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For The Home

Patio Pizzazz

Author: Terri Feder
Issue: July, 2013, Page 144
Photo by Karen Shell


One of interior designer Mary Emmerling’s trademarks is making design fun and unexpected. On her back patio, where cacti mingle with citrus trees, the designer takes an object normally relegated to the interior of the home—an oversized mirror—and places it outside. Framed in driftwood, which is one of her favorite materials, it leans against a wall painted a quintessential hue found in the Southwest, lending dimension and a sense of spaciousness to the area. From the top of the frame, she dangled a rosary of oversized stone beads. Southwestern-style pots—one with the metallic sparkle that she likes to incorporate into all of her designs—add another layer of interest, while river rocks embedded between patio pavers lend an organic element. And, the finishing touch—an animal skull—truly captures the spirit of the desert Southwest. But the designer’s cow skull is more comedy than tragedy as it sports a blue bandanna and enjoys VIP placement on a patio chair.
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