Karl Lohnes: Use tropical parts to spruce up your patio model

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Outdoor furniture and accessories inspired by the island can transform your garden into your own paradise.

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Karl Lohnes • • Especially for the Montreal Gazette Natural elements mixed with light, green colors create a tropical atmosphere on the terrace. Hampton Bay Green Garden Side Table, $ 99, HomeDepot. Approx

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Did you miss the winter trip to your favorite tropical vacation? The feeling of silky sand underfoot and the sound of the ocean waves becoming distant memories for many, but luckily, warm tropical breezes are not far away.

With summer on our doorstep, now is the perfect time to bring some tropical elements home. This island-inspired outdoor furniture and accessories transform your garden into your own private island, so you can travel to paradise as safely and easily as opening the patio door.

Choose furniture with an airy feel

Let’s be honest, heavy, dark garden furniture has nothing tropical or beach-like about it. Loosely woven hammocks, light, airy seating made of woven rattan and tables made of bamboo or cutouts that let the air flow through magically conjure up the look of your island resort.

Open and airy furniture is also suitable for small rooms, as it is visually not bulky and does not cause any visual clutter. Natural rattan is known for its resistance to the elements outdoors. Most woven-style furniture today is made from durable polyresin with surfaces that are modeled on authentic woven furniture.

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Make sure you add comfortable seat cushions so that woven furniture is ready for the siesta. Tip: choose a color for woven furniture for your outdoor area. Dark colors like caramel or brown provide a sophisticated look for traditional outdoor spaces, and lighter gray or white make for a bright, modern look. Add color with pillow and pillow.

Seagrass and woven carpets add a beach house feel to a deck or patio.  78 Seagrass and woven carpets add a beach house feel to a deck or patio. 78 “Curtis Medallion Outdoor Rug, $ 80, Homedepot. Approx

Get ground, island style

Patios or gazebos painted in the colors of tropical teak and bamboo (usually caramel and orange tones) are a permanent way to create a tiki lounge effect, while seagrass carpets (use real grass carpets in covered areas and polypropylene carpets in exposed areas) hide old terraces or concrete and create a summery, seasonal look.

For outdoor hardwood floors, look for acacia wood deck tiles. They’re great for hiding outdated concrete on patios and balconies, and have a warm brown color that resembles bamboo. Ceiling tiles are also a great option for renters as they can be easily lifted and moved to another outdoor area when moving.

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Let it be light: hang this lantern on a tree or a porch ceiling where there are no electrical connections.  Battery Operated 4-Light LED Pavilion Chandelier with Remote Control, $ 100, HomeDepot.approx Let it be light: hang this lantern on a tree or a porch ceiling where there are no electrical connections. Battery Operated 4-Light LED Pavilion Chandelier with Remote Control, $ 100, HomeDepot.approx

Add a tropical accent

Whether accessories such as side tables, serving trays or lighting – woven grass bamboo gives your outdoor areas the tropical style of the South Seas. Look for coated or synthetic bamboo to withstand the outside elements and make sure these accessories last for some summers.

Layering bamboo placements under light melamine tableware with a floral pattern in orange, yellow or green gives your table top a tropical feel. Use outdoor fabrics with bamboo motifs on pillows, umbrellas, and tablecloths for a splash of color.

Do you have a vintage bamboo bead door hiding somewhere in the house? Hang it outside on a balcony or porch (like an outdoor fabric curtain) for shade or privacy.

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Flower power

The exteriors of your island resort come alive with planters full of tropical flowers. Here are three top picks that will easily grow in a flower bed on the patio or on planters on the balcony.

  • Tropical hibiscus: Each large, exotic trumpet-like bloom of red, orange, yellow, or pink only lasts for one day, so the flowers are constantly changing.
  • Dipladenia: This flower blooms all season and has an intoxicating scent reminiscent of sweet and humid island air.
  • Bougainvillea: This thorny vine with flower-like green leaves and flowers in pink, purple, and orange lasts well into fall and grows well on the trellis. It offers privacy and at the same time offers a colorful show.

Do you have a decor dilemma or would you like to provide feedback? Contact Karl on Instagram @karl_lohnes


  1. To read more columns by Karl Lohnes, click here:

  2. The Sherwood outdoor kitchens in Vancouver use flame and scratch resistant Dekton Entzo on the backs to ensure durability and style.  www.cosentino.com.

    Karl Lohnes: Take the heat outside for cooking and entertaining

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Spruce up your house for spring, North Fork model

The spring front was set up at Nicolette’s for the Home (Photo credit: Felicia LaLomia).

When winter comes, we crouch down and try to make our home as cozy and warm as possible to get us through the snow season. Spring has now arrived and it’s time to open windows, wipe shelves and bring some life back into our spaces.

We spoke to Norine Penacchia from touchGOODS Lighting and Design in Southold and Amanda Giuliano from Nicolette’s for the Home about simple ways to add a springtime feel to your North Fork home.

What are some easy ways to upgrade home decor for the spring season?

NP: Think fresh! Relieve yourself! Take this opportunity to debug your home and even rearrange furniture. Try out existing furniture in new places and clean up clutter.

AG: Replacing our flowers in the house with pastel tones is an easy way to make a room pop and also to incorporate these tones into pillows and throws. Also, don’t be afraid to swap out carpets or mats to blend in your new look.

(Credit: touchGOODS).

Are there any spring decoration trends that people can rely on?

NP: Yes! If there’s one thing we’re not afraid of, add a splash with an accent wall, an affordable and easy way to transform your interior space. Or keep it solid color but add some texture with board and slat or decorative panels to give it a little extra to make it stand out.

AG: Blush shades mixed with olive green and deep plums are very popular! For people who love blue and cool tones, soft, pale blue tones paired with deep navy blue and those olive green tones are the alternative color palette. It’s the mix of jewel tones with pastel colors. You will also see lots of yellow, olive, and wise greens trending.

(Credit: touchGOODS).

How can people convey the beautiful feeling of spring in warm weather indoors? How to decorate with flowers

NP: wicker and rattan. These natural materials give every room warmth and lightness. Swap the heavier formal objects for tropical and airy rattan pieces. Removable floral wallpaper. Try it on an accent wall, behind bookshelves, or above a chair rail. An instant bouquet for your home!

AG: Tulips only represent spring! I also love eucalyptus. It’s a great staple to add to any arrangement. Daisies are also a beautiful spring flower. These flowers in every home make you feel like summer is just around the corner.

(Credit: touchGOODS).

touchGOODS53740 Main Rd, Southold, 631-765-8455

Nicolette is for the home53245 NY-25, Southold, 631-407-5417