You know we enjoy keeping the home in tip-top shape – inside and out. And, with fewer activities occurring outside your home, we thought we would bring the activities for the long weekend to you! So, we tracked down two of Charlotte’s coolest experts to share a couple of spruce-up projects. Gain inspiration from Lauren Nicole of Lauren Nicole Designs and Erin Hostetler, the Patio Farmer. Lauren provides tips for giving your kitchen a new look (and none of them include taking a hammer to your cabinets) and Erin explains how to grow a patio farm.
Lauren Clement is an award-winning, Charlotte-based interior designer. Her philosophy is simple – “It's All About You!” A client's home is a reflection of their owners - it has to be.
1. Paint- One can of paint can change the entire look and feel of a space. I paint a lot of kitchen cabinets (well my amazing painters do!) and it is a game changer! Oftentimes a kitchen is configured nicely but the cabinets may be brown, or cream or that orangey oak that no one likes so I love to use my LND custom color Sugarcube to brighten up the space immediately. We will often use this on the trim in the room too. In the photograph shown here you’ll also see my custom color Makloud on the walls. This soft grey with a tiny hint of blue is just enough to contrast the Sugarcube and provide a beautiful backdrop of a classic color that brings life into the space.
2. Lighting - This is a hugely important step as a kitchen is all about function! Your space may have a window and natural light pouring in or it may not in which case this step is extra important. I love adding LED tape lighting for under cabinet lights and in any glass upper cabinets. This lighting offers a soft and balanced light that will truly last forever. Overhead is also very important in a kitchen. Make sure you have enough recessed lighting and that the cans are placed where you want them. Lastly, lighting fixtures over the island are your true opportunities to shine.Not only do you need great light over your island but these fixtures are also the jewelry of your room and the chance to show off your personal style.
3. Surfaces - Changing your countertops and backsplash will have a huge impact on your kitchen. I love to use quartz in a kitchen because it is virtually indestructible. I advise to stay away from marble in a kitchen as it is a natural stone and very susceptible to staining and scratching. Your backsplash is also an opportunity to show off your style. A porcelain tile is a great option because it is wipeable and it can be at a great price point but can still pack a lot of style.
Erin Hostetler, the farmer/owner of The Patio Farmer, is driven by her passion for growing food and teaching others. She encourages everyone to create gardens in small spaces and grow their own food. No matter what size space you have, she says you CAN grow food at home!
1. Light - First and foremost, make sure you have enough sunlight! Food-bearing plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day to truly thrive. Put your plants in your sunniest spot so they can grow big and strong and lovely.
2. Space - Make sure you have “enough” space. That is intentionally vague because each plant needs a slightly different amount of space. When growing in containers, it is also important that you give plants enough volume of soil. The bigger the plant is above the soil line, the more volume of soil you will need. Remember that when you plant, your plants are going to continue growing throughout the season. By the time you harvest, they will be much larger than when you plant. Giving your plants the space and volume they need helps them be healthy and pest-free. A tomato, for example, can be planted alone in a 20” round pot that is at least 12” deep. Lettuce, on the other hand, can be planted with friends, every 4-6 inches in a pot that is at least 8” deep.
3. Décor - Vegetables, fruits, and herbs are super cool and lovely plants. Make them part of your outdoor space! Make a fig tree a centering point or perhaps a berry bush or two. Carrot tops are a beautiful alternative to monkey grass. Think about the vertical space you have,could you ask your cucumbers to grow up a trellis along the side of your garage? Could you plant cherry tomatoes in a hanging basket on your front porch? What about creating a pallet herb garden that could lean up against your fence? There are all kinds of options and ways to maximize the space you have while also adding a bit of interest (and a bite of food) to your outdoor living area.