Around the House: Design Dreams Can Come True for Less Than You Think


Have you ever dreamed of being really rich? Yes, most recently when I received an email about a new luxury wellness center, a stunning seaside sanctuary where tension and fatigue melt away like butter in the Mediterranean sun.

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For the record, the press release was about ACROSuites in Crete. Resting in the calm and rocky bay of Mononaftis, the site has 49 suites and villas, all with views of the Aegean Sea. Some fit perfectly into the cliff and are furnished with soothing natural décor elements; others are contemporary villas with private infinity pools that seem to spill into the serene blue sea.

If I ever go, I’ll bring a full report. In the meantime, I can dream of ways to channel a high-end spa vibe at home. Taking inspiration from the textured stones of the landscape and the design of Acro, the first thing on my list would be to add side tables from Patricia Urquiola Exterior line Plumon for high-end brand Kettal.

They are made with 3D-stoneware printing technology, which means there may be variation between pieces. What they share is the stone-washed, sun-bleached finish of the stone. Kettal prices and availability through studio b.

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Home SocietyHousing several in-house and partner design brands under one roof in Toronto’s northwest corner, it fits various budgets for outdoor and transitional spaces. For the connoisseur of great seating, there’s an Adirondack armchair reimagined by French designer Pierre Stelmaszyk for the Belgian outdoor luxury company. royal botany.

Handmade in teak, it is a perfect chair; the wide armrests, angled seat and high curved back make it extremely comfortable. A footrest and a set of wheels are also available. Prices start at $3,500.

Closer to reality for many will be the seats from its Must Jardin line, a younger, more affordable brand with comfortable, well-designed outdoor sofas for under $2,000. Many come with tough-as-nails Sunbrella fabric. For more information on what’s new at Home Société, go to

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A few well-chosen but inexpensive accessories can instantly make a space look more polished, including Bed bath and beyond affordable Everhome decor line.

Their miami The indoor/outdoor rug looks like natural sisal, but is made with textured synthetic yarn. Earthy neutral tones are UV stabilized to resist fading and are resistant to stains and dirt. They are hand washable. Sizes vary; a seven foot by ten foot rug sells for about $260.

Lowe's umbrellas come in sunny shades.
Lowe’s umbrellas come in sunny shades. Photo by Lowe Photography

There are also many beautiful indoor and outdoor cushions in cool nautical blues and greens, in damask, stripe, mosaic, floral, and tie-dye patterns. Prices vary, but some were recently on sale online for as little as $19.

Every well-designed outdoor space includes some shade. Lowe’s cantilever style selections umbrella provides about 100 square feet of it. The 11-foot crank-operated umbrella has replaceable solar LED bars for nighttime lighting, a resin base that holds 240 pounds of sand or water, and a canopy fabric that is UV, fade, water, and weather resistant. mold. At around $500, it’s one of a selection of reasonably priced shade solutions offered by Lowe’s.

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It is humanly impossible to relax with mosquitoes buzzing around your head. (Would you be glad to know there are mosquitoes in Crete? No? Me neither.) So wherever your outdoor escape lies, it’s wise to be prepared for bugs.

One option to try is an exterior repellant, which I made after I was sent a Thermacell Radius Zone mosquito repellant to try. Compact and discreet in design, as promised, it kept bugs out for about 15 feet. The active ingredient is Allethrin, a synthetic version of a natural repellant found in chrysanthemum flowers. It worked great while hanging out on the deck, but I also found it useful when I had to do an outdoor task in a buggy corner.

Roughly $70, the unit itself is rechargeable, and a repellent refill with 80 hours of protection will cost about $60. That’s much, much less than a night at a five-star resort in Crete, and surely a little luxury. What do you deserve.

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