Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Interior Inspiration: Colorful Outdoor Dining & Lounging
So, the weekend ended on Sunday and I went to bed feeling like I'd just returned from a nice, relaxing holiday ... except I'd spent the whole weekend at home. I don't think I actually left our house except to go over to our next door neighbor's for a drink and a round of gin rummy followed by a game of Apples to Apples (my favorite!) and a trip to the corner shop for a Cornetto. That's it.
We spent all of it outside. John and I have been working with a garden designer and landscaper for the past two months to completely overhaul our back garden: a workman's shed was removed, a new deck was built, the retaining wall moved back, paving laid, and bespoke furniture constructed. We're so close to being "there" but we couldn't help hauling out our cheap little IKEA outdoor dining set in the meantime and eating all our meals outside ... and working there too.
For a while, I wondered if the project had been money well spent (my heart sunk when the initial quotes came in), but I realized this past weekend that having a garden or backyard to enjoy is like adding another room to your house. I napped under the apple tree and blogged across the table from John while he reviewed a report for work.
I'm really excited for the work on the back to finish and the front to begin so we can start enjoying it with friends. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for a late summer and barbecues to come.
In the meantime, I've enjoyed bringing all our colorful homeware and accessories outside. Our garden is very ... grey at the moment (the fence and paving stones are grey) without the turf and planting, so I've been using our colorful Pols Potten plates, Anthropologie coasters and striped H&M picnic blanket (which has a waterproof, vinyl underside to prevent soggy-blanket-syndrome! Genius.).
I spent a lot of time staring up at this sky:
And I couldn't remember a time when I felt so honestly content and relaxed. Usually my brain is whirring with a million thoughts at once, but lying on the deck next to John (our sofa sectional from West Elm doesn't arrive for another few weeks), I really felt like I could let go of the anxiety that had accumulated throughout the week. Something about watching the cloud formations move and morph and unfurl gave me a huge sense of gratitude and calm (until I got bitten by a mosquito ... then I was neither grateful nor calm!).
How's your summer going where you are? Have you been spending it parks or gardens or outdoors? I'd love to know.