We promised you more ideas on how to transform your backyard this summer. We will be sharing three more outdoor living design ideas — Spanish Style, Moroccan, and Desert Living.
01 | Spanish Style
Spanish style outdoor living is popular around the world, especially in hot and dry climate areas. It features a warm and rustic feel. To create a Spanish style outdoor space, here are some key elements to include:
Tiled Water Feature
Paved / Flagstone Patio
Drought Tolerant Plants
Wooden Doors and Gates
Below are some of our favorite inspo to help guide you create a Spanish style backyard or outdoor living space.
02 | Moroccan Theme
To create a Moroccan themed outdoor living space, you will definitely want to add vibrant colors and fabulous textiles to create an inviting and exotic outdoor living space. Below are some key features and inspiration to help you create and enhance a gorgeous outdoor space with a touch of exotic and luxurious elements from the Middle East.
Key Elements to Consider:
Play with Color
Soften the Edges — Layered rugs, cushions, poufs, etc.
Lush and Tropical Plants / Citrus Trees / Agave / Cacti
Terra Cotta Pots
Keep it Symmetrical
Bright Decorative Textiles and Patterns
03| DESERT LIVING
Creating an outdoor desert living space can be challenging, but there are many elements you can include to make the space more than just a desert. You will want to include drought tolerant plants, rocks, and stones. You can also combine different elements — pool, fire pit, pathways, a pop of color, and decorative rocks.
Think about what you will be using the space for and incorporate furniture that will work with your lifestyle — Outdoor dining table for entertainment or sun loungers for relaxation. Use plants and/or stones to create movement within the space. Using straight lines, minimal color and right angles create a contemporary design. No matter how creative you get, a desert living outdoor space is a perfect way to enjoy, relax and entertain all year with minimal features.
Below are some of our favorite inspirational ideas.
We hope our two part series helped you gather ideas for any upcoming projects you may have for your outdoor living space.
Are you looking for some design inspiration for your backyard? Today, we are sharing some of our favorite ideas and designs to help you transform you backyard.
If you follow us on Instagram @madxsonandco — On Tuesday’s “This or That” series a couple of weeks ago, we asked our followers to vote for their favorite backyard styles. These were the results:
BACKYARD/OUTDOOR LIVING DESIGNS
French Style, Bali Inspired and Mediterranean backyard designs were the top picks. We will share Spanish Colonial, Moroccan and Desert design themes in part two’s outdoor living inspo ideas.
Adding a French-Style design to your backyard adds a touch of elegance and classic design to your home’s exterior and outdoor living. The most common feature is adding elements of a French garden. French-Style gardens were originally inspired by Italian landscape — Lots of evergreen plants, and a few blooming flowers. Hedges and shrubs are trimmed precisely in symmetrical lines and pergolas have fragrant, climbing vines. French-Style gardens are known to use simple color palettes and stone elements. Lavender and rosemary are popular herbs used in French gardens as well.
Maintaining a French-Style garden requires a lot of work. You will need to dedicate several hours each weekend to maintain and trim hedges, replace flowers, remove unhealthy/dead plants, etc. Although it can be a lot of work, it creates a beautiful and elegant atmosphere for your home. If a French-Style garden is too much work for you, consider a French country garden. French country gardens have a more natural, relaxed feel. Plants beds are less strict in their construction, but should always be contained with a border or some kind of edging.
There are some key elements every French-Style garden should have. Here are a few notes to help you start:
+ Start with the basics (symmetry, straight-lined geometric shapes, neatly trimmed hedges and shrubs, cool tones and monochromatic color scheme).
+ Stone surfaces (gravel paths)
+ Include a place to relax and eat (open air and bistro set)
+ Use decorative elements (statues, planters and water features)
Turn your backyard into a mystical tropical paradise by including these basic elements — bold plants, decorative items, and water features. A Balinese styled garden/backyard also offers natural materials and privacy.
Elephant’s Ear (Alocasia)
Elephant or Buddha Statue
Dark brown or black river stones around landscape beds.
Lanterns and Bowls
The goal to create a Balinese backyard is to make sure you provide an imagery that gives a similar sense of peace and tranquility.
Mediterranean outdoor living is inspired by the areas of Spain, Greece, Italy and France. It is best known for its casual elegance and a garden with a classic mix of rustic furniture and fragrant planting. Mediterranean outdoor living also consist of relaxed seating areas for entertaining friends and family, as many Mediterranean families traditionally do. It requires very little maintenance, which allows you to spend more time relaxing and enjoying your time with family and friends.
If you’ve been thinking about transforming your backyard into a Mediterranean style, here are a few ideas to get you started and links to help inspire you.
Colorful and Fragrant Flowers
Herbs: Particularly lavender and rosemary.
Geraniums: Perfect for pots and window boxes.
Olive Trees: Works well as a focal point or nestled in the corder in a large container.
Succulents + Drought Tolerant Plants: Agaves, Yucca, Bay Tree, Italian Cypress, and Blue Fescue.
Many Mediterraneans plants are drought tolerant and will need well-drained soil. Another feature commonly used in a Mediterranean style backyard are climbing plants, especially on pergolas. Here are some great plants to consider:
Jasminum Officinale (Common Jasmine)
Campsis Grandiflora (Chinese Trumpet Vine)
Climbing Roses (Albertine)
Water Features, Pergolas, Pots and Containers
Including a water feature is a must to help cool the air and break up the the heat during the summer. If you wish to not add a water feature, adding vibrant blues in your color scheme will help offset the warm terracotta tones. Create shade by adding a pergola, draped with climbing plants (mentioned above). If you have a smaller backyard, incorporating an archway is also an option. Terracotta pots and jars are popular in a Mediterranean garden. They come in all different shapes and sizes.
Hard landscaping is an essential part of the Mediterranean style, with splashes of vibrant color. Create an outdoor living area with paving stones or gravel. Warm colored and natural stones is a common feature as well. Adding mosaics could also be a beautiful touch, usually used on the vertical part of steps.
Relaxed Outdoor Living and Dining
The final touch to your Mediterranean haven is a place for you to feel relaxed, where you can enjoy spending time and entertaining family and friends. Create an outdoor living area with comfortable seating and/or a dining set to enjoy a nice meal. Below you will find several inspirations of Mediterranean outdoor living styles.
If none of these fit your lifestyle, stay tuned for part two’s outdoor living inspo ideas. We will share key elements and inspirations on how to transform your backyard into one of these designs: Spanish Colonial, Moroccan or Desert themed. Which is your favorite outdoor living style?
With three kids and a busy schedule, it’s hard to follow a daily or weekly routine. Keeping a planner and writing out our schedule has helped out a lot. When I [Audrey] used to work in a corporate office, I was in charge of scheduling many projects and maintenance. I thought to myself, why not for our own home.
We created a cleaning schedule to help us maintain our home and live comfortably. We are trying our best to keep our cleaning schedule consistent, and for the most part we have been doing very well. Below, we are sharing our free printable cleaning schedule template. This is a guideline to help you get started. Don’t think of it as a must do. Also, have other household members help you check things off on the list 🙂
Are you ready for some spring cleaning? Spring cleaning is not only about deep cleaning the bathrooms or vacuuming those hidden areas. Decluttering and organizing is another important thing to do once in awhile. If you can start on getting a system together, we promise it would help a lot. We know it’s a lot of work, not a fun activity (for some), and can be hard to maintain. However, we are here to give you some tips and ideas on organizing your home.
HOW TO BEGIN.
PLAN IT OUT — Take out your calendar or your planner and dedicate a day or weekend to work on a specific organizing project. You don’t have to do it all at once. Work on each space little by little, so that you’re not too overwhelmed. If you can knock it out in one weekend, AWESOME! If not, YOU’RE OKAY!!! Write down the room or space you plan on organizing and any notes you may need for yourself.
Below is a free calendar printable if you need one.
PLANNING + RESEARCH — Okay, you’re probably wondering … research? Research what? We know you’ve gone on Pinterest and pinned all your pantry goals, office goals, closet goals, and so on. This is a great start to know exactly how you want your space to look and what products you would like to organize your space. Now that you have scheduled your “organizing day,” plan and research a couple of things ahead of time.
Plan out what you already know. Here are some examples.
The Kitchen — You know you want organize your pantry, or under your kitchen sink, and maybe even that “junk drawer” full of random items like birthday candles, chopsticks/plastic utensils from restaurants, pens, coins, etc.
The Office — You know you need a filing system or a dedicated space for all your office supplies.
The Closet — You’re wondering how you can organize your clothes, shoes, accessories, etc.
The Garage — You’re probably wondering when you can use this space to park your car, use as a home gym, or make it into an area to work with tools. However, this is one area we all (or most of us) use for some kind of storage. That’s okay, but your goal is to organize and maximize the space.
Research a couple of organizing products you may want to purchase. You’re looking for the style and design. Gather some options and save them to your wishlist or favorites. Compare prices, reviews, etc. Take any measurements if needed. Keep in mind things may change after you are done decluttering and sorting out, but at least you have a couple of options saved ahead of time. You’ll come back to your list and see what products will work and/or not work.
If you are ready to purchase your organizing bins/storage/etc. … Feel free to do so. It would be nice start putting things where they belong on organizing day. Just make sure to take proper measurements.
ORGANIZING DAY — Whether you’re organizing the kitchen or office, start in one area and move your way around. Do not jump from one room/side to the other. Stick to that area until you’re done. Make sure to have trash bags or empty boxes available. You will use to sort out things you want to throw away, recycle or keep.
While going through each space, create piles to categorize. For example:
Pens, Pencils, Markers, Etc.
Binder Clips, Paper Clips, Staples, Etc.
These are some examples to help you get started. All our homes are different, so whatever you feel you need to create a category for … go for it. Once you are done throwing things away and sorting everything out, look at each pile and categorize with a post-it. If you already have all your organizing supplies, start placing these items where they belong and organize in an area thats convenient for you.
If you do not have any of your organizing products yet, go back to your wishlist and see what organizing system you need. You now have a better idea on what size and quantity you need. Once you have everything, start placing and organizing items where they belong.
HOME ORGANIZING PRODUCTS + IDEAS.
Below we are sharing some of our favorite products and inspo to help keep your space organized. Whether it’s a big project or just a simple space improvement, we hope these ideas will help achieve your organization goals.
OTHER ORGANIZING STORAGE PRODUCTS/IDEAS
Keeping your newly organized spaced looking beautiful will take effort. It won’t be perfect the first or second time, but it will definitely be a solid start. You’ve gone through all the hard work of purging and modifying your space. The most important thing here is to stay committed in maintaining your space. Create a daily or weekly system to help keep things in good working order.
If you feel like you need more tips and inspiration, we are sharing some of our favorite links and accounts to help you on your organizing journey!
It’s almost Spring and this is the time we usually start thinking about our backyard. What are we going to do next? Should we get new furniture? There are so many options out there and we have a few on our wishlist. If you are planning to give your backyard a new look for this Spring/Summer and are not sure which direction to go, we have put together an outdoor furniture guide to help you choose the best style and the right material for you.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, you’re probably going to look for similar characteristics as you would when looking for indoor furniture — durability, style and comfort. You should also set a budget for yourself. One thing about outdoor furniture is that it needs to tolerate exposure to the weather outside. Although there isn’t 100% weatherproof outdoor furniture, there are differences based on the materials used.
There are some factors to consider when choosing the right material for your outdoor furniture. We are here to help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of different material options.
OUTDOOR MATERIALS | FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Outdoor furniture needs to maintain its structural design and appearance throughout the different seasons and weather conditions.
RAIN + MOISTURE
If you live in an area with high humidity or frequent rain, you should keep in mind that mold/mildew, corrosion, and warping may occur. You would want to make sure your furniture is resistant to damage from different water-based issues. Mold and mildew may not damage material, but can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. However, rot can lead to decomposition of the material.
Rust and corrosion may occur to outdoor furniture made out of metal. Rusting is common in coastal areas due to salt in the air and water. Metals that contain iron or steel are vulnerable to corrosion, which causes metals to weaken and rust. Materials that allow water penetration can dry unevenly and result in warping. This causes distortion, misalignment, etc.
SUN + TEMPERATURE
Fading, cracking and heat retention may occur in areas that are constantly sunny or where there are dramatic climate shifts. You should look for material that can tolerate harsh UV rays and extreme weather changes.
Constant exposure to the sun can cause material to fade, uneven spotting, color change, etc. Outdoor furniture in the sun can also heat up, making it uncomfortable/unsafe to touch. Drastic temperature changes can cause cracking, and dry air can also cause furniture to bend and crack.
In extreme windy areas, you want to make sure your outdoor furniture is heavy enough. The last thing you want is your furniture to tip over or blow away 🙂
COST + DURABILITY + CARE
It’s important to stay within your budget and know your priorities. It’s also important to understand how expensive materials are in the long run. You may want to ask yourself the following questions — How often will I be using? Would I need to replace frequently? Does it take a lot of time and effort to maintain?
Some outdoor furniture may last for years and some may need to be replaced more often due to weather conditions. Another thing to think about is how often you will be using your outdoor furniture. The more frequent the use, the more durable the materials should be.
Caring for your outdoor furniture … Aesthetic and functional durability is also affected by how well you take care of your outdoor furniture. Some may require more attention than others. If your time is at a premium, you may want to opt for lower maintenance materials.
In the end, choose the right material that fits your lifestyle. These are some key factors to consider when evaluating your material options for outdoor furniture.
MATERIALS FOR OUTDOOR FURNITURE
We are giving you the pros and cons of different materials such as wood, metal, resin, plastic, concrete, etc.
Teak (Tectona Grandis) is a tropical hardwood tree, from the plant family Lamiaceae. Teak is the most popular wood choice for outdoor furniture. It is incredibly strong, repels most water, and has high natural oil content, which makes it resistant to damage from rot and decay. It is said that teak could last up to 75 years.
THE PROS – Durable, strong, resistant to weather, insect resistant, no cracking, no warping, and easy to care for.
THE CONS – High-Priced
Acacia wood is native to tropical and subtropical regions, particularly Australia and Africa. It is durable with proper care and an affordable alternative to teak.
THE PROS – Affordable, durable, and sustainable.
THE CONS – Sensitive to heat and requires more maintenance.
Eucalyptus wood shares similar characteristics as teak and at a much lower cost. It is less durable than teak, but its oil acts as a natural insecticide and contain water repelling properties. It is recommended to lightly sand once a year to smooth out the surface, and to apply a sealant to maintain the wood’s health for a longer life span. Eucalyptus wood could last up to 25 years.
THE PROS – Durable, cost effective, insect/rot resistant, and eco-friendly.
THE CONS – Cracking may occur if untreated with sealant.
Aluminum is the most popular metal for outdoor furniture and is relatively inexpensive. It is lightweight, strong, and requires low maintenance. Even though it is highly weather resistant, a polyester powder coating is recommended to help maintain its color. Aluminum also heats up like most metals, so it is best to have seat cushions.
CONS – Retains heat and lightweight for very windy conditions.
Stainless steel is the most expensive choice for metal outdoor furniture. It is extremely strong and endures extreme temperatures better than most metals, so they are less likely to rust and experience corrosion. If you are living in an area with salt air and water, it is recommended to powder coat for extra care.
PROS – Strong, durable, easy to clean, and resists rust.
CONS – Expensive and retains heat.
Wrought iron is the heaviest metal, and it has been used for many things throughout history. Wrought iron outdoor furniture can be difficult to move because of its weight, but a great option for those living in windy areas. Wrought iron requires more maintenance and can be an uncomfortably piece of furniture without seat cushions.
PROS – Solid, durable and a great option for windy environments.
CONS – Rusts easily, requires more maintenance, retains heat and cold, and difficult to move.
RESIN + PLASTIC
ALL WEATHER WICKER
Most outdoor wicker furniture is made from synthetic polyethylene resin. Natural wicker is made from a variety of organic sources such as rattan, seagrass, and bamboo. These plant-based wicker is sensitive to rainy weather, moisture and humidity, so it may not be the best option for outdoor furniture.
There are high-quality resin that are resistant to weather damage and are eco-friendly. High-quality resin is also very dense. High-density polyethylene does not release any chemicals, is very strong, and can be exposed to UV rays for decades. Lower quality synthetic wickers are made from polyvinyl chloride, which makes the material brittle and will crack over time. A lot of outdoor wicker furniture is constructed of an aluminum frame, which helps with the weight.
When you are purchasing wicker furniture, make sure they are well crafted. You don’t want any loose areas where it can eventually damage the furniture.
PROS – Weather resistant, durable, and easy to clean.
CONS – Can be uncomfortable and may run into issues if wicker is not crafted well.
Outdoor furniture made out of recycled plastic are eco-friendly and is a great option for stylish outdoor furniture. They are extremely strong, durable, and moisture/mildew/insect resistant. It is very easy to clean and doesn’t require much maintenance.
There are other types of plastics such as, Polyethylene and Polypropylene.
Polyethylene – is the most common form of plastic used and is cost-effective. It is durable and weather resistant.
Polypropylene – is lighter weight and resistant to heat.
PROS – Strong, low maintenance, does not crack or peel, and is weather and fade resistant.
CONS – May be light for windy environments.
Concrete furniture is very popular in minimalist modern environments. It is sturdy, strong, can resist harsh weather for years, and can be formed in many shapes.
PROS – Long-lasting
CONS – Too Heavy
Acrylic fabric is the most popular fabric used for outdoor furniture. They are strong, weather resistant, and mold/mildew resistant. Acrylic fiber is more breathable, which allows it to stay cooler in hot weather. It is very easy to clean with just mold soap and water. It is the best all-purpose textile.
PROS – Strong, durable, easy to clean, doesn’t fade, weather and moisture resistant.
Sunbrella is the most popular choice for outdoor fabric. Their fabrics are durable and easy to clean. They have been around since the 1960s and have only improved their fabrics for a longer lifespan.
Polyester fabric is synthetic and is usually coated with acrylic or vinyl to protect it from weather conditions. Polyester fabric is strong, resists water damage and staining. Non treated polyester fabric fade faster than other synthetic textiles.
Acrylic coated polyester works well for accents and pillows. Vinyl coated polyester is best for self-supporting sling seating like poolside loungers, paring dining chairs and bar stools.
PROS – Strong, dries fast, comes in bold colors and patterns, resists tearing and water damage.
CONS – Fades faster than other fabrics.
Textilene mesh is made of tightly woven polyester. Each strand of polyester is coated with poly-vinyl chloride and heat set. It is extremely durable.
Batyline mesh is an extremely durable and high quality material. It consists of polyester fiber covered by a coating of PVC.
Olefin is another solution-dyed synthetic fabric. It is durable, fade resistant and quick drying. It is mold and moisture resistant. It is less expensive than acrylic fabric. Olefin is not as soft as other textiles, but is lightweight and easy to clean.
We hope this post helped you understand the different types of material and fabric there are for outdoor furniture, and will guide you to purchase the right outdoor furniture for your home.
Finally! We are sharing our DIY textured faux concrete wall. We know we promised you a long time ago and we apologize. Running a small business and still having to do so much around the house got a little overwhelming. However, we are here doing our best and learning to adjust with all the new exciting things going on 🙂
During the holidays, we started a small home reno project. Our original plan was to build an addition to our master bedroom, which would have been a his and her walk in closet and office. Due to certain things, we had to change plans. We knew we needed more space after starting our small business and our kids didn’t need a playroom anymore. So, we turned the playroom into our new master bedroom and moved the kids into our old master bedroom. We were able to build a walk through closet and get the closet space we need, and the kids still get a good amount of space to play in their new room. The kids old room .. Of course turned into our new office/craft room. We are glad it worked out and we were able to save a lot of money by doing this.
We built a wall to separate the closet space and where our bed would be. We were going to just paint everything white, but wanted an accent wall with texture. We looked into many options from Venetian Plaster to Lime Wash Paint to Roman Clay and so on. We knew we wanted that concrete textured look. After many hours of researching, we decided to go with a faux concrete look using joint compound. It’s cost effective, easy, and it turned out amazing. This is definitely a weekender project and we are happy to share with you on how you can also create a textured faux concrete wall.
Tint + Mix three different shades with liquid cement color — Dark, medium and light.
Starting with the darkest color, trowel a thick layer onto wall.
Then, layer medium and light colors over the dark base coat. You do not need full coverage.
With putty knife, add texture by overlapping random strokes.
Let it dry for 24 hours.
Optional – Use sandpaper to gently remove any rough spots.
Below is a 43 second YouTube video from Lowes Home Improvement on how to create a faux concrete wall. We used this quick tutorial to help us get an idea on how to start this project.
If this option does not wow you, we have put together a couple of other ideas and inspo where you can create a textured wall in other ways.
Lime Wash Paint
What is lime wash paint? Lime wash is a natural mineral based paint that creates movement and a subtle shade of texture. It is breathable and environmentally friendly. Below are some links to help you learn more about lime wash paint and where you can get them.
According to Portola Paints, Roman Clay “is an eco-friendly plaster finish ideal for smooth interior walls. Roman clay is smooth to the touch with a modeling marble-like effect, comparable to Venetian plasters but with a more subtle, organic appeal.” What’s great is that they also come in custom colors. Below are some links and inspo we found very helpful.
Venetian plaster is a term that refers to putty made from fired limestone combined with water. It is also more pricey and requires more work. Check out the links below to learn more about Venetian Plaster.
MORE TO READ – MODERN TEXTURED WALLS
We learned so much about all the different applications and methods to create a textured wall or faux concrete wall. We never knew there were so many ideas out there! We hope you found this blog post helpful and hope you’re inspired to create your own textured wall. If you are interested in learning more, we are sharing a couple of links below.
We enjoy celebrating every holiday (when it’s possible) — small or big. It could be a simple decor piece on the mantel, baking something in the oven, DIY crafts, or a beautiful tablescape with family and friends. We found some great ideas to share with you that could be fun!
Courtney from Pizzazzerie put together three tablescape ideas for Valentine’s Day. They’re all simple, but they all still create an elegant and fun vibe. Check out her ideas below!
We put together a couple of links where you can grab some of these pieces (or similar) to decorate your upcoming Valentine’s Day or Galentine’s Day get together.
HOME DECOR + HOMEWARE.
Valentine’s Day home decor doesn’t have to be all about the typical red and pink hearts and love signs. Adding some light color to set the mood is all you really need. Our favorite colors this time around is terra cotta pink, rose / blush pink, taupe, and of course gold. Below are some home decor and homeware we think could be fun this Valentine’s Day.
If you’re feeling a little crafty, try one of these amazing DIY projects. We gathered a couple of links to share and hope they inspire you to get creative.
We love Studio McGee and we are thrilled with their new spring collection at Target – Threshold Designed w/ Studio McGee. We just grabbed a couple of items from their new spring collection and wishing we could grab more! Today, we are sharing our favorite picks and how/where you can style them at home. If you haven’t yet, hurry and check out their new items before they’re sold out!
It has been quite difficult to go back to our normal schedule after the holidays. The kids are back to distance learning and the first week of January was pretty rough. However, it is a new week and we are ready for a fresh new start.
Even though we didn’t put much Christmas decorations up last year due to the home renovation, whatever we had is finally put away and we are ready to transition back. Maybe even with some new home decor 🙂
If you feel the need to add new pieces to your home or just need to refresh, we are sharing some new finds and ideas from our favorite places.