one room challenge, Uncategorized


Friends, I am super happy today, because phase one of our backyard refresh is DONE. Next month, we will add the sunken gravel fire pit, and we can celebrate again! Woohoo!

Priorities with this project:

  • A new outdoor dining space (my request)
  • Additional lounge seating (Jay’s request)
  • No permanent, major or expensive changes because we have an actual patio renovation planned for next year. (Jay’s request)
  • No furnishings that need tarping, and still look nice without cushions. (my request)
  • A design that flows from the family room space, and also works with the Tudor Revival exterior of the home. (we both agree here)
  • Beautiful but practical fabrics. (all me)
  • Minding supply chain issues and buying second-hand when possible.

The design inspiration came from images of outdoor spaces that I have curated of English and French Gardens. There, we see certain elements consistently repeated.

  • Stone, gravel, perennial shrubs,
  • Outdoor furnishings in natural finishes,
  • Weathered metal and wood.
  • Nothing feels too precious.
  • That charming grey-green-blue color that shows up on windows and doors and shutters, nearly every time.

Which is how we got here:

After: a Euro-inspired backyard patio
This acacia wood table is the came wood tone from the mantle in our family room.
The dark all-weather wicker chairs repeat the house trim color. The seat cushions are all high-performance Sunbrella fabric.
These vintage natural rattan chairs were a Facebook Marketplace steal at $100 for all four. Chipping and scaly, they weren’t much to look at, but I was able to bring them back to life. The topiary was rescued from the clearance rack at Lowes, ready for the landfill. He’s coming back just fine.
I feel like I’m on vacation. The lavender trees in matching weathered cement pots bring nature to the table, but don’t obstruct anyone’s view. They get the perfect amount of full and dappled sunlight all afternoon.
Door is painted Wedgewood Gray by Benjamin Moore.

Removing the old crusty storm door and repainting this original paned wooden back door added the touch of European garden I was looking for. The tiny weathered chair that sits on the stoop was another Marketplace find. It’s perfectly weathered.

Mandevilla vines climb the weathered frame of an old greenhouse window. I also added wires to help train the vines. And snuck in a little fountain for ambience. The Savafieh canvas sling foot rests are sturdy and convenient, and were a last minute Walmart find.
The view from my office is much nicer these days.
The gate between our garage and the house. It leads to the backyard. I trained another vine to climb between the window boxes. Next year, I hope to have a planter built into the walkway, so we can plant climbing hydrangea instead, which are perennial and grow well in central Ohio. While the garage was built new only 7 years ago, the previous owners used salvaged leaded windows that are roughly the same age as the ones on our house. I love that detail.
More natural textures. Chambray Linen napkins, stoneware plates, woven grass charger, and vintage linen tablecloth.

True story: I picked up this tablecloth at an antique mall a couple months ago. I’d by lying if I said she didn’t influence this entire photoshoot. LOL

Where possible, I used perennials (In pots to overwinter before we we re-landscape) I favored wispy, unruly plants that felt like they could be a natural part of the landscape.
We installed lights from the house out to the tree across the yard and back. We tried them out last night for the first time. I can’t wait to take more photos when we have it properly set up for the evening!

Shall we peek at where we started?

Before, in the harsh light of day. Literally.

I promise to update it soon with links. For now, I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine and put my feet up, and enjoy our little backyard escape.

Thank you for following along on this journey. I truly appreciate all of the cheerleading and warm feedback. This is an incredible community.

A major thank you to the coordinators of this 2021 Spring One Room Challenge. There is something pretty amazing about hundreds of people participating in a before and after party! Also, special thanks to Better Homes and Gardens, as the media sponsor.

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Make sure to see the amazing reveals from the featured designers and check out the ORC guest participant (like me!) reveals as well.

Thanks for cheering me on along the way! Have a fantastic weekend!

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3 thoughts on “ORC Week 8: REVEAL TIME”

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