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05.30.14 / Inside Out

inside out 1

We finally dragged out the outdoor furniture we bought last year after finishing the deck. You can read more about how we stored the furniture during the winter here. In the fall, I washed the cushion covers (they’re removable) then placed them in plastic bags in the attic along with the cushions themselves. We stacked the rattan bases on top of each other, covered them with quality covers found here then pushed them up against the house under a deep eave to protect them as much as possible.

inside out 5

The furniture looks great and we survived one of the worst winters ever so I think this storage method was a success! The real test will be this summer. We only had the furniture set up for a few weeks during late summer / early fall last year so it didn’t see a ton of action. I’m curious to see how it holds up.

inside out 2

We have plans to build and hang a simple trellis / screen to hide the electric meter. I also think it would be fun and practical to install a shelf just below the kitchen window. We could serve drinks through the window or use it for easy clean-up after dining outside.

inside out 3

The stool I spray painted gold has held up well over the last year. I stored it in the garage over the winter months. We carried the heavy Crate & Barrel planter inside to keep the plants alive over the winter. It hung out in our mudroom all winter. One succulent died but the jade and fern are going strong. I KEPT SOMETHING ALIVE.

inside out 6

I’m drawing a blank on this planter next to the arm chair. We’ve had it a while. I pulled it out of the garage and planted something labeled “ground cover” in it. (A botanist I am not.) I was drawn to the texture. Still am.

inside out 4

When the outdoor furniture arrived last year, I wasn’t keen on the coffee table. Mostly because everything was so matchy-matchy. But I think it has grown on me. (I stored the glass top in the attic over the winter.)

The planter on the table came from a local nursery. I wasn’t really looking for a planter but the minute I saw it I wanted it. I made myself wait a week then I went back and bought it because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I have no idea what I planted in it. Just some cheap leafy things I found at Home Depot that said they could survive in part / full sun. Again, I was sold on the various textures.

inside out 7

The deck is awesome. It could use a good scrub. We backfilled and reseeded around it. With frequent waterings and kids in the mix, it’s a little lot dirty. But I have no intentions of cleaning it only to have it muddied up ten minutes later so I’ll wait until the grass starts coming in. Even dirty, it’s our favorite spot to hang out these days. To keep the lightweight furniture from sliding across the deck, we added gripper pads to the feet and plastic clamps to the frames of adjacent pieces. They’re working like a charm! I ordered some throw pillows for the sectional because it’s not “bringing the inside out” without bringing the pillows.

Putting in the deck last summer was so much work but knowing we’ll never have to maintain it (other than a scrub here and there) makes it totally worth it.

inside out 8

I set up the furniture on the dining patio. It’s all holding up well so far. There was some concern over the DIY wood art withstanding the elements but it looks the same as it did a year ago. It helps that it’s protected by a deep overhang. We haven’t busted out the globe lights – yet! I want to build wood frames around the concrete bases of the light poles we made.

inside out 9

Guess what. I KEPT ANOTHER SOMETHING ALIVE. I bought the succulent centerpiece at Ikea last spring. It lived outside on the dining table all summer then inside on our kitchen island all winter. What is going on?! I kinda miss having greenery on the island now but if I buy something where does this happy lil’ guy live next winter?

inside out 10

We fired up the pit for the first time this past weekend and made s’mores. (Um, have you tried dark chocolate on your s’mores yet? It’s a must.) The kids LOVED it. I think I birthed three pyros. After posting about the portable pit last week, I heard from a few people who said they had the same / similar pit and it scorched the grass beneath it and rusted out after only a few years. Since the fire pit was a gift from family, we’re hoping to make it last as long as possible.

inside out 11

I bought nine 1′ x 1′ concrete pavers from Home Depot. It cost me less than $15 for all nine. Steve dug up the grass under the pit and transplanted it to random bare spots in the backyard. Then he leveled the ground and laid the pavers in a square. Now there’s no fear of the grass under the pit catching fire and it gives the pit a nice, even surface to rest on. Since the pavers are flush with the ground, it’s easy to mow over and isn’t a tripping hazard. If / when the fire pit konks out, we’ll probably just build a new pit with smaller pavers right on top of the square ones.

The folding patio chairs were a hit! We fought over them. I immediately ordered two more that very night. Steve’s only complaint was that the back isn’t tall enough for him to rest his head on and fall asleep. I told him he shouldn’t be sleeping around a fire + kids. We all know what Mabrey’s capable of

So that’s how things are looking in the backyard these days. It’s extra living space! I’ll be sure to share updates (trellis / screen, window shelf, pillows!, globe lights, light pole bases, more fire pit seating, maybe a portable shade cover?) when we make them.

How are you bringing the inside out?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

41 Comments

I am a bit overwhelmed with our backyard this first spring in our new house. I love seeing what you have done to transform yours to more living space. I am going to see how we use or want to use the space this year. I am sure I will have a long list of things to do come Fall.

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30.May.2014

Next time try coconut marshmallows with the dark chocolate. They take s’mores to a whole new level!

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Whaaaaat?! I love coconut.

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30.May.2014

I have found that with the fire pit type things that heat takes the finish off and then the rain can get in and get to rusting, as well as the ash being very alkakline (think how soap can take off paint). I think that you can make them last longer if you use potbelly stove paint on them occasionally and dont let them sit in the rain to rust, but you have to weigh up how mush they cost and how much maintainence you want to do :-)

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Good to know about the stove paint. Maybe we’ll try it to give the pit longer life.

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30.May.2014

I love your outdoor space. And that wood artwork is absolutely stunning and I’m so glad to hear it survived the terrible winter. Here’s to many more nights outside.

http://jax-and-jewels.blogspot.com

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30.May.2014

I look forward to what you have to share, every single day. I love your genuine style. Just wanted you to know how much you’re enjoyed :)

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Thanks Kate. You made my day ;)

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30.May.2014

The planter on the table makes me squirmy with jealousy. I, too, would have stalked it. Pottery with rough, irregular glaze sends me to my happy place. PS, that means that your deck is now my happy place. See you there later. I’ll bring the boozy lemonade and snacks.

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Yessssssss.

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Have you put a Reese on your s’more? Pretty much my most favorite thing during the summer. I love your patio furniture – such a transformation back there!

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Mind. Blown.

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30.May.2014

I second the comment above—I always enjoy reading your posts. I love this mix of outdoor/design/fashion/family of your blog. And wow- that deck seems well worth the effort! I also live in the Midwest, and after this horrific winter, I promised myself I would enjoy my outdoor areas more this summer and fall! Looking forward to seeing what you do to cover the meter box. I too have a couple areas I’d like to mask around my deck area. I’ve had some luck with annual seeds and trellises in the past covering those types of unsightly things. Looking forward to seeing what you do.
http://www.pardonthenoob.com/2014/05/seeds101.html

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[…] can see Dana’s patio one year later, including that lovely wood wall art on her […]

30.May.2014

I can’t wait to see your finished light poles. I was just outside watering flowers on our back patio thinking about how much I wanted to hang some lights but wasn’t sure what to attach them too that didn’t look random. Replace your graham crackers with chocolate chip cookies. Yum!!!

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Okay, that’s it, I’m gonna write a post asking for suggestions for s’mores alternative ingredients!

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30.May.2014

Love your post. Where did your outdoor table (the dining one) come from? I really like the setup.

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Home Depot. Read more about it here…

http://ext.homedepot.com/community/blog/family-friendly-outdoor-dining-space/

We had an issue with the finish becoming sticky after the first rain. I contacted Home Depot and they sent me some solution to wipe all over the table which remedied the situation but, still, thought you should know ;)

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Thanks so much!

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replied on June 1st, 2014

Thanks for the great post and blog! What was the name of the solution for the table. I want to buy one but bases on reviews I want to make sure I can remedy the problem of the table coating.

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

I don’t think it has a name. I believe it was specifically developed for the problem that arose after the table was manufactured. I am in FL right now but when I get back to Ohio I will comment here with a better description of the solution’s label. If I remember correctly, it kinda smelled like nail polish remover. I think Home Depot customer service said there was a problem with the coating not curing properly.

30.May.2014

Love it all!

How comfortable would you say the small white Ikea chairs are? They’re just what I’m looking for but we don’t have an Ikea here in Nashville for me to go check them out at. I want people to be able to sit and enjoy themselves at dinner and not be thinking about their sore bum 30 minuts in :)

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replied on May 30th, 2014

We’ve had the solid plastic chairs (not the woven plastic ones) for about five years. I used them indoors in the dining area of our previous house. They are SO KID-FRIENDLY! They clean up like new with a Magic Eraser. They are super sturdy, too. I wouldn’t say they are the most comfortable chairs but they definitely aren’t UNcomfortable either. Sitting for dinner + conversation shouldn’t be an issue. If you’re worried, you could always add seat cushions to them. For what it’s worth, I have no plans to replace them anytime soon.

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30.May.2014

That’s it. I need some succulent bowls. It’s now on my weekend to do list.

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I love how your outdoor space is coming together. It looks fabulous.

We are sprucing our outdoor place up too. I got a fantastic deal on some new chairs for our fire pit on memorial day. I am a a fellow s’more lover.

http://shiftctrlart.com/Blogpost/uo2r/Great-finds-Memorial-day-sale-shopping-for-a-patio-spruceup

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replied on May 30th, 2014

Ooooh…great deal!

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30.May.2014

What nursery did you get the planter on the table from??? I love it!!!

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replied on May 31st, 2014

Bern’s in Beavercreek!

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31.May.2014

Love your lightweight outdoor chairs. Care to share where you picked them up?

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replied on May 31st, 2014

Which ones? All of the outdoor dining chairs are from Ikea.

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03.June.2014

Yay for keeping things alive!! I think adding a shelf under the kitchen window is a GREAT idea. Cant wait to see how this space progresses over the summer months:)

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03.June.2014

What do you do with the couch cushions when it rains? I always find that neither option, is a good option. Either you remove them every time you are done with them that day (in case of a surprise shower) or they get soaking wet and you can’t use them. That’s my hesitation in owning something like this.

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replied on June 3rd, 2014

The sectional sits a few feet out from the house. I stash the cushions between the sectional and house under the deep eave when it looks like it might rain. It takes me all of two minutes to remove / replace them. It’s worth it to me. We haven’t had the outdoor furniture that long but already we spend a lot of time just chillin’ on it.

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03.June.2014

Love how your backyard is coming together! So inspiring! In fact, as soon as I saw your Instagram post with those new wood chairs by your fire pit I immediately went and ordered myself a pair! I had been looking for a set for a while and these were just perfect in every way. Just got mine yesterday and I love them! I thought your husband might be interested in their X45 chair that has a longer/taller back to it…for resting his head on ;-) Also, their coffee table and bench have me swooning too. Thanks for the constant inspiration!

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03.June.2014

Oops…here’s the link for the X45 chair and their other products.

http://store.glodea.com/chair-x45-unfinished/

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04.June.2014

Hi Dana. Sorry it for the delay in the comment, I wanted to check which cover I bought. We have had problems with our fire pit basins rusting here in MI. First my inexpensive one, then my expensive one with a pretty blue tile surround from a local nursery. They said it wouldn’t rust, but of course it did after the return period ended. Anyway, spraying it with HIGH HEAT black rustoleum helped a lot as well as a quality cover. The one that came with it ripped with minor use.

I bought this one last year from Bed, Bath and Beyond. I think it is also available at Amazon.

http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/veranda-large-round-fire-pit-cover/1018061716

And I was able to find some long bon fire roasting forks at our local Meijer store a few years ago where the prongs face back toward the user instead of straight out. Safer that way. Enjoy your summer.

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replied on June 4th, 2014

Great! Thank you for taking the time to comment with all this info. I think we’re going to try the Rustoleum paint and see if that helps lengthen the life of our pit.

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07.June.2014

Hi! I love the patio set. How is the quality? Do you think the cushions will hold up with kids?

Also, my hubs only cares about comfort – how comfy is it?

Thanks so much!

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replied on June 8th, 2014

So far the furniture is holding up well. It’s comfy enough (you can’t feel the rattan base through the cushions) but from reading the reviews before purchasing I knew it wouldn’t hurt to add some throw pillows to soften the 90 degree back angle. I just purchased some pillows for the sectional. I’ll keep you posted on the pillows and how the set holds up over the summer!

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11.June.2014

Thank you for the tip about the Tung Oil. I used it on my wooden rockers on the front porch and they look so fresh and clean. It really makes them look like new! We also have a firepit and I want to get some plastic Adirondack chairs for it to add a little color outside. :)

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[…] can see Dana’s patio one year later, including that lovely wood wall art on her […]




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