Patio Cha-Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes

Don’t get too excited. It’s not so much aesthetic progress, as it is functional progress. We got our old spray painted metal and glass coffee table from our first house‘s living room…

… back from John’s parents (they used it when their house was on the market and then it accidentally got hidden away in storage). Then it dawned on us that although we didn’t have a spot for it inside, a ton of outdoor furniture is spray painted metal and glass (like the round table that the old owners left on our upper patio). So out to the patio it went.

Is it perfect for the space? Nope. Is it great for resting my pasty need-to-be-shaved mom legs? Yup.

Sometimes you just gotta work with what you have (whether it’s a pale set of stems or an old $30 thrift store coffee table). At least until you upgrade (when it comes to furniture, not so much with legs). Here’s another table shot sans any pasty appendages:

And check out the happy surprise going on in the background. Yup, our hydrangeas got all booyah on us and bloomed. We wondered what color they’d be (and actually guessed they were white when we saw the buds) but they surprised us with happy blue flowers when they opened. I know we’ve said it before, but it’s SO much fun to experience the first spring/summer in a new home just to see what sprouts up to surprise you. It’s kind of like Oprah saying: “You get a hydrangea!”, “You get a hydrangea!”, “You get a hydrangea!”

And although the patio looked so charming with some not-outdoor-friendly furniture that we stuck outside for the big patio reveal (John thinks I’m weird but I just got such a kick out of trecking stuff out there for the afters – you know, to help with scale)…

… this is what it’s looking like these days:

Yup, that’s a baby pool in the shape of a whale. It was a gift from a friend who had the very same one when she was a baby and Clara couldn’t love it more. And yes, being the protective momma bird that I am, I totally put a bunch of towels under it so it’s not too hard on those swim-diapered buns of hers.

Oddly enough, although the patio is faaaaar from being “done” when it comes to outdoor furniture and pillows and all the other things that we eventually want to work in, for now… it’s paradise. And it’s such a nice reminder that spaces don’t have to be styled within an inch of their life and filled with perfectly scaled and coordinated furnishings to do the trick. Sometimes a whale shaped baby pool plus an old coffee table = happiness.

Oh and before I go, check out how much our backyard continues to fill in since our first house tour. Here’s a shot of the left side of our backyard that John snapped a few months back:

And here it is now:

Va-va-voom, right? And here’s the right side of the back yard a few months back:

And now:

Crazy lush, eh? Welcome to the jungle. Burger and Clara seem to love exploring. And check out what an old bush that we couldn’t identify turned out to be…

… roses!

At least I think that’s what they are. I’m plant illiterate so that’s my best guess. One thing’s for sure, there’s enough monkey grass to tickle my pale legs for hours.

Anyway, do you guys have any spaces like our patio (laughably unfurnished but blissfully functional)? Did you own the same whale pool that Clara plays in (apparently they’ve been around for decades)? Are your legs as delightfully chalky as mine? You can tell me. I promise I won’t gossip about it. Much.


  1. Lindsey says

    Knockout roses, methinks!

    We recently “finished” our basement remodel… a.k.a. did enough work on it to warrant putting in the flooring and at that point, what the heck, why not furniture too? So there’s no trim in a couple of places and the doors to the bedroom and two closets still need to be painted but it’s functional!

    Also, pasty legged women of the world, unite!

  2. Jill says

    You can actually control the color your hydrangea blooms by adjusting the ph of the soil. I’m guessing your soil has a lower ph since they are blooming blue/purple. If you add lime to raise the ph it will bloom pink. I remember learning about it in college, but have never actually tried it, might be a fun experiment!

  3. Diane says

    Hey youngsters!
    Loving the new house! It is so fun to live vicariously through you! Did you know you can actually change the color of your hydrangeas?? For blue to pink and back again… All by changing the pH of the soil a bit… It’s pretty cool! And might come in handy when planning decor for outdoor parties! Ha! Google it… :-)

    • says

      Oh yeah my mom read a murder mystery where one bush was blue and the rest were pink and that’s where they buried the gun (the murder weapon). I laughed hysterically that they worked botany in there.


    • JennyB says

      I have a glorious, dark purple hydrangea as well as white and lovely blue hydrangeas in my yard. We moved in this house last fall and like you, it’s been fun to see what pops up. But it makes me wonder what’s buried in my yard now??

  4. says

    Those hydrangeas and roses will make for good budget blooms! And I love the Oprah shout-out, but every time I hear her name I get her voice stuck in my head (This time it was “You get a hydrangeaaaaaaa”)!

    And my legs are still white. Possibly paler than yours. Do you think it’s a Jersey girl thing??

    • says

      Haha, maybe it is! In a rebellion from self tanning and laying out at the Jersey Shore our legs show us just how white they can really get.


    • says

      I completely second the idea of the loveseat/comfy seating!

      And also, we’ve been on our house for almost two years, the porch furniture is slapped together and we’re just now breaking ground on a patio. This is what it looked like when we started.

  5. katharine says

    looks great!!! so many pretty blooming things. Random swim diaper note. The bumgenius can be “swim diapers” with out any inserts.

  6. Meghan, UK says

    My legs are more chalky than yours (true English rose I am) and I suspect that is what leads our neighbours to hibernate when I’m sunning. It’s great to see the patio being used already :)

  7. says

    I love this post. We live in Chesterfield too and just bought our house 7 weeks ago. All we have on the front porch is an old hand-me-down indoor cubby bench.

    But two nights ago during the full moon, we grabbed a throw blanket, went outside and lit a candle in our lantern. It was absoultely perfect.

    Sometimes all you need is an old piece of furniture and a hand to hold to have ‘paradise’. Thanks for sharing!

  8. says

    You could always remove the glass, take a piece of plywood the size of the opening, cover it in foam and a cute outdoor fabric and make it a bench! Coffee tables make awesome benches!

    PS – Can’t see any fur on those legs so you’re fine. ;)

  9. Meghan T. says

    Ok, this has nothing to do with the patio but more of a general house remodeling question. My husband and I are getting ready to remodel our home and we realized that it falls into the “era” when asbestos was used. Did you all ever worry about running into that stuff during your past demolitions? If so, how did you test for it before disturbing any of the fibers. Thanks for any feedback!

    • says

      Yes! We like to have our houses tested during the buying inspection. Sometimes if they find anything the seller won’t necessarily remediate, but it’s good to know. And in both cases our houses came up clear. Even if you already own your house you can have someone come out and test things for a nominal fee and then you’ll know what you’re dealing with. Hope it helps!


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