Let’s be honest, backyard storage is often times an eyesore! A designated dump yard for all of our gardening equipment, lawn mowers, paint brushes and potting benches, the shed can be a real pain to make pretty. But if you thought garden sheds cannot be glamorous, think again because this talented and business savvy mother-daughter duo has taken backyard storage to new heights of chic.

What started as an unfortunate event – their barn burned down a few years back and the neighboring Amish community helped rebuild it – has turned into a creative business idea. Impressed by the skilled craftsmanship of the Amish, the two soon came to realize that the market in the States is lacking in beautifully crafted, prefabricated garden sheds. With this thought, Hillsbrook Collections was born. Inspired by classical architectural styles, their garden cottages are stunning and highly customizable. You can chose your finishes and opt for charming add-ons like towerlets, finials, Dutch doors, trellis work, lanterns or armillarries. The only trouble will be in deciding between their pretty designs!

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Don’t you just love interiors that have a strong indoor/outdoor connection? Well, me too! When it comes to decorating, I have an affinity for rooms with an earthy feel that evoke the tranquility of a garden. Even better if they open onto one!

Whether you have stunning views and a patio right outside of your living room, or not, there are many different ways to bring the outdoors in. You can begin with the color scheme – an earthy palette of greens and grounding browns will work like a charm. Next, use fabrics / wall coverings that depict serene nature scenes and floral patterns. Last, finish the room by incorporating natural textures whenever possible – rattan, sisal and wicker will subtly create a garden-like feel. Now, if you’re bold enough, you can always try a garden trellis! It is by far one of the most dramatic and efficient ways of creating a garden room.

A garden trellis or a treillage (aka as fretwork or lattice) is an architectural structure made of interlacing strips of wood, bamboo or metal, that is widely used in gardens to support climbing trees and plants.

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Ina Garten, aka the Barefoot Contessa, needs no introduction from my part and neither do her gardens! Some of my favorite moments on her Emmy winning cooking show are the glimpses into her stunning kitchen, as well as her outdoor entertaining. Ina’s garden parties are some of East Hampton’s finest!

The original gardens were designed by Edwina von Gaal and later expanded with the addition of a neighboring property that today houses Ina’s famous barn. The initial lot was divided into four parts – one for the main house (a classic shingle covered farmhouse), one for an orchard, one for the vegetable and kitchen garden, and one part for an open lawn. A decade later, Ina and her husband Jeffrey Garten, managed to purchase a neighboring lot which allowed Ina to build the barn that now serves as her culinary lab and filming studio. The two properties were unified into one dreamy garden with the help of Joseph Tyree, a former associate of von Gaal.

Crab apple trees, white roses and potted hydrangea trees, jasmine, clematis and Russian sage, parterres filled with lavender and a well-cared for vegetable garden – they all blend seamlessly to create an architectural, picture-worthy garden!

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Spring Break greetings, my friends! I hope you’re enjoying some good weather, wherever you are. We’ve been having a lot of downtime with our little one these days. We feel so blessed that we get to spend more time with our daughter when school’s out and we tried to take advantage of the warm weather as much as possible. We travelled to Chicago for some cool sightseeing and we have a couple of birthday parties lined up for this weekend. Not to mention Spring cleaning before school resumes…

Anyway, since I’m still on holiday mode, sort of, I will just quickly show you some of the pics I’ve been using as inspiration these past couple of weeks. I promise I’ll be back on Monday with a lengthier post.

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Tory Burch can do no wrong in my book. The fashion designer has exquisite taste, both on and off the runway. Her beautiful summer home in Southampton is something else that I’ll blog about in more detail soon but I’ve been looking at pictures of her garden pavilion and pool house a lot lately.

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Happy First Day of Spring! I thought and thought about spring for months now, right after Christmas to be exact and finally it’s here. Technically at least. We started off spring break last Friday, which means students are away and hubby and I have the campus all to ourselves. I just love how calm everything feels and that I get to chose my favorite seats in cafés. We have a few fun trips planned to Chicago and Galena – House Beautiful recommends this little town for all our antiquing needs – so yaay!

In the meantime, I got inspired over the weekend by the beauty of Nantucket cottages. Clad in cedar shakes and shingles that weather so beautifully in the salty air, the contrast with the crisp white window trims is made even prettier by some of the most amazing window boxes one can ever see. What better way to celebrate spring?

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