Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Patio Facelift

I'm linking up with Jen at I HEART Organizing today.  She issued a challenge for the month of June to organize and update an outdoor space. Follow the link to see lots of fun outdoor updates.

We have lived in our house for seven summers now, and my patio was looking a little tired.

I divided the patio into a sitting area and an eating area, with a path between to the pool gate (between the brick columns on the right), and that traffic pattern has worked perfectly, so I knew I wasn't changing the layout.

Summers in AZ are harsh, and the crushing temperatures are brutal on outdoor furnishings. A few things are wearing out, like the area rugs, bamboo blinds and mesh curtains. Some things are fading or splitting, like the seat cushions. And other things--well, let's be honest, I'm ready to change just because that's who I am and nothing is permanent around here.

This wasn't the summer to go all-out and replace expensive items, but I knew that a quick facelift would be just what this space needed for the abuse it takes all summer long.

A few things in this space I love, like this little cupboard.
I found it on Craigslist six years ago (when it and its sister were transformed--read about the transformation here), and it was the perfect size for the cove between the back door and the window. It holds the towels, goggles, sunscreen, bug spray, and more towels. It's not very cute inside, but it takes a lot of abuse from kids impatient to swim.
Since it is in a protected corner of the patio, it has weathered well, and I knew it was staying put. Why mess with organizational perfection?

I also love the big clock on the wall and this little area to hang towels.
I found the zinc letters on clearance at Anthropologie at least five years ago, and they still look brand new.

So--layout was the same, furniture the same.  What did I do?

First, I scrubbed the whole area with a hose, dusted off the cobwebs, and washed the rugs. Then I made a quick run to HomeGoods, and for less than $100, I had updated the entire area.
Isn't Hyrum cute?  He said he was helping me by sitting in the picture and showing people how we use the patio.  Cute kid who has been raised with a blogger for a mom. 

I had the straw trays laying around my entry way for months, looking for a home.  Now they're hanging on the wall, and they're home, and they're happy.
What really made the difference are the pops of orange--the tray on the table, the patterned pillow in the seating area, the orange vase. I found all of them at HomeGoods.
 Even my baby cactus is orange.  I love succulents, but they are hard to keep alive out there.  Every year I end up replacing about half of this pot.
Do you ever do things just because you know that it will look good for a photo?  I hope I'm not alone in that. I bought these flowers for the primary reason that they matched my planned photo shoot.  And aren't they cute?  Let it be said that flowers cannot live outside in AZ for more than five minutes in the summer, and these were quickly whisked away into cooler climes. (Recognize them, E and A?)

I have gone through phases in my decorating where I will buy things just to fill up a space RIGHT NOW.  I'm slowly outgrowing it, and I'm beginning to see how much joy I feel when I'm surrounded only by things I love.  This statue, for some reason, really spoke to me--something about her I just love.

Not a huge organization project.  Not any big purchases.  Not much different from before, but it feels so much happier, cozier, and better. I never thought it would only take a shot of orange to perk me right up.

Thanks for the challenge, Jen.  My patio and I needed it!


  1. love the orange, Jen...just what the space needed. I too would have been drawn to that statue!

  2. Wow - very nice & the pops of orange really do make the difference.

  3. Love this! The colors are perfect! And really makes it more inviting - crazy how small touches can do that! :)
    Jason and I are having a house built (at Ellsworth and Chandler Heights area)- and we were talking about places to get furniture. I mentioned the Mesa Auction and we both were a little overwhelmed at the thought. I chimed in and said, "You know, Jenny Denton goes to the Auction and she's mentioned on her blog that she would be willing to go sometime to show the ropes." It may have been an empty invitation - but I may take you up on it! :) (Though it won't be for a while - our house won't be done until September, I think...we are living in a temporary place until then). HOpe you're doing well! :)

  4. looks so tidy. i'm ready to throw out all of the kids toys today. everybody watch out and pass the salted caramel brownies:) it's just that kind of a day.

  5. What a beautiful little facelift you did! Orange is my favorite color! And my other favorite...Hyrum showing us how you USE the patio....too cute!

  6. Good job on taking on the challenge! It’s wise of you not to replace your items. Why spend when cleaning and rearranging your furniture can be enough to do the trick? Sometimes, a makeover simply comprises dusting, scrubbing and patching-up the old and worn out stuff.

    German Zollinger @ Total Clean Equipment

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