A Happier Patio

Long gone are those ugly days when our patio looked like this. After months of non-stop rain, Scott and I put our excuses on the back burner. She’s much happier now.


Over Memorial Day weekend – call it a wild hair, if you will – we got off our back ends and made the rounds at Sprout and Home Depot. Sprout was our splurge (we only purchased 2 pink buddies and our hanging chenille plant), but holy cow, if we weren’t so dang cheap, we easily could have purchased all our garden loot there. Because our deck is on the second level, we’re accustomed to a sun slice for less than 5 hours a day, so shade friendly plants are our only option (if we’re going for survival here). We tend to stick with impatiens (always a safe bet), but this year we mixed in a handful of purple-like fillers – our lovely neighbors bought too many and passed ’em down – although, we’re unsure of what they’re called. Anyone know?


When we got home – in the pouring rain, no less (I kid you not) – we pushed forward. We washed our deck with a scrub brush, a jug of this stuff, and a watering can. We oiled up our furniture with Liquid Gold (side note: It was new to us, but whoa that shizz is the bomb diggity). We planted our, um, plants. And at 6 o’clock that same day, through something that can only be considered a miracle, the clouds parted. And so we barbecued.


It’s been a little more than a week, and we are excited. As in, every-five-minutes-we-fling-open-the-back-door-and-look-at-our-pretty-pretty-flowers-for-the-hundredth-time-excited. We’ve named our ca-raazy hanging plant Sully (in honor of Pixar’s best. film. ever.), but we’re not so nutty that we’ve named anything else. And maybe you even noticed that my lean, mean man sprayed a coat of glossy red on our plant holder majigs.


Our free turtle ventured outdoors too – holding up a pillar candle and set atop a sweet, sentimental table. Handmade by Scott’s grandpop, this cutie pie side table will come in handy for setting down extra drinks and nibbles.


And as first mentioned here, we finally rolled out the rug. After being closed off in a dark closet for the better part of a year, we had forgotten what it was going to look like. But hells bells, we love it.


But wait! There’s more! Our view from the bedroom window is much prettier now, yeah? Our buds are barely a week old, so of course we can’t wait to watch ’em grow like weeds (fingers crossed). Note to Scott: just be careful ’bout all the love. (Kidding.)



With those long and brutal Chicago winters, we’ve learned to treasure the heck out of our summers. Everything seems better when shared outdoors. That patio is prime real estate, baby. And to up the whole outdoor-vibey-goodness, Scott’s been on my case about adding cafe lights (of some variety), so those may make an appearance down the road. For those interested, here are the big, bad patio sources:

Table and chairs: Ikea
Tablecloth: DIY drop cloth
Pillows: Restoration Hardware
Chair pads: Ikea
Plants: Sprout and Home Depot
Planters and liners: Home Depot

How are your outdoor spaces coming along? And if you’re sans patio, where do you get your outdoor thrills? Nearby parks? The beach? Front stoops? (Man, we love a good stoop. For real.)

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  • Tina6.6.11 - 8:58 AM

    Purple like fillers could be lobelias?ReplyCancel

  • Katie6.6.11 - 9:06 AM

    I am jealous! I haven’t started on my window boxes yet, but your’s turned out so cute, I just might have to take a little inspiration! Great work!ReplyCancel

  • aleksandra6.6.11 - 9:51 AM

    oh, how i love your patio. this makes me want to do some serious work to spruce mine up. we have a kind of oddly sized deck — too large for just a table or just a lounge area, but too small for both. so we alternate between the deck looking too sparse and barren and too crowded. but, you’ve given me just the inspiration i need to just figure it out and make it work!ReplyCancel

  • Jane @ The Borrowed Abode6.6.11 - 10:35 AM

    This definitely looks fantastic – awesome job.ReplyCancel

  • Jen @ Bungalov6.6.11 - 10:38 AM

    Hi there! I love your red planter. Such a great color and compliments the flowers. I’ve been looking for a planter like that for my back stairs and have to totally look into that style and find a fun color.

    Great job!


  • Looks fantastic! I LOVE your planters! Love the whole patio!ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.6.11 - 1:10 PM

      Thanks, all!

      Jen, you should have no problem finding that planter. We got ours at Home Depot, but spray paint works wonders!ReplyCancel

  • So pretty! Great job. Gardening and patio sprucing is awesome isn’t it?ReplyCancel

  • Wow! Your patio looks so relaxing and welcoming. We don’t have patio (yet) but we’re working on getting the backyard into shape. We had zero grass and no garden beds when we moved in. It’s a slow process but it’s getting greener! I need to pick up some annuals soon to get some color mixed in.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten6.7.11 - 3:25 PM

    So darn cute. I wish we lived closer so I could see this little makeover in person. Bring on summmmmer!ReplyCancel

  • Two Pitties in the City6.7.11 - 6:25 PM

    It looks so great! Did you find the Ikea chair covers in white, or did you recover them? We have those same chairs, and we ended up with a red cover that we found in the kitchen section, but I do like the white much more. I still haven’t gotten around to the flowers, but they make such a huge difference. Like you, I wanted something nice to see from our bedroom window.ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.7.11 - 7:58 PM

      Two Pitties, thank you! After scouring the Ikea outdoor section, I was almost about to settle on 2 chair pads that were a tad too big. Then while in the checkout line, they had a big display of the perfectly small cream ones you see here! I was more excited than I probably should have been, but not only were they made for the seats we both have, but they were only $5.99 a piece (I think; I’m pretty sure). This was about a month and a half ago, so they should still be there!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly6.7.11 - 9:24 PM

    LOVE IT!! Can’t wait to hang out there next month :)ReplyCancel

  • Kelly6.8.11 - 7:33 PM

    LOVE IT! Can’t wait to enjoy it in person next month :):)ReplyCancel


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