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Cooling Down with Candice Olson

Cooling Down with Candice Olson


It’s the Madcap Cottage gents, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke, your Calico brand ambassadors and “hosts with the most.”

With spring on the nearby horizon, it’s time to sparkle in style. So we phoned up a divine style guru who knows her way around fabulous fabrics, furniture, wallpaper, and so much more—hello, Candice Olson!—to discuss perking up the porch and patio with plenty of punch.

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Candice graciously gave up a handful of her favorite go-to design tips to make your al fresco feel absolutely fabulous.

Here we go…

Slipcovers: Slipcovers can easily rev up your outdoor color scheme or give tired furniture a new lease on life.

Throw pillows: Throw pillows deliver the pizzazz! They’re like the jewelry on that go-to little black dress and bring instant va-va-va-voom with fresh color, character or texture.

Soft walls: Create soft “walls” or backdrops at the seating area of your covered porch with simple curtain panels. Gather them around any unsightly posts and secure with tiebacks and you’ve got instant tropical romance. Soft walls are also great for creating privacy.

Outdoor area rugs: Outdoor area rugs can help ground a grouping of furniture and create a welcome respite from solid stone and concrete. If you’re stuck and looking for a jumping off point for a fresh, new color scheme, start from the ground up!

Outdoor furniture: Maybe it’s just me (hopefully!) but I approach shopping for outdoor furniture and husbands in the same way! I don’t just look for a pretty face (but it helps!). I’m also looking for durability as well as the ability to multi-task!

Mirrors: Add depth and dimension to a small patio space with a mirror. I like to create a rustic wall-hung version with salvaged wood window frames. Thoughtfully positioned to reflect lush greenery and the twinkle from candles and outdoor lighting, a mirror will create a magical effect!

Weatherproof Art: OK, this may not be the place for your Picasso but consider enlivening that oh-so-boring blank wall with weatherproof art, sculpture, or architectural salvage pieces.

Lights: I love to use strings of inexpensive outdoor lights to create a sparkling starry sky effect on the underside of covered porches or as a simple grid to define a conversation or dining area.

So there you have it, tips from Candice. Now head to your local Calico for slipcovers, throw pillows, soft walls, and more then get out into the great outdoors and have some fun.

Send photos of how YOU have transformed your own outdoor spaces…

Is there a “best” outdoor fabric?

Is there a “best” outdoor fabric?

Let's Talk Style and Functionality

Let's Talk Style and Functionality