...because home doesn't happen overnight.

night in 3

Remember the shade sail project I mentioned a while back? We finally tackled it! I realize I’m totally jumping the gun by giving you a lame sneak peek in the dark, but I promise to follow up with a ‘how we did it’ post soon, along with general changes we’ve made to the backyard and daytime pics. The thing is a few blogger friends asked me to share a favorite nighttime scene at our house, warm glowy lights and all. I had my heart set on sharing the back deck for the ‘A Night In’ series hosted by Julia and Kim. A week’s worth of rain nearly foiled my plans, but one night the downpour held off just long enough for me to quickly towel things off, bring out dry cushions, light a few candles and snap pics. Raindrops were sprinkling my lens by the end of the harried shoot and I’m not 100% comfortable shooting in such low light, but here are some of the better shots. It’s really magical in person!

night in 2

night in 5

night in 7

Since installing the shade sails, this outdoor spot has become my favorite nighttime hangout. (Recently, it’s been way too hot to enjoy it during the day – even in the shade.) After the kids are in bed, I plop down on the sectional with some rosé and a book and listen to the crickets do their thing. One good thing about the kids’ school year starting so early is that reasonable bedtimes are back. I have kid-free evenings once again! At least until someone gets up to tell me they’re thirsty. It’s inevitable.

night in 8

Three years in, the sectional cushions are holding up well. To promote longevity, I store them in the attic for the winter and stash them in the garage on a tarp during wet summer weather. The throw pillows are a mix of outdoor and indoor cushions. You might recognize a few kilim pillows from our living room. After tossing them on the sectional last minute for color, I now want to hoard etsy kilim covers, treat them with Scotch Guard outdoor spray and stuff them with outdoor inserts. The gold bulb string lights are from Rejuvenation. They create the prettiest ambiance.

a night in 1

It’s difficult to tell from the nighttime pictures, but the bottom halves of the bulbs are gold. I originally chose them because I like the metallic detail, but the gold actually gives the string lights two benefits: 1) The bulbs look like they’re glowing during the day when they aren’t plugged in. 2) The gold reflects the light upward at nighttime for a more diffused, less glaring effect from below. They can be used indoors or out. I’d love to see them on a Christmas tree! If string lights and ornaments had a baby, these would be it.

night in 4

In case you’re wondering, the shade sails do not hold water. The smallest raindrops pass right through which is ideal. We don’t want sagging sails! They’re purely sun-blocking. At night, they give the impression of a ceiling which feels really cozy.

There are still a few tweaks to make out here. I’ve been itching to switch out the coffee table for a non-matching one. The dining table has seen better days. We need a fan for relief from the heat and mosquitos. I want to plant climbing, flowering vines (clematis?) at the base of the shade sail poles to soften them. All in good time. Did you notice I rotated the sectional to face the house? We like it so much better this way! It really makes the deck feel like an outdoor room now instead of a stage facing the darkness. Plus, it makes for a great view from the kitchen window.

If you love peeping houses at night (I do!), be sure to check out more nighttime scenes from these talented bloggers:

Chris Loves Julia
Yellow Brick Home
The Makerista
The Faux Martha
Making It Lovely
Brittany Makes

*This post sponsored in part by Rejuvenation. Much thanks to Julia and Kim for organizing!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



aww love this outdoor space!!! Love the string lights you chose, they create the perfect ambiance. PS your pillow paring is perfection.


Dana this looks beautiful! Plus night photography is hard and you so nailed!


Where is the sectional from?


Have you noticed that the outdoor ceiling fan helps with the mosquitos? Because they are terrible here in Nashville and I rarely sit outside at night because they love me. A ceiling fan sounds like a great idea!


What a beautifully cozy spot! You can’t go wrong with string lights, they add so much charm and I like how these are a more modern, updated version!


Help! How do we hang patio lights with vinyl siding! I’ve broken no less than 5 already and need to figure out a plan :( Tips and tricks?

I just love that you went for the string lights. Those gold dipped bulbs are dreamy. Excited to hear more about those sails! I remember when you mentioned them before and I’ve always been intrigued.

How have I never noticed these patio lights on their site before?! Those gold tips are so, so dreamy.


Looks like a comfortable place to relax!


It looks awesome!!! I’ll be right over….well, tonight, after I tuck the kids in and tell my husband it’s “girl’s night out…..’in'” haha!
Leah; )


This looks incredible!


Wow! I love this! We are working on our backyard patio plan and there is so much inspiration here. I love climbing vines, Clematis especially. Have you checked out trumpet vine, passion flower, jasmine or honeysuckle? Can’t wait to see more of the yard!


I have shade sail installed in my backyard. Love it! https://www.instagram.com/p/BIGTVFwDMn-/?taken-by=rebeccarescate .


looks lovely. I love the lights. we had a similar set up at our previous house and had sweet autumn clematis which I love and highly recommend. it has very small white flowers. it blooms about the beginning of September which is ideal since it won’t attract bees in the summer and gives some flowering fall foliage which is nice. cut back in the spring. it grows rapidly!


Fantastic ambiance! Did I miss the link to the sail shade or is that TBA?


I love the idea of summer green and fall blooms! Thank you for the suggestion.


So fun!


Come over!


Do you have any overhang at all? Before we installed the poles for the shade sails (more info coming soon), we DIY’d temporary light poles for string lights in the backyard. You can see them and read the tuturial here…



I was listening to an NPR report on mosquitos recently and they said the #1 non-pesticide thing that keeps them away is wind. So having a fan (ceiling or standing) can greatly reduce their presence. We don’t have the proper space for ceiling fan, so I’m looking into a standing, oscillating fan.


You can read more about it here…


Unfortunately, it looks like it has been discontinued.


This looks wonderful! Seriously, every part. We were considering putting a deck on our house but I like the idea of a low deck right on the ground like yours. Did you install the deck yourself? If so, was it on the blog?


I just read an article on installing a bat box(house) in the backyard to control mosquitos.
Bats eat 1200 mosquitos per night and they cost about $20. If bats don’t creep yo out its something to consider.


Wait, what?! I have to check out this bat house idea.