Hello Spring! I’m in a major renovation mode over here. We have been spending SO much time outside recently and I’ve been working on turning our outdoor spaces into a dream oasis. When we moved into this house three years ago, the builder literally did zero landscaping. There were a few bushes and trees. We have spent the last three years moving trees, planting new ones, growing a garden and trying to create the perfect escape.
Next up was our seating areas! I have been loving being outside in this beautiful weather and we needed some sprucing up back here. Our lot is spread around our home, so we have several different sections out here. It’s great but also means a lot more furniture. Luckily, there have been so many sales and my head is filled with ideas. Although we haven’t planted yet, as Chicago weather is so bipolar, I did invest into some fun pieces that have already arrived! By the way, I got a lot of planters, throw pillows and accessories at CB2. They are having an amazing SALE.
SOME OF MY CURRENT FAVORITES // No. 1 Red Zebra Throw Pillow ||| No. 2 Black Outdoor Lantern ||| No. 3 Zen Large Clay Planters ||| No. 4 Black and White Stripe Area Rug ||| No. 5 Gas Tabletop Fire Place ||| No. 6 Tall Metal Lantern ||| No. 7 Tailored Furniture Covers ||| No. 8 Lupa Planters ||| No. 9 Wicker Tray Set ||| No. 10 Round Log Holder ||| No. 11 Outdoor Bench Cushion
THE BUILDING BLOCKS
When designing an outdoor space, it is important that it feels like an extension of the inside of a home. I chose to use a bold black and white stripe pattern as a focal point and used pops of red to break up the pattern.
Let’s start with the basics – All that was out there was a flat concrete pad. I’m not that big a fan of flat concrete and was considering painting or staining, however after loads of research I found out that it really wasn’t possible due to our crazy winters unless I was willing to repaint every summer. Much simpler to use a big outdoor area rug. I picked a black, white, and red color palette so this striped rug made a great base.
I’ve had my cast iron set from Frontgate which was really pricey. However, I got my money’s worth. I have had it for years and the only thing it needs is new pillows and cushions every few years. That’s what I love about these types of sets. You can switch up any color palette just with a few accessories. This white outdoor furniture set is very similar to mine and much more budget friendly. I am also obsessed with this Etsy shop full of adorable and unique print custom pillows! I have purchased quite a few from here and have been happy for several years.
Next to the couches, I added poufs like this and these darling end tables from Target. They are in the same color scheme as the rug so the different patterns work…its basically the same theory I use for mixing prints in my outfits.
I also decided to change up this old coffee table. At first I thought tile would be great or even glass. However, I wanted to make it a little bigger and commissions Becker Works to make me a custom slab. They attached it to the table I had, and viola a new table was made! I love Becker Works, they’re one of the best fabricators in Chicago and can create any custom piece you desire.
If you follow my stories, you know that this took only two days. Once I make up my mind I like to get things done!
Since the patio is concrete, I love to add leafy plants in planters, like these cute ones, to bring green and natural elements into the space. You can also order your plants online HERE. These United Nursery works plants are delivered packed to perfection and not damaged at all!
I think the coziest thing in the world is a fireplace and a fire pit makes it so easy to add that to our backyard. You can add a cool log holder or scrap the real wood-burning ones altogether and use these tabletop gas fireplaces instead, they’re very low fuss.
I also wanted a bar cart! There are so many beautiful ones out there, depending on your design aesthetic. They’re great for hosting and add another layer to your space.
Light is the finishing touch here. I like a mix of light sources like candles, lanterns, and string lights. Outdoor lanterns that sit on the floor or a table. A variety of lights are a gorgeous (and functional) way to add depth to a space. I also found these absolutely magical light orbs. They can sit throughout the rest of the backyard and look seriously stunning.
We’re all going to be spending so much time at home that it’s worth it to spend some time making your outdoor spaces feel like a vacation. I just can’t wait to invite everyone over for a backyard fête when it’s safe to do so!
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