Decorating Outdoor Living Spaces

sensational summer blog hop, giveaway and link party @diyshowoff

Summer is my favorite season of all – warm weather, long days and relaxing outdoors.  We enjoy our patio, gazebo/grape arbor and barn patio area more than being indoors this time of the year. And I love decorating our outdoor living spaces just as much as I love decorating indoors. 

gazebo @diyshowoff

Pops of color: Because I love to change things up every year, I find that keeping larger furniture pieces neutral works best since we tend to use them for 10 years or more at a time and to decorate with colorful accents. 

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

Planting flowers breathes life and color into outdoor living areas. This year it’s shades of yellows, oranges, pinks and reds. 

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

Colorful accent pillows are an invitation to get comfy and kick back with a frosty glass of lemonade. I like lots of pillows to soften things up.

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

Decorative accents: 

Fun planters add a whimsical touch. (pallet, chandelier, tire)…

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

I recently spray painted a colander to add balance to the planters displayed in our magnolia tree …

DIYShowOff Colander Planter

Repurposed items add interest. (bird feeder, bundt pan, birdie garland)…

DIY tea cup candle sconce bird feeder tutorial @diyshowoff patio umbrella table planter/centerpiece (repurposed bundt pan) @diyshowoff How to make a birdie garland at diyshowoff.com

Furniture placement:

I love creating different cozy conversational areas like under the grape arbor for catching up with friends on this little bistro set

Bistro Set Makeover @diyshowoff

swinging with the baby…

sensational summer blog hop, giveaway and link party @diyshowoff

or positioning our canopied porch swing into a daybed position for curling up with a good book or a sweet pup…

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

al fresco dining near the kitchen door and grill…

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff  

areas to encourage conversation…

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

 The flowers in my pallet garden have sprouted but aren’t visible yet. 

outdoor living space and patio @diyshowoff

For entertaining, we set up a buffet on the harvest table at our barn area with outdoor games in the yard near by. We add rental tables and chairs in the shade for large gatherings, a smaller comfortable area for more intimate parties. I haven’t tackled de-winterizing yet, but here’s now it usually looks all cleaned up…

barn party patio party patio

To celebrate the start of summer we have an AWESOME Sensational Summer Outdoor Spaces Cash Giveaway for you! Enter to win $300 PayPal CASH! 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit more outdoor spaces/outdoor living inspiration from these talented blog friends: 

Setting for Four

Sand and Sisal

Domestically Speaking

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Cupcakes and Crinoline

DIY Show Off

At the Picket Fence

StoneGable

Debbie Doos

Redhead Can Decorate

On Sutton Place

Clean and Scentsible

Yesterday on Tuesday

Top This Top That

Town and Country Living 

And a link party too! Share your summer related blog posts, browse the links for more inspiration!  
OH! And you’re going to need this for your outdoor living areas too! Chemical-free DIY outdoor spray. I just whipped up a batch for my mosquito-magnet hubby and love that I can use it on the dog too! 

essential oils DIY outdoor spray recipe

 

Grape Arbor Gazebo Makeover

The grape arbor gazebo has been a work in progress for years. DIY takes patience sometimes, my friends. Especially when you’re working as time and money allow. I can’t tell you how GOOD it feels to have it complete! Grape Arbor Gazebo Makeover

Let’s start at the beginning. When we purchased our home, we loved the grape arbor’s size and maturity.

  grape arbor before

See those poles? Very, very rustic and home to some critters even…hello! chipmunk

As much as I love rustic and as cute as it looks in the picture below, it felt like a tetanus shot just waiting to happen not to mention, 6’2″ Mr. DIY had to duck to walk beneath it. 

So the rebuilding process took place. Most of the roots to the vines are on the one side. We sort of ‘peeled’ those back one section at a time while a gazebo was installed in the center and more study wooden frame was built on each side. 
 
Mr. DIY and family {thanks, Butch!} built up the new wood structure around the old rusty iron skeleton, lifting and shifting the grapes in the process before removing the old iron poles. 
 
Rebuilding can be stressful but the grapes survived! Maybe they were even a little grapeful (haha!) for the home makeover. 
 
 
Beautiful! But then all that gorgeous-ness didn’t go with the overgrown messy underneath. 
And that’s where this summer’s DIY project of installing a recycled brick patio and path came into play. 
 
See the recycled brick patio and walkway tutorial for more details about the transformation and steps Mr. DIY took to install it with his own two hands. Great job, honey! xoxo
 
Once he finished the brick patio and walkways, it was time for some landscaping. I didn’t know where to start. I was so overwhelmed with the size, the work that it would involve. Plants intimidate me. So, the decision was made to hire professionals for weed clean up, planting, edging and mulching. 
 
The view from our kitchen French doors: 
Worth every penny. 
Wow! It was a treat to watch what a team of 5-6 landscaping professionals with the right tools can accomplish in 3 hours. Yes. I said ‘three hours’. This would have taken me months of backbreaking labor. My back hurts just thinking about it. 
Now I feel like I can maintain this area, plant more, decorate. And just enjoy every square inch. 
Isn’t it pretty? So romantic. So quiet and peaceful. 
 
I’ve been window-shopping for furniture and ideas but will likely wait until spring. I’ve had the sheer drapes for years but this year, they look the best they ever have. 
 
And scary… {ghost tutorial}
haha!
 
The back yard before…
The back yard now…
Grape arbor now.  
I can’t wait for the plants to fill in. I’ll be adding a few here and there this week too. Maybe something that will come up in the spring.
 
Now when you visit, we have a place to talk and catch up. Weather permitting.  DIY brick patio
 
Do you have a special outdoor area at your home?