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  • Writer's pictureLDD Interiors

All-American Outdoor Design

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace, but it’s a start."

– Anthony Bourdain

I wonder if it could be the road to world health too. Well a girl can dream, can’t she?! There is some serious pent up desire for me to entertain. I have been separated from live human interaction for far too long! I miss the laughter filling my home. I miss the smell of my kitchen and the grill cooking up smiles. I miss my family and friends.

Over our morning coffee via video conferencing, because this is the way of our world, Kathleen and I were discussing exactly this. I enjoy our conversations and how so often we are in sync with one another. Almost simultaneously we both decided our next blog series needed to be about entertaining outdoors and, definitely, some ‘diva dishes’! We live in the land where dreams come true, and that is exactly what we are going to do: dream, plan, envision our next backyard barbecue.

Sit back and enjoy some good ole American entertaining…

There is nothing more American than Lloyd Flanders and American pie! Lloyd Flanders outdoor furnishings are still being made in Menominee, Michigan in the same factory Marshall Lloyd opened in 1906. What started as classic woven wicker furniture has developed into a line that spans many different styles and collections of weather resistant furnishings. Kathleen and I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jess Flanders personally. I loved listening to her talk about the family business. The story of Lloyd Flanders is a classic American dream business tale, and so it is the focus of this week’s blog!

The Haven Collection is a place of safety and refuge. For this outdoor dining space Kathleen used the Haven collection. The large awning, while offering protection from the sun and light rain, creates the illusion of a defined room. There’s an intimacy here that is undeniable.

One of my most loved recipes is my apple pie (of course all American!). Many might assume it is my grandfather’s, but no. It’s actually ‘Mom’s Apple Pie’ from the Favorite Recipes from Association Connecticut Fairs. With my own little twist, so I like to call it.

As spring settles in, and we begin to lean into this whole ‘quarantine lifestyle’, many of us are looking to the outside as our new escape and oasis from our overloaded “screen time”. Kathleen certainly is! She’s dreaming of birds chirping and lawn mowers humming in the distance while it shifts her back to an easier state of mind; hanging on the back deck, feet up on the Lloyd Flanders Catalina sofa, watching boats go up and down the river. Letting the warm spring sun warm your body as you bathe in its rays. That is tranquility. All New Englanders believe we deserve this! Being cooped up indoors for the past 4-5 months can bring anyone to the brink of cuckoo.

One of Kathleen’s favorite recipes from her escape and hanging on that outdoor deck with a few friends is her signature sangria. Wherever you are this spring and summer, outdoor entertainment on the deck, patio, or porch is a great backdrop for this sangria. Isn’t it the perfect complement?

Nothing quite says lakeside like the Low Country Collection. Some of my fondest memories from my childhood are Sundays at the family lake. The excitement would bubble up inside me an entire hour before we left for the 20-minute ride to the family cottage. I couldn’t wait to run down the hill over the exposed tree roots to the crisp, cold water. On occasion my Uncle Stanley would put me in the rowboat for some fishin‘. His long, lanky frame leaning over me to bait the hook, the smell of tobacco mixed with flour and sugar filling my nostrils. I can still resurrect that scent laced with the earthy smell of the lake if I concentrate a bit. It fills my soul with love.

I met Joe at that lake when I was 20 years old. I was quite smitten with him the moment I laid eyes on him. So, it is quite fitting that I selected his grilled rib recipe to share. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and I promise you’ll be a rock star when family and friends sink their teeth into these!

Who doesn’t like to swing or recline when relaxing outdoors? Kathleen, like myself, has fond memories of upstate New York and her family’s lake cottage. The Mesa Collection would be the perfect complement to that special cottage.

The memories are vivid. After a strenuous day out on the lake water skiing, tubing, canoeing, and the occasional king of the water trampoline played by the younger cousins, everyone would retreat to the upper patio. It was always the perfect time for an afternoon snack while reminiscing about the hysterics of the day just shared. Kathleen’s aunts would perch on the edges of the sofa, the grown-up cousins each taking a single chair declaring their solitude from the younger cousins, as her uncles stretched out in large chairs. Laughter filled the air and their hearts were full.

Kathleen felt it was quite fitting to share her mom’s broccoli salad. After all, it is a Rapp summer cottage tradition side dish!

I am missing my second home in Naples, Florida. I miss my friends, my family, I miss the sunshine and the salt air. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my clients, sharing a cup of coffee, remembering and sharing the lessons we’ve learned over the last few months. I love everything about the All Seasons Collection we specified for used for this narrow lanai overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. These lounge chairs are perfectly pitched with woven arms preciously flared and tapered while the back cushions remain just firm enough to create the ultimate seat.

While this lanai doesn’t offer enough grilling space, it does offer the perfect sunset! To finish out our diva dishes for outdoor entertaining I’ve selected the perfect addition to our menu: grilled corn on the cob!

Life is going to return to normal soon. Soon, we’ll be laughing with sticky rib sauce on our cheeks, maybe a corn kernel or two in our teeth. We’ll ask for seconds of broccoli salad and raise our sangria high to toast life. As the sun sets on that special amazing day in our near future we’ll cut into the all-American dessert, sink back into our seats, and be thankful for the day… for health… for life.


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