Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Let's Take This Outside

The weather in Dallas has been phenomenal for most of March, and now April as well. No better time to share with you my outdoor space...and ideas I have for its "redo" as well.

The Patio
I moved into a townhouse with outdoor space on every level. A relatively large patio (for the size of the home), a small standing balcony on the 2nd level, and a large covered balcony on the 3rd level. I originally pulled up the nice brick patio to seed grass for the dogs to have a quick place to potty. I almost immediately regretted this decision as the dogs were constantly tracking in mud and poo. (I should have kept the brick patio!) It was terrible! I eventually gave up on the grass and installed artificial turf. My parents have this in their backyard as well as at my father's clinic. It stays green all year long and requires no watering except to wash it down to avoid causing an odor. Picking up after the dogs is actually much easier on the turf than actual grass too. This has saved my floors and my mind! The only problem with the turf comes in the fact that it gets EXTREMELY hot in the summer. It burns the dogs' feet and it makes the whole area a big sauna. In Dallas, the summers are hot all by themselves so adding that additional heat isn't healthy for the dogs (nor is it energy efficient when all the heat seems to beam straight into the house). To remedy the situation, I purchased a pergola (complete with a shade) that I hope to get put together soon.

The original patio (previous owner's furniture).

First try with just the grass. Looked fabulous...for a while. And then the grass died because the water couldn't keep up with the heat last summer.

When the workers laid the slate, they spread it out more than I would have liked, I just haven't taken the time to move them myself. That big box is my pergola waiting to be assembled.

 And I can't wait to fill those empty flower pots with caladiums and potato vine! It's just so LUSH in the summer!

While last year's grass died, the caladiums took over! This was taken just a couple days before some unknown animal devoured my potato vine...and I mean ALL of it.

I'm thinking the simple little bench currently sitting in the corner also needs an update. Perhaps a wide chaise lounge or at least a deeper, more comfortable bench? It does neighbor the grill, so perhaps a little bistro set ould be perfect for enjoying hot burgers off the grill...

Or maybe I'll take movie night outdoors? Pottery Barn has outdone itself again, and I want to be a part of it!

The Balcony
It currently consists of my old patio furniture (that I've had for YEARS now) that definitely needs a new coat of paint. But what I really want is all new patio furniture. Something more updated and chic. I want to create a little outdoor room complete with outdoor curtains--a little outdoor oasis.

The current balcony. I've always loved this furniture and obviously the black and white, I just don't find myself taking the time to enjoy it.

I'm thinking some black and white curtains on the outside of the balcony would provide chic shade, and make the balcony a more comfortable place during the hot summer days in Dallas.

I like the idea of a "conversation" porch. Something simple with a couple chairs and a table--a place to curl up with a good book or a glass (or an entire carafe) of wine.

I have loved the Pottery Barn outdoor furniture look for some time. I think a cute sectional would find a great home on my balcony...if I can find the right size.
Oh the idea of a sleeping porch! It feels so much like summer camp, and it seems like such a perfect way to enjoy spring nights!

A bit too rugged to fit in my space, but it looks so fabulous. Perhaps I can create a more refined version of my own?

The slate gets extremely hot in the 5 o'clock summer sun, so I will "have to" have a rug. This one comes from Home Decorators.

And since there's already a light overhead, perhaps a hanging lantern would be fun as well!

I'm thinking this combination is begging someone to take a nice long afternoon nap.

So what do you think?

For the patio: a small bistro set for dining or a larger bench for lounging? Or scrap it all together and make the lounge space for movie night? Don't forget space for the caladiums!

For the balcony: A conversation porch with a couple chairs and table, a sectional sofa for napping, or the sleeping porch with perhaps even a "floor bed"?

Summer is so close, I'm almost obsessed with the idea of this new project!


  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

    I love all of your inspiration photos! That movie night looks fabulous..I think you should do that. :P

    I think you should choose whatever you think you will get the most use of. We have a loveseat, coffee tables, and 2 chairs on our deck that we usually almost every night during the summer...can't wait to drag them out!

  2. Whoa you have a lot of ideas of what to do! Personally I would go with a large bench and keep it simple rather than going for the movie night thing. It looks good and you can actually get outdoors.

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