Artsy Inspirations for a Romantic Patio Garden

Decorating a romantic patio garden is a dream for all homeowners. It would a secret haven for you and your family to carve out some precious moments, meditate, enjoy breakfasts while soaking the winter sun, or perhaps, entertaining large crowds of guests on holidays.

Here are some amazing inspirations for a romantic patio garden:

Artsy Flower Decorations

Give your patio garden an intensely artsy vibe with unconventionally creative flower displays. Pick out an exclusive variety of creative and delightful flower pots featuring a rich assortment of colourful flowers.

You can always add vibrant and graphic paint to these pots, or perhaps, you can create artistic wooden posts to hang down flower baskets. You can even place your flowers in large cane or bamboo baskets and cluster them on one corner of your garden.


If you’re planning a patio garden on a strict budget, recycling is the best way to go about it. You must have a great many steel tins, unused bamboo baskets, mason jars, old wooden crates, rusted ladders and a lot more junk that you’re ready to dump as soon as you get the time.

You can actually use these items by recycling them in your garden. Ladders can be used to create delightful flower arrangements, while steel tins can be cut up and painted to create lovely little lamps. And you can stack up the crates to create little shelves filled with flowers and patio décor.

Exotic Lighting

A garden can never be an exotic haven without creative and romantic lighting. You can light up your garden by exploring a great many options. For instance, you can hang up fairy lights all around the seating arrangement on your patio, or you can just use one thin strip to cover your eating area.

You can even install solar light torches inside your flower pots, or insert delicate light bulbs inside mason jars with flowers. You can even wrap fairy lights around trees and let them dangle down the branches, only to be switched on when you’re entertaining.

Inviting Seating Arrangements

You can create a delightfully inviting seating area, but your options depend on the space you have at hand. If you have a large garden, you can create a lovely pergola, which is basically a shaded seating area with pillar posts and an open lattice. You can fill the area with rustic sofas, wooden furniture, bamboo chairs or even a hammock.

Or you can create a bohemian inspired seating area, with vibrantly artsy bohemian sheets covering the walls or shrouding the seating arrangement like a cloth curtain. You can even add Moroccan accents with ethnic printed sofa cloths, colorful cushions, artsy mirrors and vibrant embroideries. If you want something simple, pick out rustic wooden furniture and minimalist seating.

Vintage Décor

Give your garden a retro-inspired vintage vibe by hanging flower pots with exquisitely artsy door knobs, rustic wheelbarrows filled with colorful flowers, exotic bird cages, exotic sculptures and well-placed garden artifacts.

Women in Business: Mackenzie Green, Director of Business Development at iHomeRegistry

We’re keeping things close to home this week for our Women in Business, featuring the newest member of the iHomeRegistry team: Mackenzie Green!

Mackenzie is the Director of Business Development at iHomeRegistry, spearheading sales initiatives in the Midwest. She fell in love with the home building process after working for a local homebuilder in Indiana and has brought great energy to our company! Originally from San Diego, California, she currently resides in Indiana with her husband and two daughters.

Read a little more about who she is in our Q&A with her below! 

Mackenzie Greene
Mackenzie Greene
  1. What attracted you to iHomeRegistry?

What immediately attracted me to iHomeRegistry was the content of the Instagram page! I was so drawn to it, and then after seeing what the software can do I was so impressed. Being able to render, design, and organize all in one was genius and I knew from there I wanted to be apart of it!

  1. How did you get to where you are today?

A lot of passion, love and encouragement from my family! They are always pushing me to follow what I love and pursue my dreams. Being able to be a mom, wife, and do something that makes me happy is a dream come true! I always want to stay true to myself, be a good person, work hard and go after what you want in life!

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

I think the best piece of advice I have received would be never stop being curious, always ask questions, explore the unknown and try new things. Life is all about new discoveries, and never giving up on your dreams. It doesn’t help to be stuck, always search for something bigger and better. Life is what you make of it, so put a smile on and go after your life!

  1. Who did you look up to as a young woman and why?

My mom! She has always been my inspiration in life. She exceeded every expectation growing up, as a mom, wife, friend, and being an incredibly strong woman. She has taught me to try new things, and chase after your life. If there is something you want in life, it’s up to you to go after it! She has shown me it is possible to put your family first but also still do what you love.

  1. What is your favorite room in your home and why?

My kitchen and coffee bar! The kitchen is the heart of our home, we spend a lot of time cooking and at the end of the day gathering around the table to have dinner together. I also have a very favorite spot in my kitchen where my coffee bar is. In our kitchen my husband and I DIY’d a pallet wall and turned it into my coffee bar. I have a table set up with all my favorite mugs and coffee essentials, because who doesn’t need a good cup of coffee to get your day started!

  1. Fun/interesting fact about yourself?

I’m a California girl who ended up in the Midwest trading sandy beaches for the lake life!

Women in Business: Becky McKinney, Independent Health and Fitness Coach

iHomeRegistry is so proud to feature Becky McKinney as part of our Women in Business series this week.

Becky is a 27-year-old full time Beachbody Coach. She grew up in a small town in New York working for her father in his bakery and restaurant. She always knew she had a passion for the food and hospitably industries but wanted to try something different after graduating from the University of Delaware in 2012. Becky began a career in marketing but was missing the constant face-to-face interaction that the restaurant world allowed her. She found the Beachbody opportunity through an old friend on social media and started as a customer. It wasn’t long before she realized that she could combine her skills in marketing and her love of food into one career: Coaching.

As a coach, Becky helps men and women from all over the country find home fitness programs suited towards their goals and lifestyle, but she also works directly with them to formulate a meal plan that combines indulgence with “fit friendly” to help them reach their goals without sacrificing the things they love. 

Read more in our Q&A with her below!

Beachbody coach
Becky McKinney

1. How do you juggle your work and home life?

My fiance and I both work from home full time so this can actually be really challenging at times since it’s hard to “turn off” work mode without physically leaving an office. Our work and home life is so intertwined. Because of this, it’s really important for me to set up boundaries and work hours and really stick to them. I have a specific work space set up at home and try to keep all things business in that one area. Once my work day is complete based on the hours I have set, I shut down my computer, turn off my cell phone notifications, and I’m officially in “home” mode.
2. What’s your favorite part of your job/position? 
I absolutely LOVE connecting with women from all over the country and learning about their lives and their goals. The amazing thing about Beachbody coaching is that you are helping people make healthy, positive life changes and the transformations are much more than just weight loss. To play even a small role in helping people live happier and healthier is a feeling I cannot even put into words. You build strong, genuine relationships and work together to reach milestones. For some people, that may be 5-10 pounds and building a more positive mindset, for others it could mean losing 100 pounds and improving their health so they can live longer to care for and be there for their family. Some of my closest friends are people that I have met through this job.
3. Who did you look up to as a young woman and why?
This may be a cliche answer but, I’ve always looked up to both of my parents. My father built a very successful restaurant and bakery from the ground up and my mother worked her way from secretary to a VP position in corporate America before joining my dad in his restaurant venture (thought it’s always been a team effort). I was raised by entrepreneurial spirits and surrounded by hard work yet never felt like family was on the back burner at any point. We’ve always been close and they’ve always shown me what is most important. My goal is to provide for my future family the way that they provided for me.
4. Have you ever experienced sexism in your industry and if so how did you handle it?
It’s interesting because a lot of people think that the home fitness industry is more geared towards women when in reality, it has the same benefits for men. I think a lot of people just assume that workout videos are for women and gyms with heavy weights are for men. I have no idea why that is the thought process but I see it all the time. I hear a lot from men, “I’m not interested in Beachbody – that’s for women.” The best way, in my opinion, to handle that is to just ask why they feel that way and go from there. The best thing I can do is find out what their personal fitness goal is, and offer them a solution and a way to achieve it.
5. What words of advice would you say to a younger version of yourself?
I would tell myself that it’s okay to have a different vision for my life than the one that others may have. Network marketing, while gaining popularity and momentum, is still a really different career path than most think they should take. It’s a hard industry to succeed in because it takes a long time to see the kind of income and success (however you define success) that most people want. I was so scared to tell people what I was doing and why and if I had pushed that fear aside, I would have found the happiness and joy in what I am doing now a lot sooner.
6. How did you get to where you are today?
Multiple jobs at once (at one point I was working two full-time jobs and two part-time jobs), a lot of sacrifice, and a ton of hard work and rejection. Coaching is an amazing job and it’s so fulfilling but it is anything but EASY. It’s not a get rich quick scheme or a short term commitment. I knew that I loved working with people and helping them achieve goals that could change their lives forever so I was willing to make the sacrifices and put in the extra hours. I’m so glad that I did too.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as a self-employed mother doing exactly what I’m doing now with coaching but on a larger scale. Helping more people change their life in multiple ways. As a Beachbody Coach, I have the answer to fitness & nutrition struggles in one hand and the answer to financial growth in the other. I see myself coaching more people toward their health goals and mentoring more women on building their home business.

Cost-Effective Ways to Revamp Your Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the most important – and probably used – rooms in your home. That’s why it can be hard to keep it in tip-top shape. But…it is doable!

With several, cost-effective steps, you can get – and keep – your kitchen looking glamorous!

Check out this article from Groomed Home for some tips:

15 Ideas To Revamp Your Kitchen Without Breaking the Bank
by Laura Ludeke, Groomed Home

Photo credit: Yvonne Christensen
Photo credit: Yvonne Christensen

And the Builder of the Year Award Goes to…

Please join us and the entire home building community in congratulating Jamie and Morgan Molitor, iHomeRegistry’s 2016 Builder of the Year Award recipients!


Jamie and Morgan Molitor are a husband and wife remodeling team based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota…and are absolutely amazing! They founded and run Construction2Style, which specializes in residential remodeling, new construction, carpentry, and custom built furniture designs.

We are incredibly honored to have them as part of our growing iHomeRegistry community and extend a huge congratulations to them on being our first Builder of the Year Award recipients! 

Check out our Q&A with Morgan earlier this year to find out how they got started, the obstacles they’ve overcome, and more! 


Jamie Molitor

Women in Business: Jasmine Abel, Student Support Officer and Social Media Manager of Interior Design Institute, Australia

This week’s woman in business comes from halfway around the world in Australia…Jasmine Abel! After completing her Diploma in Business, Interior Design and Decoration in 2012, Jasmine began working at the Interior Design Institute in Australia, where she has spearheaded IDI’s social media presence, been the creative director of the course modules and involved in the design of IDI websites and student experiences.

Read on to find out her favorite aspect of her job, who she looks up to and her piece of advice for a younger version of herself!

Interior Design Institute Australia
Jasmine Abel
  1. How do you juggle your work and home life?

As we operate 24/7, it can be hard to juggle work and home life, but I believe that it is crucial to find a balance and learn what works best for you. It is also important to learn that when you’re at home, you need to remember to switch off and allow yourself to have some “me” time. This is why I wake up each morning and practice yoga and meditation or go for a walk, as I find that this helps clear my mind, and have a healthy balance.

  1. What’s your favorite part of your job/position? 

Being able to create inspiring content and hearing how our course has helped change so many students’ lives.

  1. Who did you look up to as a young woman and why?

Lisa Messenger, as she is a huge inspiration to me, and she continues to break boundaries whilst inspiring and motivating others.

  1. Have you ever experienced sexism in your industry and if so how did you handle it? 

I am lucky that sexism does not exist in our workplace but that is not to say that I haven’t experienced it. From my experience, I’ve learned to not take anything personally, and to just focus on what is important.

Photo credit: Jasmine Abel/Interior Design Institute
Photo credit: Jasmine Abel/Interior Design Institute
  1. What words of advice would you say to a younger version of yourself?

To never doubt yourself, and to always stay positive no matter how tough a situation may get.

  1. How did you get to where you are today? 

After I graduated from college, I landed a job at The Interior Design Institute where I initially started out as a student support officer. Now my role sees me as the institutes social media manager and content creator. I have also co-authored an Advanced Module in Business, Branding, Marketing and Social Media for Interior Designers.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself growing and evolving with The Interior Design Institute. I believe in the term Kaizen, which means continuous improvement, and I strive to improve what I am doing each day, and also strive to improve our student experience and hope to see our students leading successful careers in the design industry.

And the Designer of the Year Award Goes to…

Please join us and the entire design community in congratulating Christina Goldsmith, iHomeRegistry’s 2016 Designer of the Year Award recipient!

Christina Goldsmith CG Home Interiors

Christina is the exceptionally talented designer and founder behind CG Home Interiors, a home-based interior decorating and home staging firm in sunny Arizona. Now with over 30k Instagram followers, Christina has certainly made a name for herself and continues to impress with a beautiful portfolio of designs.

We are incredibly honored to have Christina as part of our growing iHomeRegistry community and extend a huge congratulations to her on being our first Designer of the Year Award recipient! 

Read Christina’s tips on hostess gifts, her favorite paint colors, and tips on choosing the perfect paint for your next DIY project in our Q&A with her earlier this year!

Christina Goldsmith

Designer Spotlight Series: Erin Klawiter

Our Designer Spotlight Series is back this week with the fabulous Erin Klawiter, ‎home decor and furnishings trend expert and design consultant at ‎Perfect Staging. Read on to find out how she got started in the business (before the internet age!), her top two tips for designing a living room, what she considers the most important room when it comes to home staging, and more!

erin klawiter interior design

1. How did you get started in the business?

Well, many years ago, there was no social media or web based marketing so I got my business started by knocking on neighbors doors and asking them if they’d like a free room makeover using everything they already owned. I’d take before and after pictures, put them in a sad little binder and carried that thing around to anyone who would look at it; friends, businesses, restaurants, offices. I knew I wanted to work for myself and not a firm so I was determined to hustle!

2. Tell us about your first design job.

In the 80’s, I was 18, living in NYC and rearranged a penthouse living room of a producer while I was babysitting her kids. Looking back, that was pretty ballsy but I was young and eager! She loved it and referred me to some of her friends. She was probably just being nice but that’s how it started…me with my sad little binder and my before and after pics. I love how blind I was to how it should be done but that’s youth moxie for you!

3. Where do you find your inspiration?

Most of my clients don’t want over the top interiors. They are busy families with kids so while they want a pretty space, they are also realistic and on a budget. Social media like Instagram gives me a lot of inspiration. The people I follow are, for the most part, not interior designers and have created beautiful spaces that are livable. Sites like ihomeregistry and Pinterest are also a great resource for me. I love (or am a little obsessed with) looking at real houses online and seeing how people infuse their style into their homes.

erin klawiter perfect staging

4. If you could design a home for anyone in the world, who would it be?

I could say someone famous but the truth is, I would probably design a home for myself! The old saying “the cobbler has no shoes” rings true. You spend your days transforming other people’s homes and the last thing I want to do is spend my free time doing my own home. I’d rather spend it with my family. Or eating out. Or traveling. (Haha!)

5. How have you distinguished yourself in such a rapidly growing industry?

I’ve been doing this for a very long time and have learned that anyone can hire a designer or decorator and there are many to chose from. Your personality and ability to relate to people separates you. Designing a space is an intimate process. They are putting all of their trust into you and I don’t know about you, but for me, genuinely liking someone and feeling comfortable with that person is key to trusting them. There is a lot of hand holding during the process and a lot of personal interaction so making them feel relaxed and comfortable during that time is vital. Friendships and loyalty are formed and when someone feels loyal to you, they will most definitely refer you. Another added benefit to this is that lifelong friendships have been made. It’s a win-win, really.

6. What are the top two keys for designing a living room?

Contrast and scale, without a doubt. What gives a room that cohesive look is contrasting dark with light, matte finishes with reflective qualities and smooth with texture. Scale is just as important. Every room needs a big statement piece, whether it’s a mantle, coffee table or a sofa. A room full of pieces that are all oversized or all small rarely works, in my opinion.

7. What is the most important room when it comes to home staging?

I’d have to say the room you use the most! For my clients, it’s important that the room they use the most should be the room they’re most proud of and feel that sense of peace in. This could be the family room, dining room or kitchen. If a client is all about wanting to impress, the foyer is the first impression people have of your home so giving it the “wow” factor with beautiful lighting, entry table, art or mirror, and an awesome chair are all elements that pack a visual punch.

erin klawiter design

8. What advice do you have for the younger you or for a new designer trying to break into the industry? 

Connect with as many people in the business as possible! With social media, today it is much easier to do that.  If you’re wanting to work for a firm, reach out to them and see if there are any internships or jobs. Most people starting off don’t have a portfolio. Ask friends and family if you could re-arrange their furniture, accessories and wall art for them for free and take quality before and after pictures. Firms will be impressed with this effort. If you want to work for yourself, do the same! Can’t stress enough how important quality photos are. You don’t have to have a professional camera. There are a lot of good photo editing apps for smart phones. Crisp pictures look a lot more professional than dark and fuzzy pictures! Design is far more than buying pretty things. You have to understand the elements of design so be obsessed with studying designer’s work. Notice how they use color, scale, photography angles, etc. There is a science to designing a good room. Learn it and treat learning it as the job before the job.

9. Who is your design role model and why?

 There are so many! I love all styles so it’s hard to pick just one. And some of my favorite interiors aren’t done by designers, just regular people who know how to make a room look good and have their own unique style. A few of my favorite professional designers are Suzanne Kasler, who is so good at executing all styles but all of her designs have the element of livable beauty. I love the classic but restrained work of Darryl Carter. He is the master of contrast, which is something I just love to see in a room. I’ve recently discovered Olivia O’Brian, 2 women who do bright crisp and timeless design so very well!

10. What does the future hold for the design/decorative arts business? 

I think due to social media and the huge popularity of people sharing their own home interiors, projects and design, I think there is a lot of opportunity these days to get into the decorating business without the formal training. I know plenty of talented people with a lot of decorating clients who have zero formal training. People are following them on social media and are hiring them. I, personally, think it’s great! I also see companies relying on these social media presences, these non trained individuals, to help them boost their brand recognition. Just look at big home decor companies and their social media. They’re sharing pictures posted by every day normal people far more than designers.
erin klawiter