I cannot believe that summer is officially over and fall is here. It’s already mid September, which means that we are just a few days into this new fall season.
With the onset of fall comes thoughts of bonfires, apple picking, fashion boots and scarves, fall leaves, cozy evenings by the fireplace, autumn breezes and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!!
Screened-in porches, fire-pits & outdoor fireplace features, covered-patios with heating units, and cozy indoor bars with fireplace nooks for entertaining are the first of past projects that come to mind. These spaces are practical for enjoying year round, but are especially loved during this time of year.
If you, or a friend have been dreaming about your future indoor/outdoor space for cooler months of the year, please don’t hesitate to contact us to book your free 15 minute discovery call.
That being said, I wanted to share a couple of projects with you that capture the true essence of what it’s like to experience all the feels when sharing your home with loved ones during those brisk autumn afternoons or chilly autumn nights in spaces that were designed specifically with that idea in mind.
This outdoor space was inspired by nature and is ideal for enjoying time with family. The covered space is just perfect for watching the Chiefs big win, laughing over a great meal, or cozying up with a good book on the patio near the fire pit. This space doesn’t disappoint.
The homeowner wanted to be sure to extend the home’s entertaining abilities to the exterior while incorporating some of the notable interior architectural elements. Stained woods coupled with stone surfaces and warm tones offset the cool and calming presence of the pool. This space features a trellis above for filtered light, natural quartzite countertops, fireclay frost-resistant tile on the backsplash and tan/gray flagstone for durability on the patio floor.
This modern, outdoor space, features a covered deck that comes equipped with a grill, a fire table, and recessed heating units in the overhead cover, to keep you warm on those cooler nights. There is a solar shade that provides some relief from the sun when it’s too bright. The wood finishes and darker tones offer a modern twist and give the feeling of being in a treehouse. This elevated vantage point reveals picturesque views of the pool and lower level fire pit, accented by the warm tonal value of the changing fall leaves.
The homeowners really LOVE being outside and therefore desired a space that could be used year-round as much as possible without being separated from experiencing the outdoors by a wall. The overhead cover protects everyone enjoying the space from rain or snow during the cooler seasons, but also can offer shade in the warmer months, while the skylight feature provides additional natural lighting within the space. The heating elements make it the perfect place to enjoy a good movie and a glass of wine on a cooler fall evening.
This renovated space very much extends the usable square footage of the home and provides an ideal setting to be enjoyed during any season of the year.
From growing up at the farm:
My great grandmother, Alliene, and great-grandpa, "Poppy" John Davis, raised my grandma at our family farm near Drexel, MO. They have since passed, but the farm remains in our family. I grew up having Thanksgivings, Easter egg hunts, Fourth of July fireworks, and birthday celebrations here. My uncle has since converted an old hay barn into our "Party Barn", and we now bring our kids to enjoy the lower heart rate, and increased freedom they get to experience when you set foot here.
This was a savior during quarantine for us to feel like we had a remote escape with open fresh air. Do you have any favorite places your family escapes to in the fall?
Fall Family Gathering Idea
If you prefer to spend your evenings entertaining instead of reading alone, you can create an entertainment station. Grab all of your favorite board and card games, and add them to a wicker basket. Turn a small bar cart into a serving/snack station by adding your favorite fall snacks and beverages. Place the basket in the family room near the bar cart and you’re all set for an evening of fun with family and friends.
Helpful Tip: For adult game nights, consider adding wine and crackers to the bar cart or coffee and fall-themed cookies.
*** We're Digging this Bar Cart ***
Two solid olive ash box trays are set on a curved, cut-corner, brass metal frame
For more information or to purchase, please contact
Kara Kersten Design at email@example.com
A Client with a story...
When I first met my client, he told me about the history of his home, the family members that worked on it, built it, lived there, and cherished it. He told me about the memories he had as a kid, the parts of the home he wanted to honor, and the longevity he wanted to create with it for future family members to pass on to. This wasn't just a remodel intended for resale, or personal flair! This was a house that was truly a home, and it needed to remain that way.
It started as usual.
We started as we do on each project: with a schematic plan and options to discuss. Once we finalize a set layout, we move on to 3D drawings of key spaces and interior material selections. These drawings help the client visualize the space, and gain trust in us; that we will think through every detail and provide the needed information to make sure the contractor builds & finishes as intended.
It finished with more.
I could say this home project finished as usual, but I think I'd be selling it short. It ended with a thrilled homeowner excited to make the best of every penny spent. More importantly, he was determined to eventually pass it on for the next generations to enjoy, and preserve the historical significance it holds for his family.
EXTERIOR PLANTING DESIGN TIPS:
1. Tips for creating striking planting arrangements
If you've seen this before - it really is true:
ALWAYS GO BY THIS RULE FOR INTERESTING PLANTERS:
1. A thriller for height
2. A couple of fillers for color/texture
3. A spiller for drama/interest
My mom and grandma already basically did this before it was a "pinterest trend." I learned from them, so I guess that's a good thing that we already had the instinct to do this.
2. Colorful plants to add to your planters and pots [we are in zone 6]
Some of my favorite annuals for varying textures, heights, and a rainbow of colors are:
- Coleus (thriller/filler) [lime, lime/magenta, purple, purple/red, red, burnt orange]
- Kangaroo Paw (thriller) [red, orange, & yellow]
- Divine New Guinea, Sun Patients & Impatients (filler) [purple, magenta, pink, orange, white, & red]
- Waterfall & Bonfire Begonias (filler/spiller), Rex, Richmond, Non-stop, Begonias & Double Begonias [orange, red, & white]
- Purple Heart (spiller] [purple]
Favorite Perennials you can add to your planters and pots:
- Dusty Miller (filler) [blue green]
- Blue Fescue Grass (thriller) [blue green]
- Creeping Phlox (filler/spiller) [magenta, pink, lavender, white]
- Hostas (thriller/filler) [lime, green, variegated with white or lime edges, blue/green]
- Wandering Jew (spiller) [purple/green]
- Creeping Jenny (spiller, will spread) [chartreuse green]
3. How to split Hostas
[Best done early spring when they are sticking out of the ground, but haven't leafed out much yet]
- First, dig a circle around the base of the hosta plant
- Pull out the whole root ball and plant you've dug up
- Take a large sharp knife and cut straight through the root bulbs in between stalks
- Re-plant the pieces wherever you'd like
[Depending on how large your hostas are to begin with, you can split the hostas into halves, thirds, quarters, or more for desired fullness]
Hostas are such an easy low-maintenance plant that can almost live anywhere [prefer more shade than sun] and in any soil. They really are one of my favorites because they come in so many different colors and sizes, they are sculptural, and they take such little effort!
During this time at at home, we're seeing lots of your kitchens being used with more home-cooking and family time, bars getting lots of love and attention, and big comfy chairs & seating serving the the whole family well while watching Netflix. We've been hearing more questions from you about home offices, paint colors, and furniture arrangements. So let's dig into your most pressing questions...
1. Making a home office work for you:
The key is in separation of spaces. Separate where you work and relax so that your body automatically switches gears when you switch locations. Just as they say to separate where you sleep and watch TV so that your body is trained to shut off when your head hits the pillow, ease the mental effort of having to switch gears by using separate spaces to train your body to do it for you.
Natural light is really important for our well-being and connection to the outdoors as well. If it's not possible for your desk or work space to be near a window, try putting a daylight bulb in a lamp or two. What you surround yourself with in that space has a big influence as well. Without adding distracting items, maybe hang artwork that inspires you or brighten up the space with lighter colors if the walls are gloomy. A comfy chair (that doesn't put you to sleep or hurt you back) is important, diffusing essential oils or lighting a candle can help, and sounds such as music, a podcast, or nature sounds played on your computer are also great for added focus.
2. Paint Colors
If you're tackling a home project with some paint, many are scared they will make a mistake with choosing a color. I offer virtual paint consultations, and it seems like a wise investment for the time, effort, and money you put into re-painting a room, or especially the exterior of a house. Here are my favorite go-to neutral colors for those that need some generic help:
SW 9166 Drift of Mist
SW 9165 Gossamer Veil
SW 7015 Repose Gray
SW 7065 Argos
SW 7004 Snowbound (whites)
SW 7008 Alabaster (whites)
3. Furniture Arrangements
In times like these, when it feels like groundhog day every day, it's important to change things up a bit in ways that don't add anxiety, but instead add some spice and fun to life. It's so easy to rearrange your existing furniture to see if there's another way to lay things out in a way you like. It's fun, easy, free, and you can involve the family as well. Everyone can have input, and you can view it as an experiment... even if it's just your basement, or your kid's rooms. I used to unleash my creativity in this way all throughout my childhood. Switching up my room was one of the ways I could gain control of my surroundings while also learning how to use the space better. Let your kids have some fun trying out different layouts... you never know, they could become a designer one day too! If you know you need help, and don't know where to start, we also offer virtual furniture consultations as well. Fear not, this is something you can do on your own or with help, but regardless - do it if you know you need it! It can make a world of difference in your appreciation of your everyday space.
Designer: Kara Kersten [Kara Kersten Design], in collaboration with her family during the COVID-19 situation decided to bring all of their strengths & skill sets together to help people feel more happy in their homes.