Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Patio Planning via Pinterest

When James and I first saw our house, we were immediately sold after seeing the expansive patio, which just screamed, "Entertain on me!" "Have fabulous parties on me!" "Serve fresh heirloom tomato salads and glass upon glass of chilled rose champagne on me!" (I swear, those were its exact words.)

From our first dinner at the house to Kentucky Derby parties to impromptu late night summer gatherings around our chiminea, some of our best times at our home have occurred on our patio.

But over the years, the patio stones have become horribly disheveled, and with a future walker on our hands (as well as a first birthday party that will happen at the height of summer!), it was time to have it redone. Our mason won't get to it for a few more weeks but in the meantime, while James is busy focusing on the nitty gritty of the project, I'm sticking to my strengths and daydreaming about what I do best - accessorizing.

(Btw, this post will not include a photo of our patio in its current condition. The amount of weeds that have grown in between the stones has made me flat out avoid the area as of late.)

The photo above, from A Country Farmhouse, has been bookmarked forever. Maybe it's just the elegant lace tablecloth, wine glasses and candlesticks that makes me want to pull up a seat and wile away a Sunday afternoon with wine and conversation. But I also have my eye on those limelight hydrangea lining the back of the patio, as that is something we can totally do. We also have French doors and steps that lead out to the patio from our bedroom, and I love the potted boxwood that lead the way.

The photo above is super simple, and yet it still calls to me. Our patio is quite wide, and I love the idea of having both a seating area and an area to curl up with a good book.

One thing I told James that is a non-negotiable upon the completion of our patio is new, adult patio furniture. (Peace out, crappy IKEA stuff.) However, when it comes to a set of table and chairs, I can never make up my mind as to what kind of style I like, and we both have a hard time justifying the price of most pieces of patio furniture. (As James says, "It's wicker! How can wicker cost so much?!")

So I'll just push that decision to the back of my mind. Meanwhile, somewhere on our patio, I would love to incorporate adirondack chairs. We are adding a small wall to one corner of the patio, and I could definitely see the above photo happening.

I've used this picture before in my blog, but it's worth repeating. Also a non-negotiable? Cute patterned Sunbrella pillows.

We actually have the above lights strung around our patio (though I think the photo is taken from Restoration Hardware, while ours are of the Target variety), and I continue to love them. Miraculously, two strands (at one time we had four) have withstood multiple rain and wind storms, including the October Nor'easter that knocked down two huge trees in our yard.

We have a tree alongside the back of our patio, and I may need to string it with tiny lights. Also, James bought a few barrels similar to the ones above last summer, and I love the idea of grouping them together to serve as the base for a big table.

If we don't line the area between our house and one side of the patio with all limelight hydrangea, I'd love to do a climbing hydrangea along the side of the house instead.

If I ever get rid of my black thumb, I'd love to do some potted herbs on our patio. Is this not the prettiest display?

A couple weeks ago, I e-mailed my mom the above picture of peony tulips (did you even know such a thing existed??) (also stolen from A Country Farmhouse, btw), saying they were the prettiest flowers I've ever seen. And now, thanks to her thoughtfulness, I will be receiving two plants this coming fall - I can not wait. We have a couple of peony plants already, and these will go alongside them. (This little tidbit belongs in my post if only because they will be planted within three feet of the patio.)

Also - you can bet we'll be enjoying plenty outdoor breakfasts on the patio this summer.

As well as a strawberry and whipped cream cake. (God forbid I stray from the topic of food for too long.)

In reality though, the first item that will grace our newly refurbished patio? Or excuse me, the first two items? This little boy and his new water table. Hope he doesn't mind when his crazy mom strings that plastic blue tower with twinkle lights....

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