Patio Prep for the Queen City

Because Charlotte springs are best enjoyed outdoors, here’s our patio prep tips to get your space ready and you outside — cocktail in hand!

We know that it’s hard to relax in a space that feels unfinished or requires a lot of in-the-moment prep (carrying cushions outside, then back inside, anyone?) — so we’ve compiled our go-to advice whether you are starting with an empty space or just need a refresh.

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1. Pick a color palette

When Kell was creating her outdoor oasis (pictured here) — a rooftop patio on her townhome in NoDa — she wanted the space to be an extension of their home. Something that felt modern and fun fused with a bohemian feel. 

Kell’s tip? Start by thinking about the location of your outdoor space. What’s the color of your siding, your deck railing or the brick of your patio? Take those tones into consideration as you plan and shop. For Kell, her dark gray siding immediately set the tone, calling for a white sofa

2. Play the Seating Game

Configuring seating is the most important game to play in patio design. For Kell, maximizing seating for her rooftop space was vital to the hosting they envisioned — and have done — since their house was built! 

There’s a lot to be said for the inviting feel of a sectional. If you have a big family or love to host, go for it! We’re also in love with this teak and metal sofa set, if that’s more your vibe.

Kell’s tip? Consider if you’re up for the in-and-out with the cushions game. If not, consider going with a sofa set that’s just as stylish, but not as cushion-heavy. Other less-cushioned styles that caught our eye include this gray-washed set and this natural collection.

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3. Keep it Fun and Light

To keep the vibe light, add in extra seating with something unexpected. Add a hanging chair (which look best mounted in corners) or two to mix things up. Or jump for the double if can find the perfect spot! (Check out our hanging-chair tutorial for step-by-step mounting instructions.)

Pops of color are a must for outdoor spaces, and whether it’s aqua or pink or something a little more mid-century that’s your vibe — acapulco chairs are our go-to! We are huge fans of this white loveseat, too. Let’s not forget about the power of rattan, which is on-trend right now, comes in all colors and is comfortable — even cushion-less.

More can be less sometimes, so consider adding a bench for more seating — coupled as a plant-stand, bar cart and catch-all when you don’t have a crowd.

If you’re looking for a dining table, we can’t get enough of cement these days and this one sure is a beauty. (If that’s not on-par with your budget, take a look at this.) Pair it with these white cuties and add in some texture with chair cushions

4. Layer It 

While we are against it feeling like it’s a chore to go in and out of any space, Kell says there are a few soft goods she brings out every time she grabs a glass of wine and heads for the roof. These items include her poufs, and a pillow or two

It’s important that an outdoor space feel warm and inviting and the grounding layer is the rug. Kell brought in pops of color with her indoor/outdoor rug, but you could not go wrong with bold stripes, something a bit playful, a more neutral or graphic route, a little blush or all natural.

Kell’s tip? Commit to bring in and out some soft goods for comfort, but pick other grounding items that stay put. Their stay-put items that have weathered the best have been cement pieces — coffee tables and side tables — their drum end table and their black acapulco chairs.

And! Don’t forget the furry family members! Try neutral or pop of black and white as a fun way to incorporate them into your design.

5. Lighten the Mood

It’s truly incredible the power a strand or two of outdoor lights has over a space. String up some lights, pour some drinks and the party is cued. Add in a battery-powered, rattan lantern or two, which can be hung or placed wherever a little extra light is needed.

6. Plant it Up

Kell’s tip? Make sure add in lots of greenery and pay attention to scale. Most often, plants are bought too small for a space — and there’s nothing better than the right amount/size of plants reminiscing your Queen City patio of tropical vacations

Our friends at Malone’s said good plants that can survive the CLT summer include tropical cacti (the cholla cactus grows tall) — as well as lavender, which loves the heat as well as the drought. Cold-hardy succulents such as hens and chicks are perfect for outdoor patios as well as salvia, which adds purple blooms and a lovely scent. Kell’s had success with rooftop monsteras and ferns, as well.

When picking planters, concrete is a great option for outdoors. We’re loving this bohemian planter and the feel this would bring to an outdoor dining space. Dress up the walls or your table with these modern options for cut greens.

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7. Don’t Forget the Sun

Kell’s must-have? Her patio umbrella, which can be adjusted with the sun’s movements. She snagged this one and it’s held up beautifully. 


Cheers to a beautiful spring and summertime where your patio’s ready, full of friends and the design makes you feel right at home. Follow along with our daily design inspo on
Instagram — and contact us if you hit any design snags and we can help along the way!


Plant Care: Q&A with Kelly from Malone's Greenhouse

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It’s no secret that House of Nomad is CRAZY about plants! Last weekend we hosted our first ever Potting Party and collaborated with our friends at Malone’s Greenhouse to create a plant care guide that gives the tricks of the trade for plants from low to high maintenance, with tips on how often to water, what kind of light each plant needs and more. Click here for the FREE, printable guide!

For those wanting to take an even deeper dive into plants, check out this Q&A with Kelly from Malone’s. We’ve been longtime fans of Malone’s and not only did she teach our Potting Party — but you can often find a member of our team scouring their rows of gorgeous plants for clients! Here’s the inside look on our talk with Kelly — and her fantastic knowledge of plant care.

Q: Do you put your plants in the shower to water them?

A: “If you come up to me and say I’m thirsty and I throw a cup of water at you, it wouldn’t really fix the situation. That’s what it is like when you just pour water on a plant. I like to put my plants in the shower and set them down in water and gently mist them. It cleans off the dust and gives them a good drink of water.”


Q: What’s your go-to house plant recommendation?

A: “If you are looking for an easy plant to start with — snake plants and aloe are wonderful, both low light and low water and both purify the air.”


Q: What plant requires the least water?

A: “The snake plant is the lowest water requiring plant, that’s why they are really easy! For a 4” pot, you can water every couple weeks or for a 6-8” pot — just once a month. The bigger the pot, the longer it takes to dry out. One tip, snakes don’t like cold or moisture on leaves so don’t mist them. They’re also great because they naturally purify the air!”

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Q: How do you care for a fiddle leaf fig?

A: “Let it get completely dry before you water it, but when you do water you want to soak it. They need bright light, and can handle a bit of morning sun or late evening sun but no middle of the day (11 to to 3 p.m.). Try a south or west facing window, which are the brightest and warmest.


Q: Any tips on troubleshooting the right amount of water for fiddle leaf figs?

A: “Fiddles tell you if they are over or under watered! If the very edges of leaves turn brown — it is too dry. It means they are pulling moisture from ends of tips of plants. But if it get black splotches on the leaves, that means too much water. Try a moisture reader to maintain proper moisture.”

Q: How do you help your cactus to thrive?

A: “Make sure to not overwater, especially if they are not in bright sun. For a 2” to 4” pot, water once a week; for a 6” to 8” pot, water every couple weeks; for 10” pot, water once a month. Also, they do best in full sun (kept right in the windowsills), they can handle bright light instead.”


Q: Do cacti really have a winter season?

A: “Yes! In the wintertime, you will only water only once or twice! This is where many people go wrong, continuing on in their regular watering schedule and their succulents rot during colder months.”


Q: How do you know when to repot a cactus?

A: “For cacti, you don’t have to repot until they are so large they are outgrowing the container. As a general rule, once you pot a cactus it can stay in the same pot for several years.”

Q: How can you tell if a plant is still alive?

A: “If you ever have a plant and wonder if it is salvageable or not, use your fingernail to scrape the bark and see if it’s green inside.”

Q: What plants purify the air?

A: “Someone told me their husband was snoring and the doctor told them to buy a snake plant and put it in their room! It adds oxygen to the air and helps them to sleep better. Another great plant to purify the air is a spider plant.”


Q: What’s the story behind the flying saucer plant?

A: “The Chinese Penny Plant has become so popular — it’s also called a flyer saucer plant because it looks like a saucer flying in the sky. Penny plants do not like the cold. The first year we had that one, we were afraid to put it in the sun and leaves turned yellow because they got too much water. We moved them to a warmer, sunnier spot and they jumped and started growing. They need a bright, warm and sunny spot. Let them get dry before you water them."


Q: How should you pot ferns?

A: “Plant ferns in a pot without a drain hole in the bottom. While most plants need a hole to drain, ferns need to stay really moist. You can even plant perennial maidenhair ferns outside in Charlotte! They do well outside.”

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Q: Do you have any go-to house plants specific to the spring and summer?

A: “A hanging pitcher plant helps with the fruit flies in the summer! Place one in your kitchen or near a trashcan and within a couple of days, the plant takes care of the pesky problems!”

Thanks to Kelly for her plant advice and all the life her plant babies have added to our designs — and for teaching on last weekend’s Potting Party at our Studio!

For daily plant design inspo, follow along with Malone’s Greenhouse!

And don’t forget to check out the FREE Plant Care Guide we created with Malone’s, just download and print!

HON House Tour: Dilworth Bungalow Bar

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Five years ago, House of Nomad clients (Sydney and Kendall) purchased a bungalow in Dilworth and recently asked for help with their living room and bar space design. The goal was to maximize seating and create a cohesive design for a dual purpose: entertaining and family nights. Both medical professionals (one in anesthesiology school and the other a pediatric resident director), their family dynamic is lighthearted, with lots of laughter and conversation, and they have an open door policy — whether it’s their kids and their friends or colleagues and neighbors, they love entertaining.

In the bar area, Berk and Kell played on the existing navy walls making it feel even more intimate by incorporating the textured rug and velvet drapery. Then, the duo layered other elements through framed textiles, mudcloth pillows and a pop of brass. As finishing touches, Kendall’s collection of vintage barware were incorporated — coop glasses and a shot dispenser from the 1920s. A loveseat was added as well as cocktail table to maximize seating so there was more than enough room for friends. 

“We have three kids from a previous marriage and our own daughter and we host family dinner every week,” says Kendall. “During the week when we have family nights, we love doing movie nights — and we do game nights in the bar area so we needed more seating there.”

To add more seating, their previous sofa was replaced with a navy sectional with a low profile that expanded the feel of the space. Textures were incorporated throughout design — from a hide rug and a Moroccan throw, to stone elements with the marble nesting tables and wood in the hanging tobacco baskets (an ode to NC). The artistic feature of the space is a rustic wood and marble fireplace crafted from wood that was sourced from a plantation owned by a Civil War general in South Carolina. Berk and Kell kept their 14-month old daughter in mind, staying away from harsh corners with the layered, marble nesting tables with round edges. 

Their home feels relaxed, intimate and welcoming and House of Nomad’s in love with this space. This was a fulfilling project for House of Nomad, crafting designs and floor plans to represent the unique personalities of these clients — a space they love coming home to and welcoming their friends into. 

“Because of Sydney’s work, pediatric residents will be in the area and constantly drop by and I love to do bourbon tastings for anyone who likes bourbon. We have kegerator and keep two local beers on tap at all time. Not only are we are supporting local breweries but for out of town friends, we get to give then a little tasting of the great Charlotte brewery scene,” Kendall says.

A bourbon aficionado, Kendall’s most recent feat is trying her hand at smoking cocktails. Her most recent drink is an old fashioned crafted with rosemary and burning an orange peel, which she says brings out more of the flavor of the bourbon.

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For daily design inspo, follow along on our Instagram!

Easter Blush

Easter is just days away and it has us dreaming in pastel tones — and mostly in BLUSH PINK. Remember Berkeley’s house and its exterior before/after? Well, her powder bath is about to get a paint job, too — and blush pink it is! Here’s some highlights from our blush-loving brains this week.

1. Go-To Blush Paints

For her bath, Berk’s jumping for Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground. This hue is a dusty-toned blush pink but all the best ways. For the above office space designed for Garance Doré’s new LA home by designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, the duo settled on Quaint Peche by Sherwin Williams. Try Head Over Heels by Benjamin Moore for a softer, more subtle blush tone. Or, give Peaches N’ Cream by Benjamin Moore a try for a bolder hue.

2. Where the Blush Belongs

There really are no limits to where blush can bring beauty and that soft color pop. Blush in the bathroom, blush in the kitchen — blush in the bedroom or the patio.

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We really love the idea of blush in kids rooms, too. Like this space by designer Lauren Krieger — light blush walls layered with pops of white and bright pink.

3. Blush & Green

We’re loving the natural green tones Davidson’s Blake Pope brought into his bedroom design. His collection of aristic plants pop beautifully layered against his warm accent wall, painted in Peaches N’ Cream.

4. Blush Up the Accents

If you’re not ready to jump for blush walls, try incorporating some spring tones into your accents. Take this outdoor scene with pops of pink layered in. Another spot to bring in some blush is in your tablescapes — grab some fun napkins or accents for your upcoming Easter gatherings! Try these placemats or napkins to start.

Hop on over to Instagram to stay tuned to Berk’s bathroom blush refresh, featured on our design daily stories. Happy Easter!!

Pets in HON Designs

Anyone that's stopped by House of Nomad’s studio knows we're animal lovers! The first person to greet you at the door is Berk's Springer Spaniel, Shelby -- and now, Kell's pup Frankie, a 12-week old tricolored French bulldog! We adore animals and since our very first project, love incorporating cats and dogs alike into almost every space we've designed. With a new pup around the office, it got us reminiscing on our favorite projects where the client's family pets got a little camera time.

Here’s a little bit about each space we designed, and how we considered the pets in the design decisions!

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Myers Park Boxer

This 1940s design project was especially meaningful because it was for neighbors of HON co-owner Berkeley Minkhorst! Not only do we just love the family, but HON is attached to this house because it was the former home of HON’s very first clients! The most beautiful part of this photo is the family’s boxer, with the dearest personality — and we love that she made it into our photoshoot.

Their 40s Myers Park home has integral history and charm but after numerous additions, they were left with a funky flow downstairs and came to HON to rework the design of the space. HON’s goal was to take some of the Americana style the duo both loves, funk it up a bit and bridge the vibe to the rest of the rooms in their downstairs. With their pet in mind, HON selected a gorgeous antique overdyed rug.

Design tip: Overdyed designs easily camouflage stains, are durable and easy to clean!

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Mountain Island Lake Goldendoodle

This is the sweetest dog you will ever meet — this family goldendoodle was very excited to pose for the camera. Last summer, we were hired by a charming mini-client (daughter of former clients who HON adores!) in Mountain Island Lake, who said she loved to read and dreamed of a dedicated crafting space in her room.

HON incorporated a desk and shelf for crafting supplies and went with a bookish Kate Spade wallpaper. The full reveal was just beautiful (she gasped with joy!) and her room is stylish with the accent wall, functional with crafting and reading areas — and all around beautifully cozy.

NoDA Cat

Kelley’s doll-face Persian, Oliver, came to LIFE the day our photographer, Laura Sumrak, photographed Kell’s home! While usually camera shy (Oliver won’t ever put his best face forward for Kell’s shots!) — he kept perching in the perfect frames for the camera. Kell’s modern new build in NoDA is eclectic, and full of global finds from HON and personal travels — check out Domino Mag’s feature for more!

Considering Oliver (and now their new pup, Frankie!), Kell took into account the color of her animals — with shedding in mind. So Kell went with a multicolored rug. Kell also went with a Crypton fabric for her sofa (pictured above left) because of its durability!

Design tip: Crypton is a durable upholstery choice (for kids or pets alike!). Not only does it fight against stains but is resistant to scratching/claws.

Dilworth Cat

This precious ragdoll cat was very excited about her baby sister coming along! One of the very first designs HON did, this Dilworth nursery is playful and neutral — and the perfect spot for a catnap, and her baby sister to grow up in!

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Plaza Midwood Golden Retriever

An early project by HON, this playful space in Plaza Midwood included lovely clients — and their sweet Golden Retreiver, Bailey. These clients approached Berk and Kell asking for design assistance in bridging the two spaces together. Berk and Kell went with a statement wall that pulls out the hues in the living room rug, which Bailey is clearly a fan of! They also went with a slipcovered sofa, which is a breeze to clean — if ever necessary.

Design Tip: Consider a bright, 100% wool rug with pets! It’s great not just for hiding pet hair but is easy to clean.

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Myers Park Springer Spaniel

HON’s original office was in Berk’s house in Myers Park, and the walls were painted a gorgeous, bright blue hue — Vardo by Farrow & Ball. Shelby was a fan of the artistic space and spent every day there with Kell and Berk. Again, the rug selection was important with Shelby in mind, so the duo went with an indoor/outdoor rug, which is both a fun, graphic print — and has longevity to it.

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SouthEnd Springer Spaniel

Last sumer, House of Nomad finally found their way out of Berk’s home office and into our very own studio in South End’s Atherton Lofts. Exposed beams, massive windows, light drenched spaces — it’s a dream! The designs are always evolving as fresh finds are brought back from Berk and Kell’s sourcing trips for our dedicated shopping area (open to the public by appointment and online!).

Berk and Kell loved taking risks in designing the studio, including Shelby’s favorite spot to camoflauge herself— a bold, black and white patterned sofa. Shelby is also obsessively drawn to the Moroccan rugs and Frankie to the poufs!

Cheers to all the CLT pets we’ve grown to love as we’ve designed spaces across the Queen City!

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Photos taken by the talented Laura Sumrak!