How to Create a Lovely Outdoor Space

Sit back and let me tell you about the time being a brat got exactly what I wanted. I hated my back yard. Like, really hated it. Let's face it, it was super lame. Where we live some of the houses have ally-load driveways. Our garage is on the front of our house, but most of our neighbors have to get to theirs from behind their houses. NOT my fave thing in the world. This means that I have people (granted, not many) driving directly behind my backyard in the ally way between my yard and my backdoor neighbors yard. Super awesome, right?

For years I refused to go into our backyard. There was nothing out there. AND we had installed a short rod iron fence rather than a tall privacy fence so I felt like I might as well be hanging out in the middle of the road. I have always loved our front porch so we were constantly in the front yard.

One day my husband got mad when I said that I hated our backyard. His feelings were hurt. But then and there he decided to make it so I would love our back yard... and he's getting pretty close.


Long story short, if I can create a lovely outdoor space then so can you! Because believe me when I say... it used to really suck out here!


The first thing we did was actually build a few structures. My husband totally built these bad-boys from the ground up. I helped a little and he hired the help of a few neighborhood teens... but other than that it was all him. Now that's sexy. Just say'n.



Here are some close-ups of his handwork. Impressed much?


I probably should have followed him around with a camera while he built these. But honestly, there are so many pergola building tutorials on the web that I'm sure you won't have trouble finding one.


But you might want to know how we got the wood to be this pretty, beachy, color... we used Cabot Bleaching Oil. I totally recommend it. I just love how it turned out!


I really feel like it's important to make your out door space fun and a little unexpected. I found these two IKEA chairs in a Facebook yardsale group (do you have those?) for $10 each. I bought new covers for them and set them outside. Yes, they have gotten hammered out there, but I still love them and I will just store them for the Winter and buy new covers again next year.



I found this table, umbrella, benches, rug and chairs at, you guessed it, IKEA. I have been so super happy about how the table has held up. And the umbrella was such a great purchase!


I hung canvas IKEA curtains on the pergola. I am actually really surprised how well they have held up. I was planning to buy more next year but honestly I don't think I will need to. I just used some super cheep IKEA curtain rods to hang them. Are you seeing a trend? IKEA is my crack!


I hope this post has given you some ideas for your own outdoor spaces. And maybe even a little hope... if your backyard sucks as much as mine did!

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