SUMMER IS COMING to a close. Which, of course, means that I haven’t shown you photos of the project that was going on outside my house since JANUARY! Yes, the landscaper broke ground on our patio project in January. Here I am, eight months later, showing you the (somewhat) final project. I can’t take all the blame here considering the glacial pace of construction, but that’s how it goes when you have one brave soul hand-cutting bricks in the dead of winter.
Here’s a looksee at the before:
We had a red, chippy deck that was about to cave in and a whole lotta mulch. Random bricks lined the beds, which had zero greenery or flowers. I don’t think the prior owners spent much time back here. If they did, it was just cleaning up dog poop with that industrial strength pooper-scooper you see sitting next to the staircase in the photo above. And, yes, we left it there until this project started despite living here for two years. Clearly, we weren’t spending much time back here either.
But now that has all changed! Take a look at the finished hardscape:
It’s a bit arid out here with all of the sandy-colored pavers. We still don’t have any plants, but I’d say the improvement is significant. There are a few major details that need to be addressed like removing the tattered fold-out sunshade from the side of the house and finding a more modern solution for shade. I’d also like to get some rocking chairs or Adirondack chairs for around the fire pit. And plants. Did I mention we still don’t have any stinkin PLANTS?!?
Anyway, the above photo is how the patio looks on a typical day. The sofa cushions are usually hidden inside because of the torrential downpour from the day before and my son’s toys are always scattered all over the place. But some days I like to play make believe and set the patio up like we’re having people over for a rockin party with exquisite grilled meats a la Bobby Flay. This past weekend I did just that, snapping some strategically-framed photos along the way.
The best thing about a fake picnic is the absence of a bubbling anxiety over anticipated red sangria spills on the upholstery or re-fluffing the pillows! Speaking of upholstery, our outdoor sofas are from the Pier 1 Echo Beach collection. The finish on the all-weather rattan frame is called Latte and the cushions are covered in Turquoise outdoor fabric. I topped off the sofas with coordinating ikat pillows from Bed, Bath & Beyond, flamingo and striped pillows from Pier 1 and Turkish towels from Cuttalossa.
We played around with the configuration of the sofas before getting it right. Currently, we have two three-cushion sofas that face one another and two outdoor wingback chairs between them on the side closest to the house. This set up seemed to be the best to promote conversation and still allow people to enjoy the view of our backyard from the patio.
The wingbacks are one of those random HomeGoods finds that we couldn’t pass up. These chairs are by Cynthia Rowley, which I see all the time at HomeGoods and TJ Maxx but never anywhere else.
Accent tables and some type of shade (probably a really large umbrella) are next on the agenda for this space. I haven’t spent much time looking for these accessories, but if the right thing comes along I will know it.
Two outdoor area rugs divide the patio into designated lounging and dining areas. Large area rugs are great for dividing up any open floor plan because they create an anchor point for furnishings and create defined pathways in your space.
My rugs are from Frontgate. Although the price was right, I have to say I’m disappointed with how much the rugs, particularly the one by the sofas, have faded since we’ve purchased them. The rugs have been outside for less than two months, and the one by the sofas, which was a vibrant orange at first, has now faded into a light peach color. I specifically got the orange rug to tie in with my bright coral dining chairs so this is a “womp womp” moment for me.
I’m in love with the dining table we chose, which is also from Frontgate. I had no idea when I started this journey that it would be darn near impossible to find an outdoor dining table that seats more than six people for under $1500. Seriously. Unless you want to drop even bigger bucks at Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn, it’s slim pickins out there. Most tables this large are sold as a set with the chairs. Silly me, but I’d already bought my Threshold by Target metal outdoor dining chairs using a great coupon and my RedCard. I was stuck.
Needless to say, I was excited when I finally found this teak outdoor extension table for a pretty decent price. I went to the Frontgate website for the product link, but it appears that this table is no longer available. I’m glad I found it when I did!
The green bar stools are probably my favorite part of the outdoor decor, and I didn’t even pick them out. My husband made it his mission to find bar stools. When he showed me these, I wasn’t sure I wanted to introduce ANOTHER color out here. He really liked them though, so I told him they could work.
Once I set everything up, I discovered that these juicy green stools made perfect sense with the space! Our hand-me-down-from-the-in-laws umbrella has a lime stripe that picks up the color nicely, and my accent pillows over in the lounge area tie into the lime theme as well. These chairs are made from a light-weight plastic so they are easy to move, and they are also really comfortable.
The outdoor plates at the bar and table are from Target, and the leafy tropical placemats were a Bed, Bath & Beyond find. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them because they look almost identical to the curtains my mom made for my son’s playroom.
I had to have them! I also think the placemats help weave the lime and navy color stories together. The margaritas also help with that! I used turquoise doilies I bought at Michael’s craft store as coasters for my margaritas, which are water mixed with lime juice and Apple Pucker (yuk!). Another benefit to throwing a fake picnic is you don’t have to cook, wash dishes or mix real drinks. This makes being pregnant during high-margarita season much, much more tolerable.
Although there are still a few things to be done out here, I’d say we’ve come a long way from the pile of rotting wood and mulch that previously occupied the space.
The only regret I have with the patio so far is we didn’t have more picnics this summer! Although I must say, without any shade structures out here the heat has been brutal this summer. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m looking forward to fall this year.
I’m sure that’s pregnancy hormones talking, but cool weather and fireside s’mores and mountain pies would be amazing right now. With our crazy toddler and 9pm bedtime (party animals) we haven’t used the fire pit once. Shorter days and cooler nights will change that in the next few weeks!
I hope everyone is having a great week, and I hope you enjoyed taking a look at the progress we’ve made out back. I’ll be back soon with an update on the new nursery. Things are looking quite fresh and creamy in there right now!