoying that firepit
, we are looking to cool off poolside.
There is nothing quite like your own peace of paradise. With the heat of summer upon us, the pool is the perfect place to cool off. Pool inspiration is not hard to find, but here are a few of our favorites!