Each year our home exterior, patio, backyard, and landscape slightly changes. Outdoor projects are costly and slow moving, but we usually try to cross one big thing off of our list each year to keeping things progressing. Exactly one year ago, we were building our shed. A few months ago we had our roof replaced, and with a little luck (and a lot of saving)– maybe we’ll be working toward a pool this time next year. Regardless of what we’re able to accomplish each year, one thing is certain- we take full advantage of our outdoor living spaces, no matter their finished or unfinished state. I thought it would be fun to photograph and share a complete tour of our outdoor living areas and exterior. From our balcony and patio to the storage shed and garden, click through for my 2021 outdoor living tour with updated sources!
We really haven’t touched our patio or worked on anything back here, aside from power washing, adding some new sod, and landscaping maintenance. Eventually, we’d like to install pavers in place of the concrete, but for now- it’s a wonderfully functional space that looks great and feels good thanks to our patio furniture and some styling.
Our concrete has a curvy ameba shape, so I knew a curved sectional with a round fire pit would best fit the footprint and provide a nice contrast for our very angular colonial home. We spend a lot of hours gathered around the fire pit (which recently got a much needed maker) and it really extends our patio season. Having a heat source adds ambiance, function, and it’s always the spot that people gravitate toward at the end of the night.
Our curved sectional came with two sets of cushion covers (for no extra charge)… it came standard with the tan, and then you can also pick a slipcover color. I went with white slipcovers (they’re easy to clean since they’re outdoor rated), but this year I decided to switch things up and leave the tan cushions out, for the sake of a different look. Which do you prefer? Check out the white in this post.
THE OUTDOOR DINING SPACE
We share many meals at our outdoor dining table. We’re the friends in our circle who always host spring & summer dinner parties and barbecues. We’re the house that people gather at to hang outside. In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve never hosted a dinner party indoors… it’s always right here under the pergola.
Our dining set traveled with us from our previous home and is holding up great after all these years- I still love it! Remember when it used to live under our carport? In the evening hours, this spot really comes alive and feels magical under the twinkling lights… golden hour is my favorite!
The pergola was here when we moved in and having gone from a wood pergola to this one- I really like the white against all of the greenery in our sunken backyard. It’s a nice contrast. It’s also easy to clean and maintain with an annual power wash, since it’s vinyl.
I’m still loving and using our outdoor bar cart (which has sadly been discontinued). It comes in very handy for entertaining, as you can wheel it around. I often use it as a drink station, a spot for dessert, or simply style it as a place to house extra dishes or candles.
Most things found in our outdoor dining area are old, but I’ll try to link and update as many sources as I can! It’s a bummer the bluestone greyhound statue has also been discontinued, because it’s a favorite of mine. I bet you could find a vintage one!
THE BEDROOM BALCONY
Our bedroom balcony hasn’t changed since its initial makeover. This will be our third summer using the space since I painted and bought furniture for the space. I probably spend more time outside in this area than any of our outdoor living spaces combined. I often work from my laptop at the bistro table. Emmett & I will also have cocktails or wine out here in the evening, and occasionally food or appetizers. It’s the best place on our property to watch the sunset, since our backyard and patio is sunken. It has beautiful mountain views, and looks out past the golf course. Did you know we live on a golf course? Oddly enough, I’ve never been golfing… like ever (unless you count Top Golf, ha!).
We’re not exactly sure how many months or years this space has left before we tear the entire thing down and rebuild it. When buying our home, the inspector pointed out significant water damage under one of the front columns. Each year the area grows softer and we know it’s only a matter of time before we need to address it or it becomes very unsafe. For now, it’s fine to use and I keep the black planter (pictured above) over the soft spot, but eventually when we rebuild- we’d like to expand the balcony and make it larger, since this area sees so much use.
The balcony also gives us a great view of our beautiful newly tiled roof. It certainly has a European feel to it that is fun to gaze out and admire. I really underestimated how much we would enjoy having this little outdoor space off of our primary bedroom. Not going to lie- I usually brush my teeth out here (I’m a walk around while brushing type of person), which Emmett thinks is SO weird and gross. Anyway, I like starting the day with fresh air and a picturesque view. Can you blame me?
I won’t share too many images of the garden since I just posted the tour a few weeks ago and nothing has changed, but it’s a corner I consistently gravitate toward and enjoy spending time in. From watering plants to plucking berries, what used to be wasted space has since turned into one of my favorite spots.
We started the space last year, did the majority of the dirt work, leveling, and heavy lifting… then this spring it really came together when I added cohesive planters and a few outdoor pieces of furniture.
My favorite part of our garden is pulling produce and herbs for our homemade pizza nights. I look forward to it every Friday. The garden also feels very nostalgic to me since it’s something I grew up doing a lot of on our farm. There’s something so special about nurturing a plant and producing your own food.
THE STORAGE SHED
Exactly one year ago, I was designing our shed, and shortly after we began the building process. I’m so happy we decided to take the DIY route instead of the readymade or kit route because our storage shed is truly my favorite! It’s charming, functional, and feels like it enhances the look of our yard and property. It just belongs, which was my goal! Luckily, we had leftover roofing tiles, so we were able to have the roofers install them on the shed. It feels like they were meant to be and really add another cohesive element to our home.
You know I have a strong love for my window planters! My flower boxes are thriving and I’m really happy with how they came together this year. I probably should’ve cleaned the hard water from the sprinklers off of the windows before photographing, but hey- that’s real life, and I never keep up with it since it’s just a storage shed and nobody is looking in or out.
I get quite a few questions about our solar sconces and they’re still working well! We don’t have electrical out here (maybe someday if we get a pool), but these are a great option for outdoor areas that need a little extra light or a decorative and functional fixture.
We replaced our front door a couple years ago, and it made a huge difference for our front exterior. I’m working on a big roof post for you that will share our entire exterior, as it currently looks! I’m just waiting for the roof company to email me some images, so I can share all the details, so stay tuned if you’re interested in seeing that.
Shortly after our front door replacement, one of our garage doors broke, so we ended up replacing both garage doors as well (from white to black with windows). I never blogged about that, but once this side of the house is “finished” and looking more like my vision, I’ll be sure to gather up all the images, the process, and share each phase. Outdoor projects are such a process!
We still have the patio chairs I painted last year in our front, side yard. They haven’t moved and can be seen hanging out in the landscaping island. The other two are in our storage shed, and if we ever get a pool someday- I’d love to style the four of them around a table together.
Curious to see how things changed over the course of a year? Click here for last year’s tour! I feel incredibly lucky that our home and property has so many outdoor living opportunities and is surrounded by wildlife (I see at least 15+ deer a day) and mountain views. If you’ve been around for awhile now, you know Emmett & I are all about the outdoors- that’s the entire reason we moved to Utah. We spend as much time as we can outside and really treat out outdoor areas as extended living space. While we’ve only crossed a small portion of things off of our exterior & outdoor to-do list and have big plans for the future, I’m pretty proud of how far things have come and the improvements we’ve made thus far. In the short years we’ve lived here, we’ve already made so many memories in these beautiful spaces, and they’ve been fun to share with you.
Do you take advantage of your outdoor living spaces? Was that a big selling point when you were house hunting? It certainly was for us. Here’s to a great week ahead, with hopefully good weather to allow us some time outside! Let me know if you’d like a blog post link or source for anything- I’m sure I missed some things. Have a great day!