Patio Plans

We have been spending a ton of time outside on our back patio.  The weather down here has been really mild - 80's during the day but without the humidity that hangs out most of the year, it's been oh-so enjoyable.  So, naturally, I've been doing a lot of dreaming about the direction I want to go on our patio.  (Shhh...don't tell Anthony.  He always thinks I should focus on one thing at a time...ha!)  It's not the biggest space but we got lucky in that all of our (secondhand) outdoor furniture fits really great and creates a cozy atmosphere that just needs a little nudge in the right direction to amp up that coziness and make it a bonified, outdoor living room.  

table and chair set //  The brand is Tropitone and is still made - we were given this set from friends who had it handed down to them.  So, it's probably 15+ years old and still looks great.  Needless to say, if you want to invest in an outdoor set that will last, grab something from this company.  Here's their collection on Patio Living.  
umbrella* //  If you don't mind waiting, check clearance at the end of summer!  That's how I found this one!
sofa //  similar from eBay  I've found that bamboo furniture like this is often found on secondhand sites, at least around here.  I got both of these for $45 total! 
loveseat //  similar*

It's always really helpful for me to use Photoshop to create a mock-up so I can visualize my ideas.  I'm not even close to a pro when it comes to Photoshop (I use an older edition so I'm definitely not a pro...haha!) but I'm good enough to create a good glimpse, even if I need to squint to make the after even more realistic.  ;)

Here's what I came up with for our patio:  

Definite plans:
  • Hang art on the back end of the chimney.  I've got a leftover piece of wood sitting in my office for this project and I'm not exactly sure how yet, but the plan is to paint or spray it with something to make it waterproof before or after it gets a little diy abstract art treatment.  If, for some reason, my plan doesn't work out and the wood gets warped over time, scattering some small potted plants on the chimney sounds fun too.  It's really sunny over here during the day so maybe an herb garden would be a good pick.
  • Recover the love seat and sofa cushions.  I've been scouring the remnant section of one of my go-to online fabric stores - - to find the perfect, woven outdoor fabric.  I really want to go creamy white with the fabric and I know that Sunbrella (a really durable outdoor fabric) has some great options that will hold up to the weather but I'm a little nervous about how well they'll hold up to dripping popsicles this summer.  My preference is for something with a small scale pattern too.  Stay tuned for that.  Instead of recovering those big cushions on the back of the couches, I'm going to take the stuffing out of them (the seat bottoms are thick foam but the backs are stuffing) and turn them into extra large pillows for a more modern look.  That was something I couldn't quite capture on Photoshop.
  • Add some throw pillows on the couches and maybe some lumbars on the chairs around the table.  What's a living room without decorative pillows, right?  I'll try to get extra fabric for all of these new pillows so that I can toss some up in The Studio too.
  • Hang string lights.  These* fit the bill.
  • Add some more potted plants - always a good idea in an outdoor living space.  :)
  • It's hard to tell but we still need to paint the trim around the windows.  Before we do that, we need to replace the glass first because it's foggy.  The new glass panes have been hanging out in a corner of our master bedroom for months.  *Sigh*
Maybe-we-should plans:
  • Create a faux fireplace under the art with bricks and then paint the inside black.  This will disguise that small chimney box more too.
If money wasn't an option:
  • Turn the existing fireplace into a double-sided fireplace.  Logistically, I don't know if this would even be possible since one side of the fireplace is on the inside of the house (in the den) and one side is on the outside, but it's fun idea.  We'd have to separate the chimney spout into two separate shafts and separate them by some sort of heat-proof glass so you could see the fire on each side, I think.  
  • Replace the windows on either side of the chimney with french doors.  You can't see the existing windows very well (here's a better view), but they're almost the same width, if not the same width as a pair of doors so it probably wouldn't be that difficult of a switch.  Why swap them out?  Just because it'd be pretty and allow even more light into the den. 
I would LOVE to add a fun outdoor rug out here too but I'm not committed to that idea since this area isn't protected from the sun or rain overhead at all.  It'd probably look great for a few weeks, all the while, perpetually wet underneath which would lead to it mildewing quickly with the humidity down here.  Our outdoor chairs are pretty heavy too and I don't think having a rug under them would allow an easy slide.   I'm all about aesthetics but if they get in the way of functionality, I'm usually out.  However, I'm not against painting a rug or even stenciling a pattern onto the concrete (like I did way back when) but I think we'd have to be completely finished and 10000% happy with the decorating aspect since that's a pretty permanent feature.

I've been on my computer a lot this week while the girls did their schoolwork so I played around with Photoshop some more.  I wrote about the plans for the front of the house in this post (and posted an even better mock-up on Instagram), but I've been loving a certain trend recently and decided to try it out, virtually, on our house.  Come back next week to see what I did and whether it's made us change our plans or not!

Happy Thursday!  We are almost to the weekend...but does that really matter anymore?  ;)

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