Outdoor Living

March 18, 2010 at 9:45 am | Posted in Travels, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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With temperatures hovering right below 60, Carmel, CA is a wonderful place to visit this time of year.   Seeing months of hard work come alive in an installation is always an amazing sight.  The chance to both visit Carmel and see our hard work realized was an absolute pleasure.  Beautiful blue water, lush greenery, mild temperatures, and a successful design installation made for a memorable trip. 

We couldn’t have done the installation without the help we received from Jon Blades at Close Watch, the property manager.  His services were outstanding before, during, and after the installation. 

It is always an inspiration to work somewhere new and this was no exception.  Seeing the way other people live and the design that this necessitates can leave you with new ideas and thoughts on the design process.  On this particular project in Carmel, the most intriguing aspect was the importance of outdoor living.  This home had just as many outdoor living spaces as interior spaces.  From dining to relaxing, the entire day could be spent outside appreciating the natural beauty of the home’s surroundings. 


The spaces were designed with comfort and socializing in mind.  One can move from dinner at the table to lounging on the chair and ottoman and watching the evening pass.  The outdoor living areas encourage conversation and a slower pace that consequently bring us closer to nature.  After a couple hours enjoying these lovely spaces, one would be surprised at the balance that even just a little time spent in a beautiful outdoor setting can bring to our everyday lives. 

While we may not all live in a gorgeous locale such as Carmel, CA, we can make the most of the space we do have.  Imagine the difference that incorporating an outdoor space into your own home would bring to your daily routine.  You do not have to have a grand veranda or a balcony looking out on to the ocean to enjoy nature. A morning cup of coffee spent on a small outdoor patio could bring a renewed sense of energy to your whole day.  Even if it is only enough room for a small table and chair, use whatever outdoor space that you may have to create a place to appreciate your surroundings. 

Make your outdoor living area well-designed with elements of color and texture that pop against your environment.  There are so many bright and colorful outdoor fabrics available today from companies like Kravet, Schumacher, and Chella.  Use the same design principles that you use inside and layer interesting textural solids with fun, patterned accent pillows to make your outdoor seating just as inviting as your seating indoors.  The outdoor living market is expanding every day, and you can find stunning rugs, draperies, and furniture that will make your space comfortable and attractive.  Great design can be achieved in an outdoor space with a little research and effort. 

Don’t forget that the outdoor table is a wonderful place to experiment with festive color and bold patterns.  Working around a color scheme that complements your outdoor furniture and fabrics, you can find linens, glassware, dishware, and accessories that might not work in your kitchen or dining, but are the perfect mix of wild and tasteful for your outdoor space.  

For more information on our work, visit http://leointeriordesign.com/media/media2/ or call for an appointment to freshen up your exterior spaces.


A Storied Space

January 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Magazine Articles | 2 Comments
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Tucked away by the Blue River, there is what appears to be a stately old home filled with generations of treasures from travels far and wide.  The house is a charming mountain retreat more reminiscent of an English manor home than a Colorado ranch and it seems that every last detail evokes the history that lies within.

The twist is that the house is actually new construction masterfully disguised as a home that appears to be at least 100 years old with the amenities of the 21st century.  The vision for this home began three years ago as Lane Elisabeth Oliver of LEO Interior Design began meeting with the client to develop and brainstorm ideas that would shape the architecture and construction.  It was determined that the client was envisioning an “eclectic Old English interior that reflected details of world travel and harmonious room additions,” says Oliver, while ensuring that the exterior would be somewhat in keeping with the existing mountain buildings on the 650 acre property.

Dining RoomOliver’s weekly meetings with the client and close work with the architect, contractor, and kitchen designer kept the project moving perfectly towards the client’s vision.  From larger architectural details such as stone interior walls, hinting at room additions through the years, to the smallest decor detail, antique books selected for their aesthetic appeal, not a single aspect of the home was overlooked.

While Oliver wanted to match the client’s dream of an English manor home that had been residing in the mountains for ages, she also wanted to make sure it had the comforts of a modern space.  Drawing inspiration from her own travels throughout Europe and the beautiful homes she saw there.  She then intersperses antique furniture with comfortable 21st century furniture that features rich textures and gorgeous fabrics.  The result of Oliver’s hard work and design sense, as well as that of the entire team, is a home that appears to have been lived in and loved for generations with the perk of modern day comforts.

This home has been chosen as a feature in “Colorado Homes & Lifestyles” magazine.  The .PDF can be seen here, or pick up your own issue of “Colorado Homes & Lifestyles” to view the article.

To view more pictures of this project, visit the River House showcase.

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