Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Creating an Outdoor Room

Our winter was cold and long.  My family has missed our time spent outside in our backyard and on our deck.  My son has spent the past few months asking me, daily, if we could "please eat outside on the deck, mom!"  The weather has only barely broke, but our deck is all ready and waiting for spring / summer!

Did you notice the dead looking tree in the background of the picture above?  That usually has leaves by now, but due to the (miserable) weather in our parts, it's still yet to bloom!  Can you tell I'm just a little bit ready for consistent warm weather?  I'm not bitter at all.... I swear....  ok maybe just a little.  ;)  I lost five newly planted rose bushes just on the other side of the deck over the winter, so maybe that is why I decided to go for the gold with these already full hanging baskets this year rather than planting them myself and waiting it out to fill in:

My mother in law gave me this beautiful climbing plant for Mothers Day:

I initially thought I would plant it by our garage on a trellis this year (which I plan to add) but then thought it would be nice to have even more greenery on our deck.  I'm going to add three bamboo sticks to this planter to allow more room for the plant to climb and bloom.

We've had our outdoor furniture for a few years now, but this year, to add to the feel of an outdoor room, I purchased a new rug and hung drapes.  I've talked about doing this for years now and finally did.....we love the feel:

The drapes are the IKEA Merete drapes.  They are not long enough to reach the ground, however the same fabric is sold by the yard at IKEA, so I purchased black to line the bottom (no, I've not actually added the extra fabric yet - I had to hang them first to measure for the bottom band).  I thought long and hard about these panels versus Sunbrella outdoor fabric.

The IKEA panels aren't technically made for outdoor use, but I've seen polyester fabric used in other outdoor applications.  Also, it was a tenth of the price of the Sunbrella panels.  Since we aren't sure we will stay in this house long term, the decision was made easy by the cost savings!  Also, these curtains can be closed fully and we intend to do that to allow them to try out after a storm.

The drapery hardware is galvanized plumbing pipe that was cut for us at Home Depot and that I sprayed black.  Super cheap, super easy.  Done!

During the spring and summer months, we eat dinner out here most nights when the weather allows.  We normally used a small round table that was light and easily pulled up to the sofa, but when not in use, it was mostly in the way since our deck isn't exactly that huge.  That is why I jumped at buying this outdoor table while at IKEA to pick up the drapes:

It is nice and compact when it folds down, but pops up to two different sizes.  Most night we have it next to the sofa (which I realize I didn't get a full shot of, I will get one and add it when I have a chance).  But last night I set it up as an appetizer / drink buffet for me and my husband.  We decided to eat after the kids went down!

The two potted Rosemary plants are usually on my dining table but I love the extra green and the smell of these herbs, so I pulled them outside:

I think I could exist on wine and cheese alone if given the chance.....  :)  This was a bottle of Pinot Gris we brought back from our recent Napa trip from a small family owned winery:

Nice right?  BUT, mostly, we use the deck to do this:

Outdoor playtime!  The next warm weather day we have, I'll be blogging/working from this chair, sipping coffee (later today maybe?):

I hope you'll stop back by tomorrow to share your outdoor decorating projects!

 I'll be joining Kristin, from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Tiffany, from Living Savvy, Angie from Echoes of Laughter, Lucy from Craftberry Bush, Shauna, from Satori Design for Living to host the party!  Be sure to stop by and check out their decorating projects!

Have a great day!


  1. What an inviting space!! Love your pretty deck & furniture!

  2. I think you made a smart decision! I would use the ikea over the expensive Sunbrella any day! Where did you get the rug from?

  3. tell me about the RUG!!!! it all looks great, but i need the details on that rug!!

  4. The rug is from Frontgate, $159 for an 8 x 10 and I really like the feel of the rug: http://www.frontgate.com/resort-stripe-outdoor-area-rug/outdoor-decor-accessories/outdoor-rugs/640717

  5. I bet this space is just gorgeous at night, too! Love the new drapes and how cozy they make the space look. Good call on Ikea vs. sunbrella. Perhaps if you lived in California it would be worth it, but we tend to have such short summers, right? Hopefully your kids have lots of playtime out there now :)

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  7. Hi Dawn, so awesome..that is exactly what I am trying to archive!!! Christine from Little Brags

  8. Oh my, I love this space! The plants, hanging lantern, carpet and furniture all of it is so dreamy!

  9. Oh my gosh - perfection! It's a gorgeous space!

  10. Winter, in my opinion, is a boring season, because the activities you can do are very limited. But once the new season comes in, you can do a lot of things, and one of those would be eating lunch on your lively outdoor room. And speaking of which, your additions look lovely! Especially the plants; they add colors to your already-vibrant outdoors. Enjoy!

    Luke Stephens @ Tranquility Pools