Jacinda and I are on a mission this summer. We’ve both lived in our homes for about two years and we want to finally get around to creating beautiful (yet prudent) outdoor spaces, but we need your help. So I’m gonna go first and ask (beg?) for your thoughts. Y’all know I like to wax poetic about my garden (like when I’ve shared with you our Backyard Farm projects from last year and this year), but I have a secret… The kind of secret moms of young children everywhere try to hide away… My shots have been carefully calculated to avoid revealing the reality of what my deck and patio have devolved into:
Can any of you relate (please say yes)? If you’ve been following us on facebook you have seen this disaster zone of toys and assorted folding chairs and empty sippy cups and know that a few weeks ago I managed to sweep off the bird seed and discard the melted crayon heaps, and that it was a soul-cleansing experience. But, well, this is the progress I’ve made. This pic is from the day we moved in to our lovely little home over two years ago:
And this is last week:
So, umm, that took two years. Now in the next few weeks I want to fix it up. I’d like, hmm, I don’t know, someplace to sit. Or maybe someplace to sleep? Or plant? Or store toys? Or drink tangerine mimosas at 11 am (it’s after 12 in dallas, so if I call Jacinda while I’m doing it that counts, right?). Your advice for the Craft Room Redesign Project has been insightful and indispensable so I must call upon you again: Please help! Let me show you some before pictures and tell you all about it and ask ten million questions after the jump…
Patio HELP PLEASE!
So…summer is here and I want to make a space that is kid & adult friendly. A space for relaxing, dining, luxuriating, and playing. A space of joy and beauty that honors the wonder of a Southern California summer and makes the garden an integral part of our day-to-day lives. American Express has generously offered me Membership Rewards points to help make this dream a reality. I have an American Express card (that I use more often then I care to admit, sigh) and I knew on some level that I had been accruing points, but I’d never really looked through the offerings. So when this opportunity came up I gave the Membership Rewards site a whirl. I was pretty blown away by a) the amount of points I had accumulated and not realized I had and b) the variety of things I could get with them. Things like grills, hammocks, fire pits, and cameras… and even more exciting: Gift Cards. Gift cards to fave home shops like West Elm and Crate & Barrel… and hello, HOME DEPOT! It’s like a DIY dream come true. So I’d like to use the Membership Rewards points they gave me and my own accumulated stash to revamp my patio without spending a dime.
Here’s what I’m working with:
Those double doors in the middle go to my bedroom as do both windows.
This area I’d like to be a sitting area, maybe with my outdoor bed fantasy? I used to have a hammock there but one day I sat in it and it broke and I don’t trust it anymore. Shame. On the other side of the railing is the barbecue and air conditioning unit for the house. That little window is to the master bathroom.
The door on your right heads into the laundry area and then kitchen. On the side of the deck is the driveway (aka: sandbox/playhouse/tricycle toy zone).
That Ikea table has actually stood up pretty well to two years of use and it’s the one thing I might keep? There is only one director’s chair because the other three have broken under my weight. Ha, maybe the first thing I should do to fix my patio is go on a diet?
So where should i start? Here’s some thoughts I had:
An outdoor bed. Like an actual bed. Maybe a day bed? What kind of mattress could work? A canopy? Is an outdoor bed a bad idea?
A place to eat. Chairs to sit on. Or maybe benches.
A pool. I want to make one out of an 8′ round stock tank, but those are hard to come by in LA. What else could I make a little pool out of? I can get a filter at home depot with my points. I just can’t dig myself a pool. Maybe this is one of those dreams I need to let go of.
A fireplace or fire pit. Perhaps my deck is not the best place for this because of the overhang?
An outdoor bar? So I don’t have to walk 4 steps to the kitchen to get my margarita ingredients?
Plastic tableware… cuteness that cannot be broken when used for outdoor bbq’s
Should I replace one of the lights with a ceiling fan?
What should I DIY and what should i buy? Anything you want to see a tute on?
Is that enough questions? Thank you for your help!