Thursday, June 24, 2010

outdoor living room

deck
We spend a lot of time on our deck during the warmer months. Half of it is covered, and it becomes a quiet shady spot for reading, chatting, handwork, snacking...  general hangin' out.  Each year, I vow to give it the special attention it deserves (you know, spiff it up), but our collection of "garage sale" outdoor furniture  has always felt like such a mish mash and a mismatch.  Textiles often have the potential to create a sense of cohesiveness.
deck pillows
I used leftovers from a drop cloth to tuck over the cushions on the $10 wicker couch (last year's big score!) and create some pillow backings and seat cushions. It's rugged (yet soft) and neutral. Then I got brave and used some pieces from my beloved barkcloth collection.
deck pillow 3
A dear friend generously passed on her amazing fabric stash when she moved to Europe last year... I think she'll be happy to see it finally being put to such perfect use.
deck pillow 1
deck pillow 2
As I took these photos it dawned on me that not most but every single item on this deck has been thrifted or handmade.  It would have been easier (although certainly not cheaper) to buy some new shiny deck toys...  I'm very content that I made do. Although our wallets can sometimes dictate what we can't have, the limitations also stretch our creativity and ALWAYS inspire something unique and out of the box. I have a couple more ideas for this space, so don't be surprised if you see our outdoor living room again soon. Pin It

25 comments:

  1. I love it just the way it is, lots of character...forget the shiny new deck stuff! mind if I stop by and sit and read awhile?

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  2. I love those old metal chairs and what a great collection of bark cloth you used. With kids and in our case many dogs, we prefer cast offs that can be spruced up, then we don't have to worry about them
    and we can truly "hang out" and relax. Lovely porch.
    xox Corrine

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  3. Love this and your outdoor livingroom looks so inviting!

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  4. The barkcloth pillows are really neat. I love what you did with your front porch. There are so many ways to recycle deck chairs. If they are in sittable shape, they are worth fixing up.

    Jody

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  5. That looks so lovely and inviting Maya, I love spending time in our garden and are planning to make a deck area as well. I think almost all the furniture in our home is trifted/given/,made by ourself, partly because of our wallet but also the love for unique items and of course the enviroment. I hope you 'll get to spend many lovely hours on your porch!!

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  6. What a great idea with the drop cloth. I've needed some inspiration to get our space summer ready. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. i love your outdoor space. I feel the same way about ours. We know we will be moving in a few years so it can be hard to personalize the space as you would really like to. But our purple adarondack chairs and cast iron chiminea help

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  8. ah it looks great. just asking you to curl up and read or knit - lovely space.

    I am just sprucing up my little outdoor living room.
    I have a big dilemma whether to leave my wicker loveseat with the paint chipped or it's a must to repaint? (I didn't protect it in the winter and within 1 year my paint job is ruined). It's dark brown with white peeking through here and there.... ???
    I will do a photo shoot and let the world decide ;)

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  9. Oh Maya, Thank you for the reminder. Well several actually. My husband and I are in the poor college student/starting our family stage in life and our wallets dictate a lot. It is good to remember that I can create lovely things that I love more for having created them. It is also good to remember to get outside for my sake and my daughter's. And it is good to remember to just play. We work so hard and so much to make do and sometimes I forget to balance it out. So, thank you thank you, thank you! You made my day.

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  10. p.s. I also adore the lilies in the vase with the lily on the pillow. Lovely connection of the things we make to the things we don't. All of which lend beauty to our lives.

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  11. Your blog never fails to rejuvenate me! I could spend hours going through the pictures and daydreaming about your beautiful world! My family and I reside in the city and, more often than not, I feel so trapped by all the busy vibes and towering buildings. This blog is one of my escapes...I thank you so much for that!

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  12. I love the way that your deck looks. I rather wish that we had a deck, but there's not much room in our back yard.

    I sometimes wish that we had the money to buy some of the lovely furniture that catches my eye, but by piecing the house together bit by bit over the years, I think it has more meaning than if I had just stepped out and furnished the house on a Saturday afternoon. Our local thrift stores don't appear to be as good as yours, mind...

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  13. I love your outdoor room! It looks quite inviting. And that hammock.... I would so love to swing & read in that!

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  14. I love your outdoor room, it looks fantastic. What a lovely spot to sit, chat, craft and whatever you desire. Fabulous!

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  15. While brand new trappings might be picture perfect and give that fashion magazine look that we are constantly told we are supposed to strive to, limitations make a real home, one that is even more beautiful than the glossies. A place to breathe out and laugh with friends or get cosy with family and a book.

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  16. What incredibly thoughtful comments today, thank you all so much!

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  17. what a fun place. your outdoor living room looks comfy. i am sure it will be the spot to make many memories this summer.

    love how everything is homemade and thrifted. sometimes buying newer has a non personal feel i think. you showed us that a little creativity and some thrifted and handmade items can make a wonderful space.

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  18. what a fun place. your outdoor living room looks comfy. i am sure it will be the spot to make many memories this summer.

    love how everything is homemade and thrifted. sometimes buying newer has a non personal feel i think. you showed us that a little creativity and some thrifted and handmade items can make a wonderful space.

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  19. Adding your personal touches of thrifted and make-do creates just the right amout of coziness for your family to enjoy. I too have cozied up my back deck, entry porch and covered front deck with thrifted items and my house is the one that my extended family seems to gravitate to for family dinners and cook outs. No need to get caught up in the picture perfect "rooms". I particularly love your barkcloth pillows, makes me want to go thru my stash and make pillows. Thanks for the inspirations.
    Lisa

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  20. It looks lovely and inviting! Perfect for lemonade sipping - no scratch that...white wine. I'm right there with you. Just yesterday I took photos of our sorry looking patio with the goal of sprucing it up and recovering the cushions and a little paint is what I have in mind too.

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  21. it is no surprise that I love this post being the sort of family that spends about 8 out of 12 months of the year out on the porch, eating, crafting, reading, talking, sipping warm and cool drinks and now with the wireless streaming of world cup soccer , cheering on our favorite teams.
    I was chatting with ray about how we might project the games or a few movies onto a white sheet and have a porch party

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  22. Shiny and new does not say welcoming. Your porch looks loved and comfy.

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  23. Your porch looks so welcoming and comfortable... the perfect place to hang out with a good book and an iced tea. And I love all the bark cloth! It's such wonderful stuff and looks great on your cozy porch!

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  24. This is an awesome photo spread... I'm just re-doing my patio & am absolutely going to incorporate some of these ideas!

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  25. Don't you dare 'spiff' up this magical place. I love it just the way it is...

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