Friday, July 15, 2011

Lawn Art: Friend or Foe

Gnomes. Patio furniture. Water features.  How can we determine what is tacky and what is tasteful?   I, personally, like to apply an adaptation of the CoCo Chanel fashion rule- place everything you want in the yard and then take one thing away.  In the case of my neighbors- more than one thing really should go...but that's really another story. 

One good rule of thumb is to keep most lawn decor  and furniture in the back yard.  There are some exceptions to the rule for oversized plots of land or houses that need a little softening to add to their curb appeal. But most houses don't require a table & chairs set, stone lions (meant to be used as drainage systems for castles), and other shiny yard "art" placed in the front yard.  Oh sorry, that neighbor thing keeps creeping back in.  When you use items that are disproportionate to the size of the house the pieces overpower the house.  They take all the attention off the beauty of the home or the landscaping and focus it on the out-of-place pieces.  At that point you've gone from art to eye sore.  Not a good move.  The same holds true is you fill the yard with a zillion little knick-knacks.  They make things too busy, distracting from your beautiful flower beds.

To recap, here's a few tips on how not to go overboard:
1. CoCo- place everything & remove something
2. Choose decor that is proportionate to the size of your home.
3. Don't overcrowd.
4. Nice landscaping provides more curb appeal than a family of gnomes.

Some of my favorite pieces to use outside include:
1. Wreath on the front door.
2. Monogrammed garden flags.
3. Outdoor sectionals (on the back deck or concrete patio)
4. Table & chair set with umbrella and lights (also on the back deck or patio).
5. Bench on a front walk.
6. Swing on a wrap-around porch.

Happy yard-arting!

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