There's a scene in the new PBS adaptation of Little Women that takes place at the Walden Pond Boathouse. The girls are having a picnic outing with friends. They're running through a lush forest, down to the bank of the pond and jumping into wooden canoes. Beth sits on a blanket on the shore, with a cute boy and a picnic basket. The colors are bright and vibrant, like the girls' moods. This is my ideal type of summer outing… just subtract the petticoats and add a bikini and rosé. #summergoals
Yes, there are certainly other sets in the show worth dissecting and drawing inspiration from, but summer is right around the corner here in New England (and everywhere else, too). Victorian era drawing rooms and parlors can take a backseat.
This is the kind of look that works wonderfully if you're a renter. It's more focused on creating the right ambiance with decor. The first order of business is getting rattan furniture—casual, beachy, curvy furniture. If you don't want to curl up with a G&T in it, it's not quite right. Pair it with a natural-looking coffee table. This could either be a table that physically looks like a branch or stone (my favorite!), or something made of natural materials that is not stained or painted. Simplicity is best next to rattan pieces.
For your storage needs, think about natural wood pieces. The boathouse in the series is made of logs. If you can find a log storage credenza, kudos to you! A wooden piece with obvious graining would be handsome as well. Bring in that forest feeling.
Another way to bring in that feeling is with great planters and greenery. Instead of nicely manicured arrangements in vases, consider larger, wilder florals. As for the planters, again simplicity is key so as not to detract from the details in the seating and casegoods.
Top everything off with fun, camp-oriented accessories. Instead of laying a blanket on the ground, get a plaid rug. It gives the same cozy feel, but it's made for humans to sit and walk on. Antique fishing creels are a cute storage piece, especially hanging from a hook on the wall. A basket for firewood or to hold extra blankets is great to have in a corner. You can even do a pennant banner to really bring the theme home. If you're decorating an indoor space, hanging them in a tight area and threading them back and forth will frame them as more art-piece than leftover decor. A large flag would also make fun, casual artwork. The only thing left is to serve up a pitcher of lemonade.
Get the Look
- Sofa: Cane-line Lansing Sofa, $695
- Chairs: Serena & Lily Palisades Chair, $228
- Coffee table: West Elm Pebble Outdoor Coffee Table, sale $239
- Rug: Dash and Albert Plaid Cotton Denim Area Rug, $28.98
- Buffet: Pottery Barn Parkmore Buffet in Reclaimed Pine, $1,1614
- Pendant lantern: Pottery Barn Bolton Oversized Indoor/Outdoor Lantern in Bronze Finish, $449
- String lights: Orb 20 Lights String Lights, sale $19
- Plaid throw blanket: Target Threshold Plaid Throw Blanket in Green, $24.99
- Solid blanket: Target Opalhouse Solid Throw Blanket with Tassels, $24.99
- Basket: Target Opalhouse Natural Open Weave Basket, $24.99
- Stone pitcher: Target Hearth & Hand with Magnolia Textured Stoneware Pitcher, $20.99
- Faux flower: CB2 Purple Faux Allium, $4.95
- Planter: West Elm Stratus Planter, sale $104-139
- Faux tree: Alcott Hill Artificial Natural Variegated Ficus Tree in Basket, $122.99
- Canoe statue: Loon Peak Velmanikandan Large Canoe on Metal Stand Sculpture, $102.99
- Potted plant: Magnolia Sage Bush, $28
- Low planter: West Elm Terra Sandstone Planters, sale $27-62
- Fishing creel: River's Edge Products Willow and Leather Fishing Creel, $39.99
- Plaid pillow: Pottery Barn Buffalo Check Euro Sham in Taupe, sale $19.99