Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley October 16, 2015

Welcome to the weekend! This one promises some down time, no guests visiting and a little bit of free time to *hopefully* photograph the studio for sharing next week. I couldn’t make it happen this week but it’s coming, pinky swear.

Behind the scenes I’ve been occupied with the site revamp, working with my website designer with the realization that so much is antiquated. When I started blogging in 2009 I hired someone to set up a basic design but SO much has changed since then. Now each and every post must be tweaked in some way so I’ve been going through six years of archives, ugh! I’m excited to reveal a modern look in a few weeks – in this age we must constantly be evolving to keep up . . .

My kids made their official Halloween costume decisions, no time to DIY so I ordered their costumes this year. My fourth grade son is a huge Star Wars fan (like me) and decided to be a character that we no nothing about: Kylo Ren. He’s on the dark side obviously because of the red light saber – I can’t wait for the new movie! You too?

My sixth grade daughter (and her friends) are totally obsessed with The Beatles right now (wow, third generation!) and she’s decided to be John Lennon and wear the iconic white suit, beard and all, so great! #givepeaceachance We’ve been listening to a lot of Beatles songs lately, they just never get old. I went through a Beatles phase in my twenties and have always loved their music. We saw Ringo Starr and his band in concert a few weeks ago, and I recently discovered an insightful podcast on their albums.

I asked my Mom what was it like when The Beatles hit the scene and she gave me an hour long answer on living in the 60s, it was fascinating. My favorite song quote of all time comes from ‘Across the Universe’ … “limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns.” Someday I’ll have it made into a print and frame it, I love it that much.

beatles black and white


Here’s the list of links loved this week…

A beautiful bathroom refresh.

Sofas in every color.

25 ways to use molding.

DIYers talk about their worst decisions.

An informative guide to consignment shops.

9 quick recipes for DIY spice blends.

Why food stylists hate burgers (and other tips).

A photographer removes cell phones from his images (yes, we’re addicted).

NASA’s never before seen images of Apollo moon landing.

My latest at Lamps Plus: chic wall mirrors for mantels.


  What is your favorite Beatles song or album? (As if one can choose…) I’d love to know!

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Paint It Black…Outdoors

By Kate Riley October 13, 2015

Yesterday I mentioned I use black mulch with my plants to make the green leaves and colorful blooms pop. It got me thinking that using black outdoors is just as effective as using touches of black in interiors. Too often we think of white as the default paint color for outdoors – white fences, white trim, white pergolas, white white white. Not that we don’t love white, for picket fences, arbors, and trim, white will always be timeless.

However I went in search of fencing, pergolas, dividers, gates, and trellises that are painted black instead, and you can’t argue with the drama created in the examples below. Just as classic as a glossy black front door, these structures and fences showcase just how beautiful black as a backdrop can be.

black painted pergola

house and home

black doors and arbor

source unknown


black painted arbor

austin design

black arbor

source unknown

Arguably nothing is more classic than black wrought iron fencing – but who says your wood fence can’t convey the same drama as iron? Black painted fencing and lattice are sophisticated and form a striking backdrop for botanicals.

black patio divider

house and home

black painted fencing

alcro trend

black garden gate

timothy lee landscape design

black fencing and gate

garden design magazine

black fencing and planter

the guardian

black fence arbor shelving

interior dec

Horizontal planks are another fresh approach to fencing and dividers, painted black the look is custom and contemporary.

black siding patio furniture


sanderson design 1/2

stylizmo black fencing bench


black siding and trellis

via kml design

If you’re thinking of making a change to your fencing or adding a new improvement to your yard, rather than exposed wood or a painted white surface, you might instead consider painting it black. :)