Surprise! This islandy outdoor living and dining room is attached to an 18th-century farmhouse in Long Island. The east coast brick flooring may have tipped you off, but it's the ornate wicker furniture, European accents, and unusual palette that mark the space out as uniquely tranquil--and a bit aristocratic. Interior designer Tom Scheerer is behind the escapist scheme, and despite our track record as secret supporters of the anti-purple-in-interiors lobby, we have to say we're converts. So much so, that we've honed in on three key tips for mastering this look. ADD PLUM: We're impressed by Scheerer's purple upholstery choice; the color is an unexpected one, and the saturated hit goes a long way toward modernizing the bamboo furniture. It's also a classic pairing with green--which, in this scenario, works as a neutral by virtue of the verdant surroundings. "Purple is too 'out there' for some, but it's perfect for outdoors--it's the color of shade and shadow," says Scheerer. "Monet knew this: the porch is--almost by accident--a glorious evocation of the painter's own garden at Giverny." CREATE A CULTURE CLASH: Look closely and you'll notice that those clover green French bistro chairs flank an Italian trestle table, while the lounge chairs and wicker cabana seat inhabit a decidedly tropical realm. The furniture grouping feels cohesive due to a shared spectrum of natural wood finishes. "The French park chairs and the vintage wicker are natural complements; in fact, the French popularized the use of rattan summer furniture as early as the 19th-century," Scheerer explains. "They romanticized the tropics and brought rattan from the colonies in Southeast Asia and the West Indies." DRAW THE LINE: The open floor plan of this outdoor dining area and sitting room calls for demarcation--the ivory rug subtly defines each space, while its round shape suggests a circular, cozy layout for the furniture--an ideal configuration for kicking back with end-of-day sundowners. "A circular rug always suggests a convivial gathering 'round," says Scheerer. "So here it delineates the seating area, and also directs traffic flow around it." Can't get enough of Tom Sheerer? Check out his new book, Tom Scheerer Decorates, by Mimi Reed.
|Match Stick Wicker Armchairs, $1950 for the pair, 1stdibs||Talavera Scallop Pillow, $199, Frontgate||Alfi Albergo Carafe, $135, Cuda Kitchen|
|Fermob Bistro Chair, $198, French Bistro Furniture||Rain Drum, $450, Horchow||Stick Wicker Sofa, $3600, 1stdibs|
|Saddlestitch Area Rug, $249, Home Decorator's Collection||St. Barbara Gazebo Chair, $1000, The Well Appointed House||Sunbrella Concord Fabric (#6065-0000), $29 per yard, Outdoor Fabric Central|
|Concrete Rectangular Dining Table, From $2655, Restoration Hardware||Vaso Toscano Liscio, Price available upon request, Eye of the Day||Stick Wicker Dining Chairs, $2200 for set of 4, 1stdibs|