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Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

5 Ideas To Perk Up Your Outdoor Space

Becky

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It’s the perfect time of year to perk up your patio, deck, balcony or other outdoor space. Whether it needs a good sweep from all that pollen, you’re sprucing up your furniture with a new coat of paint or hitting the nursery for some new plants, here are a few photos to inspire you with your patio plans. Also, we’d LOVE to see your patio; please shoot us a link to a picture of it in the Comments section if you would like to share off your hard patio work!

By Clark and Zook Architects in Atlanta

Create a not so hard hardscape: It’s amazing what a few well-placed stepping stones and gravel can do. I just love this simple patio from Clark and Zook Architects. Border plantings are enhanced by potted plants. This is a great strategy when you want a little rosemary, mint or basil near the kitchen so you can run out and pick it while you’re cooking especially if you don’t have the space or time for a full kitchen garden.

via flickr member Karol Franks, by designer Corianne Bright

Reuse something unconventional: Usually when we think of plumbing fixtures out in the yard, we think cars up on blocks and old refrigerators can’t be far away, but that is simply not the case with this cast iron claw foot tub full of beautiful plants. I especially love the way they cascade over the sides.  Another favorite planter choice of mine is a big galvanized paint bucket or trough you can pick up for a song at home improvement stores.

via skona hem

Repetition and simplicity makes it modern: If you are starting with a blank slate on your deck or patio, think about doing something very simple. Evenly spaced planters with the same simple shrub or small tree will lend your outdoor space a modern look.

by Vuong Interior Design

Treat your outdoor space like a living room: With the availability of outdoor fabrics and rugs (I have one made from recycled plastic straws myself), there’s no excuse not to get super-comfy in your outdoor space. This Barcelona roofdeck is more inviting than most living rooms thanks to soft fabrics and well-placed accessories.

by Supon Phornirunlit

Light up your outdoor space for nighttime use: My pal Supon Phornirunlit (the brains behind Naked Decor) came up with this gorgeous reflecting pool for his D.C. deck after seeing one like it in a hotel lobby in Thailand.  He added inexpensive chairs, candles set right in the water, elephants with parasols and globe lights to turn up the drama at night. Whether you place hurricanes, floating candles or simple holiday lights around, getting the mood right with your lighting will make your outdoor space inviting for evening gatherings and getting your Zen on.

If you’re ready to do some shopping, check out all the great outdoor products our curators have selected.

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Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Designer Interview: Damian Velasquez of Half 13

Becky

Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Today we’re sitting down with Damian Velasquez of Half 13 to learn more about his vibrant and sculptural line of outdoor furniture.


How did you wind up designing furniture?

I started my path of design and fabrication at 11 – I used to hang out with my father while he made silver jewelry. The time we spent together at the bench was when I started learning about the joinery of metals. I continued to make jewelry throughout high school and college, but it wasn’t until I returned from backpacking through Europe in 1989 that memories of Italian furniture design would unknowingly shape my future forever.

I embarked on a journey of self education from that moment on – I taught myself to weld, to work with wood, acrylic, glass and concrete. I continue to build on that base of knowledge 23 years later.

Half13 O Table

What is your studio like? How do your surroundings influence your designs?

My studio is 7500 square feet of machinery and tools. All aspects of fabrication including CNC plasma cutting, woodworking and powder-coating is done in-house.

I haven’t ever been able to attribute a direct influence from my surroundings to my work. I started back in the day when “Southwestern Style” was at its peak. Modern furniture was not very strong in New Mexico back then. I think what does influence me is the fact that I do live in a unique part of the country and that fosters my desire to be unique in my endeavors as well as my designs.

Where did the name Half 13 come from?

Half 13 is the term for the size of the diamond and guage of the expanded metal that is used in the construction of my outdoor furniture line.

Are there any furniture precedents or designers who inspire your work?

The Half 13 line came about from my love of the chair “How High the Moon” by Shiro Kuramata. Because I was not formally educated in furniture design I never really had any exposure to the history of designers before me to latch onto. I have always loved Shiro’s chair and never though of it as an influence until one day I decided to try my hand at using expanded metal as a medium for furniture. I soon appreciated the challenge posed by this material and the difficulty manipulating it. After much persistence, the current line was born, and adheres to my core values of function blended with aesthetics.

Did you see a hole in the outdoor furniture market? If so, how are you filling it?

I actually envisioned the Half 13 line as a way into sculpture, but soon realized after much feedback from clients that there was a lot lacking in the outdoor furniture market. I quickly addressed the issues posed such as comfort, durability and ease of maintenance; that is why these pieces are now fabricated from stainless steel.

Thank you so much to Damian for letting us get to know him better today.

Shop all Half 13

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