Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Outdoor living

Hey hey! Hope you had a WONDERFUL holiday weekend! You can tell summer is approaching in this household – it’s getting harder and harder for us to get up in the mornings and my posts are getting later and later. ;)

This weekend was just gorgeous and I’m just so thrilled to have nice weather again! I worked on the deck and patio quite a bit this weekend -- moving things around, planting and working on little projects here and there. Loved it.

I got a bug to move some of the outdoor furniture around the other night and I love how it came together. I’ve mentioned before that I rarely move furniture around inside because our house layout just doesn’t allow for much of it. But it was so fun to tackle the outside – we’ve had it the same way for nine years now.

First of all, let’s have a moment of silence for our beautiful gazebo that used to be on the deck:

gazebo on deck

Sniff. It was so darn pretty.

Then this happened:

We got that dissembled last year and then things got boring. :)

We left the furniture over there with the fire pit and it’s been like that since early last year. We didn’t want to replace the gazebo just yet because I’m afraid the same will happen again. I’d like to do something more permanent like a pergola, but we’ll leave it as is until we figure out what we’re doing with possibly expanding the house.

So. This is how it looked Saturday morning:

deck with different levels

Not bad! I was just craving a change. I’ve always wanted to move that table over where the gazebo used to be but never did since we liked having the seating area under there.

We built the deck in three sections that are on different levels – not sure I would do that again. But it does add some interest and makes the areas feel like different “rooms.” Since we don’t have any structures to work around now, I went for it and moved the table and chairs over to that bigger area and I LOVE it:

deck with outdoor eating area

The old rug used to be red and white and now it is just…beige. ;) It didn’t hold up well so I grabbed a new one at Lowe’s. It’s a bit boring but I looked at Garden Ridge, Lowe’s and Home Depot and didn’t see a great selection of outdoor rugs this year. I figure it’s a good backdrop for more color anyway:

deck white railings

I LOVE having all that space around the table! Oh my goodness. The kids always play around the table and it always worried me in that middle spot before – with the chairs pulled out there wasn’t much room to walk around it.

Now I’m considering moving my DIY potting bench over next to the table since we use that to serve food and drinks at parties. I think it may work better up there and there’s plenty of room.

I was just going to move the furniture that was over where the table is now over to the middle section, but remembered the whole thing could make a big sectional. We never had it as one sofa under the gazebo – I realized it would be a perfect fit on the patio if I put it back together:

outdoor sectional

There’s still so much I want to do out here! Beyond some new plants and small projects I want to sand down that tabletop and restain it – the sun has not been kind. (You can see how I made that table here.)

But I really dig that sectional there – it’s a perfect fit!

I moved the sofa that was down on the patio up to the middle section on the deck with the fire pit:

square firepit

It works so much better. I don’t worry about the kids now – especially over by the wide stairs going down to the patio.

Here’s a better look at the different levels on the deck:

deck with different levels

I feel like this layout is so much more conducive to socializing and it flows much better out to the patio:

deck and patio

Every time we are out on the deck or patio one of us says how much we love it out there. We are so lucky to have this little peaceful oasis for our family.

It’s ready for summer and so am I!:

large deck with living areasI think moving furniture around (inside or out!) is the cheapest way to make a space feel brand new. Do you have outdoor spaces that you’re prepping for the summer? Is it finally warming up where you are?

I shared my favorite “staycation” spot over at my friend Kate’s blog last week – can you guess where it is? ;)

46 comments:

  1. Your deck looks beautiful, Sarah! I have a lot of work to do -- my outdoor space looks nowhere near as nice as your deck! Enjoy your summer!

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  2. I love love LOVE your deck and patio- what an awesome outdoor space!! I'm curious- I am pretty sure we have the exact same sectional that you have, but ours has different cushions- and it looks like you put different cushions on this year? They're red instead of brown? Do you have a cushion source? I'd love to have something on ours that's not boring brown :)

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    1. Thank you Emily! I got mine from Craigslist and they came with different cushions but they didn't last long. These are from Lowe's -- they don't fit perfectly but it's not too bad. It's hard to find replacement cushions for it!

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    3. you need to check out gardenwinds.com for replacement cushions! that is where i got mine!

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  3. Sarah, your deck area is beautiful! Love all of the different sitting/dining areas. Such a great place to spend time with family!

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  4. such a huge space, i love having different spots to sit and relax in. so glad you made the sectional. swoon! we have a covered tent/structure thing. and in the winter we take the tenty part off so just the skeleton of the structure is there....it lasts a lot longer that way. we also macguyver the poles so that they aren't just staked in the ground. the poles to the structure are fitted over steel pipes that we hammer 2 feet in the ground, so that thing ain't going anywhere. we finally did a brick patio under it, so yay to being less buggy. enjoy your deck!

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    1. Yes we were supposed to take that off every winter but didn't -- it held up well though! It just acted like a parachute that summer we had incredibly high winds. :( I had to actually cut it apart so it would stop lifting the whole structure away. I was so afraid it was going to fly off and hit someone's house!

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  5. Looks great! Now throw a party already!

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  6. Such a beautiful space. I've been slowly but surely working on our outdoor space. Then other things just seem to eat up my budget for it. :)

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  7. hi Sarah... what's the brand/colour of the deck stain you use?... i like it (among many other things)... and do you worry about sparks from your fire pit on the deck?... i'd like one - but don't want to burn the deck down... (sorry - that's my mother's voice saying that).. :o)

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    1. Hello Alex! I'm so sorry, I don't know what this color was -- we hired out last time and I went with the most red color they had. The first time we did it with a redwood stain from Lowe's (I think Thompson's) and I LOVED that color. This one is more brownish red. It needs to be redone again already!

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    2. Oh and the fire pit is gas so it doesn't spark -- no worries about that. I would be careful with a wood burning pit on a deck though!

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  8. Gorgeous! Do you leave the cushions out all the time, or take them in when you're not using the deck (or when it rains)?

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    1. They stay out all the time. Even in the winter sometimes. :) The red cushions do fade some but our other lighter colored ones are holding up well. (I do try to take the colored ones and pillows in for the winter.) We've just decided it's something we need to buy every few years -- it's the sun more than anything for us.

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  9. Everything looks terrific. I wish I had a bigger area for entertaining outdoors. We are working on that but it may take a couple of years to complete. Also, I know you already bought a new outdoor rug for under the table and chairs but wanted to let you know that I noticed that Wal-mart had some really cute (colorful) outdoor rugs this year and they were very inexpensive. They have an orange one with a modern geometric design that would work perfect under your table and chairs I think the large one was around $58 in case you want to check it out.

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  10. what about stenciling a design onto your boring beige rug? I've seen it done, and it adds so much to the space. :) I have a stone patio that I built myself, it's a little uneven, which means that stuff has to get placed exactly on the right stones, or it wobbles. However, this year we pulled down our very wobbly play structure, and I am reclaiming that space for a ground level deck. Can't wait to design it.

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  11. It is so pretty! I love it all. I know you miss the gazebo, but this looks just as good too! I only wish I had this much outdoor space to work with! Take care and enjoy your outdoor space!

    Little Bitty Damn Houze

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  12. Where is your fire pit from? I love it!

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    1. Megan we've had it for a while so I'm not positive, but I think Menards?

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  13. We are empty nesters for 20 years. We had a vinyl deck and vinyl pergola built about 3 years ago. All you have to do it wash it. But the pergola does not provide much shade as our deck faces west we still have to use a umbrella. Your back yard looks so pretty and peaceful.

    Pamela
    Ohio

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  14. Gorgeous decor! I hope you have enjoyed the holiday as well! :D

    <3 Carsla
    Founder & CEO of Connect-the-Cloths
    http://www.connect-the-cloths.com
    http://blogspotter.co/connect-the-cloths/
    A stylist, foodie, & writer’s blog in development.

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  15. Where are your throw pillows from? I love them!

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    1. Thanks Erin! The stripes are from Lowe's and the purple/red were on clearance at Garden Ridge!

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  16. Wow Sarah, your deck is so gorgeous and huge! I had a little chuckle reading your post because after about the same amount of time I too changed the layout on our deck after we stained it a couple of weekends ago. We get so accustomed to "the way it's always been" and it feels like a new space after we change it up a bit. Hope like us, you enjoy hours on your refreshed deck!
    Marie@The Interior Frugalista

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  17. What a wonderful space. I wish we had this much room to enjoy. I did get a new table for our deck and love it so much more. I want to add some pots and a wicker chair and side table to the bay area we added for the grill (grill isn't out there anymore, too windy. Been moved to the garage). Any tips on how to keep the wasps away? Every summer, all summer, they swarm my back deck area.

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  18. I love it! I've always wanted an outdoor living room!!!

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  19. Thank you for posting this. I am inspired now to decorate my own. Kudos! -Patrick Tan

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  20. Love what you've done with the place. Darn wind! lol

    xo
    Maggie A
    LOVEMAVIN/YOUTUBE || LOVE MAVIN/BLOG

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  21. I had an outdoor rug on my deck, but after a rain it just got soggy and took forever to dry out. Do you have this issue? I love that look, but don't know how to deal with soggy rug. any suggestions out there in Blogland?

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    1. We don't! They dry out well -- maybe our decking is spread apart further so they breathe better?

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  22. It looks awesome--I love the different "rooms". We just have one patio space with a table and chairs, but we just got new cushions for the chairs and a new outdoor rug, and just that small change makes the whole space look brighter and better! :)

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  23. I love your patio furniture and new arrangement. Just wondering if you leave the cushions out in the weather and how they stand up to rain and sun exposure for the summer? We keep ours stored in a bin until ready to use and ask people to not sit on them when wet from swimming. It is a pain taking them out and in all the time but then they do look almost new after 13 yrs.

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    1. We do leave them out just because we're out there so much -- the lighter ones hold up pretty well but I do need to clean them. The darker colors do fade in the sun so we have just resigned to the fact that we'll need to replace those every few years. Thirteen years is amazing!!

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  24. You have really beautiful taste - every single item you have picked is absolutely gorgeous. I love how you moved them all around. I'm really impressed.

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  25. The print on the couch and the cushions work so nicely together, I would've never thought of that combo. Gorgeous!

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  26. Hi Sarah! I have been following your blog for about 1 year now and absolutely LOVE IT!!! I too have a question about your firepit - where is it from and are you ever worried about having fire on wood deck? I want to do this but I worry it may not be safe?

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    1. I would love to know this too - do you have any issues with a firepit on your deck? we don't have any kind of patio space but would love to have a firepit - but it would have to be on our wood deck.

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    2. Hey ladies! This is a gas fire pit so it doesn't spark -- at least I've never noticed it. So we don't have any problems with that but yes a wood burning one would probably be an issue. I'd worry about the bottom of it getting hot near the wood too. I think we got this one from Menards if I remember right!

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  27. I LOVE your deck and patio, Sarah! I love the rearrangement too. Outdoor spaces are my favorite :)

    I have outdoor patio furniture on our uncovered deck too - with cushions and pillows. But they really take a beating in the sun. How do you protect from fading or what do you do each year to fix your cushions?

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    1. Hey Christina! The lighter ones hold up well out there but the darker ones do fade -- I haven't figured out anything to help with that so far! I thought there was some spray on the market years ago so I want to do some research. We've also planted some trees to add some shade but so far it's not helping much for the morning sun. :)

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  28. It looks so pretty! I would love to sit out there with a drink. The rug matches your table perfectly, too. We use our outdoor areas everyday. I sit on the balcony off our master to drink coffee in the morning, the front porch to watch the kids play in the afternoons, and the backyard pool area to eat or drink in the evenings. And there's swimming, of course. If I could just get rid of these mosquitos it would be perfect!

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  29. Love your deck it looks so great! We recently moved and our new house has an outdoor patio. We have cushioned outdoor furniture on it but with recent storms and rain, we are wondering how other people handle outdoor furniture? Do you protect your seat cushions in some way or do you just let them sit out there in the elements? How well had your furniture held up? Any input or advice would be much appreciated!

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