Posts Tagged ‘umbrella’

Big Blue


Posted by Rebecca, June 27th, 2011

Our umbrella has arrived! Okay we’ve had it since last week, but we needed a base for it. We checked Target during one of our many visits there and they had nothing. In fact, most of their outdoor area is already on clearance and it’s not even July 4th yet! On Saturday we made a spontaneous trip to the Crate & Barrel outlet and were lucky enough to find an umbrella base there, among other things. That place was magical on Saturday. Anywho, back to that umbrella!

It’s definitely larger and prettier than I imagined. The patio just feels so classy now πŸ™‚

The blue breaks up all of the brown we have going on with the stained stairs.

The umbrella base we found worked out perfectly. I really wasn’t going to be picky about a base, since no one is going to see it and it will mostly be kicked, but I love the one we found. Most of the others I saw in my brief search were black and had a wrought iron type of design.

In complete Pottery Barn fashion, the umbrella opens by a rope and pulley system rather than a crank thing. I still have yet to figure out what to do with the rope when the umbrella is fully extended, so for now I’ve just been wrapping it around one of the metal parts. I’ll have to check the PB images to see what they do.

All of the inner parts of the umbrella are wood, which is probably my favorite part. I’m looking forward to hanging some laterns all up in there πŸ™‚

Thank you reward points for a free umbrella! Okay I guess we technically paid for it, the least Pottery Barn could do was throw in an umbrella with our patio furniture purchase. Nothing is really free, right?

The backyard is slowly coming along. Last weekend Mike seeded the freshly cleared part of our backyard, but nothing has grown yet πŸ™

That green stuff you see around the sprinkler? Weeds. Why is it that they always grow and grass doesn’t?

I picked up some $4 planters at the Crate & Barrel outlet, but other than that, we don’t have much else planned for the patio at the moment. Summer is quickly running away from us and we have so many weekend commitments that I’m not sure how many patio projects we can fit in. It looks like our built-in grill plans will actually be pushed back to next year. My bank account is very thankful πŸ™‚

Square and Shady


Posted by Rebecca, June 15th, 2011

Yesterday I got a 10% off coupon code from Pottery Barn. It was just in time because we also just received our reward certificate for buying our patio furniture! Okay that also means we got our bill for that patio furniture, but let’s not focus on the negative okay? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, if you open a Pottery Barn credit card, you receive 10% of all of the money you spend back in a gift certificate. Highly recommended if you shop there a lot or are planning a large purchase like we did (Banana Republic, Gap & Old Navy have a similar system on the clothing front in between all 3 stores)Β We ripped open that envelope and pulled out that reward certificate!

We planned from the start to get a square market umbrella in the fresca color. We just decided to wait and get it for free rather than find a cheaper version elsewhere. I love the square shape as an unexpected alternative to the standard round. But, I did begin to think that with square furniture and a square fire pit, our backyard was turning a little too square. I always try to balance my shapes in rooms to make them a little more interesting, but then I remembered that our entire patio itself is curved. Sold on the square! πŸ™‚

This next umbrella isn’t the right color, but I love the lanterns hanging from it. It’s a nice alternative to hanging lanterns in trees when they are too tall πŸ™‚

Even after shipping, we had some money left in rewards and we decided to purchase the umbrella cover. I know that we could have gotten a cheaper one elsewhere, but we’ve made that choice once already. We bought a cover for our table and chairs from Target and it’s not working out so well for us. It only attaches to the table in 2 places, which are diagonal from each other, and air gets under it and it becomes uncovered. It has a bungee pull thingy to tighten the bottom, but it doesn’t pull. I cannot get that thing tight for the life of me. So in windy weather, the cover just blows to the side but stays attached to the legs. Sort of as if our table had been pantsed.

We were considering getting an additional piece of furniture with our rewards when Pottery Barn had an umbrella sale over Memorial Day weekend. They were 20% off and we figured we’d take advantage of the sale, despite the fact that we didn’t have our reward certificate yet. But we forgot about the sale and didn’t order it. It’s probably for the best, considering we’d have to pay something about of pocket for anything else we would have chosen. We love most of the Chesapeake collection, including this much needed storage.

Instead of spitting out 500 bucks for this thing, we headed toΒ Target last weekend.Β Yes I know, I love Target. If I could camp out in a store ala that episode of “Saved by the Bell”, I’d sleep in a Target.

Okay I couldn’t resist, here’s a really awful clip from that episode…

YouTube Preview Image

Anyway, we picked up this plastic deck box from Target for $60.

See it down there? It fits under the stairs quite nicely. Sorry I don’t have more pictures because my camera died πŸ™ It’s plastic and waterproof, so it keeps our wide striped pillows nice and dry when we’re not using them. We have some citronella candles in there too. We also wanted storage to have a place to put our furniture covers when we take them off for the day. So when the pillows and candles come out of the box, the covers go in! It works out nicely. It matches the color of our newly stained steps pretty well and it snapped together in a few minutes, like a giant lego.

Long story short, we got an umbrella and cover from Pottery Barn for free, opted for the cheaper storage option and I love “Saved by the Bell” and will now go watch more videos. I recommend you do the same πŸ™‚

Having It All Together


Posted by Rebecca, May 31st, 2011

Can I tell you how much I love three day weekends? That extra day is like gold. Five days on with two days off every week just isn’t enough. Someone needs to make 4 day work weeks πŸ™‚

Friday after work we finally got around to putting together some of our patio furniture, but we didn’t get to the table before it got dark. So first we had phantom table…

The chairs were super easy to put together since we only had to screw on the arms. Each chair came in 4 pieces with the back piece, the seat and the 2 arms. The back legs were attached to the back piece and the front legs were a part of the arms. I took some pictures of the process but apparently my memory card wasn’t in the camera properly. But it was pretty simple, thank you Pottery Barn!

The table weighed 135 pounds in the box, so the hardest part was getting the thing to the patio with just the two of us. That didn’t happen. We opened the box in the driveway. I couldn’t push that thing for the life of me. Thankfully, the assembly was even easier than the chairs since we just had to screw the legs on that guy. But we finished putting the table together and seriously 2 minutes later a torrential sun shower came down on us.

Yes, we waited this long to a) find furniture b) get furniture and c) assemble furniture and this is what happens to us?? We were scurrying around trying to get the giant boxes out of the rain and trying to cover my precious new table. My hair was so wet that it looked like I had just taken a shower, but it was in the 90s all weekend so it felt wonderful πŸ™‚ Our table adventures had to wait yet another day.

Thankfully, the rest of the weekend was dry and we could finally enjoy our new patio and furniture!!

We’ve had this giant free-standing umbrella for a few years now. When my brother and sister-in-law bought their patio furniture, they ended up not needing this umbrella and generously gave it to us for when we had a patio. I honestly had no clue what it even looked like until this weekend, but it works very nicely πŸ™‚ Plus it adds some shade until we get a table umbrella.

We’re planning on moving that big umbrella (temporarily anchored with the concrete things from our downspouts) to behind the adirondack chairs we got from Lowe’s last year. Since I handed Pottery Barn my arm and a leg for our table and chairs, we decided to live without a loungey area and to just spruce up the plastic chairs with some new pillows from the ‘Barn.

Once we get our reward points from our Pottery Barn credit card, we are planning on buying an umbrella in this color blue for the table πŸ™‚ Hopefully soon!

We are also very happy that we will have plenty of space for everything we want to do on our patio. It is very hard to visualize these things until you actually put some furniture on it for perspective. Thankfully we planned well (remember our early paint sketches?)

We have 6 chairs and a bench, but I am rather partial to the bench with the two extra chairs hanging around until the table needs to be extended πŸ™‚

We’re also super excited to report that tomorrow we are having our dead trees and brush removed! See those dead messes up there?

Totally messing with the backyard view. I previously mentioned that we were only going to remove the brush this year and would wait to cut down the dead trees next year to save some dough. But then we learned that a) the price wasn’t as much as I thought I heard and b) if we make the guy come back next year he may charge us more since it makes more sense to get it done in one shot. So we decided it was best to cut down those dead trees now instead of later. I cannot wait to see what it looks like all cleaned up! (We’re keeping the big, healthy trees of course!)

On a slightly unrelated note, we picked up this cooler from Target before we had some family over on Sunday. I liked this one because the handle was positioned more like luggage than the others they had that rolled like a wagon.

More than 48 hours later, in 90 degree weather, with the lid slightly open since yesterday, THIS COOLER STILL HAS ICE IN IT.

It’s kind of like how we just threw away a loaf of bread that was weeks old, but had no mold on it. Or how milk takes weeks to smell these days. How on earth did this ice not melt??? This cooler is some sort of miracle of science….

Something about our patio makes this place feel like home. It is so peaceful and relaxing out there, and we’ve only just begun with our laundry list of plans for the space. It feels good to be ours πŸ™‚

A Deja Vu Post


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 πŸ™‚

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