Hammock and Lounging Area for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition

I gave you the sneak peek last week, and today I get to share the full reveal of this formerly unused space in my backyard! I was asked by my friends at Home Depot to create a fun DIY outdoor game as part of a new edition of their Style Challenge Series.

Macrame Badminton Net and Outdoor Living Space for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Picnic and Entertaining for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Lounge Area for Kids and Pets for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Teepee Tent Fort for Kids in the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Kids Enjoying Outdoor Picnic in Outdoor Oasis for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition

Here in this crazy yard of ours, it's hot in the summertime. Too hot to actually enjoy, which is such a bummer when you have young kids who want to run and jump and play all the live long day. It's also a pretty big bummer for this gal who loves to be outside and adores outdoor entertaining that doesn't involve a sweat off as the designated group activity. With virtually no mature trees in the entire yard except for this little cluster of plum trees in the far corner, it's fairly slim picken's if you are hoping to nab a cozy spot in the shade.

And then it occured to me... If I couldn't bring the shade to outdoor living space, then perhaps the solution is to bring a new living space to the shade. And just like that my Outdoor Oasis was born, and she's quite the star of the show. 

Bar Cart with Refreshments for Outdoor Sitting Area for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Little Kids Playing Badminton for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Big Kids Playing Badminton for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition
Outdoor Games and Fun with Relaxing Outdoor Living Space for the Home Depot Style Challenge Outdoor Games Edition

Without wanting to incur the cost of an entire backyard renovation at this moment in time, I decided to improvise by using items that would create a non-permanent living space and one that I can bring in a store away during the wet season here. I used a heavy duty jute rug as the foundation and then built in the fun that would keep even the littlest occupied while the grown ups got down to business with some friendly competition. There were sword fights, bug stomping, fort making, and some good old fashioned r and r. I even managed to sneak in some healthy treats that are normally pretty tough to get these kids to eat. Of course it helped that it was 100 degrees plus in the sun and that I froze some of the fruit to give it just a bit of refreshing coolness. Anything cold and sweet is considered a popsicle to the Bird so he was on cloud 9 with the crazy good spread to choose from. 

It makes me feel pretty damn good to finish another space here and to have created something that works overtime in the memory making department. We definitely don't get as much of that as I would like... But now we have the Oasis to call our own and something fun for everyone to enjoy, regardless of their age! 

Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

I clearly have dreamy resort spaces on my mind, there can be no doubt at this point. You can see that proof in our last Room Envy installment. This isn't really a surprise given how much is happening right now in my life, its natural to want to escape or seek vacation like spaces. I want to bring this feeling into my own spaces so very badly right now it's ridiculous.

By the Pool with Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

So here goes... 

One // I'm so completely excited that Domino Magazine named this blog as one of the Best DIY Blogs! I am up there with some amazing talent, including two of my favorite gals Mandy and Cassity (seriously heart these girls so much), lots of other folks who you will definitely recognize, and others I am not familiar with yet, but can't wait to explore. Of course there are so many amazing DIY Blogs out there, and I know as these things go not all of them are recognized each time, but I like to think it goes around in a bit of a cyclical way.

Two //  I hired a gal to work alongside me here and she started this last week! It's such a relief to have an extra set of hands, especially this month. I have worked with people in the past here and there, but this is the first time I have brought someone on who is local and comes to work real office hours in real life and I think both the hubster and I are breathing a collective sigh of relief at what this will mean. I will share more on this later, for now I'm super happy and I'm hoping to lighten my load, increase my output, make the changes and put the ideas into play that have been circling for quite a while now. He is glad to hang up his DIY hat and no longer help with my projects. Not that he ever actually helped much, but man does he dislike all things home improvement and anything that involves doing things in and around the house or yard. We are a complete role reversal there. 

Model Couple in Room Envy and a Jetset Outdoor Space and Five Things About Me

Three // My little seester is getting married in a month and I am hosting a bridal shower here at my house for her next weekend. It's one of the major things on my list of June activities along with her Bachelorette Party the following weekend and I can honestly say that the wedding itself will feel like a bit of a vacation for me since it isn't something I'm in charge of or hosting. It's pretty exciting though and I love a good reason to throw a party, but it always seems like when it rains it pours, no? I could use a bit of spacing out with my TDC projects and wedding tasks and there is absolutely no chance of that. Eek.

Four // We are having a hard time with my older boy at the moment. He is 6 going on 16 and while he has always been an independent spirit and a bit high energy, it seems like we have definitely entered a new phase of behavioral stuff that I'm not entirely sure how to deal with. I know some things pass with time, but other things I feel are very important for nipping in the bud, so to speak, and in truth I am completely lost when it comes to finding a way of communicating these life lessons with him at the moment. I am a true believer that every child and person is completely different and unique and why shouldn't this apply to how they take things in and absorb them. I have been in tune with him for so many years that it shocks me to see this departure from that for us and my personal loss for finding this new way of communicating with him at this new age and level of understanding. I'm pretty sure he turned 6 and lost his damn mind, and with it all sense of reason and rationality so it's frustrating to be sure. Of course as a parent it's essentially my one and only job to help him grow and care for him so it's up to me to find this once again and I have tried so very many things that I'm not even sure what my next move is... gah

Five // I'm thinking about getting back into the design game. Honestly, I'm not sure if there is much time for this outside of projects and collabs for the blog and my personal portfolio. But, its something I enjoy so much, it's right up there with making things, so naturally I wonder if I should bring it on back a bit. They say do more of what makes you happy, right? Perhaps I should simply expand this portion of my work for the site and it would accomplish the same thing? In fact I'm sure it would, maybe more so than working with clients which is decidedly hard and doesn't allow me to express myself artistically in the same way. Yes, good idea... so if any of you have a good collaborative project for me, hit me up, I'm obviously in need of doing some design and styling projects for my mental state... but not till July or August please. 

My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

I have been working tirelessly behind the scenes here at the House of TDC to actually complete many of the spaces in my home. Working full time as a DIY + Design Blogger quite frankly leaves your home in full time project mode virtually all of the time if your pipeline is even marginally full. For those of you who happen to do what I do for a living you know this first hand, but for those of you who don't, this is chaotic on the best of days and completely wild and untamed when things are busy.

Sitting Area in My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

I mentioned in my latest Room Envy article that I obsess about function and this is true even for a makeover of this nature. As I overhaul a space like this and I'm thinking about making it gorgeous, I'm completely focused on adding the function my little family needs to survive without getting burried alive in clutter, toys and garbage. We seriously produce so much garbage, I really have no idea why, especially since I'm a borderline hoarder with my 'I might use it for a project one day' mentality. Or laundry. Though I'm still working on the laundry part of this whole scheme. I wish it could just put itself away. With a house full of boys, everything must be washable and not precious. Toy storage options and things to climb on that won't cause your children to die need to be an actual part of the thought process, so it's not the easiest thing to make a space pretty and keep the maintenance fairly low at the same time. It can be an all day job just to keep up with a young family so making this as easy as possible for everyone involved is an absolute must, and of course by everyone, I mean me. There isn't much in this space that isn't easily moved, used for another purpose, or easily cleaned when my Demon Seeds smear something sticky on it. Just to be on the safe side, where at all possible I have attempted to make those mystery sticky spots blend in with their surroundings while they wait to be found, because sometimes it takes me a while.

Chair and Pouf in My Bold and Beachy Master Bedroom Makeover

While I am in no way a girly girl, I am the only single solitary female in this entire house, and this is really the only space where it is not going to be an issue to use peach or pastels. So of course I needed to have at least one pale moment where I can have all of my girly things and not deal with the backlash of that. My color palette for this room is perhaps a bit surprising with a nice mix of drab and fab - always my go to choice for a color palette, it's just well balanced this way. I have a nice mix of army green, pale gray blue, and peach with pops of navy and mustard all tied together with some graphic and bold black and white. It's hard to show the palette in all it's glory on screen, but in person it's quite amazing.  

I will be posting all of the Sources + Details early next week along with a few other projects that went into this space. Stay tuned for those... and I can't wait to share my latest oddball obsession with you guys, there are 2 in this space and yep loving them! 


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Room Envy // The Stone Cold Fox + 5 Things

I have decided that my favorite spaces take me someplace mentally. Is it this way for you? Maybe not quite a full frontal 'take me away' moment, but at a bare minimum they give me a feeling, a suggestion of something I like, or of something I would love to like if my life were different... if I were different. That doesn't necessarily mean I want to be different, don't think I'm getting crazy on you or waxing philosophical.

Room Envy // The Stone Cold Fox + 5 Things

So I hope to ease into things with this Room Envy series and see how it goes... I would love some feedback if you have the time. In the meantime let us envy this space and how tranquil it is since my own life is nothing of the sort and we can chat about some other things that aren't so deep and that I bet you didn't know about me. Or maybe you did and you secretly have that ESP thing happening. Or not, and I just took it to a weird place. 

One // I adore period films and shows (a la Downton Abbey for an easy reference). I always have. I have been a Master Piece Theatre addict since well before there was even a glimmer of Downton Abbey and while I think DA is good, it's actually only marginal in comparison to some of the others they have produced over the years. Some of their reproductions of the classics (Austen, Dickens) are also knock your socks off good (some could use an update). 

Two // I brush my teeth every couple of hours. I do not like the way dirty teeth feel. I know that this is not normal because other people don't brush this often or complain of this, but it bugs me and so I brush. If I eat, I brush. If I drink something other than water, I brush when I have a chance. I like my teeth to feel clean. If I am going to be gone for an extended period of time (like at a conference or all day thing) I will bring my toothbrush and toothpaste with me in my purse. So... there's that.

Three // I am obsessed with functionality. I use functionality as my greatest design challenge when I'm working on a space and I actually think about the functionality of things on an almost constant basis. I will not design a pretty space that is not utterly and completely functional, to the best of my ability and knowledge. Ever. It's a good thing I like a challenge. 

Four // I have crazy bad allergies. I am allergic to something insane like 98% of all environmental things. It sucks big time. I'm currently sporting one heck of a sinus infection and it's taking me down several notches at the moment... ugh. Also, it has me revisiting a few things in my home which I will be sharing with you next week; one in particular was a bit of a shock so it should make for good blog fodder. 

Five // My Blakey Love just graduated Kindergarten. Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know this, but it's a bit of an interesting thing for me since I feel equally happy and sad all at the same time. I have a tendency to dwell on things and my baby growing up too quickly is no exception, hence the entire beginning of this post, duh.

Sometimes I'm so clever I out smart myself, ha. But I like that I managed to come full circle with that last one and so I shall leave you on that note and hope you might leave me some feedback on getting a bit more personal here and expanding our topics just a tad. Of course that assumes you actually made it past the pretty pictures or the first sentence. Probably not. Crickets I tell you... 


Calvin Klein Home - Philip Dixon House


Aaaaahhh yes, and yes I couldn't quite tell you if that was a sigh or a bit of a scream and this week has been like that in a nutshell. While this space and this article have nothing whatever to do with Singapore or cocktail recipes, I do indeed enjoy myself a good Singapore Sling, one of my faves actually, and the easy minimal styling of this space by Weekday Carnival has me curled up in fetal position (in my mind of course), wishing this week would hurry to a close.

One // My house is a hot mess 99.9% of the time. This is not an exaggeration. We even have house cleaners, because if we didn't, they would haul us off to hoarders anonymous and take our kids away. But it is no joke to say that within 3 hours of having our house spotless, it's already heading down the slippery slope of doom. By the next morning, it's a wreck again. Life is messy, and having young children is messy, but life as a DIY blogger is exceptionally messy. Projects, shipments, pieces and parts are everywhere all of the time. Always. And have I mentioned I'm the only girl in the house. It's a pig sty.

Two // It's my life long dream to design products. Not just one type of product, but all varieties of things. I have wanted to do this since I was a wee little girl and I think about it constantly. From hardware to notebooks, lighting and furniture, bedding, tools, you name it, I think about it. It's all consuming, all the time... literally.

Three // The Bird (my toddler for those of you who are new here) loves to dance. Seriously loves it, complete with a little baby fist pump, which I may or may not have taught him... no comment. I foster this love of music and dancing by singing him silly songs (of course) and letting him watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua III - Viva La Fiesta, which happens to have some of the best baby dancing music around. Also, he has just recently learned to say 'movie', so naturally I help further his understanding of language by reaffirming his proper use of the word and showing him said 'movie'. One might also assume that these woofs help with a bit of the babysitting and distracting around these parts since we are in dire need of both, much of the time.  

Four // The Mr. and I have been fighting like crazy over time. I mentioned that here as well, but I feel like it's at an all time high right now and I have reached a breaking point. From my perspective it seems as though he is tipping the scales in his own favor with things that are 'beyond his control' and I resent him for this. Naturally time taken in one direction is at the sacrifice of the other, and lately that has meant me. Since I have the crazier schedule at the moment, to be the one sacrificing time seems like sheer insanity and it's wearing on me both physically and mentally. I'm working on very little sleep and have only posted to this site once this week. I'm sure his perspective is different, as these things always go, but it's hard to see things clearly when you are deep in the midst of what feels like a personal crisis. I'm finding that it's hard to fight for a marriage when you spend so much time fighting for yourself as an individual, but I am hoping to learn to forgive and step outside of my own personal needs to see if we can overcome this. I just don't know how for the moment so it's a process I will have to grow into. Eek, how is that for turning picture perfect on it's head. More like falling apart at the seams around here. 

Five // I have a constant slew of silly songs running through my head at every moment of the day. My kiddos know the words and the rhythms to these well before they know any proper nursery rhymes or baby songs. Both of my boys immediately start to dance when I start to sing one of my silly songs. Blake, who is now 6 doesn't dance quite as much, or at least there was a period there where he didn't, but he seems to a bit more now... but the Bird... he is totally into it and fully jams to any beats I throw his way. It's awesome, and I adore this about them. I wonder if they like this about me? It's definitely not a normal sane person thing, I don't think, but it seems I spawn kids who are equally as weird as I am (yes, just ask my family, we are weird) and I am awfully glad of that because otherwise I would be the only weirdo on her weirdo island in a house full of boys. Eek. 


Image Credit: Weekday Carnival


This might be the first year where my design obsessions and the current state of affairs in the design world, actually align. Fingers crossed this is so, because when the masses jump on board, it's a tad easier to find those items I am coveting. Though this also means I am likely to tire of it a tad more quickly, since it will become style overload for someone like myself who is constantly bombarded with visual inspiration. I for one am over the moon excited to jump on the bandwagon I see coming down the line here in 2014.

My Design and Style Predictions for 2014

This will be the year of the organic scandi-mod revival. I see this as being something of a blend of Scandinavian, Japanese, Modern, and Vintage. That might sound crazy, but I assure these styles all have some major crossover and blend quite seamlessly.  Some industrial details will carry over from previous years with elements like metal and wood. Functional pieces with a nod to the past will be relevant through the year and perhaps beyond. More masculine, clean lines with simple shapes will reign supreme in the furniture arena, rather than pieces that are fussy with a more feminine detailing. Organic shapes and materials will dominate for accessories, with objects that have an geometric aesthetic, origami-esque quality, or macramé-like vibe taking center stage and paying homage to our 60's, 70's and 80's era design styles as well as having a distinct Japanese flavor scattered throughout.  

Let's get even more specific shall we?  

My Trend Predictions for 2014

  • Modular Shelving

Yep, so true. This year will see an uptick in purposeful choosing of a more industrial quality of shelving with modular features and adjustable functionality. 

  • Marble

This started last year in a big big way and is not showing signs of slowing anytime soon. From marble patterned elements to marble topped tables, this gorgeous trend is going to be seen in virtually every home of every design and DIY blogger across the interwebs.. you just wait and see. 

  • Copper

Another beautiful detail that began to make it's foray into decor a few years ago, with lighting and fixtures emerging in this gorgeous hue, but it's truly about to make a big big splash in the coming months. Brass isn't likely going anywhere just yet, so don't fret. You just have one additional metallic to choose from in your next home related adventure, and that is fabulous!

  • Abundant Plant Life

This is definitely going to be the year of the house plant. Fiddle leaf figs are already a major staple in the DIY + design blogger home and I predict this year will see other equally as dramatic choices emerge in the large plant category. Of course the hanging planters with drippy viney leaves will be another addition to virtually every space and this will be frequently paired with a vintage style macramé kind of hanging apparatus. Which of course brings me to my next prediction...

  • Fiber Art and Macramé

​We will see a continuation of this from last year and it will spill on over to the masses in no time. Everyone loves an interesting option for wall decor to pair with their more traditional forms of art and photography, and this will be a major player, to be sure.

  • Ceramics

Ceramics on display, especially of the geometric, organic, or vintage seeming variety, will grace the open modular shelving in hoards!

  • White

​Last year began with a slight migration toward white walls and ended with a bit of an excursion into the world of dark walls. I think that will stick around for a brief bit but I think for the most part the white and airy space that functions as more of a beautiful backdrop and shows off your furniture and accessories will take center stage. Look for a general lightening of the interior to emerge as the leader this year and a movement away from color and that pale gray everyone has clung to for the last several years... 

  • Geometric

You didn't think this was going away already did you? I didn't think so... Its a good thing too because I kind of love all things geometric and angular. It makes life a bit more interesting, no? I think irregular geometric shapes, the sexy hexy and triangles will really run rampant through the year and will find new and interesting means of manifesting themselves in areas of design we haven't seen them before. I can envision all things geometric and heart shaped popping up this Valentine's Day. Two things you probably never imagined would pair well prior to this modern interpretation of a very 80's revival trend! 

  • Origami + Paper Craft

Be prepared to see many a creations made from paper, especially those with a geometric quality about them like traditional origami crafting produces. I also think the fringe tassels will stay strong through the year and are such a fun addition to a party as a garland or balloon fringe.

  • Natural Wood

From picture frames to furniture this light hued specimen will begin to infiltrate the ranks of the warmer and darker vintage shades and walnut blends. 

  • Photography

Last year was all about the abstract paintings in colorful pastels and neons with saturated sweeps of the brush, and while I don't think that will fade necessarily I do see real photographic art making a big entrance. Whether as a form of escapism or for adding a bit of a vintage flare to your walls, these real life images will become a hot topic for sure and will run the gamut from gorgeous ocean scenes to retro coast lines and snow capped mountains, but all will be fabulous!

  • Black + White + Pastel all Over...and some Indigo too. 

While Radiant Orchid may have been the Pantone color prediction for this year, I divert wholeheartedly, in firm belief that we will instead see a surge of pastel shaded hues and the classic black and white of course. I am thinking mint will be the front runner here with some pale gray blue tones and peachy pinks playing a big part in this year's accent colors du jour. Of course we will still have lot's of gray and some pops of neon to pair with these more feminine colors. And indigo, indigo, everywhere I go indigo will go, go too. Yep, this gorgeous almost purple blue shade will grace us in furnishings and decor everywhere. 

  • Global Bazaar

Global inspired and authentic handmade pieces in the home will still be a major player, and in fact I think we will kick this up a notch with much focus on direct from the source purchasing and fair trade producing of rugs, textiles and woven goods. 


What do you think? Will you embrace any of these trends? I can't wait... I would love to see what you think some of this years trends will be! Please share your thoughts in the comments here!


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