Sadly, we don't use our yard as much as I would expect. I think it is a result of a poor environment. It's just not as comfortable out there as I would like. I am slowly gathering some ideas on how to make it more livable, focusing in easy fixes and furnishings, nothing big and permanent and expensive.

First up is this patio from Copenhagen. I like it. And it reminds me of our physical constraints (up against a blank wall). I really like the way the canopy was made, I could easily mimic that.
But what worries me is that what really makes this patio nice is the wild, kind of over grown and lush landscape that flows into the organic hardscape. Not our situation, at all.

Next I spied this sitting area that Lily posted. Ok, so, no decking. No ocean views. No mid century fire place. (Would you beleive that I saw one for sale at a crappy thrift store in the middle of the desert where my mom lives, which is *not* the desert where people value mid century things and mark them up, and DIDN'T BUY IT) But still, thought it should go in the inspiration files.

And finally, the other Lily shared her outdoor living space, and this is really brining it all together for me. The "outdoor living space" phrase being the key.

From all of this I am taking, a large shade covering, which will help define the space I think. Plants, a rug, and a variety of seating* and table types. I think I can do this.

So, I'm going to sell our ugly patio furniture. Cause, it's like, a big table with regimented chairs all around it. And, who wants to sit at a formal table area when you are sitting with a book and a glass of wine in the evening sun after work?

*wishing my best friend decided her place was too small for that butterfly chair after all, then I could buy it back from her, have a real pair, and move them outside, where they belong. (unless I could afford a leather cover, then they would belong inside)


  1. outdoor livin'! i'll follow your process with a keen eye, as we have a balcony that'll need gussying up once we finish, er, the inside of the apartment. i think a good floor covering is key, per that last picture; hmm, who sells indestructible rugs?

  2. good luck with your yard. i've pretty much given up on my little patio/yard till spring since it's too cold to use now anyway. it's just dog pooping grounds, and the dogs keep knocking over the plants, getting dirt everywhere, leaves everywhere, it's just a sad mess.

  3. oh, and up against a blank wall = projecting outdoor movies! god, i'd love to be able to do that...

  4. you just made me realize we don't get any evening sun. it's all morning. which is all very well and good except I'm not a morning person. something to consider next time we move....

    p.s. we have a pretty blah collection of (hand-me-down) patio furniture. but the UMBRELLA did change the game.

  5. Can we all just move in with Lily?

  6. Hey Jaime! I've been meaning to send you some ideas...

    Looks like you are going for little maintenance and lots of comfort. I like the movie idea...

    I just tried to fit all of my thoughts into a comment and realized it was more like a novel. I'll email you the details, better yet, I'll just post about it! Here ya go!

  7. Agh! I mean J A M I E !

  8. I saw the woolly pockets and thought of you too! Only problem is all the plants I see in the pictures need lots of water, not sure what sort of care you want to be giving them in your climate...

    And about the rug -- I would just get something cheap from ebay or something so that if you do get it dirty it doesn't break your heart. What about a cool Navajo rug or something? Or hell, IKEA has great cheap rugs too...

  9. Ughhhh. Lily's place. I love it. I've spent a lot of time on rugs like that.

  10. julia- glad we are not the only ones!!!!

    and L; we do have movie nights!!!! but, we have found it works better to just hang a white sheet on our fence.

  11. I like the giant Ikat pillows at the Ace look. Extra points for some kind of fire pit thingie. Did you see these? http://www.cb2.com/family.aspx?c=11012&f=5333&q=fire&fromLocation=Search&DIMID=400001&SearchPage=1 (on sale!)