Around the House: Outdoor Living
If you been here for any amount of time, you know my love of outdoor living. Honestly, nothing heals the soul for me quite like the outdoors & 10 months of the year, we have arguably the best weather in the country. Brisk fall days don't come until November, but they stay quite awhile, then we get to enjoy coldish days in January -- bonfires in the evening at 60 degrees is practically perfect. Head into spring with cool mornings & warm afternoons, sometimes you might even test out the pool water. It's usually still too cold until about May. By then though, you're able to eat dinner outside & wind down on swings or with a good game of speed on the basketball court. It's pretty tough to beat..even with the really hot summer months & it's saying something that I can type that as we verge on a record heat day. My thought is that on our record heat day, the 'worst' day of the year, we spent it poolside for 3 hours this morning with friends & have plans for other friends to join us this evening. Not a bad way to spend your 'worst weather days.'
As you can imagine with this kind of weather, my outdoor space is nearly as important as my indoor space. I've found the more I make my outdoor space really livable & functional, the more time we spend out there. To some it may sound silly, but its my happy place and so I treat it as such. Don't quote me on this, because I'm sure I'll change my mind next week, but I think we are finally at a stopping point...for now. Ha! There is always a 'to-do' list & even as I typed that I thought, 'well, I'd still really love to...'. But for now, its good. I mean, this weekend a big hedge is going in, but after that...
Here's a quick tour...
Our main outdoor dining area...until this past week, we'd eat breakfast at this table almost daily. With this baby coming, believe it or not, the moving about, even spread to our outdoor space. This table was in my office. It was a little gem I picked up from Goodwill & repainted. Because it was tucked in my back office it wasn't a piece I spent a ton of money on, or cared too much about. I just needed a bigger work space. With my office moving, this table didn't have a home. So it headed to the outdoors & it gave us an additional 2 seats at our main dining area & allowed us to move our previous 4-seated dining table inside the pool gates, giving us two outdoor dining areas.
When I moved the table, I needed new chairs for it. I happened to find these black beauties on clearance at Target. My friend Jenny Komenda told me about them & at the time I didn't have a spot for them, but you know me, I'm a pretty good problem solver. Once I bought the black chairs, it didn't match our current rug...so I picked this one up on clearance at Target too. If you give a mouse a cookie...
Our main poolside lounging area might be one of my favorite spots at home & it came together pretty organically. The green striped pillows were our outdoor pillows from our old house. The red chairs...well those red chairs are quite possibly my favorite purchase of all time. They haven't faded one bit, don't get hot & cost the same as the Costco version of lounge chairs. Gotta love them.
The rug was inherited from my mom when she re-did her outdoor space & it was originally in our main dining area -- see the black chairs wouldn't work well with it. I'd long thought of bringing a rug into our pool area & I'm going to go ahead & let you know, it was one of my better ideas. The thing about an Arizona summer: it's hot. Like burn your britches hot. As such, these pavers poolside? They get pretty toasty. The rug solves the problem of burned toes & looks pretty all the same. I'm not sure how long it will hold up in our sun, but it's already 10 years old, so we'll use it until it wears out & be happy to buy a new one...that how much I love having a rug in this space. I don't even mind vacuuming it occasionally. ;)
This little side table has a lid on it & all the goggles, swim rings & even mermaid tails get stashed there. Outta sight...just how I like it.
The umbrella is a must have -- we have two more that we actually put IN the pool, because you cannot put a price tag on shade. I got this one at World Market...before we moved in & can you believe how well it ties everything together? I love when that happens.
The watermelon pillows get moved around all over the place. Sometimes I use them at the main dining table, other times they are on the red chairs, because if you want maximum comfort, you stack up those two pillows & maybe doze for a bit. Sometimes they make their way to the hammock or the blue chairs.
These chairs were in our outdoor space at our old house & get moved all over the place here. In the summer they are poolside, in the winter they are fireside. You can stack them up & they are incredibly comfortable. I got mine at Target, but I've seen them at Home Depot, Lowe's, WalMart & even Fry's. When you find the color you love, stock up. They seem to change each year & I'm glad mine are all the same color.
Tomorrow we'll be adding a hedge to that wall behind the hammock & I can't wait...until then though, this is my favorite spot at home. It's where I've read some of my favorite books, seen my kids learn new things & spent countless hours storing up memories with them. I grew up with a backyard pool that houses some of my best memories -- water basketball games after chores, late night swims with friends & countless diving tricks mastered...I hope my kids walk away with similar memories of time as a family.
Hi, I'm Amy. When I'm not scouring the valley for the perfect new house, you can usually find me in the kitchen with a gaggle of kids. Chips, salsa and a Diet Coke are usually in hand.