Today we have a return visit from award-winning and bestselling author Karen Rose Smith who will see her 87th novel published in 2015. Although she has written romance novels for over twenty years, she has now branched into mysteries as well as women's fiction. Learn more about Karen and her books at her romancewebsite, her mystery website, and her blog.
In my Caprice De Luca mystery series, my sleuth Caprice is a home decorator who turned to staging houses to make her business thrive. I can share my experience as a home decorator through Caprice.
When we think of home decorating, we usually consider furnishings, artwork and design composition within our homes. However, this time of year, my interest turns to my gardens and patio. Here is how I go about it:
Flower Pots in Various Sizes
From plastic pots that resemble ceramic to ceramic to clay, containers can pretty up a patio when filled with greenery and flowers. I like colorful plastic that looks like ceramic (WalMart always has a selection) because I can find bright colors. They are also easier to handle because they are lighter. We have a store called Ollie's that offers a truckload of pots every spring. We’ve found some beautiful ceramic pots there for $10-15 in sizes from large to small. I prefer ceramic and plastic to clay because the clay pots don't hold moisture as well, especially as we move deeper into summer. Position groupings as you would with wall decorations around your patio furniture. You can also add hanging pots on ground hooks for a different and lush feel.
Solar lights and decorative items add enjoyment to your patio time. Not only do we enjoy the glow when we're sitting on the patio in the evenings, but even when I'm in the house and look out at the patio in the dark, those soft glowing lights are welcoming. A solar cat is a new addition to our patio this year and glows blue!
Each spring I look forward to hanging hummingbird feeders. It might take a little while for them to put you on their trail, but they'll find the feeders. Especially if you plant phlox, zinnias, coneflowers and hummingbird mint in your gardens. It's an amazing sight to be sitting on the patio and having the hummingbirds flit from flowers to feeders. They're beautiful, happy little essences of nature.
Around the patio I try to plan gardens with blooming times in mind. I like to always have something blooming. In the spring, we go from daffodils and tulips to poppies and roses. Zinnias, marigolds and snapdragons see us through the summer.
Fountains can give a peaceful feel to your patio. Again, I like to invest in the solar variety. We don't have our fountains on the patio itself, but close by in the garden where we can hear them. Fountains attract birds and hummingbirds.
Come spring, I hang an ornament...just for the fun of it... in the garden or from an overhang. It usually involves a lot of sparkle with beads…or a cat!
Patio furniture can add pizzazz to your patio. But it doesn't have to be new or expensive. A can of spray paint can work wonders. Over 40 years ago, my dad gave my mom two patio chairs that are the most comfortable I've ever sat in. Each year we refresh the color. For the past few years, this bright blue coordinates with the other blues on our patio. That chair gives me a sense of connection to the past.
Each year we refresh our patio with flowers as well as items we've collected over the years. My patio is a space for relaxation and peace, and prettying it up is a joyous undertaking each spring. I hope you enjoy your outdoor space as much as we enjoy ours.
Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery Series, Book 4
Caprice De Luca's former client and now friend Ace Richland--an 80's rock star--asks her for a favor. Can she quickly stage his girlfriend's house to sell? Widow Alanna Goodwin, a transplanted Southern beauty, will be moving in with him! Immediately Caprice realizes Alanna's southern charm can be turned on and off at will. Caprice agrees to stage Alanna's Kismet antebellum-styled mansion for Ace's sake. But she soon learns Alanna doesn't have a genuine love for her cat Mirabelle and also uncovers a plot her new client is hatching to sabotage Ace's comeback. However, before she can tell Ace, Alanna is murdered and Ace is the prime suspect.
As Caprice investigates, she learns Alanna had more secrets than pie safes. With her Cocker Spaniel Lady by her side, she tracks down clues and adopts Alanna's cat. In the midst of some of her own family upheaval--her uncle has moved in with her parents--she finds herself with a dilemma. Grant Weatherford, her brother's law partner, advises Ace and reveals more of his past to her. Seth Randolph, the doctor she dates, wants her to meet his family. She must choose between them.
Danger stalks Caprice. Will her refresher self-defense course save her life? Only if she keeps her wits about her and Lady by her side.