Hello, dollies…welcome to this month’s Where Bloggers Live 06.2020. Today I’m sharing my outdoor space. You might remember in last month’s post we shared our blogging workspace, check it out here. And the month before that, in April, we hosted a special corona virus edition because that was everyone’s reality at the time. But I think we are beginning to come out of our cocoons, slowly but surely. Just in time for summer and to enjoy my outdoor space. Newly renovated, I might add!
WHERE BLOGGERS LIVE
This fun series is kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…with bloggers! Who doesn’t like to peek behind the scenes and see inside people’s homes and lives? In the coming months, this group of 7 bloggers will be sharing our kitchens, vacations (what vacation, you ask) and closets.
Just a reminder: Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After occasionally uses affiliate links. This means that if you click or make a purchase from a link provided I may receive a very small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
But today’s theme is my outdoor space. So, let’s head out back.
My Spring Goals
Updating our patio and backyard space was one of my spring goal’s for this year. And then life got really crazy with Covid. But then we got our stimulus check and things looked a little brighter. We decided to use our stimulus check to support local small businesses while getting some things done around the house that we have been wanting to do for awhile. Our check didn’t cover everything but it made it possible to get everything done rather than picking which we would do now, and which things we would hold off on. It was wonderful that we didn’t have to completely depend on our savings account. Thank you, Uncle Sam. By the way, I fulfilled all of my spring goals this year!! Bonus.
Our projects included:
- having Southwest Chimney clean the AC/heating vents and ducts, fireplace and dryer duct
- hiring Fish to clean our windows inside and out
- paying Supreme Clean to steam our carpets and area rugs
AND the fun one…
- buying new patio furniture!!
Purchasing new patio furniture was actually a goal for spring then summer 2019. But it didn’t happen. When we got down to only one piece of patio furniture whose legs were not rusting through, I think PC realized how dire things were!! I wasn’t being completely frivolous about wanting something new.
I shopped online because Covid. On our rare and fairly essential trips to Lowe’s, I would visit their patio furniture department, too. We had to have something that would withstand our very hot, dry summers and our very hot, dry, gusty winds So, I would lift all of the pieces at Lowe’s to see how heavy they were and note the weight of each piece on the sales tags. Then I would go home and look for the heaviest, sturdiest, cheapest but prettiest sets I could find online.
Also knew I wanted:
- a table so we could eat outside and a seating area near the hot tub.
- and while we’re at it, maybe an umbrella to block the patio from some of the late afternoon sun
- oh, and a chaise lounge to read from
- and indoor-outdoor area rugs, of course
Enter Camrose Farmhouse Outdoor Furniture
After consulting Target, Wayfair, Amazon, Overstock and the aforementioned Lowe’s, I settled on furniture from WALMART! Ha! From their Better Homes & Gardens Camrose Farmhouse Collection. The furniture is described as a mix and match combination of sleek, modern metal with farmhouse wicker and wood.
We already had some faux (as in plastic) wicker pieces – a storage box, trash can and portable outdoor cooler – all in a dark brownish-black color. Wanted to find furniture that would work well with them. And because our pool tile is a combination of several shades of blue, I wanted to go with blues and greens for our color scheme.
Here’s how everything came together.
My Outdoor Space
When we bought our pool, the builder put together this nifty video presentation that opened with our French doors swinging wide onto the pool deck and then panned around the entire ‘imagined’ pool. The effect was jaw-dropping and we couldn’t sign on the dotted line fast enough.
So, here we are today, moving through those same French doors onto my outdoor space. Make that OUR outdoor space.
This is the Camrose Farmhouse dining table, with 4 metal slat chairs and 2 wicker chairs – thrones, if you will, for my Prince C. and me. Right now I have the ‘thrones’ on the same side of the table to keep them out of the sun as much as possible. But will move them to either end of the table when we are dining.
To the left of the door is my chaise lounge. Plan to spend a lot of time in it next week when I am ‘off’ from babysitting. The Camrose Farmhouse collection didn’t include a chaise lounge so I purchased this Joyce wicker one in the same black-brown as my older things.
A few years ago, BP=before pool, I surprised PC with a patio face lift that included a built-in BBQ grill. Used money from an inheritance. Thank you, Uncle Howard and Aunt Lucille. I had self-serving intentions in getting a stationary grill. Wanted something that would block the wind and keep the patio furniture from blowing over.
It worked!! Even through last Saturday’s 50 mph gusts, our new furniture stayed put.
Here’s where the color came in. I found these lumbar pillows, also Better Homes & Gardens at our Walmart for $5.00. But they only had 4. Snapped them up to go with the Walmart Mainstay 9′ Market umbrella in a palm print I’d ordered. And the Kailani floral indoor/outdoor area rug from Wayfair. I was a little worried about all the pattern mixing. None of the prints are the same. But hey, pattern mixing is all the rage in the fashion world, right? Why not on the patio!
Under the Pergola
We had the pergola built when we put in the pool. You know all the woe with the pool. The pergola has plenty of issues, too. Almost half of the beams cracked, some practically in two. And other things. Until last week, the only patio furniture we had that could still bear weight was a love seat and chair that we used near the hot tub. I wanted something to replace them.
Ordered the Camrose Farmhouse 3 piece conversation set for this area. Pardon me, make that ‘chat set’. Thinking this will be perfect for enjoying sunsets and glasses of wine, just the 2 of us.
In this pic, you can see 2 of the pieces we already had. The storage box on the left side in which we keep snorkels, flippers, towels and floats – deflated, that is. On the right side is the portable cooler.
Found this area rug at Overstock. It’s the Curated Nomad Wilson Borders indoor/outdoor area rug, whatever all that means. Awful long name for a little rug.
The lavender bush behind this ‘chat set’ is really struggling. I am feeling kind of cocky about my green thumb since I haven’t yet killed my mother’s Phalaenopsis orchid I brought home from Kentucky last trip. Thinking our soil needs to be amended with lime. Thanks, Google.
Other Backyard Plants I Haven’t Killed Yet
Once the pool was in, PC and I put river rock around the perimeter as a border between the remaining yard and the deck. We planted several cactus and succulents in the rocks. On the left of the French doors we have a new Mexican bird of paradise next to our existing magnolia tree and bougainvillea bush. I just cut the bougainvillea back because it never blooms. Hoping maybe having it lower to the ground will keep it in the sun more of the day.
And on the right side we have a butterfly bush and rose bush mixed in with monkey grass from my Tennessee childhood home. There are tiger lilies on both sides and Japanese plum trees.
On the west side of the house, we have what used to be a bunny run for Lauren’s rabbits. When they bit the dust, we tried to grow Moscato grapes to make our own Bunny Run Wine. The grapes bit the dust. So now we have a Texas Ash, an oleander and peach tree on that side. And you know it, we have tried to make peach wine. Which turned out to be more like moonshine!
After snapping this picture I realized how unruly our oleander looks. Contacting the gardening guy to help us get it back under control.
Under the Stars
We bought 3 boxes of solar lights and set them about in the river rocks to light the deck around the pool at night.
And PC hung these old fashioned solar lights above the hot tub. They give the space a magical quality.
Balconies Need Love Too
We moved – very carefully – our decrepit old love seat and chair up to the balcony off our master bedroom. It doesn’t have a shade over it, so that balcony gets really toasty on summer afternoons. But once the sun begins to set, the Chihuahua Desert is pleasantly cool. This balcony is a good place to star gaze and offers a breath-taking view of the Franklin Mountains at sunset.
In the front of the house, we have a tiny balcony off a guest bedroom. I have set a small set of chairs and a table there. It is rarely used but looked so unloved with nothing on it.
PC and I are pretty much homebodies but a few years ago in 2015 we got very brave and invited players on his baseball team and their wives for a BBQ. Talk about stepping outside my comfort zone! Over 40 folks!! But I lived to tell about it. That was the year we put in the grill. Here’s a photo of us with our pre-party jitters.
I figure I might need to agree to another baseball party this year to thank PC for allowing me to revamp the patio and back yard. That is, if he ever gets to play baseball this season.
We just got everything put together this past week so have yet to christen the dining table or the chaise lounge. But here comes the weekend. And look out. We might move outside permanently!
Turn-about’s fair play so tell me a little about your outdoor space in a comment below. Do you have a favorite place outside to read? Or nap? Maybe a great spot to enjoy sunrises or sunsets?
Hope you will take a minute to visit the blogs of the other gals in this great group. I am excited to see their outdoors spaces, too.
Bettye at Fashion Schlub
Daenel at Living Outside the Stacks
Em at Dust and Doghair
Iris at Iris’ Original Ramblings
Jodie at Jodie’s Touch of Style
Julia at When the Girls Rule
Leslie at Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After
Then make plans to join us the second Friday each month for other editions of Where Bloggers Live. Here are the posts we have planned for this series in the coming months. Hope you will mark your calendars and plan to stop by for each.
- July 10: Kitchen
- August 14: Vacation/Staycation
- September 11: Closet Tour
In the next few weeks, I will be posting Wellness Weekend and revealing my summer bucket list, both on 06.21.2020. I have a Spiritual Sunday post floating around in my head that I need to get down on ‘paper’ and a Thinking Out Loud Thursday post planned for next week. Also hoping to sweep out the cobwebs in my fashion haus. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in there!
Thank you for being my buddy! I appreciate your visits and comments. Hope you have the perfect weather to spend time in your favorite outdoor space this weekend.
Hugs and kisses,