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In every facet of my life I work from priority lists. Once it became clear we would be quarantining at home long term, expanding our outdoor living space became Priority #1!

In almost every facet of my life I make priority lists. This has certainly been true when it comes to designing our home. When developing the floor plan, choosing finishes and picking landscaping I had to make priorities.

I prioritize based on finances, what can we afford now, what can we save for later; and I prioritize based on need, what do we need now, what can we do without for the foreseeable future?

We live on a culdesac with a lot of young children so furnishing our front porch was an absolute necessity last summer. We wanted to have a comfortable spot for the adults to hang while we kept an eye on the children playing out front. We really didn’t have much use for the backyard so patio furniture wasn’t even ON the priority list. It was one of those items we categorized as unnecessary.

Then Covid-19 took over. Gone were the days of playing out front with the neighbors. Gone were the days of zoo trips and excursions to the Chik-Fil-A play area. Here to stay were long afternoons trapped inside and if I had to spend one more second enclosed with two young children I was going to lose it.

So all of a sudden that backyard oasis skyrocketed to the top of the priority list. Window treatments? Who needs ‘em? New living room furniture? No one is going to see it! A place to relax outside while the kids run off some energy? Ding ding ding!

Lounge Furniture

The first items I looked for were lounge pieces. I looked at sectionals and sofas, chairs and poufs. I watched for deals and read reviews, flipped coins and phoned friends. I finally decided on the first set I had originally considered: this coastal gray rope and driftwood sofa and two chairs.

Let me tell you, West Elm impressed me beyond belief with this purchase. The items arrived quickly in impeccable condition and were a breeze to schedule. There were no long delays, no long hold times, and no confusion in communication. Further, these pieces of furniture are COMFORTABLE. The seats are firm and supportive while the back and arm cushions are downright squishy! If it wasn’t so dang hot outside I would probably fall asleep on them!

Howie has DEFINITELY fallen asleep on them!

A Place to Set my Drinks

Once I decided on the most critical pieces of furniture I turned my attention to accent tables. I knew I would need one big coffee table and two side tables. I wanted items that were beautiful, functional and that coordinated with the lounge pieces without being too matchy matchy.

I was immediately drawn to the Millstone Coffee Table from Crate & Barrel. This coffee table is white and bright with a terrazzo finish that is both on trend and reminiscent of classic mid century modern design. The bright white helps balance the gray and beige tones of the other furniture and effuses the coastal vibe I was going for.

The side tables were a bit of a challenge because there are three styles in this finish. I went back and forth between each style but eventually decided to go with two hourglass shaped side tables to add a bit of movement and reflect the curved features of the other furniture.

The Rug Beneath my Feet

A patio space needs a rug like a boat needs an anchor. Well, maybe not, but a pretty area rug anchors the space and makes outdoor living feel more like indoor living with better views. Rugs have always been hard for me simply because I like too many. This was an area where I decided to be frugal because outdoor rugs always end up covered in dirt, pollen and creepy crawlies – especially when you live out in the country like we do. Our June Bug situation is downright Biblical!

I ended up choosing this gray and white rug because I liked the colors and felt the geometric patterns were a nice juxtaposition from the soft curves of the furniture. This rug is also 100% Polypropylene making it easy to clean and thus perfect for outdoor use.

I finished off my outdoor living area with some pretties and some functional pieces. The woven rope ball adds another element of nautical flair and the little pot of lavender is both pretty and matches with the other florals planted throughout out yard. All of it is anchored on a wooden tray with a summer must have: a citronella candle! Tall black and gold lanterns with battery operated candles and a big snake plant finish off the decor.

How do you like to spend your outdoor time? Are you a go-getter or a lounger? I think we all know what category I fall into! Until next time.

All the Radness.


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