Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The backyard entertaining area is complete!

Just as I promised... now that summer is winding down, I've completed my backyard dining and entertaining area. [And by completed, I mean... done-ish. Of course I have more projects in mind for next year, but I'm thrilled with how far I was able to get this summer.]

Of course, every truly good "after" needs a horrendous "before" to make it feel even better... so just in case you've forgotten... here 'ya go...

After much scrubbing, painting, shopping and completing a few projects our whole family is enjoying this space.

I really did this whole project on a teeny-tiny budget by re-purposing many items:
or by using my shutters to create these...
 using what I already had like pillows,
[Remember when I made this? It's been awhile... check out the tutorial here if you want to make one!]
and finally, by purchasing the decorating details from either garage sales or thrift stores.
Yup... even that potting table is a [super cool] garage sale find! [thanks Wendy ;)]
All-in-all I only purchased 2 pillows and a ceramic pear from actual stores...
Not too bad, huh?! This is what I love about decorating :)
If you missed out and want the DIY scoop on the other  projects made this happen you can check out my painted garage sale chairs...

Or you can read how I transformed those old, forgotten dingy white boxes [as shown in the before image] into planters to add interest and color.

All-in-all, I'm thrilled. And the best part of this entire project is the fact that we've essentially added another room to our home by transforming this space!

Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY idea: Hang lanterns on a shutter

Here's one more simple DIY Idea to add inexpensive décor to your outdoor space:
I thought of this when I found three old shutters in the basement [left by the previous owner: thank you previous owner!!].
 Here's all you'll need to make these:
*old shutter
*plant hook
I simply painted them to my desired color, added a plant hook and hung my lantern from it [so. not. hard. I promise!].
These are super cute during the day and [BONUS] they also add much desired ambiance when lit at night... you must do this project if you have the right spot!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

DIY: Chicken Wire Frame with Bud Vases

This is one of the projects that I recently made: it really wasn't hard to do and it's a great way to add seasonal color to your porch [plus I'm thinking it could look super cute inside too...].

Here's what you'll need:
A frame without any back or glass
Chicken wire
tin snips
Staple gun
small vases
Here's what you do:
[If needed: paint frame to desired color]
Using tin snips, cut wire to the size of the frame
Using staple guns, staple wire tightly to the back of the frame
tie string around the top of each vase leaving one side long to tie to the wire
 tie vases to desired location on chicken wire

Once you've got your vases secured, fill them with water and add season flowers from the garden [if you're a cheap-o like me] or purchase flowers and put them into the vases [if you are super rich and ultra extravagant]. Whatever works best for you ;)

And enjoy! I love the punch of color it adds, and I love even more that I used items that I either already had or could purchase at any thrift store [not chicken wire: you'll want to get that at any home improvement store in the garden center].

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weekly [P]inspiration: Outdoor Entertaining DIY Ideas

'Tis the Season to entertain outdoors and here are some great DIY ideas I found on Pinterest to help make your party even better...
I just had a cookout and I threw all the silverware into plastic cups that kept tipping over... this is much better [much, much better!]. Plus it's adorable!
This idea is even easier but just as cute- I'm doing one of them for my next shindig :)

This is a little more complicated to make, but super cute and oh-so clever.
Alright. This is like a big-dog, serious diy-er outdoor entertaining center. It's complicated, it's beautiful, it's brilliant and I want one!


Looking to add a little beauty to the party? I absolutely love this branch & bottle idea. So charming and yet so simple. Lovely.
Lighting: it's so important for decorating whether inside or out. Here is a truly genius idea. Seriously. Smart.
Looking for ambiance lighting? Find vintage cheese graters and add a candles... voila! 

And lastly, every party needs games. Here are a couple party ideas you can create at home with minimal [skill] effort. This scrabble idea looks like so much fun. Cardboard. Markers. Boom. [Woo-Hoo!]

Can you paint circles? If yes, then you can create this game in your yard! Follow the link and see instructions to this and other great ideas for more games.  

So get inspired for your next party... IT'S SUMMER!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Patio Project #3: Painting Old Rusty Chairs

Next up on my patio beautification list: revive old rusty & crusty chairs I found at a yard sale last summer.
I was able to purchase these very old, heavy, sturdy metal folding chairs for the low, low price of $1/chair [but they looked awful!].
I used drywall sanding screens [which are similar to sandpaper but made of metal and therefore rougher & tougher] to get the loose rusty bits off. I didn't go for perfectly debris free because I still wanted them to feel aged [plus I would have needed a sandblaster or something!].
Then I used a good quality exterior grade paint and painted them [I wanted to give them a garden chair look, so I selected a fun green color].
Next I took brown paint and dry brushed the seats and backs to add to that aged look I was after...

Lastly, I sanded the entire thing to let the original brown [and rust] come through.
The main thing that made this project not miserable was the fact that I didn't fight the chairs too much. If I wanted them to be perfectly painted and look brand new then I'd still be sanding today... seriously.
I embraced their age and am thrilled with how they turned out!
And do you want to know the little bonus that made me love them even more?  While flipping through my beloved Ballard Design magazine I stumbled upon these green metal folding chairs...
for only $119 a pair.
That's $357 for 6 chairs. I paid $6 + a quart of paint for six chairs...
I'm a happy girl :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Covered patio and deck needed love!

Alright. As promised... here are my patio and deck "before" shots... [sigh].  I've been working away and I'd say I'm about 85% done now. [But I'm showing you now because if I wait until I'm completely done then it'll be fall and you won't be inspired for your own projects because you'll be buying pumpkins and sipping apple cider!!]

Since we moved in last summer this area has been more of an embarrassing open shed than relaxing entertainment area...
My first project had to be [cleaning up the junk and finding a broom] uniting the space with color. This area felt really random [trashy] because the covered patio area was stained in a dark color, while the attached deck was more of a burnt orange-ish shade and then the recently added front fence had been left all together unstained... so lovely.

And here's where I'm at currently. Just staining it all the dark coffee bean color made a HUGE difference [as did the broom and removal of junk...].
One big improvement came via our ugly worn white wooden planters that had been stuck just behind the unstained fence [shown in before pictures]. I pulled them out to create a little more privacy and add a little more curb appeal. Staining them the color of the deck helped tie them to it and become an extension of the area.  Then adding scrolling iron wall décor to the front helped make them not boring :) Now we have a pretty little entrance to our matching [and junk free] deck and patio.

Well, that's it for this post, but rest assured there is much more... so. many. projects. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weekly [P]inspiration: Outdoor Ideas

Recently I've decided to tackle our backyard outdoor space: and trust me, it needed tackling [don't worry: my awful, ugly & embarrassing "before" pictures to follow shortly].  I've been hunting for ideas to add interest and color to the space and Pinterest never fails: here are some of my favorites!
Hanging ladder with hanging lanterns: LOVE. This is a great diy project with detailed instructions, check it out if you want to create it in your home.
This giant stenciled floor is so much fun. I am seriously considering doing something similar on the concrete area of our porch: it's perfect!

Outdoor spaces often feel very horizontal, so incorporating vertical elements helps to break up the space and add height. This is a great example of how to add color and texture with plants while moving the eye up.
Here's an adorable idea for that umbrella so many of us have over the table: little hanging tea lights! Cute, cute, cute :)
Again, think vertical: here's a great idea to get your eye moving up the blank wall. These bird cages are perfect, and I love the idea of putting plants inside too.

This is great for several reasons: the curtains create softness, while the framed wooden wall adds interest and privacy: then those candles just add warmth and perfection!

I'm working away on my space, let you know my progress soon! [assuming it ever stops raining!!]
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