Now that it’s officially summer, I asked Elizabeth to send me a sweet summery outfit so I can make a cheerful room. What I didn’t expect was the cutest red, white, and blue outfit that is actually perfect for the Fourth of July! Since we will all likely be watching the fireworks on television and grilling in the backyard this year, I thought it would be fun to create an outdoor living space.
Red, white, and blue is a classic combination. One of my favorites, to be honest. In fact, my basement has a lot of this happening. While it’s classic, it’s often hard to pull off without it looking contrived and way too literal. You don’t want your room to look like you draped it in a flag. The best ways that I have found to pull it off are to go with slightly less patriotic tones, throw in natural elements, sprinkle with cool metal details, and add in unexpected complimentary colors like green, grey, light blue, or even black.
As you can see, even when doing an outfit, you want to keep to these rules. This red is more tomato than patriotic, the shoes have a natural feel with the flax linen, the hat has a grey tone to it which is unexpected, the earrings are that metal component, and the blue is denim instead of navy. This is an outfit you could easily wear any day of the week and not feel like the Star-Spangled Banner is about to play.
For this space I started with the “natural” element. In an indoor room I would use a natural fiber rug like a sisal or wool, but that doesn’t work outside. Instead I went with an outdoor woven sofa and two slipper chairs. This is engineered rattan that is made to go outside. The teak is another obviously natural element. I brought the white jeans in with the cushions on the seating. While white requires more maintenance, I think it’s worth it. Like the outfit, the colors here are not your typical patriotic colors. The chairs and coffee table are a cranberry red and the rug and umbrella fabric feel more like denim than navy. It’s a subtle difference that gives the space more dimension and sophistication. The stripes in the rug and umbrella also fall on the flax side rather than a stark white which helps as well. The pillows and ceramic pieces allow us to easily throw in other colors to keep it from being too literal. I love the greens and light blues that complement the red and blue. The tones are right too. Finally, I popped a bit of brass in the accessories and the tiniest bit of gold in the ceramic stool. They just add a touch of personality to keep it from feeling flat.
Since we will be spending a lot of time in our own backyards, I thought it would be worth sharing a few things you might need to host a backyard soiree. Melamine plates and trays are perfect for outdoor dining because they are virtually indestructible (just don’t put them in the microwave!). The fact that they are cute is a bonus.
No party, no matter how big or small, is complete without a signature cocktail – or mocktail depending on your choices. Sweet tea is the epitome of summer and one of our favorite cocktail mixers is from Jack Rudy. To make a Seven Island Iced Tea add 1.5oz Banks, Golden Age Rum, .75oz Jack Rudy Sweet Tea Syrup, .5oz lemon juice, .5oz Cocchi Americano, and five drops Bittermen’s Elemakule Tiki Bitters into a shaker, shake with ice and strain into a Collins glass with one large cube, then top with 1oz soda water. Oh, garnish with lemon and don’t forget the cocktail umbrella!
All the furniture and accessories are available through Red Barn Mercantile if you see anything you like. Also, if you need help with any design work – outside or in! – we have a team of talented interior designers with whom we work. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more. Cheers to the Fourth of July, friends!
Red Barn Mercantile opened its doors in September 2007 with a single vision in mind: providing old and new to offer our customers signature whole-room designs at great prices.
We’re more than a furniture boutique and provide more personalized service than a big box retailer. We work hard to bring you the highest quality furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall hangings and accent pieces, whether they come from off-the-beaten-track flea markets, or the latest designers.
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Alexandria, VA 22314