Posts Tagged ‘patio’

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!

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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…

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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.

Patio Progress

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Posted by Rebecca, March 22nd, 2011

I took a little blog break at the end of last week because it was absolutely GORGEOUS out. This was what my car said when I left work on Friday…

Thursday was equally as beautiful, so it felt like some sort of crime to spend my evening hours indoors on my computer. Sometimes life interrupts blogging in wonderful ways 🙂

Anyway, the nice weather gave us an opportunity to finally get out to the backyard to figure out what to do with our patio. We saw a patio display earlier in the week at Lowe’s and the gazebo was 10′ x 10′. Since that size seemed reasonable for a sitting area (and we were clueless about size) we thought 2 of those areas would suit our needs. So we guesstimated we’d want a 10′ x 20′. Sounded huge! I looked at Mike in Lowe’s and figured we were screwed for our estimate on Saturday. So when we ventured outside with a measuring tape on Thursday, I nearly died when the area we planned to cover measured 16′ x 32′. Hello budget buster. A 16′ x 32′ patio sounded not so reasonable, though we were relieved to see that it didn’t eat up a large portion of our yard.

Concrete guy came on Saturday morning. We told him from the outset that we wanted some sort of creative design that we could not come up with. He seemed enthusiastic and up for our challenge, which was definitely a plus for us! I like working with people who can bounce ideas back and forth and in the end can out think me. As much as I have ideas of my own and know what I want, I always look forward to suggestions and things I haven’t thought of.

We broke out a can of spray paint and started playing with shapes. We also asked him to price out a walkway from our driveway to the patio. Mike and I briefly talked about this, but it didn’t exactly process in my head. I was happy that he brought it up, but terrified of the price. Concrete guy measured, then gave us a book of patterns and colors to chose from while he wrote up an estimate. We knew exactly what pattern we wanted, so that part was extremely easy. He came back with this little doodle and description…

That says 34′ x 18’… this thing keeps growing! We showed him this actual picture of the pattern/color we wanted…

He had something similar in his portfolio, though it was a little lighter. He warned us that something too too dark would burn the heck out of bare feet in the summer. That was definitely something I hadn’t thought of, even though I am rarely without shoes…even indoors.

In the end, we were pleasantly surprised with the price given all of the extra square footage we added with the walkway. We liked the guy a lot too, so I think we’re going to go with it. He said he wouldn’t start jobs until the first week in April so hopefully we will have a patio soon!

I ventured outside to take some pictures of the spray paint action.

That’s one side. I quickly realized I couldn’t fit the whole patio into one shot without going upstairs, so I tried going into a spare bedroom to get an aerial shot 🙂

Ignore that semi-circle line. The curved area on the right of this picture sold me. I’m not sure why, since it’s not necessarily something we hadn’t thought of, but seeing it was an ah-ha! moment for me.

Just once it was more rounded (the outer line) it felt so cozy. I immediately pictured a grill angled in the center of this curve.

We were also very relieved that we still had a lot of yard beyond the patio. Sometimes we forget that our property extends into the tree line and that we’ll still have plenty of land for the future.

The arrow points to the property stake, which is visible when the picture is enlarged. I once climbed back there to get an idea of how much land was there and it was not a fun trip. Plus I looked like the crazy neighbor…again. Oh and did I ever tell you that we originally chose the lot to the left of this picture? Thank goodness we didn’t, holy house in their backyard when the trees are nakey.

Wait, you’re wondering why I’m ignoring the fact that our nicely stacked wood piles were demolished during a windy snowstorm? Because we’ve been ignoring them in real life for weeks….

Planning an Outdoor Siesta

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Posted by Rebecca, March 8th, 2011

This weekend was a little crazy for us. We ran around doing taxes, visiting family and… doing homework for 7 hours on Sunday. Needless to say, we didn’t make any office progress. But we did squeeze in a spontaneous Sunday morning Crate and Barrel visit! Of course C&B never disappoints me and since we haven’t been there in a few months, it was an extra special treat.

Yes we are that boring. I think I just lost a few readers.

Anyway, we went there not really looking for anything other than a dough separator for our pizza making adventures. We’ve had patio fever and I was hoping the outdoor stuff would be displayed since I have been in love with the Ventura furniture collection since I first laid eyes on it. It was even one of my first blog posts!

This is last year’s C&B image, I loved the orange the purple combo.

As we got upstairs to the furniture section on Sunday, all of a sudden Mike stopped and started drooling over something. I look over and of course it’s my beloved outdoor furniture collection. I was a little scared because normally one of us is the voice of reason, but when the 2 of us love something? It’s dangerous for the credit card. I decided in this moment that I had to pull my ish together and be the mean wife.

Mike: Thiis is awesome!

Me: That is expensive.

Mike: Well maybe it’s worth it if we’re going to use it and it’s a good quality.

Me: You might want to look at the tag…

So we looked. The table alone, without a glass top, is $900. The glass top is $200. Each chair? $300. Each cushion for each chair? $40. We ran away screaming without looking any further.

So I set out to research my plan since last year, which was to find a knock-off at Target or something. But first, I had to see just how much this lovely Crate & Barrel combination would be. We want a table, 6 chairs and a conversation set. Here’s this year’s picture from the C&B website…

Here’s what this would run us…

Um yeah. I’m not sure all of the furniture in my house combined costs that. My dining room table was $200. So on to the options!

First I checked Walmart…

Walmart has a looot of options that look similar. Apparently they sell things via CSN, so many of these were still around $2000 a set (we want a convo set and a dining set). So I moved onward to Target, which only has a few of their pieces out in stores right now. There’s the ever popular Rolston Collection, which I’m not too crazy about because of the legs.

Then I found the Belmont Collection

Still just okay. Then I found the Lexus Collection

So far this is my favorite! Even the dining set meets my criteria…

I was looking forward to putting some bright pillows on whatever we get to mimic my favorite purple/orange color scheme of last year’s Crate and Barrel collection, but these Target chairs come with those cute little pillows! I like the idea of the lumbar support in the dining chairs.

As of today, I’m starting to think of sectional more than conversation set type thing because it just looks so cozy!

Okay who am I kidding, I love the sectional because I want to take a nap on it like this dog…

Sticking with the conversation set for now since we’re just in the research phase, I added the Lexus conversation set, the table and six chairs to my Target cart to see the price difference…

Still a large expense, but that’s nearly a $5,000 difference! I think I would like it more if Target offered free shipping on all of the items rather than just one or I had some sort of coupon. I bought our dining room chairs from Target and a set of 2 of those were cheaper than the sets of outdoor chairs! Oh patio, you are so pricey.

Hardwood stamped Patio Guy is coming next Saturday, cross your fingers our patio dreams (whatever they may be) come true! 🙂

Spring Fever

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Posted by Rebecca, March 3rd, 2011

We visited our neighbors this weekend and as we were leaving they said something along the lines of “well pretty soon we can hang out outside and grill!” Mike and I looked at each other, realizing that not only do we have no outdoor “hang out” space, but we don’t even have a grill. The back of our house still looks like this….

We put zero effort into thinking about this space. Well, realistically thinking for the near future. I have high hopes of a pool with a waterfall and slide, but I know that’s not likely to happen. I am not a good landscape/hardscape envisioner… I am still new at this part of homeownership. I can think of the “feel” and “mood” I’d like our outdoor space to have but as far as actual materials, layout, size.. I am clueless.

After our neighbor’s reminder and the long and cold winter we’ve had, we started to think that this may be our big project of 2011. I love being outside when it’s nice out and sitting on the porch by myself got old quick last year. We originally thought we’d do a deck, but a) it’s expensive to do composite b) there’s maintenance involved with real wood with a dark stain and c) not sure if it would be the best place for my firepit dreams. So then we thought (in our dreamland) that we’d do a deck with an eating space with stairs down to a patio with a firepit/loungey area. Then we decided that we didn’t want to eat up too much of our yard and want to keep our future options open. So we started to think about just going with the patio.

Once again, not only I don’t know much about this, but most patios don’t really do anything for me. We don’t want pavers and figured we’d go with stamped concrete. I just wanted to get a base down that we can work with over the next few years. I’ve seen some different things done with planters and whatnot that peaked my interest in outdoor space a liiiitle, but for now I was settling for just a start. So we were thinking we’d go with a fieldstone or cobblestone pattern to compliment our house, though neither option really overwhelmed me with excitement. Then Mike discovered this stamp pattern…

No that is not hardwood, it is stamped concrete! Mike found this idea on a local contractor’s website. We contacted him immediately to get an estimate. I have a love for wood that is dark and rustic, so to be able to have the warmth of a deck combined with the ease of concrete? Heavenly! I’ve never seen anything like this before and it definitely had that little extra we were looking for! Here are some more pics I found while googling…

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I love the added texture in that last picture! Now, Mike and I can almost guarantee that this pattern and color will be the most expensive stamped concrete option in the history of the world… we just have that sort of luck. But we figure it can’t hurt to ask around. The next question we had to tackle? What size do we want.

Mike asked me what I wanted out of the space and since he often responds to me with “I’m not following you” or “can you put that in terms I understand”, I had to do one of my awful Paint sketches that are not meant for the general public…

I’m hoping we find a creative contractor that can do better than my pathetically planned out rectangle. We would like all of these elements, just in a well thought out and planned space. So we started throwing some ideas back and forth after thinking for it a bit, so I revised my sketch to push back the grill to save some room for growth…

Mike then elaborated on this and came up with the best sketch ever…

Wait, do you need a close up of the best part?

I married such an artist.

But I think we just came up with a patio the size of our backyard. So I came back with this one, cropping the patio at the edge of the bar and table and adding a lower level for the loungey/firepit…

I think this will still be too big, considering the mass amount of dead space in the center, but hopefully this is just a jumping off point. We’re hoping to actually go outside to the backyard (what a novel concept!) to get an idea of how large we want this thing. We had an appointment with the concrete man for Saturday, but we had to cancel it because we forgot we had other plans. So hopefully, concrete man will come soon with tons of ideas, thoughts on maximizing our space and a cheap price!

Until then, our Paint wars will continue…

 Update! For those of you just finding this post, we did go forward with the wood plank stamped concrete! You can read all about it in this post and here are some of our very own after pictures 🙂

The 100th post!

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Posted by Rebecca, January 13th, 2011

Today is a milestone for my little bloggy, this is my 100th post! Cue the balloon drop! Okay I don’t have a balloon drop, but I do have this video I found of the parade through the Magic Kingdom in Disney…

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This song has been in our heads for a week. Though I didn’t know the words were “Celebrate a dream come true” and I normally just run around singing “Celebrate da datty doooo”. I also perform the arm waving dance, which I did once while entering the Magic Kingdom and my beloved iPhone took a flying leap out of my pocket and onto the concrete. Mike told me this was a sign from God to never do that dance in public again. Luckily I can still bust it out in the house!

It took me about 4 months (of actual “serious” blogging) to get to this point. So I figured I’d set out some goals to accomplish by my next milestones. A list, shall we?

By my 200th post:

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I would like to have painted another room in this house. Whether it’s the office, powder room or master, within another 4 months I hope to have told you about some new color on our walls!

By my 300th post:

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We have been wanting to add some lighting to our landscaping since our yard is ridiculously dark at night. I would also like to change out some of our builder given landscaping with maybe some more hydrangeas. That is, if the two I planted last summer come back to life!

By my 400th post:

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I would love to have our master bedroom completely (or almost completely) finished and made-over. I don’t necessarily want it to look like this one, I just picked a dreamy looking one 🙂

By my 500th post:

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A nice finished basement with a pimped out theater area. Mike can go crazy with all of his speakers and wires and whatnot, and I can get a couch with cup holders in it without feeling like I’m breaking a design rule…

By my 1,000th post:

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We’ve been dreaming up a nice backyard area for ages and well, this one wouldn’t be so shabby! We’re not sure if we want to do a deck, patio or combination type thing, so this project isn’t a big priority. Once we feel like we need an outdoor entertaining space we’ll look into it a little bit more!

By my 1,500th post:

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If you’ve done the math at this point, you’d know this one is very far down the line, but I hope to be able to add a nursery to my resume in a few years. I love browsing nurseries, they are just so fun and imaginative. This one is one of Young House Love’s great nursery crashes on Baby Center. Oh and with a nursery of course comes a spin-off blog 🙂 You think that I’d dedicate a blog to my cats and house but not dedicate one to my future kids?

Hopefully I’ll keep up with some of these goals, at least the ones within the next year or so. It will be interesting to see how many posts it takes me to actually finish and post about each thing! Now I’m off to celebrate a dream come true by watching a new episode of Jersey Shore!!

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