My mom spent a few days this week helping me refine a couple of spaces and plan out a few others which was so much fun. One of the spaces we’re planning to polish is the back patio area. It’s really close to being finished, we just need to work on a few tweaks. We need extra seating so I plan to use the bench that’s been on the front porch, I want to paint the back door, repaint the swing frame, add more lanterns, and find a way to utilize garden boxes on the back patio. The garden boxes are going to be tricky given it’s a south facing area. If you have any ideas for me, let me know.
Summer is a great time for both porching and entertaining in the back yard so I thought I would share with you a few of our favorite outdoor DIY projects we’ve completed. While we planned the space and bought most of the materials in advance we were able to finish these projects over a long weekend. Granted you do need some DIY skills (always use caution, care and seek professional help when completing projects) a carpenter or maybe even a rock star dad with knowledge of building and painting to complete these projects but a little stick-to-it-ness goes a long way. Here are a few ideas to get you started….
Give your patio or porch floor a fresh feel with paint – we painted the back patio in Valspar’s Ember
and the front porch in Glidden’s Light Gray and it really helped to bring the a more finished look to both spaces.
Create a welcoming outdoor dining space – we built this farmhouse style table with a mix of new and reclaimed boards. My only request for the table was that it fit my entire family at once and I’m excited to say all 12 of us fit nicely.
Upcycle an old work bench – when I found two of these old work benches I was elated. I painted one for the store
and the other I use on the back patio as for everything from a potting station, to a drink station to a serving station at dinner.
Add festive outdoor lighting – we used an old pocket door and added barn style lights from Lowes that I spray painted to create the lighting above the buffet. Between the lingering daylight hours and the light from the fire pit, these lights add a bit of ambience if and when dinner parties run past my bedtime.
Build a porch swing frame – I’m embarrassed to admit the porch swing sat in the garage for about a year before we hung it. I just knew I HAD to have a porch swing on the front porch and resisted any other notions. Finally, my bestie S convinced me to use the swing as extra seating on the back patio and I’m so glad she did. It took a long weekend to build the frame but the swing is now one of the most used spots on the property.
Ok, so maybe you don’t have a long weekend to finish any DIY projects but you do have an afternoon. Here’s a few projects to consider…
Make guests feel more comfortable with seating zones – creating designated seating and eating areas will help put your guests at ease whether they’re eating dinner or just popping over for a glass of sweet tea in the afternoon. It will also help to create the look of an outdoor living space which will mirror your indoor furnishings. Delineating spaces with outdoor rugs will help the area look more defined.
Plant outside the box – utilize interesting gardening containers on the porch or patio. This old rusty wheelbarrow has seen better days but I wasn’t ready to let it go. It now has a new purpose as a planter.
Fashion a serving tray, update a lazy susan or make a Dutch inspired tulip crate – creating a serving tray from a breadboard,
or building a Dutch inspired tulip crate will help to make serving guests on the front porch or back patio more efficient.
Making changes big or small to outdoor spaces will go a long way in helping you create a comfortable and inspiring home for your family and friends. It’s a great time to try out new paint colors, move some furniture around and declutter problem areas.
See you guys back here tomorrow. I’ve gotten a few questions about the chairs in my breakfast area lately so I’ll share where I found them and provide a few shopping alternatives.