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Scandinavian Furniture Canda - Elevate Your Cottage Retreat

Scandinavian Furniture Canada: Elevate Your Cottage Retreat

Cottage Culture, located in Hensall Ontario is a unique outdoor furniture store – it’s focus is Scandinavian design and style. Dedicated to providing high-quality outdoor furniture, each outdoor collection that Cottage Culture offers has been selected for its character, versatility and quality. Whether a cottage retreat, country farmhouse or your living space in the city, Scandinavian design is used to create an inviting space with its unique blend of serene charm, comfort, and functionality. In our love for all things Scandinavian design we have come up with a list highlighting the charm and appeal of the use of  Scandinavian outdoor furniture in creating an inviting Canadian cottage retreat.


The traditional cottage-style ambiance evokes a cozy and rustic atmosphere and Scandinavian design compliments this aesthetic effortlessly.   Here's why Scandinavian furniture is appealing when creating that cottage-style ambiance:



Scandinavian minimalist design is known for its balance of form and function.  Simple lines and materials align with the inviting and unpretentious vibe of cottage interiors.  Cottage Culture extends this look to the out of doors offering continuity from indoors to out. The same clean lines and uncluttered designs create a sense of calm and tranquility, making it easy to unwind and relax in a cottage setting.




Whether you intend your space to have a rustic aesthetics or a modern edge, coziness is one check box that everyone wants to achieve in this special space.  Carrying coziness to the out of doors makes great sense, especially in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.  Of course, the use of natural materials lends to this feel but the use of a variety of furniture materials paired together will help in creating that feeling of coziness.  The collections that Cottage Culture has curated can be paired so that materials can be mixed.  Good design doesn’t have to require a matching set – in fact it begs it to be more interesting than that.



Natural Materials:

Scandinavian design embraces natural elements to create a layered look that adds great depth.  Longevity necessitates the use of aluminum and steel but by combining this with natural elements such as wood, wool, wicker (synthetic or real depending on the placement), and stone, adds great appeal whether the overall design is modern, transitional or traditional.  Natural elements add depth - the warmth of wooden furniture and the softness of woolen textiles and the strength of stone – all which contribute to a comfortable and inviting atmosphere.


Light and Brightness:

Scandinavian design prioritizes natural light, which is also important in a cottage setting. The light color palettes and reflective surfaces used in Scandinavian furniture can enhance the perception of space and make a cottage interior feel more open and airier.  The natural hues combine in a variety of shades and are often used to add depth and comfort.  As are multiple outdoor light sources.



Cottages are sometimes small or need to host larger numbers of extended family and perhaps have limited storage space. Scandinavian furniture is renowned for its functionality and smart storage solutions, making it ideal for optimizing space in a cottage retreat without sacrificing style.  And the beauty and versatility of this design allow you to easily move outdoor pieces inside for use in the off-season giving you year-round use of your investment.





Scandinavian furniture design maximizes a timeless quality, meaning that it isn’t based on trends that go out of style.  It is also usually subtle and even elegant, making it an ideal base for personalization - ensuring that your cottage retreat remains inviting and relevant for years to come. You won't need to update your furnishings frequently, making it a practical choice for a getaway home.


Hygge Elements:

The Scandinavian concept of "hygge" is all about creating a sense of coziness and well-being. Scandinavian furniture's focus on comfort, soft textures, and plush seating aligns perfectly with the desire to create a warm and inviting ambiance in a cottage. It is proven that our environment has a direct reflection on our emotions and mental health. A hygge home reflects nature, is free from clutter and is rooted as much in feeling as it is in material objects.



Scandinavian furniture's versatility allows it to work in various cottage design themes, whether you prefer a traditional, modern, or eclectic cottage style. It can easily adapt to your personal taste and the existing decor.  A large number of the collections work well indoors as well which means maximizing your furniture all year round.



Integration with Nature:

Scandinavian design is often inspired by the natural world, mirroring the surroundings of many cottage retreats. Wooden furniture and natural color palettes can create a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces, fostering a sense of unity with nature.  Sand, graphite, stone are solid bases of the Scandinavian colour palette but this extends to muted salmons, endless greens and soft muddy blues to accent nature.


Quality Craftsmanship:

Scandinavian furniture is known for its high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. This ensures that your cottage retreat is furnished with durable and well-made pieces that can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use.


Environmental Sustainability:

Many Scandinavian furniture manufacturers prioritize eco-friendly and sustainable materials and production methods.  Appreciating the environment of your cottage is why you are there - this aligning with the eco-consciousness seen from Scandinavian designers.



Incorporating Scandinavian furniture into your cottage retreat can help you create an inviting and harmonious space that combines the best of both worlds: the charm of cottage living and the comfort and style of Scandinavian design. It's a winning combination that appeals to those seeking a cozy and timeless escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

And if investing in new outdoor furniture is not in the cards, consider these tips:


Cost effective ways of adding a Scandi Vibe to your cottage retreat.

  1. Use textiles in neutral shades in multiple areas.  Consider pillows in several textures – linen, large knit wool, cotton, flannel. 

  2. Neutrals – play with the colour palette – you don’t have to pick set colours or even a set shade.  Layers of the same hue in different shades will add great depth.

  3. . Warmth – Hygge is about creating intrinsic warmth between people or in your own space.  Have throws at the ready that accent the neutral colour palette – folded under a coffee table, a basket of rolled up soft Turkish towels to use as an impromptu shawl or wraps at the ready. A set of hooks displaying a collection of wraps and cardigans for snuggling is another way to layer in a feeling of warmth in your space.

  4. Connection - Add a carpet that connects all your furniture pieces and gives your feet a welcome warmth and conscious change of space.

  5. Add lighting elements – consider an outdoor mirror, or a synthetic wicker light that sits on the ground to illuminate footpaths as the sun sets earlier.  Also adding simple candle light in stone candle holders is a great way to accentuate this look.

  6. Consider the furniture that you have.  If you have invested in a dark sectional, consider pairing it with an occasional chair in a lighter material such as teak or synthetic wicker with an airy design, rather than investing in new furniture. Sometimes the addition of a new piece is all you need to make your existing furniturelook brand new again!

  7. A nesting coffee table that creates a collection of hues within the natural colour palette can bring a fresh new look and some great serving space.

  8. Change up your outdoor dining chairs -  or add to the ones that you have.  Mixing up the chairs at your table gives an inviting and interesting welcoming vibe as though guests have spontaneously joined together.  A wooden bench is a wonder for providing extra places at the table while also being a cost-conscious way of adding in more natural elements.

  9. Ottomans, ottomans, ottomans – in a variety of shapes and heights, in a few different textures and colours will add that same cozy feel at a reasonable price.  It can help tie in different furniture elements and adds texture.  Ideally, consider an ottoman that can slide under part of your coffee table and double as a side table with a tray.

  10. Use unique side tables that maximize the natural materials prevalent in Scandinavian design – concrete, stone, wood all offer an interesting look, a good weight to battle windy shores and will help turn your existing look more Scandi.

  11. Make colour choices that are traditionally connected to Scandinavian design - Forest green, burnt orange, dusty pink and pastel blue are all seen in a lot of Nordic furniture and design. You'll also see a lot of grey and white, though browns, beiges and sand are becoming more prevalent. These are often used as background or base colours or used for larger pieces of furniture like sofas and chairs creating a canvas for your own personality.

Ultimately remember the mantras of Scandiavian design –

Minimalism is key. “less is more”


You are there to enjoy nature so give nature space to join you.


Streamlined furniture, clutter-free surfaces, and open spaces create an environment that's both calming and aesthetically pleasing.


And if all else fails, add wood, wool, warmth and plants!


Angela Roth at 1:05 PM
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Making your deck truly exceptional with accessories and decor

Making Your Deck Truly Exceptional with Accessories and Decor



We have likely all heard of the book title “Good to Great” and, as women, we know that we can elevate any outfit by adding the right accessories – a stylish purse, a piece of statement jewelry and fabulous shoes. We also know that we can change the mood of an outfit simply by swapping out the accessories – from pumps and classic clutch to espadrilles and a woven tote – will change the tone of an outfit, from dressed-up event to a more relaxed weekend outing.


This same sentiment can apply equally well to your outdoor space! We’d like to suggest how you might make your outdoor living areas just as stylish as your indoor rooms, enhancing what you love about your patio or deck(s) and making them even better.

But first, let’s consider the outdoor space or deck itself. There are some more ‘structural’ décor elements than can be considered before we move to specific discussion of accessories. These structural elements include:

  • Vertical dimensions
  • Texture
  • Privacy screening
  • Water feature(s), and
  • Outdoor Furniture

Vertical dimensions:

Vertical dimensions – that is, changes in elevation can add dimension to your space. These may include steps transitioning up to a deck from a garden or yard level, adding dimension to a space that would otherwise be completely flat. Or the changes in elevation could be changes on the deck itself, up a step, or steps, to another area or two, a dimension change which actually works to separate and define the spaces. An elevation change might also be a shaded, lower-level patio area beneath an upper, main floor deck.



Texture can take many forms depending on your space, style and budget. It could be a pergola, or timber-frame loggia, which acts to create an outdoor ‘room’. Another possibility is a defined grill area, a stone fireplace, a portable kitchen/bar or full-blown outdoor kitchen layout. Any of these features can help to define spaces and provide some form to your entertaining options on your patio or deck.


Privacy Screening:

Another possibility which can add texture as well as privacy is a wooden, square lattice wall or a screening wall, such as those made of metal sheets with cutwork designs that one sees in lumber yards. These choices would both visually define an area plus provide some privacy. Planting some climbing plants such as clematis, or climbing roses on a lattice wall will enhance the privacy over time, plus provide beautiful bloom and some fragrance. A row of evergreens, such as the quick growing arborvitae cypress (known as northern cedar) or other cedars, even multiple smaller ones in planters, could also be used to form a privacy ‘wall’ for your deck.


Water Features:

Water features can bring an attractive look and calming ambience to a deck or patio area. There are a number of possibilities, whether a water garden in a container or in a nearby raised bed. Or it could be one of numerous choices of fountains with a recirculating pump, ranging from the smaller tabletop versions to mid-size garden choices to truly large and ‘splashy’ options.


Outdoor Furniture:

Your outdoor furniture choices will reflect your personal style and taste, whether teak frame, powder-coated aluminum and mesh, or all-weather wicker. Consider outdoor furniture that doesn’t look like outdoor furniture, but rather, pieces that could be chic enough to live indoors. This is likely to give you a classic, comfortable look that will last for years – an enduring investment certain to bring a lifetime of enjoyment. Or you might choose furniture that mimics the style and design of the décor within your home for a truly cohesive look.


If you are shopping for new furniture, the Scandinavian design outdoor furniture at Cottage Culture, with its beautiful, clean lines, minimalism, functionality and neutral colours which harmonize with the outdoors, fits this classic design aesthetic.  


Layering in Accessories

Now that you have ‘framed’ your outdoor space, let’s explore the use of accessories in making your outdoor living area just as stylish as your indoor rooms, so that your spaces become Instagrammable in minutes. These personal touches can include the following list:

  • Outdoor rugs
  • Pillows
  • Throws
  • Lighting
  • Wall Art
  • Storage baskets
  • Canvas shade
  • Container garden
  • Outdoor speakers
  • Tabletop accessories


An outdoor rug adds beauty and comfort underfoot on a deck, particularly if you like to walk barefoot, as well as providing style and interest to your space. It also helps to anchor a furniture grouping, and define an area on your deck or patio as you might a room, whether a cozy and intimate seating / conversation area, or a dining area.



Outdoor, weather resistant pillows will add freshness to your outdoor space and help take your furniture grouping(s) to the next level by providing indoor-worthy style, through brighter accent colours or some texture or pattern, any of which will add a spark of interest to your deck. Focusing on just one or two colours which reflect your personal flair will help unify the overall feel of your outdoor space. The all-weather fabric is easy clean, a handy feature with kids, pets and parties! Cushy pillows will also add softness and comfort to your space.



You can layer up different textues with throws and blankets                    

when you want to change or enliven the look of your patio or deck, or bring in a splash of colour without a permanent commitment decision like painting walls or purchasing new outdoor furniture, choose a graphic blanket or throw. You can find a selection of Pokoloko throws, including fleece lined ones, at Cottage Culture which are handy right now for chilly evenings outdoors on the deck or patio, or around a campfire, and inside come fall and winter. Other unlined Turkish cotton throws are multi-functional, whether employed as a throw, towel, sarong or tablecloth for your party!


Decks and patios are not just for daytime; as the sun sets, soft lighting (a nice contrast to the usual interior overhead lighting) creates an instantly intimate and fun party vibe. Strategically placed lights, whether you choose all-weather woven rattan hanging, or free-standing, light fixtures, strings of Edison-bulb-type lights or twinkly fairy lights, all set the mood with illumination as the sun goes down. Also consider scattering candles of various heights about your outdoor space, using more lighting around tables and food areas. Incorporating lighting into your design will help to keep it safe as well as beautiful.


The purpose of wall art or pictures is not to clutter (and there probably won’t be much wall space anyway), but rather to strategically complement your outdoor space with a touch of style and colour. Like a TV, you will want to hang your artwork or photos on an available wall, fireplace, or a brick or stone feature.


  Multifunctional woven storage baskets will keep your deck or   patio  clutter-free, making the space more stylish and keeping it   feeling comfortable and relaxing. You can employ large floor   storage baskets as a hamper for towels for a nearby pool, to store   throws so they’re handy on chilly evenings, or to store kids’ outdoor   toys. Smaller scale woven baskets come in handy for storing small   items together so they don’t get misplaced, like a BBQ starter, TV remote for an outdoor TV, eating utensils and the like.


Canvas shade, whether a deck umbrella, a sun (sail) shade, or an awning which perhaps forms the ‘ceiling’ of a pergola, will add style and perhaps a pop of colour, in addition to providing a welcoming, shaded area on your deck or patio. These canvas choices allow you to add that spot of colour without a permanent decision like painting exterior walls or purchasing new outdoor furniture.


Container gardens offer up so many style possibilities, bringing a touch of life and a pop of colour to enhance your outdoor space. Whether they are hanging, positioned on steps or the flat surface of a deck or patio, or in a set of raised planters, potted plants introduce different types of greenery to your outdoors and complement your permanent landscaping. If you have a green thumb, placing potted plants around your deck or patio is a natural way to add life, interest and attractive colours to your space. If you’re not a gardener, or if you have a very hot, high sun outdoor area which destroys your live plants, consider artificial, as a number of garden centres in our area now carry a lovely selection of artificial greenery.


Outdoor speakers: No outdoor area is complete without music to add ambience for yourself or your group get-together. And bringing music outdoors is easily accomplished now with the wide variety of outdoor wireless and portable speakers which exist, with available options of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so there’s no longer the requirement for planning ahead to wire your deck or patio for outdoor speakers.



Layering in your tabletop accessories is the final touch to make the space truly sing. Cottage Culture has a great selection of multi-functional Pokoloko Turkish cotton towels in an assortment of colours and patterns, and various sizes, which make great tablecloths, wine bottle wraps, and generous sized dinner napkins, with easy laundering a much-appreciated feature! There is also an assortment of Chilewich placemats to coordinate with your dining area, woven rattan trays, vases of various colours, sizes and textures, matt black candleholders, aromatic candles from the Little Beausoleil Candle Co. and some drinkware.


Taking advantage of some of these suggestions, you will be able to make your already great patio or deck into something truly exceptional!

Janet Baird-Jackson at 3:45 PM
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10 Unique Ways to use Wicker in your Home Design

10 Unique Ways to Use Wicker in your Home Design


Written by Ryan Castillo

With its centuries-old weaving technique and organic textures, wicker offers a delightful way to infuse warmth and character into the living spaces of your home. From a coastal-inspired oasis to a bohemian retreat to a classic and inviting atmosphere, wicker seamlessly adapts to a diverse range of interior styles. In this Redfin article, we will explore the versatility and allure of wicker furniture, decor accents, and even textured wallpapers that can breathe new life into your home. So whether you’re looking to rent an apartment in Indianapolis or purchase a home in Charleston, discover the beauty of this age-old craftsmanship and uncover how wicker can elevate your home’s design.



What is wicker and how to apply it to your home

Wicker is a versatile and time-honored material used to craft furniture, baskets, and various decorative items. “Wicker furniture and accessories are made from natural materials such as rattan, bamboo, or reed. It brings an organic and earthy vibe to your living space, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere,” says Santa Barbara Interiors.


Creating wicker involves intertwining these flexible materials into intricate patterns, often forming a strong and lightweight structure. Wicker’s history can be traced back to ancient Egypt, and its popularity has endured through the ages due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.


“Wicker and rattan are popular choices for interior design as these materials are lightweight, durable, and add natural texture to the home,” shares Morgan Desquenne of 3DVIA. “Wicker and rattan can be used in various ways, from side chairs to coffee tables to poofs, stools, and even bed frames.”


CASS Design Co. notes, “Our best tip to use wicker in a way that elevates your space versus making it feel dated is to use it sparingly. Think accent pieces like lighting, side tables, side chairs or benches, or even vases. When you add these pieces here and there, it adds an element of warmth and interest. If it’s overdone, like an entire matching set, there isn’t as much visual interest.”


Here are 10 more ways to easily include wicker design in your home.



1. Wicker Planters

Wicker planters are stylish and functional containers specifically designed for holding and showcasing plants, flowers, and herbs. 


“Bring a touch of nature indoors by using wicker planters to display your favorite houseplants. These planters can be placed on window sills, shelves, or even hung from the ceiling to create an eye-catching display. The combination of green foliage and the earthy tones of wicker creates a soothing and inviting atmosphere in your home,” notes Wicker Guides.


2. Wicker Lighting

Wicker lighting fixtures bring nature-inspired aesthetics and warm illumination to any living space. Whether in pendant lights, chandeliers, or table lamps, these fixtures cast beautiful patterns of light and shadows that infuse the room with a cozy and inviting ambiance.


“Wicker lighting is a great way to create ambiance,” notes Cottage Culture. “The natural fibers of the lamp soften and warm the space while the soft cascading pattern of light that falls from a chandelier truly sets a mood. Don’t have space for a chandelier? Try a wicker floor lamp to add interest to your space.”


3. Wicker Headboards

Wicker headboards offer rustic charm to bedroom decor, adding texture and warmth to the overall ambiance. Their woven design, typically crafted from materials like rattan or willow, provides a lightweight and airy feel while still serving as a sturdy and supportive backdrop for the bed.


Bree Kotwitz of Wicker Baskt says to, “Give your bedroom a touch of bohemian charm by incorporating a wicker headboard. The natural texture of wicker adds a cozy and inviting feel to the room, especially when paired with soft bedding and neutral tones to create a serene and stylish haven.”


4. Wicker Coffee Tables

Wicker coffee tables are eye-catching pieces of furniture. “An easy way to add wicker into your home is through a coffee table tray. Add a cute book and plant, and you’ve got a beautiful vignette,” says NB Design Group.


5. Wicker Trunks

Wicker trunks come in various sizes, from small decorative pieces to larger storage containers, making them suitable for use in bedrooms, living rooms, or even outdoor spaces.


Kim Turner, Principal and Designer at Kim Turner Design, and Advancement Director at Dwell with Dignity notes, “A wicker trunk placed at the foot of a bed serves as an excellent storage solution for extra bedding. In a guest room, it provides a convenient space to stash additional blankets for those who might feel chilly during the night. It also allows you to include extra pillows with varying firmness levels, offering guests a personalized and comfortable sleeping experience.”


6. Wicker Chairs

Wicker chairs are classic seating options that combine comfort, style, and natural elegance. With their lightweight yet durable construction, wicker chairs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.


“Place wicker chairs in your living room, paired with plush cushions to create a cozy reading corner,” recommends Zen Candles Design. “Opt for neutral colors like cream, beige, or pastel hues to create a cohesive look that is both serene and sophisticated.”


7. Wicker Panels and Wallpaper

Wicker panels and wallpaper are innovative and stylish ways to incorporate the natural appeal of wicker into interior design without the need for actual woven materials. 


“Make a striking first impression by covering an accent wall with woven wicker panels or textured wicker wallpaper,” says Lori of Our Repurposed Home. “ Wrap some old books with wicker wallpaper sheets and place them on a shelf and a few plants in wicker baskets. It will give your arrangement some texture and interest. Cover your traditional painted stair risers with wicker panels or wallpaper, adding a unique and unexpected twist to your staircase.”


8. Wicker Baskets

Wicker baskets come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and designs. “They are the perfect solution for storing items around the house while presenting an aesthetically pleasing decor element. Store blankets, toys, and more in any room while hiding out of view in decorative wicker baskets,” notes Lauren Tieru of Paige & Rye.


9. Outdoor Wicker Furniture

Wicker outdoor furniture comes in various forms, including chairs, sofas, dining sets, loungers, and more, catering to different seating and entertainment needs. Its timeless and versatile design allows it to blend seamlessly with various outdoor settings, from garden patios and balconies to poolside areas and porches. 


“Wicker is a great option for outdoor furniture,” notes Tara Rydl, Mom Can Do Anything. “I love my outdoor living space with a wicker couch and wicker swivel chairs. As long as I keep it covered during the winter months, it wears well and holds up nicely.”  


10. Indoor Wicker Furniture

Wicker indoor furniture brings a charming and natural touch to interior spaces, infusing them with warmth and texture. Due to its lightweight and versatile nature, wicker furniture can easily move around to suit various arrangements and decor styles. Wicker chairs and sofas are often paired with cushions and upholstery for enhanced comfort and a personalized touch. 


“Most think of coastal design or outdoor design when they think of using wicker or rattan, but like wood, wicker can warm up any interior space and add some needed texture so a space doesn’t feel cold,” explains ReAbode. “Don’t be afraid to use wicker or rattan furniture indoors mixed with other contemporary furniture, especially with a cool color scheme of blues and greens – a chair or coffee table can add some much-needed warmth and texture.” 



Angela Roth at 3:42 PM
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Is it time for your patio to go Barbiecore?


Is it time for your patio to go Barbie?


When you were a young girl did you imagine one day living in Barbie’s world? Driving her corvette? Wearing her outfits? Living in her Dreamhouse? Well, you’re not the only one!


Barbiecore Design is a new fashion and interior design trend that has picked up a large following over the past year and could grow to be even bigger next year.


What is Barbiecore design?


Essentially, Barbiecore is exactly what it sounds like: dressing and living in a world of pink and red with Barbie-style furniture and accessories. However, it’s not limited to just Barbie, and it brings together multiple design elements to create fun, bold mix.


Barbiecore Design includes influences from Hollywood glamour, feminine and frilly elements, and heavy dose of 1980s-style pieces. By adapting the traditional elements connected with Barbie and then adding in these other aspects, Barbiecore design has become its own unique aesthetic.


This quirky design trend started slowly, showing up in Instagram photos and social media. But eventually it became more and more popular and started showing up in the feeds of major celebrities.  The trend resonates with people because it taps into our childhood desires to live in Barbie’s fabulous lifestyle, and because throwing some hot pink around can really make a design pop.


The best part is you can easily apply this design trend to your backyard, patio, or balcony.

How do I bring Barbiecore design into my backyard space?


Cottage Culture offers a wide range of high-end, luxurious patio furniture pieces and accessories which can compliment any design – even Barbiecore.


The patio furniture world hasn’t quite jumped onto this trend completely yet, so we can’t help you create an entirely pink patio with all pink furniture and pink accessories, but we can help you choose some quality pieces that will go well with your other Barbiecore elements to make a more timeless design.


Here are some cool ways you can add a little Barbiecore into your space:


You had better love some pink in your life


Barbie’s main colour theme should be obvious to everyone right? If you want to use Barbiecore design trends, you’re going to have to be okay with adding the colour pink to your look. The design trend relies heavily on using different shades of pink. Luckily, everything doesn’t have to be Barbie’s famous hot pink.


Remember you are free to add as much or as little pink that you want, but you should find ways to incorporate it as it really makes a backyard oasis seem whimsical and fun. Barbiecore also gives you the option to mix different pink hues which can range from light and soft to bright and loud!


We recommend that you choose smaller pieces or accessories to incorporate your pink elements. Having a twelve-person seating-area sofa entirely in pink might be a bit too much but throwing pink cushions on a nice teak or wrought iron seating set can elevate it to a completely different level.

How about some pink drinks?


A quick and easy way to add some lovely pink hues and Hollywood elegance is with a rosé bar cart. Having an elegant and delicate bar cart with pink bottles and pink glasses is a great way to up your pink and give a lovely feminine element to your design.


Serve your guests some amazing summer drinks from your new pink beverage station and wow them visually while seducing their taste buds.


Bring some of Barbie’s actual world into yours


If you’re familiar with Etsy, or if you’re handy yourself, you can pick up some lovely Barbie accessories online. One of our favourites is the Barbie Resin Coaster. You can choose from several of her accessories, for example the iconic pink plastic hangers, and have them set in resin to create stunning coasters.


Your guests will be talking about these adorable coasters for weeks after you place their drink on them. These are an awesome add-on to your beverage cart or to spice up one of Cottage Culture’s classic outdoor coffee tables.

Pink flamingoes are back baby!


Nothing screams retro pink vibes like a flock of pink flamingoes. Add some gorgeous pops of pink color to your design, but remember you’re not just limited to cheap plastic flamingoes stuck in your lawn.


Throw a giant inflatable pink flamingo in your pool for lounging. Nothing says Barbie Dreamhouse like floating on a giant pink flamingo. You can also add in flamingoes more subtly using a pattern on your curtains or tablecloths, or even just a small string of flamingo lights.


There is a fine line between the cool kitschy vibe and overdoing it to the point of gaudiness so remember that sometimes a little flamingo can go a long way.


Add some big greenery to calm down all those


Adding large plants, like elephant ears and palms can help balance the pink hues of your design. The added greenery gives a nice background for the pink elements to play off, and the large plants modernize your aesthetic without it becoming childish or tacky.


Pink tiles


If you’re renovating or updating any surfaces, make sure you add some pink tiles. Having a pink-tiled fountain, counter-top, or retaining wall will up the scale of your Barbiecore design. When it comes to tiles, there are millions of choices for patterns and shades of pink.


While we don’t recommend tiling your entire patio are in hot pink, we would definitely come by and visit if you popped in a few pink tiles here are there to create a cool design.


Ceramic tile vase


Not feeling up to renovating your tiles? You can use a pink tile vase to create an adorable 80s décor element. Toss in some roses or peonies and take the vase to the next level. Light décor elements like vases make it easy to swap out colours to quickly change the look and feel of your backyard design.

Blixt Lounge Chair or Kotte Peony Stool


Looking to add some subtle pink tones and bring in some functional design elements? Look no further than our Blixt Lounge Chair and our Kotte Stool. Made from high quality fabrics and materials, these furnishings are designed to last for years.


Both offer a subtle pink which is understated but still adds a great pop of colour and they work well with any neutral colour palette so you an easily change up items around them.


Pompom Garland


Easy to install, and super cheerful, pompom garlands come in a large variety of styles, shapes, sizes, and colours. Many garlands include pink along with other colours, or are completely pink, which makes adding a pop of flowery colour simple.


Use them sparingly or go crazy and created an entire curtain wall of pompoms, the choice is up to you and your design. Either way these pompom garlands are a great way to embrace the Barbiecore design trend in any backyard.




Not satisfied with  just a Blixt Lounge chair? Barbiecore chairs are available in all kinds of different styles and colours. From hot pink fuzzy armchairs to pink garden bistro sets, or even pink dining chairs nestled around your black aluminum Hillmond extendable dining, these are great ways to embrace the pink in your Barbiecore design.


Pink Checkered Rug


Throw a pink checkered rug under your seating or dining area to add a layer of punchy color and softness to an otherwise neutral space. A rug with pink elements is a great way to bring in Barbiecore design without overcrowding your current design or having to replace beloved furniture pieces.


Planter and pots


Soft pink planters or pots with pink geometric designs are great background pieces for your Barbiecore theme. Like the giant plants mentioned earlier, these pots and planters give you a way to bring in different colours of pink against the greenery of your plants.  


And because there are so many different options available you have full control over how much pink you want to bring into your design.

Patio Umbrellas


Throw a huge splash of pink into your design with a pink patio umbrella. You can still go big and bold with a solid hot pink offset umbrella or stay subtle by choosing a pattern with lighter pinks. Patio umbrellas are a great way to add colour to any design.


If you purchase a pre-lit umbrella or add your own lighting, the umbrella will give off a beautiful pink glow in the evening as well.


Pool-side loungers


Nothing says quintessentially Barbiecore like matching hot pink pool-side loungers. Adding these to your design will scream Barbie and give you and your guest a nice place to work on your tan between dips in the pool.


In conclusion


We hope that you’ve gotten some great ideas for incorporating Barbiecore design trends into your patio or backyard oasis. You can add one or two of the suggestions above or go full steam and cover your entire yard in pink 80s retro Hollywood furniture and décor. It just depends on how much you love Barbie’s iconic look and how badly you wanted to live in her Dreamhouse when you were a little girl.

Angela Roth at 12:14 PM
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How To Cook Over An Open Fire

How To Cook Over An Open Fire


Are your children, or grandchildren, already dreaming and talking about our upcoming summer weather when they can build campfires and make S’mores?


Open fire cooking is actually a delightful method of preparing meals, which gets you out of the kitchen and into the fresh air, enjoying the sights and smells of our wonderful outdoors in South Western Ontario. This method of cooking is also far more interactive and social, and produces tastes which your stove-top never could! So read on for best tips, the do’s and don’ts of cooking over an open fire, and a recipe or two.


First Steps

 If you enjoy the outdoors and wish to pursue this new cooking opportunity, the first step is to invest in a suitable campfire grill for your campfire cooking. It’s an investment you won’t regret! Iron Embers, a local company from Guelph fabricates durable, heavy duty, ¼ inch thick steel firepits; each is welded solid and polished smooth by their team of expert fabricators. Because the firepit is so solid and durable, it can be used all year.


Then you can complete the firepit experience with a choice of Iron Embers functional accessories. A choice of two accessories will have you grilling your next meals in style – either the steel plate grill or the adjustable stainless grill.

The steel plate grill, with its fixed height design, is sturdy enough to support large pots and pans over the fire, in addition to grilling.

The stainless grill is the most popular grilling accessory with its adjustable height on the support rod, allowing easy control of the distance between your meal and the heat source. You may not be able to have total control over the heat of the fire, but with the adjustable grill you can find the sweet spot to cook your food to wood-fired perfection! Either way, the grill can swing out of the way of the heat to give you even more control of the cooking.


However, you don’t actually need to buy the firepit to get started – you can just purchase one of the grills with the special ground stake pole and insert it into the ground beside your campfire. Some grill masters set their grate between two and six inches above the coals, using the following tip for figuring out how high to place it: put your hand above the coals and see where it becomes uncomfortable to hold your hand for more than a second or two, and that’s where to set the grill.


Just know that the biggest difference between cooking over an open fire and cooking on a gas or charcoal grill is that an open fire is much more unpredictable! There is a lot more variation in hot and cold spots as the coals burn down, and it’s a lot harder to predict flare-ups.  This means you need to pay more attention to the fire than you would to a grill.

So, what are the tricks to know as you plan your new grilling adventure? We’ve listed a few key points to help you get started.



The Do’s, Don’ts and Tricks of Open Fire



Do find a suitable location

Try to ensure your fire is sheltered from the wind, as any medium to strong wind could potentially be hazardous, if sparks get away. Also, coals reduce more quickly which means a shortened cooking time.


Do use the right firewood

A rookie mistake is using green or freshly-chopped wood, and you will be a dead giveaway with the excessive smoke billowing from your fire. To create a classic fire in your firepit, use dry, seasoned wood, so be sure to have a handy stockpile.


When you’re going to be cooking over a fire, you want to use hardwood, such as oak, hickory or mesquite, and not a softwood like pine. Softwoods, especially pine, burn differently and can give off a lot of sticky resin that can add a tarry flavour to whatever you are cooking. One handy tip is to segregate your wood pile into cooking versus non-cooking wood.


Don’t be impatient

When you see flames, this is not an indication that your fire is ready for cooking. A good fire is constructed primarily of hot coals and just a few logs of burning wood. Depending on the fire itself and wind conditions, it can take 30 to 45 minutes to burn down to the right conditions. So, ensure you plan ahead and give your fire the time to burn down to the right conditions before you commence cooking, as a bed of glowing coals is the ideal fire for roasting.


Size matters!

This patience also extends to the size of your fire, as size matters when cooking! Bigger is not better when it comes to roasting conditions. Beginners make the mistake of trying to build a really big fire; the issue with this approach is that big fires take too long to die down before you can actually begin your grilling. Like-wise, you don’t want to build too small a fire and risk insufficient heat to cook the food in a reasonable amount of time.


Do set up a tool mise en place

Mise en place is a French culinary term which means “putting in place” or “gather” – in other words, setting up an organized work area with everything in its place. When you’re grilling, you should follow the same philosophy, especially with tools required for the grill. You’ll need a fork or spatula, and depending on what you’re making; tongs and a brush for sauces are also helpful. Set up your grill for success rather than running around trying to find utensils and letting the food overcook.


This concept should also be applied to prepping your meal prior to grilling. Check your recipes in advance and do any peeling, chopping or mixing prior, so that your focus can be on getting the right open fire conditions to create a spectacular meal.


The Tamarack log holder with steel table top option creates a convenient space to help keep you organized while you are cooking over the open flame as well as stores your firewood for easy access to fuel your fire.

Don’t cook directly over the flame

Just as your children or grandchildren roast marshmallows over an open flame, we may think that all meals are done in that way. However, placing all food directly over an open flame is a guaranteed way to get a burnt meal.


Some experts suggest that the trick is to build a fire on one side of your firepit or campfire and use the other side primarily to move hot coals; this approach allows the grill master to move coals in and out of the cooking area, depending on the heat required.


Advice from experts is to begin with a small starter fire with kindling and smaller logs, letting it burn for 30 minutes or so and only adding a few larger pieces of wood as required. This approach will ensure a substantial base of coals and sufficient direct heat for cooking. A bonus is that it also means you have enough wood to keep the fire burning all evening!

When you’re cooking over an open fire, you want to cook over the coals, ideally when they are white hot. Coals provide much more even heat than flames do, and they’re a lot less likely to turn your dinner into inedible crispy burnt nuggets.


Know the difference between direct and indirect heat

Knowing the difference between direct and indirect heat, and when to use each, or both, is the difference between a grill rookie and a grill master.


Direct and indirect heat are both terms that refer to open fire cooking, or grilling. Direct heat means to cook the food directly over the heat source, like the coals mentioned above, and is a high-heat method (and get you great grill marks!), while indirect cooking refers to cooking adjacent to the heat source.


According to some grilling experts, a combination of direct heat for searing followed by indirect heat for longer, slower cooking can be one of the most skillful ways to use the grill.


How to Grill with Direct Heat

Direct heat is used to cook relatively small or thin pieces of food quickly. Typical foods that are direct grilled include steaks, chops, chicken breasts, fish fillets, seafood, vegetables, and bread. In the case of grilling, it’s cooking over the hot coals. Direct heat is responsible for beautiful grill marks, juicy burgers, and crispy grilled vegetables. It’s also great for quick-cooking foods like vegetables, hot dogs, and most seafood, especially shrimp. Direct heat is also great for searing meat to give it color and a crisp skin.


How to Grill with Indirect Heat

Indirect grilling is designed to cook larger or tougher foods that would burn if direct grilled. This is the method used to cook ribs, pork shoulders, briskets, whole chickens and turkeys, and other large pieces of food, that require long, slow cooking at a low or moderate temperature (275 to 350 degrees). As the name suggests, the food is placed next to, not directly over or in contact with the bed of coals. Traditional barbecue (slow-smoked meat) is produced via indirect heat as well.


How to Grill with Combination Cooking (Direct and Indirect Heat)

A combination of direct and indirect heat is often called combo heat or combination cooking. 


Combo cooking is most often seen with large pieces of meat, which are seared over direct heat and then slowly cooked over indirect heat. Grilled chicken is also frequently cooked with a combination - a quick grill over direct heat for grill marks and caramelization, then moved over to indirect heat and cooked over a more moderate temperature until the chicken comes to temperature. Combo heat cooking is also great for grilled fruit and denser vegetables like cabbage.

And a couple of closing points:


  • The longer you cook something over the fire, the more flavor it will absorb.  By cooking a steak longer at a lower temperature than you normally would, it will absorb more of the wood flavour.


  • The smoke and heat will make the outside feel firmer than it would on a grill; so, for example, if you’re used to telling how a steak is done by touch, be aware that it will feel firmer over a fire and adjust accordingly.  This is one method where it’s safest to use a thermometer to confirm when your food is done.

The only thing you need now is some recipe inspiration. Our grill master friends at Iron Embers have suggested the following links, to get you started:




There look to be some amazing recipes, including Creamy Campfire Clam Pasta with Tomatoes, Ginger Salmon with Green Beans, Foil-Packet Jambalaya, Cajun Boil on the Grill, Campfire Banana Boats, and Foil-Packet Spiced Nuts if you want a showstopper, in addition to the more anticipated grill recipes.  Go ahead, give cooking over an open flame a try at your next outdoor gathering and remember practice makes perfect!


Visit Cottage Culture for all your Iron Embers and fireside needs. Our knowledgeable staff are available to answer your questions and help you choose the best firepit for your outdoor space. Ask about our free delivery and set up! 


Looking for fireside inspiration? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.



Janet Baird-Jackson at 10:26 AM
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