Respite from the City
Urns, Lamps Plus $310. Mirror, Threshold for Target, $60. Candelabra, Inside Avenue $588. Console Table, Occa-Home £1403. Garden Stools, Horchow $385 ea. Plant Stand, Pier $120. Chinoiserie Planters: Black, OKA Direct £125 & White (Windsor Planter), Inside Avenue $348. Basketweave Print Pillows, Hanalei Home $87-$99. Yellow Ikat Pillow Covers, Festive Home Decor (Etsy) $44 for 24 X 24 set. Cowhide Rugs, Ikea $199 ea. Tray, Oscar de la Renta (Bloomingdales) $395. Striped "Catamaran" Rug, Dash & Albert $38 for 2 X 3. Antique Gold Lanterns, Lamps Plus $40 ea.

     Lately I find myself dreaming about turning my loft's downstairs balcony into a lush respite from the ways of the concrete jungle. As the walls of my metropolitan shoe box begin to close in on me (my shopping habit has reached critical mass...surely my "How to Tackle Small Space Storage" post is on the horizon) the need to expand that space beyond simple dining-for-four and into den/sanctuary status has never been greater. I need somehere to sun bathe with a good book in hand or have romantic cocktails under the stars...just to be in the warm embrace of the outdoors without the hassle of changing out of my P.J.'s.

     Whenever I have a room re-do, I create one of my handy mood boards, such as the one I've shared above and just sort of let my imagination run wild. In these initial boards, money is no object and physical space is only but a soft guideline. In practice, utilitarian demands are pitted against my design-whims, and the outdoor space you see above will morph into the version of itself that is confined to thrive within my small budget and even smaller urban balcony. I invite you to stay tuned over the next few weeks as I share my journey from the mood board to real life. And you can join me along the way via Instagram and Twitter, as I scavenge thrift shops, flea markets and all my local haunts for bargain-basement treasures to make my outdoor-room revamp a reality.

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