Inspiration: Outdoor Living

Style by Emily Henderson

What a crazy last few weeks! Celebrated Edison's first birthday with family in Iowa, which I'll get around to posting about eventually. Then we decided for a fun weekend project, we'd just tear out our upper kitchen cabinets and replace them with open shelving. 

"Quick weekend project." Famous last words. 

It just so happened that Brian also scheduled an appraisal for refinancing our house on Thursday. It also so happened that that was my birthday. So we had until Thursday to get our house looking good, and cleaned, and we had cabinets and tools and dishes EVERYWHERE. It took many late nights, trips to Home Depot, and maybe a few tears, but Thursday morning, we were as ready as we could be. 

And after the appraisal, I came home from work early, and took a three hour nap. Happy birthday to me!

Although it's not how I would have liked to spend my birthday week, it was nice to have a deadline for finishing up several things around the house and motivation to do some de-cluttering. I took a trunk load of things to Goodwill, sold some furniture on Craig's list, and we took our old cabinets to Habitat for Humanity's ReStore

We've done a lot to the inside of the house, but the outside is a different story. Of course, curb appeal makes a big difference in an appraisal, but our house is lacking in that department. Aside from a new plant, with all the work going into the kitchen, we didn't have time to do much of anything to the outside. But it has motivated us to start making progress there - we have a painting company coming on Monday to give us a quote.

Before the appraiser arrived, I took the opportunity to take photos of every room in the house, and the outside. Here's our before: 

That's the view looking out from the French doors, and below is the view looking toward the doors from the side of the pool. 

To the left, we have these massive garden beds. I'm not a gardener, although I've tried. The basil above is still barely hanging on, but succulents are the basically the extent of my gardening ability. I'm pretty sure I can see the plants trembling when I walk past that section at Home Depot. 

To the other side, is this massive section of patio.

That's where I'd like to create our outdoor living room - a comfy sectional, coffee table, and fire pit. Under the overhang, I'd like to create the outdoor dining room, right by the grill.

So basically, we've got a blank slate. Just imagine instead of beige and brown, our house is white with navy blue trim. My favorite patio of all time is Emily Henderson's blue and white patio at the top of this post, and here's a picture of it from another angle: 

It's pretty much perfection. Arhaus asked me to share inspiration for what I'd love to do to our patio to make it into a cozy, comfortable extension of our living room, and it was just the push I needed to make a plan.

Laurel and Wolf

First things first - lights. We have one string of cafe lights on our patio now, but I'd love to add more, especially draped over my dream fire pit and couch area. The patio above is actually a restaurant, and I love the white fireplace and touches of copper, the blue and white cushions, and amazing chairs.

Better Homes and Gardens
This patio space is small in size but makes a splash with bright colors. The lanterns hanging in the corner are super cute, and I'm a fan of the navy and white striped curtains and complimentary orange. I think, based on the sign with street names, this is somewhere in Ames, Iowa, where I went to college for a couple years! 

Better Homes and Gardens

A porch swing is my dream! The brick patio is lovely also. 


And from Arhaus' blog, I'm a big fan of the row of tropical plants behind the sectional, the neutral rug, the chevron chair, and most of all, that coffee table! It's actually made out of resin, but it looks just like the real thing. I love the rustic touch that balances the modern.
Sectional in Sundial Blue / Outdoor RugRoot Outdoor Coffee Table / Seabrook Chair / Ikat Pillow / Tie Dye PillowCoral Pillow / Feather Pillow / Patio lights / Swing / Planters
For my dream patio, I'd love to carry the navy with coral accents from inside, to the back yard with some accent pillows. I'd use a big sectional with navy fabric, anchored with a neutral gray rug, and add some fun with the chevron armchair and blue swing. I'd bring some greenery up around the patio in the form of succulents - but no cacti. That's too much of a risk with curious boy and dog!
What would you include in your dream patio space? Share your #patiogoals in the comments below!

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