...because home doesn't happen overnight.


After we added shade sails to the back deck and, consequently, started spending more and more time out there on the sectional, I was itching to bring a little of our indoor style outside. I love it when outdoor spaces feel like just another room and reflect what’s going on indoors. I already had a few neutral outdoor pillows, but I was hoping to up the ante with more color and pattern…without breaking the bank. Outdoor pillows can be so expensive and tend to sport one-dimensional fabric that feels generic. I was looking for something a little different.


I ordered four inexpensive 16″ x 16″ kilim pillow covers from this etsy shop. The covers were priced at $9-$14 each. With shipping, the total cost for the four covers was $73. I hunted down four 18″ x 18″ pillow inserts suitable for outdoor use which set me back another $20. (FYI – Pillow inserts should be slightly larger than their accompanying covers for a fuller effect.) Then I spent $8 on a can of Scotchgard outdoor water shield. (It looks like the price has since increased. Google for the best price.)


I stuffed the kilim covers with the inserts and used a sweeping motion to spray on the water shield, making sure to cover all sides without saturating the fabric. The Scotchgard spray definitely has an odor to it, so it must be applied outdoors. I wouldn’t suggest using it on indoor textiles, but for fabrics that will be used outside and will be vulnerable to the elements, it’s a great option.


I propped the pillows up against our outdoor dining table to let them dry and air out for two days then tossed them on the outdoor sectional. I love them! Especially since they rang in right at $100 for all four.

A few of you have asked about the outdoor cushions and pillows in regard to rain. The shade sails are meant to provide shade only – not shelter from rain. We leave the cushions and pillows outside in dry weather and stash them on a tarp in the garage when wet weather strikes, to extend their life. (I wash them every fall and store them in the attic over winter.) Even so, I wanted the kilim pillows to have some sort of moisture barrier so they would be okay if we accidentally left them out in the rain or if they got a little damp from overnight dew. So far, so good.


I also added a striped outdoor rug to the deck since we tend to go barefoot and rugs always feel nice underfoot. I scored this ~7′ x 9′ rug for $100 from Overstock with a coupon. I’ve discovered that if I add items to my cart and wait a few days, eventually an Overstock coupon will show up in my inbox. #workingthesystem

I would never suggest using an outdoor rug on a patio, but on a deck where the rug is up off solid ground and air flows in between the deck boards, it’s a viable option because it can dry out completely between downpours.


Recently, a neighbor kid put a foot through the matching coffee table that came with the sectional. You can see the original table here. The glass top was off at the time, so he wasn’t hurt or anything. I can’t say I was sad to see the table go. I had always wanted a non-matching table anyway. This was my chance! I grabbed this teak table for $165, on sale and with a coupon. The chevron detail on the top is a nice touch and, so far, it has held up superbly to rain. (Teak will do that.) I plan to oil it every year to keep it looking like new. The legs are removable, so I plan to stash it in the attic over winter along with the cushions.


I picked up the SÖTCITRON self-watering planter, the STABBIG candleholder and the BELEVAD candle dish on a recent trip to IKEA. (I was scoping out kitchen stuff for the flip house! Details coming soon.) The planter is great for succulents and people whom have a history of overwatering (ahem, killing) them. The inside of the candleholder is lined in shiny gold and looks so pretty lit up at night. Which reminds me, I also found these oversize GLIMMA tealights and they’re my new favorite invention since the Target sheets with the ‘SIDE’, ‘TOP’ and ‘BOTTOM’ cheat tags. They burn longer than traditional tealights. Perfect for jack-o’-lanterns!

And with that, it’s just about time to take down the shade sails for the winter, stash the cushions and pillows in the attic, cover the sectional and bring the succulents inside. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. We’ll see you next year deck. Hopefully, even more than this year. It’s been real.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Your backyard patio looks so cozy and inviting!!! BTW – yesterday I was flipping through some old issues of BHG magazine, looking for Bed Bath & Beyond coupons:), and I came across an article in the August 2015 issue that looked very familiar – I think I found the place where you and Steve stayed in Nashville! Is the owners name Ruthie Lindsey?? In the article, she is hosting a potluck with a bunch of her creative, artsy girlfriends – fun!!
Anyway, have a great weekend..: )


Do you love your TOMS? I bought that exact pair earlier this year and I’m slightly obsessed. Comfortable and seem to go with everything. There’s something about slip-on shoes…


But Scotchgard is so toxic…!!!


Yep, love them!


Hmmm, I don’t think so, but I haven’t seen the BHG article. Our host was a single male who lived in the main house.


I’ve had Target sheets on my bed for over three years and I just discovered that they are labeled–such a game changer!


Waiting patiently to see the investment property! Any updates?


The odor doesn’t last. :) I have used it on upholstered dining chairs because we have kids and pets in the house.


Oh my goodness! I read your blog and immediately went online to the Etsy store you recommended and ordered several Kilim pillows. They arrived so quickly and are even more gorgeous in real life! What a find! Thank you so much!


Have you decided to step away from the blog? I’ve been missing your regular posts.


No, we just don’t have that much going on renovation/decoration wise in our own home. I will post updates on the flip house soon though! I struggle with posting non-house-related topics. I miss writing!




Sometimes practicality wins :/


Hey, that is the best outdoor sofa set on the deck ever!


Okay, that rug is amazing! I think I might get a mini-version to use at the front door :)

Hello there Dana! I would like to ask if you use the Scotchgard spray to rugs as well? I really enjoy the Safavieh rug you’ve recommended, but I’m peculiar if the spray will work for it too. PS: Awesome coupon trick there! I’ve never thought of that, lol! I bet this will work with other carpet stores as well, right :D I’m really peculiar your new deck carpet/rug shows any signs of wear and tear for the few weeks in use? I’m asking so I could have a better idea of the rug quality itself. Please and thank you! Oh, yeah – and your exterior rules!! Cheerios.


I think it would work on rugs as well, although I wouldn’t use it indoors or on an indoor rug as it’s pretty smelly. Our rug got a few months of use before we put it up for the winter. It still looks brand new!


Those pillows look really pretty. It compliments the white sofa. My wife will surely love it and I also like the rug. Very lovely. Thanks for sharing this.