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Here’s my courtyard in my La Quinta, California home. I love this space because we’ve made it so colorful. As I mentioned in my “Here’s My Great Room” post last week, our home is configured in a square. The courtyard is right in the center of the square and is open to the air from above. It’s also accessible via French doors from the front hall (future post), the dining room (future post), and from the great room. We bought this home all built and it sure does have lots of doors and natural light!. The view in this picture is from the dining room and is my favorite because it encompasses the flower pots, the painting, most of the silk plants and furniture. The way we put this together was in several easy steps:


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Mr. G.Q. found this dark rattan sectional sofa, two chairs and table on line so it was our starting point. The big flower pots are actually made out of a resin and are from Home Depot. Because until now I’ve been a Midwest gardener, I was reluctant to buy ceramic pots that can freeze and crack (probably not a concern for sunny California). I love the look of these pots as they have a Country French vibe, which is a favorite of mine. This silk tree came from a local consignment store. I didn’t want to have to replace my trees every winter when we return here, so we went for the silk. We placed it in the corner to soften the edge of the courtyard.


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The tall plant on the left of this photo came from Homegoods. I actually bought two identical plants and wedged them together in a wicker basket (Homegoods) so that it would look more full. Then I covered the plants with dry moss so you couldn’t see the two different containers. Moss hides a multitude of sins when arranging silk flowers. The flowers in the four big pots are real. I bought ivy, red geraniums, yellow pansies and purple petunias at the local Home Depot. I crowded them in the pots so they would look lush quickly. The rest of the red geraniums (on the table, in the flower boxes, and by the other tree are all silk and came from Amazon. I have real flowers in my flower boxes in Chicago, but here I thought they would be too messy and likely to die in the intense heat. The key to making silk flowers look real, is to mix real flowers with real in the same room. That way it all looks real, especially if you’re careful to buy very lifelike silk ones.

The furniture came with cream pillows which are nice and neutral. But, due to living in a desert, when the wind storms occur (sometimes weekly), the pillows can get quite dirty. My solution for that is two fold. First, brush the dust off after the storm with a dry short-handled whisk broom. Then for any residual dirt, spray on this wonderful stain remover. It works on so many things! For the cushions, I spray it on, wait thirty seconds, and then rub the dirt off with a wet bar mop towel. Works like a charm!


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Now here is another cool idea. When we first moved in the left window in this photo, was in place. I thought is would be fun to add red shutters and a flower box to soften up that alcove. Mr. G.Q. is a big fan of symmetry, so he came up with the idea that we should put in a fake window on the right. We hade our wonderful handy man, Gerry Lopez make a fake brown window frame (no glass) and we added the same red shutters and flower box. Isn’t that neat?!

The colorful pillows are made of Sunbrella fabric, which is a neat product as it’s very fade resistant. I use Sunbrella whenever I can out doors because nothing is more frustrating that buying some perfect accent pillows and then have them fade out before the season ends!!!

The last cool idea and the one that really tied together the whole room, was to purchase this beautiful Mediterranean-looking painting and to frame it for the stone fireplace. The artwork came from a local consignment store and only cost $50! Then I found a frame at Hobby Lobby that was on sale (50% off) for only $27!!! I’m so happy with this find! My only concern was the fact that the painting would be exposed to intense sunlight as it faces east. I called my wonderful artist friend, Colleen Parker and she came up with the idea that I could spray the unframed piece with the product below. It shields the work from both UVA and UVB. I just took it out in my yard and sprayed three thin coats on, waiting about thirty minutes between each layer. I’ll keep you posted on how well it preserves the focal point of this neat courtyard space.


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Thanks for reading! I hope this post will inspire you to decorate one of your spaces in a fun way! Please let me know in the “comments” below.

Please take a moment and forward this blog to someone you think might enjoy it! Thanks so much!

XO

Dr. Julie

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