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    Spring is finally here. After a long and temperamental winter, the sun is shining, the trees are in full bloom, and the birds are chirping happily. This is the perfect time to get your deck in shape for summer entertaining. One of my favorite ways to give your deck a serious upgrade is by adding an outdoor rug. These trendy decor pieces truly tie the whole look together, and give your deck that extra oomph, turning it from drab to fab.

    Here are a few tips for choosing the best outdoor rug for your patio or deck:

    Matrials, materials, materials: Nowadays, outdoor rugs are made from both natural materials such as sisal, hemp, jute, and seagrass, or synthetic woven materials such as polypropylene or plastic. Both options are designed in a way that allows them to stand even the harshest weather conditions, so they will stay durable during the occasional summer showers or direct sunlight. There are benefits to both options. Natural materials are designed to be very strong, sound-absorbent, sustainable, and to add lots of texture to your space. Synthetic coverings, rugs, often come in a wider range of bright colors, can be easily hosed down and dry quickly. Additionally, they are light-weight so you can easily roll them up to move them around. Keep in mind that in most cases, synthetic rugs are also less expensive than natural materials.

    Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes: Carefully measure the outdoor area you would like to cover with a rug before you choose one. Outdoor rugs are available in many shapes, sizes and colors. You may want to use more than one rug for your space to help separate different areas such as dining area (placing a rug under the dinning set,) or lounging area.

    Add a pop of color: Ou tdoor rugs don’t have to be muted or boring. Nowadays, outdoor rugs come in beautiful colors and textures. You can find fabulous rugs in brightly-colored hues, solid patterns, stripes, geometrics and more. To determine which is right for your space, consider what will compliment your existing furnishings and how much of the rug will be visible.

    Check out our Somerset collection for great examples of outdoor rugs.




    Redesigning your home? Buying new furniture? Putting it all together can be a difficult task. Here, at Magnolia Brook, our design consultants are here to help! Send us your burning design and furniture questions, and we will help you turn your home into a dream home.

    Here are a few of the latest questions we received:

    Q: I like very clean and modern design, but I feel that my bedroom design turned out a bit boring. Any ideas on how to jazz up my rooms?

    It’s easy to take Modern to the point of yawning with boredom. But it’s also easy to take your clean Modern space to a whole new level. The simplest way to achieve this is through color.
    Try using an energizing teal as a focal point on one wall. It’s a bright, rich, clean color and is sure to resuscitate your space with new life. If that feels too bold, a coal blue is a nice alternative. It’s a neutral color with a dramatic punch. Vivacious color should be brought into play in pillows, wall decor, area rugs and accessories throughout your space.
    Sometimes the clean lines occurring in Modern Design may come off as a bit austere. A great way to soften things up is to bring some curves into play in your sculpture, lighting and wall decor. This will add a certain fluidity to your room.
    And last but certainly not least, let us not forget about Mother Nature. One of my favorite ways to breathe life into a room is to add a little nature. The best and most invigorating colors can be found in a bouquet of fresh cut flowers. Bamboo and Palm trees as well as grass arrangements will also give your room an instant energy boost. But, if you happen to have a “Black Thumb” as I do, do not fret. There are a plethora of gorgeous silk floral arrangements and trees to choose from.
    So, bore no more!  Have fun with curves and color and bring Modern to a whole new level.

    Q: I am redesigning my dinning room and kitchen. I always like to be on trend. What are the biggest trends I should follow?

    It’s not easy staying on top of trends. But I find the easiest and most cost efficient way of doing this is to stay current with color.
    2015’s color pallet runs the gamut from whisper soft neutrals to energizing teals, strawberry reds with attitude and blues that vary in tone from a deep intense coal blue to a mid-tone more casual rendition. Also taking center stage are the vivacious colors we find in nature. Juicy citrus hues in tangerine and lemon yellow along with blues reflecting the shades of water and sky, make it difficult to choose. But, pairing any or all of these gems with calming neutral earth tones is sure to fill your space with panache and pizzazz!

    Q: We are redesigning our living room. My husband likes country/ rustic design, and I like turn of the century art deco. Should we get a divorce or is there a middle ground?

    Although divorce may be a viable alternative to resolving your predicament, I may have a much less expensive option.  We live in a time when blending is a way of life. We blend raising a family with career so blending Art Deco with a Rustic Style will be a piece of cake!

    Art Deco is an eclectic style that combines Traditional Craft with Machine Age imagery and materials. A very popular trend in design today is the Industrial movement which blends deep rich oaky woods with iron and steel framing and trims. Cocktail and end tables designed in this style can be the perfect accompaniment to a traditional soft leather chocolate brown sofa with uncomplicated lines. (I do not think your husband will argue about that!).  Using a faux brick wall covering acts as a fantastic focal point in your room. It adds just the right amount rustic for him while giving you the perfect backdrop for the Machine Age imagery most often used in wall decor during the Art Deco period.
    Now comes the fun part……color!  A warm earthy coral applied on the remaining walls is a great way to tie the room together. And now the piece de la resistance!  Accent away with bold, bold blues, yellows, corals, blacks and golds. Feature these hues in your wall decor, pillows and accessories. Add lighting designed with stainless steel and presto!  You have successfully combined  a Rustic style with Art Deco design!
    Now doesn’t that beat exorbitant attorney fees and lengthy negotiations?????