We are pretty big on the outdoors at our house. Oh, I don't necessarily mean sleeping-on-nothing-but-a-yoga-mat-in-the-middle-of-a-national-park outdoorsy; more like playing-yard-games-with-cocktails-and-a-cheese-board-nearby outdoorsy. While my husband Todd and I do really enjoy going for walks, bike rides, and all that jazz in the great outdoors, we mostly love just hanging out at home in our backyard watching our cats roam the yard like their personal jungle. In fact, the backyard was Todd's biggest item on his wishlist when we were house shopping almost two years ago. Thankfully we did eventually find a place that met my indoor qualifications and his outdoor demands—phew!
When we first moved to this house it was pretty apparent that we were going to have to do a lot to get the backyard sitting area to feel grown in and cozy. There were no plants at all in the space (except for one really sad little bush) and hardly any flowerbeds to plant in. Thankfully my Mom helped me dig flowerbeds and choose a ton of perennials last year (thanks Mom!), so this year we just had to add a few seasonal plants and we were in pretty good shape.
These pink outdoor chairs are simply to die for, and I'm obsessed with the bright and fun vibe they add to the space (similar style here). The great thing about the Turkish-inspired rug beneath the chairs is that it's made from recycled plastic, so you can simply hose it off whenever it's dirty. Yes! I thrifted that metal patio table, and I give it a refresher coat of white paint every year. Not bad for $15!
Last year was my first try at growing some simple herbs near the porch, and I liked it so much that I added a few tomato plants to the container garden this summer. I'm certainly not the best at growing things, but we have definitely had more than a few homegrown tomatoes make it onto our salads (and pizzas!) this year.
It's been really fun to watch my plant chandelier grow longer and longer over the summer. I suppose I'll have to start trimming it soon or it will block our view from the couch!
I'm so glad that we decided to bring a bit of a cabana feel to our pergola with this outdoor curtain project. They have held up really well over the last few months, and I feel pretty confident we can get another summer out of them next year. They add such an intimate feel to the lower patio and give it a much cozier vibe. Another trick to a welcoming outdoor space is lots of pillows! You can buy outdoor pillows already made (like these drool-worthy yellow pillows), or you can make your own to match whatever colors you need!
Of course, what would a bright outdoor space be without a colorful rug to go along with it? Believe it or not, I actually painted this outdoor rug myself, and I'll show you how to make your own in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
I love the Sweet August Clematis that is slowly growing up the pergola, and I can't wait until it covers the whole thing! Sometimes I whisper words of encouragement to it as I water it. Go, plant, go!
I really love the Palm Springs type of landscaping, so I added a few extra southwestern/desert plants to the space this year (like several kinds of cacti and agave plants). I'll have to bring them inside this winter if I want them to last until next year, but I'm sure we can find a spot for a few extra prickly roommates.
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella and Cleo from the A Beautiful Mess actions.