Saturday, July 31, 2021

A Tour of Our Romantic Rose Garden : How We Design Our Garden for Summer

Summer is when everything is in bloom at our home! I do all of the gardening at our house by myself, and it’s a labor of love. When we moved into the house, the entire garden was full of vines. I took them out little by little to create garden beds. 

Front Porch and Front Garden Design: 

In front of our house and on the trellis, we have heirloom David Austin climbing roses. David Austin roses are specially bred in England, and have been cultivated by the same company for sixty years. They have an intricate breeding process in England, after which the plants are shipped to be grown in the USA. 

I like roses because they’re pretty hardy. Unlike peonies, which only bloom for a week or so and are very fragile, roses bloom for the season and can withstand windy days and summer heat. You just need to make sure they get enough sun, plant food, and water. 

These pretty pink roses welcome you to our garden, along with our catmint. We love catmint for its purple color, easy maintenance, and also for its name! (If you don’t know us very well, we love cats and take care of lots of rescues in our neighborhood). We added a variety of roses this year to add more color.

Our baby Ray enjoying the garden

Catmint is technically an herb. It’s aromatic, naturally bug-repellant, and heat/drought-resistant - super easy to maintain! Since it’s an herb, you actually can use it in food and make teas with it like any other herb. 

And yes, it is related to catnip, but it’s not the same thing. You’ve probably bought dried catnip at the pet store for your cats - they sniff it, roll around in it, and generally go a little nuts. You can also buy fresh catnip to put in your garden. It’s less ornamental as catmint, and fresh catnip in your garden will bring outdoor cats sniffing around to smell and nibble at it. 

Catmint, which is what we have, doesn’t have the same effect and isn’t as attractive to cats, and is a prettier, more ornamental plant. 

Garden Pathway Design

This is a very special part of our garden. The path is all hostas, which were transplanted from Brooklyn by my favorite Aunt Rose, who’s since passed away (and is the namesake of my daughter, Ava Rose). She loved gardening and planted roses she would clip for us each season. 

We added this special garden for our beloved Harry. Harry passed away last October. Harry loved our garden. I will never forget the day we rescued him he sat in the garden so happy to have a place to relax after being in an overcrowded shelter for 10 days.

Hostas are a great addition to your garden because they’re a mix of greenery and flowers. There are many types of hostas, so it’s fun to shop for different colors and textures. They’re cold-hardy and you can easily split them and replant into a new part of your garden, too. 

The only downside is that critters love hostas. Sprinkle sand around the base of your hostas to deter snails, who’ll leave unsightly holes in the leaves. Rabbits and especially deer will chow down on hostas like they’re a tasty starter salad, so if you have an unfenced yard, beware!

Favorite Garden Plants and Flowers

My tried and true favorites for my garden are hydrangeas (I mix up the varieties), roses (lots of roses), catmint, lavender, salvia, peonies, hostas for the shady area, hydrangea trees and  boxwoods, I also tried juniper this year and love the color of the trees with pink annuals.

I have about 5 garden beds going right now - front yard, side of the house, back of the house, lavender garden and our late kitty Harry's memorial garden, which I did in all yellow because it was his favorite color! 

The last hurricane we had here in New York sadly destroyed most of our garden, so this year I’m starting fresh. A trip to the local garden center to add some color (or I should say many trips to the local garden center!)

It’s fun to have roses, hydrangeas and peonies to use as cut flowers for vases. I recommend having lots of plants you can use for this, and you’ll never have to buy flowers all summer! You can cut flowers to put all over your home and outdoor space, and even bring them in a vase for gifts all summer long. 

Our Etu Home White Colorblock Flower Vase is a great white flower vase that complements the colors of all the summer flowers. It also comes in Navy, Sage, Merlot, and Denim. These are some of my favorite vases - they all look fantastic with hydrangeas. The Sage is especially pretty with white hydrangeas, and the navy and denim look perfect with any color. The Merlot is a great color for mixed flower arrangements. 

blue flower vase for hydrangeas
Shop the Etu Home Denim Colorblock Flower Vase online at Lavender Fields here

White Flower Vase
Shop the Etu Home White Colorblock Flower Vase online at Lavender Fields here

White Flower Vase
Shop the Etu Home Sage Colorblock Flower Vase online at Lavender Fields here

Our Etu Home Navy Artisanal Vase and  Etu Home Denim Artisanal Vase are handmade in Europe from recycled glass, and they each come in three different sizes. I like clustering them on an outdoor dining table, or scattering them throughout your outdoor living space or your home (one in the powder room, one in the living room, one in the kitchen). 

Set of three blue vases Etu Home Artisanal Vase
Shop the Etu Home Denim Artisanal Vases online at Lavender Fields here

For the minimalists, our Etu Home French Mason Jar and Etu Home Artisanal Vase showcase the blooms with their clear color. They also come in multiple sizes each. 

Etu Home French Mason Vase
Shop the Etu Home French Mason Jar Vase online at Lavender Fields here

Etu Home Artisanal Vase
Shop the Etu Home Artisanal Vases online at Lavender Fields here

Best Garden Planters and Canvas Planter for Garden

Sitting in the garden shouldn’t just be a visual experience, but an entire sensory one. That’s why I like the roses, lavender and catmint - they make the whole space smell like summer. 

To bring some of that over to your seating area, you can plant some aromatics or herbs in a planter. Our Plant Kindness, Gather Love canvas planter is a favorite and makes a great gift. You can also get our Keep Blooming, Beautiful One canvas planter

Our Lorena Canals Basket Zoco Black-Natural doubles as a basket or a planter for a covered outdoor space. 

lorena canals basket for planter

And for something a little more French Country, our Aged Metal Soaking Tub Relic, inspired by a vintage soaking tub, is perfect. 

french country metal garden planter

Garden Bed Design and Chemical-Free Garden Maintenance

For my garden and grass I don’t use any chemicals for fertilizer or for pesticides. I am super picky about the mulch too, since that gets moldy and kills perennials. 

Favorite Outdoor Decor and Dash and Albert Indoor Outdoor Rugs

Our rustic Potters Cart is a dream for any gardener - you can even keep your tools in cute baskets underneath and use the top as a serving area or bar cart.  Our Potters reclaimed wood shelf can display all of your beautiful plants and other garden decor.

rustic reclaimed wood potter's cart for garden
Shop our rustic Potter's Cart online at Lavender Fields here

rustic reclaimed wood potter's shelf for garden
Shop our reclaimed wood Potter's Shelf online at Lavender Fields here

Our Dash and Albert Outdoor Rugs are best sellers and can help complement all your pretty plants. For my garden, I’d probably start with pink outdoor rugs like the Dash and Albert Journey Indoor/Outdoor rug to complement my roses. Yellow outdoor rugs might also be another fun, sunny option - I like the Dash and Albert Happy Yellow Stripe Indoor/Outdoor rug

Shop our  Dash and Albert Happy Yellow Stripe Indoor/Outdoor rug online at Lavender Fields here

Shop our Dash and Albert Pink Journey Indoor/Outdoor Rug online at Lavender Fields here

Our customers also really love coastal outdoor rugs, striped outdoor rugs, and light blue outdoor rugs

To bring a little bit of the garden inside, everyone loves our Sugarboo Your Mind is a Garden Art Print. 

Shop our Sugarboo Your Mind is a Garden Print online at Lavender Fields here

Shop Garden and Outdoor Decor

Next up, we’re getting new outdoor furniture - I’ll share more on that next month! In the meantime, check out our latest new arrivals at our online shop at Lavender Fields

Saturday, July 17, 2021

How to Decorate in Modern Farmhouse Style: Tips from an Interior Designer

 At Lavender Fields, our customers love modern farmhouse style - it’s one of our most popular categories on our site. Our interior design and e-design customers also love farmhouse style decor, and we layer their rooms in our favorite farmhouse style rugs, bedding, furniture, wallpaper and more. Here are our designer tips on how to decorate in modern farmhouse style. 

What is modern farmhouse style?

Modern farmhouse style offers a more updated farmhouse aesthetic for your home. Most people love the feel of farmhouse living, but don’t want to live in a house straight out of the 1800s, filled only with antiques or old-fashioned finishes. Going the modern route lets you blend in different styles of artwork, furniture, and wallpaper. For example, you can do a rustic reclaimed wood farmhouse coffee table with clean white walls, a more midcentury-style sofa, and a great piece of contemporary art. 

As interior designers, we’re adept at blending these styles together well. If you’re not a designer and are nervous about mixing styles, we have some tips for starting with your modern farmhouse journey. 

Classic French Farmhouse vs. Rustic Farmhouse

Some people differentiate between a more industrial farmhouse look and a more classic or French farmhouse look. We think that both styles can live harmoniously together, if done right. We like industrial farmhouse elements like cool lighting, iron beds, and unique hardware, but also love the softer look of cozy French farmhouse chairs and more cottage-like French farmhouse bedding. 

Modern Farmhouse black and white gingham bedding
Shop the Checkered Linen Bed Scarf online at Lavender Fields here 

French farmhouse blue and white toile upholstered chair
Shop the French Farmhouse Toile Settee online at Lavender Fields here

You can easily do a guest bedroom with an iron bed frame like our Corsican standard bed in white and your master bedroom with a custom upholstered headboard in a pretty slate gray linen. There are no hard and fast rules! In fact, the last thing you want is for your home to look “themed” or matchy-matchy,  so mixing it up (within reason) is even better. 

Start with the basics of your room

The easiest way to start decorating your room in modern farmhouse style is to start with a clean palette. From a designer’s perspective, we want the farmhouse furniture and accents to really stand out in this room - if we add too much “stuff” or color, the room will look less modern farmhouse and more antique farmhouse. 

When we decorate a home in this style, we start with a fresh coat of white paint on the walls. We like Benjamin Moore’s Simply White - it’s a warmer white that offsets the warm tones of the rustic wood you’ll soon be adding. 

pic via Benjamin Moore

pic via Studio Mcgee

A lot of people think of shiplap walls when they think of a farmhouse thanks to HGTV, but this is an expensive and time consuming treatment. You can get that same clean feel with just a fresh coat of the perfect white paint. 

If you’re doing a kitchen or bathroom, we like clean white subway tile or penny tile with black or white grout. Not only are these inexpensive options, they give the perfect palette to the farmhouse decor you’ll be decorating with.  

We love wallpaper when done judiciously.If your home is open concept, finding a wall to use wallpaper on can be difficult, as you don’t want it to just end in the middle of the room. Good spots to use wallpaper in these homes are smaller rooms like powder rooms, laundry rooms, mud rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms (if your dining room has its own room with its own walls and isn’t part of the open concept area). Contrary to popular belief, wallpaper won’t make a small room look smaller; in fact, it turns a powder room or laundry room into a fun little jewel box, making an oft-overlooked space into a special one. 

Layer in your Farmhouse Rugs and Furniture

A rug is a huge part of your decor - you may not realize it, but from a design standpoint, it takes up a huge part of the visual landscape, even though the furniture covers part of it. Some people think they don’t need a rug in a modern space, but rugs warm up the room and make it feel cozier and more liveable. 

At Lavender Fields, we have a huge selection of Dash and Albert farmhouse style rugs. If you’re sticking with a more neutral look and bringing in color elsewhere, stick with a sisal or jute rug. If you want to bring in a little bit of subtle color, try a Pom Pom at Home one, like this pretty blue stripe Beechwood rug. 

Pom Pom at Home Beachwood Handwoven Rug Ivory/Nordic Blue
Shop the Pom Pom at Home Beachwood Striped Rug online at Lavender Fields here

Next, choose your furniture. Unless you’re hiring an interior designer, most people don’t buy all new furniture in one fell swoop and instead select one investment piece at a time. We have a great selection of artisan-made, heirloom-quality farmhouse furniture on our site. It’s all made from solid wood, and will last you for decades to come. A rustic sideboard cabinet or reclaimed wood dining table looks fresh in a room with fresh white paint, a new sisal rug, cool industrial lighting, and modern farmhouse accents. 

Modern Farmhouse Aged Zinc Top Round Dining Table
Shop the Aged Zinc Top Round Dining Table online at Lavender Fields here

Modern Farmhouse reclaimed wood sideboard
Shop the Modern Farmhouse Country Club Sideboard online at Lavender Fields here.

Add in your Farmhouse Style Art and Decor

We love to create gallery walls for our design clients. With clean, fresh white walls, the artwork can really shine. We’ll put their most treasured photos in our Traditional Modern Farmhouse Reclaimed Wood Frame or the Farmhouse Reclaimed Rustic Wood Picture Frame Set, which comes in a set of 1, 2, 3 or 4. For a gallery wall, we might add something whimsical, like our farmhouse style art painted on barnwood. We like to finish it with a Spicher and Company Letter Print with the first letter of the family name. 

Debi Coules Barnwood French Farmhouse Rooster Artwork
Shop the Debi Coules Barnwood French Farmhouse Rooster Artwork online at Lavender Fields here

Modern farmhouse spicher and company alphabet letter art prints for gallery walls
Shop the Spicher and Company Letter Art Prints online at Lavender Fields here

For a more contemporary feel, our Hyden Horses photography collection is perfect. They’re available framed or unframed, and at 54”x42”, they make a major statement. 

Hyden Horses large scale horse photography prints
Shop the Hyden Horses: Spotted Art Print online at Lavender Fields here

If you’re looking for unique farmhouse style artwork, we love our Sugarboo collection. The fabric tarps are handmade, and in our clients’ homes we hang them with Sugarboo’s hand-forged metal nails. We like the Sugarboo Designs Handmade Botanical Wall Tarp - Each Flower Must Grow wall tarp in a living room. 

Sugarboo Each flower must grow botanical wall tarp art print
Shop the Sugarboo Each Flower Must Grow Wall Tarp online at Lavender Fields here

We always finish a farmhouse room with farmhouse style throw pillows. Our favorites are the Sweet Gumball Farmhouse Lumbar Pillow, the Taylor Linens Farmhouse Stripe Boudoir pillow for a bedroom, the Taylor Linens Old Glory pillow for an Americana vibe, and our Damask Linen Euro Pillow Sham for a French farmhouse feel.

Taylor Linens Old Glory American Flag throw pillow
Shop the Taylor Linens Old Glory pillow online at Lavender Fields here

Modern Farmhouse Kitchen and Bathroom Ideas 

A modern farmhouse vibe works especially well in kitchens and bathrooms. Most of us don’t have old homes with original 18th or 19th century kitchens, (and to be honest, would we even want them?). You can have a beautiful kitchen with marble countertops and white cabinets but get that modern farmhouse feel with gingham roman shades, cup pulls on your cabinets, farmhouse cross back chairs, and vintage-y lighting, like our Jamie Young Provisions pendant.

Somerset Bay Oakville Modern Farmhouse Stool
Shop the Somerset Bay Oakville Modern Farmhouse Stool online at Lavender Fields here

Jamie young provisions modern farmhouse kitchen pendant light
Shop the Jamie Young Provisions Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Pendant Light online at Lavender Fields here

To add some decor to the kitchen, we love a Spicher and Company Farmer's Market Tomato Seeds Framed Print to bring a Farmer’s Market vibe. Somerset Bay Oakville Stools are classic country home, but in 22 finishes you can go all white or bring in a little color (we love a bold navy blue).  

Spicher and Company Farmers Market Tomato Kitchen Artwork Print
Shop the Spicher and Company Tomato Seeds Print online at Lavender Fields here


For a powder room, we’d do a pretty farmhouse-inspired wallpaper paired with a simple penny tile and a pedestal sink. 

Bathrooms need decor too - we’d add our handmade Etu Home French Mason Jar in small with fresh flowers and whimsical farmhouse artwork, like our Rosie the Cow barnwood artwork

Shop the Debi Coules Rosie the Cow in Flower Crown Barnwood Artwork online at Lavender Fields here

Shop the Pine Cone Hill Diamond Eyelet White Shower Curtain online at Lavender Fields here

The trick to keeping the “modern” in a modern farmhouse is restraint. In bathrooms, we like to do that by keeping the soft goods like towels and shower curtains white - let the artwork, wallpaper, and decorative accents give the farmhouse vibe. Some of our favorite classic but never boring white shower curtains are the Pine Cone Hill Diamond Embroidered White Shower Curtain, the Pine Cone Hill Diamond Eyelet White Shower Curtain, and the Pine Cone Hill Trio White Shower Curtain. 

For towels, we stick with our Pine Cone Hill signature white towel collection - always soft and absorbent, always classic. If you want to add a little color to your farmhouse bath mat, we’d go with our Pine Cone Hill Rowe Shale Stripe bath mat; otherwise, we love our Pine Cone Hill Modesto Bath Mat to add some texture. 

Decorate your home with modern farmhouse style

Our customers and interior design clients alike come to us for modern farmhouse furniture and decor. Get in touch with us for our e-design services, or shop our farmhouse collection on our site here.