Archive for the ‘outdoor space’ Category

The Patio Day 1

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Posted by Michael, May 2nd, 2011

Ok, I’m seriously about to change the name of this blog to “Mike’s lil house that could.”  And when I’m on HGTV one day talking about geeky pieces of art, Rebecca will be jealous! :fist in the air:  End rant, I promise.

We knew May would bring our concrete patio, but we just didn’t know exactly when.  After all, New Jersey (Snooki!  What up!) has been getting hit with rainy days so we just kind of penciled the patio in our brain for some time in May.  Our patio design sort of changed from the last time you saw it as we bumped out a corner about 3 or 4 feet to fit a … built in grill and bar.  Oh yeah.

And in order to do the built in, we needed electricty to flow to this area under the concrete patio (for the mini-fridge).  So I spent Saturday digging a hole to run some pipes so that we could eventually route electricity to this location.   It was probably more than just digging since our soil is straight up clay.

But!  Good thing I did begin to run the piping needed, because … We got a phone call at 7pm on Sunday night from the concrete company saying they will be there tomorrow morning to start the patio.  Wait, what?  Woah!

And now it’s today and the company has finished day 1 of the job.  Here are some quality iPhone pictures for you to get an idea of what we’re doing.  Enjoy!

The walkway from the driveway to the patio.  We totally changed what we were doing with this pathway.  I’m not one to do the whole “tune in next time” thing but I’m not even quite sure how to describe what we changed.  So, uh, tune in next time!

Last but not least, the chore I did on Saturday.  There are two pipes there; one for electrical and one for speaker wire.

And finally, for those people who need a video tour to get an idea of a space, we have a video tour!

Sprucing Up

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Posted by Rebecca, April 22nd, 2011

I mentioned last week that Mike and I had spent some time in the front yard clearing the death. Though we haven’t had a chance to do much other than just making it look not-bad, I figured I’d share some pictures until it looks just plain old good. So here we go, in mostly pictures 🙂

Two out of three bushes dead! Still thinking of what to replace them with…

The other side at least had some signs of life coming up in the middle of all that death.

Plus some mum skeletons mixed in.

But! The two hydrangeas we planted last year are sprouting up! I was a little worried about them because we planted them late. They had beautiful blue flowers on them, then we got hit with a killer heat wave in early June and all of the flowers fell off 🙁 The leaves stayed green, but they didn’t bloom ever again. Hopefully this year I can have flowers for long enough to put some around the house!

Hot mess going on in our little island garden.

So I gave them a little (okay a lot of) a haircut. That’s Mike in the background dealing with our dead patches of sod, from above mentioned heat wave last year.

Then I pulled out all of the plant skeletons.

And things started looking much better!

Reseeded (and thanks to the rain this week, it’s green now!)

So now we just need to keep seeding our hearts out, doing rain dances (for the grass and the hydrangeas!), hunt down some replacement plants and freshen up the mulch in some spots and we’re good to go! 🙂

Bloom

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Posted by Rebecca, April 12th, 2011

This weekend, Mike and I spent some time outside cleaning up the front yard. It was a rough winter and 3 of our shrubs didn’t make it through. Okay, they were dead last summer but we kept hoping they’d come back to life. A quick clean up turned into digging up things and sore arms and legs, but in the midst of the death I spotted this.

You see that? It’s spring.

And with spring comes the end of the semester crunch, which unfortunately has smacked me in the face this week. I have so many house stories to tell, and my “things to post about list” has been growing and growing, but my carpal tunnel is telling me to quit for the night. Hopefully tomorrow will be nicer to me and also Mike will be back at some time this week with another manly post . He said I should rename this blog to Mike’s Lil House That Could with all of the posts he’s been writing. No no, this is still my gig! But I am very thankful that he’s willing to help out around here when I’m drowning in homework 🙂

Back to the Drawing Board

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Posted by Rebecca, April 7th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I headed to Ikea to check out the Arholma outdoor collection we were thinking of as an inexpensive alternative to my beloved Crate & Barrel set. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling it.

That’s my sad face. Not to be confused with my some dude is circling this couch as I’m trying to pose for a picture for my blog and I feel totally weird about it, face. It’s just very low, the cushions are meh and I just wasn’t feeling the material. I wanted to like because it was affordable, but I don’t even think adding throw pillows would make me like it. I think it would be good for a small patio/city balcony area, but I think the scale would have been off for us.

After this, I figured we’d have to suck it up and go with the West Elm set.

We stopped in there this past weekend to see if they had their outdoor furniture displayed yet. They didn’t, but said they would have it in a few weeks. They asked me what I was looking for and when I said the Wood Slat collection, they told me they had a lounger in the corner I could look at to get an idea. I excitedly ran over only to realize I had walked by it minutes before, but I didn’t notice that it was what I was looking for because it looked black. I really want a nice wood tone to go with our upcoming stamped concrete patio. Whaaaamp whaaaamp #2.

So I was back to the drawing board. Then our friend Robin informed me that Pier 1 had a set similar to the Crate & Barrel/Ikea one.

We also went to look it and though it was still low, it was a step up in quality from the Ikea set and could work. But the table only sat 4 people so we’d still have to find one of those.

I’m feeling a little defeated at this point and I think I’ve lost track a little bit of what we want. Though I love the Crate & Barrel Ventura set, I think I need to stop trying to replicate it and just find something else that I like. So I revisited some sites with zero expectations, as if I was starting from the beginning. I was strangely attracted to the Target Belmont Collection, even though I have seen it and even posted this picture before.

I’m still not in love with this conversation set, but I think it may just be how the picture is staged. I looked at some of the other pieces and I really like them.

I think I wasn’t sold on this furniture the first time around because of a) the conversation set looks a little awkward to me in that first picture and b) the color of the cushions. But before I wanted a West Elm white and navy look, I wanted a bright color. I figure I can still do white and navy throw pillows since the striped pillows pictured here are not included. All of the items in this collection ship for free, except for the armless chair. Just an added bonus to think about…

As I told Mike yesterday, the last thing I want to be picky about is the color of cushions. An affordable price and a good shape/base are much more important to me. I think getting a bold color could be a fun challenge to work with. Margarita green anyone? 🙂

S’more Patio Furniture Options

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Posted by Rebecca, March 23rd, 2011

Mike and I are currently in the midst of a slew of unfinished projects.

1. I have to order fabric for the office, but I’m waiting for the price to go down since I swear I once saw it for half the price!

2. We have to finish our chair rail/fake wainscoting project we started this weekend. I LOVE this project. I loved using the saw. I can’t wait to see the finished product. I can go on and on and on. I am just counting down the minutes until Saturday morning when we can chair rail the downstairs!

3. Patio, patio, patio. Contract is on it’s way 🙂 Though we’re not doing the actual work on this…

These are all being sandwiched in between my graduate course load, full time jobs and a bunch of parties and other plans that the spring always seems to bring. Slow and steady wins the race though, right?

Today I received an email from West Elm about their new outdoor collections, so my focus was thrown back towards the patio for the day. After our friend Jon commented about how awesome the Crate & Barrel outdoor furniture is, I had to look around a little more. There has to be some sort of solution out there and thank you to all of you who have sent recommendations my way 🙂

So, the results of my (minimal) research today.

West Elm Wood Slat collection:

Considering the price of the Crate & Barrel Ventura collection, I was expecting this set to be astronomical in price, but it is strangely reasonable. Not as cheap as Target, but the table is $399 which is half of the price of the Crate & Barrel one. Each chair is $149 compared to Crate & Barrel’s $300, plus the chairs are stackable for storage! So really, who on earth is Crate & Barrel trying to sell their stuff to? Though their set is still my favorite, I’ve given up hope 🙁

I like the West Elm set, but the couch isn’t very cushy and inviting looking. One thing I love that I hadn’t thought of? White cushions. The white cushions with the dark frame look so nice. I love the idea of white and navy pillows, so very Grecian paradise!

(via)

I also remembered that Ikea had a Crate & Barrel knockoff last year, so I figured I’d check their website to see if it was listed yet. Sure enough, I found the Arholma collection

This little sectional is just $650, now that’s a better price! I have heard that the cushions look cheap, so I googled for some better images. I found this one from a previous Ikea catalog…

(via)

The good? The cushions appear to be white to go with my new inspiration, it’s affordable and I like the color of the rattan. The bad? The cushions maaay be cheap and the table that goes with the set is missing an umbrella hole! Being the pale person that I am, this is a deal breaker.

But! I am not giving up hope on the lounge furniture. The pieces are all sold as separates, unlike the Target furniture, so I would be able to pick and choose the pieces and sizes I want. Plus I am thinking that if the white cushions look cheap, I can fancy them up with some white and navy outdoor pillows along the back of the seat. I even found some options that I like from fabric.com

Waverly Sun N Shade Parterre Indigo

Swavelle/Mill Creek Finnegan Indigo

Swavelle/Mill Creek Faylinn Atlantic

One of the 5 Ikeas in our area has the Arholma collection on display so we’re going to go check it out in person. If we like it? Maybe we’ll go with the West Elm table or something similar. I think that a wood table and chairs would add more interest to the rattan furniture vs. trying to match it. As of today, I like this mismatched, white and navy lil Grecian paradise plan. It feels nice to have a plan, since just a few weeks ago I couldn’t pin down a plan for any sort of outdoor space. Thankfully it came to me, literally, in the form of a West Elm email today.

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