Archive for the ‘outdoor space’ Category

The End of an Era

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Posted by Rebecca, May 16th, 2011

First, thanks to all of you who gave me the heads up about the Pottery Barn coupon that was making the email rounds today.

Second, I did get one, but the coupon was too late ๐Ÿ™‚

On Friday after work, Mike and I hustled our rears to Pottery Barn and bought theย Chesapeake dining set. Yes after months and months of searching (which you can read aboutย here,ย here andย here if you’re bored), we finally took the plunge. And what a completely random plunge it was, considering my entire dining room is furnished with things from Ikea and Target.

I’m not mad about the coupon, because we weighed our options before we decided to go buy it in person. I priced out purchasing online and realized that with the high shipping costs (even with the current promotion), it was best to order it in store. We know it was expensive and kinda blew our budget. I say kinda because technically we stayed in budget, we just got half of the furniture we planned ๐Ÿ™‚ So we don’t get a loungey area this year, but that’s okay since we’re completely in love with the set we ended up with.

The floral cushions on the stock images are killing me, so I gave you the plain ol’ view.

So what made us find this set on a Wednesday and buy it on Friday when I’ve been agonizing for weeks/months? Well here’s a list! Some of which are listed in my previous post, but hey, I like justifying expensive purchases ๐Ÿ™‚

1. We love it, which we could only say about the uber expensive Ventura set from Crate and Barrel before this guy came around.

2. It is still a fraction of the cost of the astronomically priced (have I mentioned that before?) Ventura set, and we actually like this set more.

3. It is solid wood and can be sanded and refinished rather than having a cheap set get crummy or go out of style in several years.

4. The table extends to 104 inches long and the extensions are stored underneath the table. Plus the chairs stack for storage.ย We realize that even with just either of our immediate families, we need more than 6 seats. Why buy a nice table if we always have to stick a folding table at the end?

5. We can add to this over time and mix and match other pieces of differing styles. I was having a hard time thinking of what I could add to the wicker sets I was previously eyeing. Plus doing this makes it a little more budget friendly.

6. I think this style better suits the patio, but I had to see the patio done first to realize this one.

7. I just finished 2 graduate classes with 101 average in one and a 99.6 in the other. Work hard, play harder ๐Ÿ™‚

8. My twitter friends said I should buy it.

9. We want to sit on the patio this summer, and we’re not getting any younger here.

10. I nearly died this past week, please refer to number 7.

We also picked up a bench to use when the table is extended, rather than picking up extra chairs. We figure we can also use the bench as extra loungey seating, plus I’ve always wanted a table with a bench!

The only “extra” we purchased was 2 of these throw pillows which were 20% off.

I’ve wanted wide striped pillows for ages and I figured I’d make my own, but for around $20 for these pretty large pillows I figured I couldn’t do much cheaper. Oh and I haven’t used my sewing machine yet, so actually making them may not have happened this summer. ย I plan on sticking these on some plastic adirondack chairs we already have to make them look a little nicer until we can do better. We didn’t pick up any of the chair cushions that went with the table or anything because a) I don’t know if we want them and b) I can get them cheaper elsewhere. We started with the bare minimum for now.

We opened a Pottery Barn credit card to receive 10% back in reward points. With the money we’ll be getting back, we’re thinking of buying a fresca blue square umbrella.

It’s amazing, I thought I wanted such a bright and fun backyard but once it started to come together, it just wasn’t screaming bright fiesta. I guess sometimes you can’t plan these things out no matter how much you think you have your mind set!

So we justified, planned what to get and purchased it. Shockingly, the store had every single piece in stock. We have an SUV now, so no problem, right? Wrong. The table box was ginormous. So on Friday, we left with only 3 chairs and a bench.

We asked my parents to come down yesterday with my dad’s pickup and we were able to get the table and remaining 3 chairs. Thank goodness they followed us to Pottery Barn because only the table and 2 chairs fit in his pickup (he has a hard top on it) and we were able to take the final chair. I meant to take a picture of the boxy chaos, but I forgot.

I wish I had a set up after picture to show, but sadly, it rained all weekend and this is what the weather is looking like for the rest of the week.

Whooomp whoomp. Sunday is supposed to be clear so hopefully we can put our furniture together then. Supposedly we “just have to put the legs on” (Pottery Barn Employee, 2011). I hope you get what you pay for in the assembly department and we’re not battling an Ikea-esque purchase. Though I must say, Ikea has gotten way better the past 2-3 years. Anywho, the minute this thing is together I will be snapping pictures!

ps- I’m still recovering from this semester (see #7 and #10 above), so I know I’m way behind in housekeeping around here. I owe everyone an updated blog feed, I wasn’t getting email notifications when I received comments so I’ve been awful at responding to those, and I have 8 million projects left unfinished. I’m slowly easing my way back into blog loving, so bear with me ๐Ÿ™‚

A Deja Vu Post

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Posted by Rebecca, May 11th, 2011

Are you sick of the patio yet? You might want to put on some ear muffs…

I told you yesterday that the Target outdoor furniture I was eyeing up was out of stock, with no signs of being around anytime soon. So I started my search from scratch and was getting very frustrated. I decided to check Pottery Barn, which I hadn’t thought much about because of their, well, expensiveness. Then I spotted this…

 

It’s the Chesapeake dining set. I sent it to Mike to explain how I’m leaning more classic/rustic than modern now that I’ve seen our lovely little concrete. He was all like ORDER IT NOW.

I think he kinda loved it.

A lot of the furniture I was previously eyeing was a black/brown color, which I really didn’t want. Now that I’ve seen the subtleness of our patio, I know most of them would be too stark. I started to focus my search more on teak looking furniture.

I’m especially drawn to the Pottery Barn furniture for quite a few reasons….

1. The chairs are stackable for easy storage during bad weather/the winter

2. It’s solid wood and we can sand it down/re-stain it if necessary. Pottery Barn even gives directions and tells you the Benjamin Moore stain color it is!

3. The table extends. You read that right. It extends to be as large as our dining room table to fit extra guests.

4. It is a classic style. We’re planning on picking up cheap cushions and we can easily change accessories around trends, while this style of table is timeless.

What we don’t like about this table…

1. It’s expensive

2. It’s expensive

3. It’s expensive.

I didn’t even consider this set a possibly at first because I thought it would be too much. But when we think of all of the pros, we realize this might be a smart investment that we have for years and years. If we bought this, we would skip our fancy conversation set for this year and maybe mix and match some inexpensive lounge furniture in at the end of the season/next year. I actually like this idea, because I didn’t want to get too matchy matchy with buying an entire Target collection. We know we can also mix in some inexpensive wicker ottomans for storage and side tables to add some extra texture in.

We checked it out in store tonight and it is even more awesome in person. We decided to think about it for a bit and maybe try to scope out some coupon codes or something. I’m hoping I’ll get an email with a 15% off coupon code soon, like the promotion West Elm is currently running. A girl can wish, right?

A salesperson did inform us that if we opened a Pottery Barn credit card, we’d get 10% back in a gift card. We’re thinking of putting that towards a pretty blue umbrella.

I know, I wanted white and navy. But with the soft colors the backyard is sporting now, I think I want to stick with that. But who knows, I’ll probably change my mind tomorrow. Thanks for coming along for the ride ๐Ÿ™‚

Patio Update

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Posted by Rebecca, May 10th, 2011

These past few days have been absolutely insane. I finished up a final paper and presentation last night, while Mike was in San Francisco attending the SF MusicTech Summit for his gig with SongMeanings. My semester from hell is over and I picked him up from the airport tonight, so we can finally resume our normal lives ๐Ÿ™‚

The patio was poured last week in the midst of all of this chaos. While we were super excited about it, we could hardly focus on it. So it was good that we weren’t doing the work ๐Ÿ™‚ At last update, the patio was anxiously awaiting a sealer. Mike got a call this morning (while in Cali) informing him that the concrete company was stopping by today to put the sealer on. In between work and picking up Mike from the airport, I managed to squeeze some time in for photos.

We were anxious to get the sealer on because we knew it would change the color of the concrete, but in these pictures, it was still wet.

Oh! Last week they also came to put the cuts in the concrete where they expected it to crack naturally. So in the picture above you can see one along the curve. It’s probably the most obvious one, thankfully. Because of the wood plank pattern we chose, the cuts mostly follow the lines like this one below.

Some areas were still very obviously wet, like the area where our future outdoor kitchen will be.

We’re thinking of maybe adding a step in the center of the patio, leading onto the grass. The far side of the patio is 8 inches above ground, so it will be a nice entrance to the open space.

We plan on filling each curved side up with mulch and some landscaping for now, so we’ll see how that looks before deciding on the step(s).

We also plan on staining the unfinished stairs a nice and dark color.

So if I’m being completely honest here, I’ll tell you that I was a little disappointed that the concrete wasn’t as dark as I imagined (it’s actually a little lighter than shown in these pictures). ย But I thought it would be okay with our dark stairs and future dark furniture. The patio has a weathered look to it that I like, but remember our inspiration photo?

We knew it wouldn’t be THIS dark, since we were warned about burning feet and fading, but the color we chose was called “walnut”. I also know that the sealer wasn’t dry when I saw it and it did look darker than it did yesterday.

When I picked up Mike from his 6 hour flight, he told me that the concrete company called and they want to come back and do another round of stain/sealer tomorrow. Yay! I thought I was going crazy about the color, but just a tad darker would be wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I thought I was looking at the (not yet dry) finished product, but now I have to wait until tomorrow!

ps- I finally decided to order the Belmont patio collection from Target so that we’ll have somewhere to sit on the patio when the sealer is all done, but it’s sold out!! I emailed Target (since I checked everyday, for 8 straight days) and they have no clue when it will be back in. Cross your fingers it’s soon! I need this prettiness on my already pretty patio.

All of the Lights, All of the Lights

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Posted by Rebecca, May 4th, 2011

Since our patio is well underway, we have outdoors ants in the pants. There’s nothing like beautiful weather to make you want to spend your free time outside. We had no idea our patio was going to be done this week, but since it was so nice out this weekend we decided to tackle some other outside projects. We went to Home Depot to pick up the conduit for our future outdoor kitchen area and decided to check out some outdoor lights.

I knew ever since we moved in that I wanted something craftsman style for the outside lights. I was thinking some sort of square latern type of thing, but I just never saw anything that I liked. Until Saturday, when I spotted a nice bronze, square light like I had been envisioning. It’s not on the Home Depot website, but it looked something like this though less yellow…

(via)

Mike and I decided to pick up two, one for over the garage and one for by the patio. But as we walked away, I spotted something else I liked.

This one is available online and I loved it. We already had two of the other ones in our cart and they were all the same price. But I hestitated…because I thought Mike wouldn’t go for it. We started to walk away when I couldn’t contain myself anymore and I, attempting to keep my cool, asked Mike if he like this style. His response was something along the lines of “Holy crap that is awesome”. So we made the quick switch up and snagged two of these instead. Excellent decision, I must say.

The first one went up over our garage to replace the awful brass fixture the builder gave us.

Then the second one went right outside of our sliding glass doors, over the stairs to our wasn’t-there-yet patio.

Mike and I are quite enamored with these. It’s always those unexpected purchases that you love the most. And the best part? Pottery Barn has a similar light

…But it is regularly $169 and on sale for $135. We got ours for $45 each and had a gift card. Woo!

Here are a few more shots of the light in the backyard.

We didn’t know when we picked these out that they have a dusk to dawn feature, as well as a motion sensor. We added a dusk to dawn sensor to our fugly brass light since we like having them automatically turn on when it’s dark out. A well lit house is a safe house ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s what it looks like at night.

Much better than the funny reflection that the brass and glass contraption was making! We love them and we’re so happy we found something just in time for our patio. Our outdoor to-do list is growing fast and one of the items moving up the list is to paint the garage doors. Now that we have a pretty light, the stark white doors are screaming for some paint!

ps- Just incase you don’t know where the title of this post comes from ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Patio Day 2

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Posted by Rebecca, May 3rd, 2011

Hey it’s me! I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been super busy with school. I never got a chance to thank everyone for the support you gave me after the post I wrote about our kittiesย Mac and Sunny last week. It really meant the world to me, so thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

Unfortunately, Macky had a seizure at 1:30 this morning. But he is doing okay and had a happy birthday last week. We were all very tired and stressed when the cement truck pulled up at 7:00 this morning. As excited we were for the patio, having the doorbell ring that early and having to move our cars out of the driveway was not fun. But, we now have a patio!

Wait, what? You thought we were doing a wood plank stamp?

Well after talking with our concrete buddy, we decided the wood plank stamp wouldn’t look great on the walkway. I was worried about this, but he actually brought it up. He suggested we do 2 different stamps. At first I was all like uhh, that’s going to look funny. But he confidently told me that he had a client do it and he thought the same thing, but the result was great. He reassured me by saying that people mix pavers and wood decks, so why not a wood plank stamp with a paver type of stamp? It really didn’t take long to convince me that this could be a cool idea. We picked out the pattern above while standing in the yard in a matter of about 2 minutes. I liked the smaller, mixed size of the “tiles” and the grain type of texture they had to match the wood stamp. We still kept the walkway the same color as the wood stamped patio to unify the spaces.

Without further ado, the patio! After stamp but before sealer, so the color will change slightly and will have a nice sheen ๐Ÿ™‚

These guys worked so fast that before 9am, the concrete was fully poured. I was home keeping an eye on Macky for a few hours so I got to see the pouring/smoothing process. It looked quite like icing a cake ๐Ÿ™‚ I missed the entire stamping process though ๐Ÿ™ I was dying to see that!

ps- Here’s the video tour that wasn’t working earlier!

I’m linking this post up to Centsational Girl’s Outdoor Ideas Party!

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