When I was a child, the end of the school year brought a summer that seemed to stretch on forever. Weeks and weeks of swimming, visiting out-of-town family, summer camp, and dining alfresco on picnic food and BBQ’s. Those three months were idyllic, and by the time school started in the fall, getting back into a routine and seeing all of the classmates you hadn’t seen all summer was super exciting. Flash forward to the present, and summer seems to last about 20 minutes…especially this year!
We started out June hosting a bridal shower for daughter Robyn. Less than three weeks later was her beautiful wedding to Michael. A week after that was my 50th class reunion, which had been in the planning process for a full year. It was so much fun and a joy to celebrate with classmates who came from near and far, and my next post will be on the table decorations that I did for that event. The day after the reunion, we left on a three-week vacation in Europe. Whew, it was a whirlwind! So, while everyone is decorating early for fall and posting about pumpkin spice latte’s, I say “slow your roll. It’s still summer, and I want more time to sip sweet tea on my newly upgraded patio.”
Our covered patio was beginning to look a little tired and outdated. The orange floral pillows that I loved several years ago were faded and a little haggard. Since this patio reaches across most of our living spaces and is visible from the kitchen, great room, and master bedroom, haggard is not the look I’m going for here. Time to sprinkle a little pixie dust on this space. The green cushions that came with our patio set were somewhat faded, but after pricing new ones, my husband and I agreed that we could make them work for another year. Did I mention the wedding ($$) and trip to Europe ($$$)?
A few days later, while in the garden center at Walmart, we found the most beautiful pots by Better Homes and Garden. They had black, cream, and green and I just loved them. Armed with a large and medium size, I knew I had found my inspiration. These pots would work well with the green cushions and black accents already in place. Now all I needed were some pillows. (Insert wide-eyed emoji here!!)
My love, or what some may call an obsession, with pillows is well documented and probably needs a 12-step program. So, when I want to change up a scheme, pillows and fabrics are my go-to solution. After looking at the ready-made outdoor pillows at the garden departments at Target, Walmart and Home Depot, it was clear these were going to need to be custom. Enter Etsy. I simply adore Etsy for many reasons, but one is that you can search for green, cream and black floral pillows and about 300 options come up. You can check the heart to add them to your favorites, and at the end, go through and curate them all until you have the look you’re going for. Some sellers even put groupings together to make it easy for you to create a complementary blend. They look like this:
In this case, I found two complimentary modern florals, of which I purchased two of each, and then went to the black and white houndstooth, again ordering two of them, to add contrast and geometric flare. Lastly, I was able to reuse a green lumbar that was existing on the patio, and the pillow story was complete. I only ordered the pillow covers, which mail nice and flat and are ready to fill with inserts when they arrive. For these pillow covers, I ordered the same size covers as the Sunbrella orange pillows, so they became the inserts for new covers. Smart, eh?
Although I do not receive sponsored blog posts, Etsy is just such a wonderful platform for so many things that I want to call them out. If you haven’t tried Etsy yet, I would highly recommend it. One thing that really resonates with me is that, in most cases, you are supporting a handmade crafter sell their wares, with products made in the United States. Since many great companies were started at someone’s kitchen table, buying from Etsy makes them a real win-win in my book. And now, more about the patio!
After filling the new pots with greenery, some real and some artificial, and placing the amazing pillows around, the patio was almost transformed. One detail I still needed to fix was the orange floral cafe curtain that hides bags of potting mix, tools, and fertilizer under the potting bench. The orange was no bueno, so I found a black and white ticking strip cafe curtain on Amazon, and it worked perfectly.
The last steps were to move some wall decor around and add the Lobster sign we found at a thrift shop in Idaho. My husband grew up lobstering in Portsmouth New Hampshire with his grandfather who lived next store, so this was a great fit. Lucky for us, it was black and cream to fit into our theme:) A few more plants and candles and this patio refresh was done!
These simple patio updates not only make a significant difference in how the patio looks both day and night, but it was also incredibly affordable. The Etsy pillows came to $141.11 for six handmade pillow covers, the cafe curtain was $20.60, and the pots were about $14 and $18 for the two sizes. The vintage lobster sign came in at $30, making the grand total about $225. Everything else was existing, making this project was a very good bang for the buck.
I hope I have shown you how simple changes can make a huge difference to a space, whether inside or out. These same concepts can be followed in any room of your home, by working with what you have and bringing in a few new, on-trend additions. I think you will be amazed at how, for a small investment, you can fall in love with your spaces all over again. Sometimes all it takes is a little pixie dust…I mean pillows, (Cue another wide-eyed emoji, please), and a little inspiration.
Fall will be here soon enough, with its pumpkin spice lattes and rustling leaves. In the meantime, we are not rushing things. You can find us on our newly updated patio, sipping some sweet tea, and enjoying these last few weeks of summer!