We have lengthened our deck, updated our dining room set to a weathered teak one and purchased some gray wicker outdoor furniture to make our backyard a Nantucket style retreat.
Don’t you like the half painted house? We are having some electrical work done which is why it’s a little wonky looking by the two chairs.
These photos show you pretty true to life the color of the cushions… the photos online make it look more white than it really is.
Loveseats: Joss & Main || Chairs and Coffee Table: Joss & Main || Pavers and Irish Moss: Wolf Hill Garden Center (Gloucester, MA) || Dining Table: Private Sale (similar but unweathered version here, here and here) || Umbrella: Home Depot (similar) || Wood for deck: Tedfords Hardware Store (Ipswich, MA)
This past month we cranked out some work on our backyard to start making it into a dreamy, yet kid-friendly, place to be (it’s hard to meld those two goals!!!). We wanted to make it more usable and practical especially with some dead space. When we moved in three years ago there were seven sliding doors overlooking a very private backyard but the deck was only under the middle three. This always made us a little crazy but we just regarded the doors as full length windows. This summer we hoped to start our kitchen renovation but because we are still not 100% sure on any plan, and haven’t heard anything from the kitchen designer who came out to the house, we decided to embark on the backyard. We took down some bushes in front of two of the sliders (where the two comfy chairs are) and extended the deck in front of those two doors. It was a fairly easy project for AJ to handle, although it worked out to be more money than we originally thought it would be (matching the existing mahogany floor wasn’t cheap). The deck is low enough to the ground that we don’t need a railing to meet code (it’s the same situation that we had when we put on our last house’s front porch) so it feels a little more part of the lower level.
We mapped out an area on the lower level that didn’t have nice grass and was going unused. We wanted a patio area for some couches and a fire pit. After two tries trying to get pavers from Home Depot (we had problems with the delivery service both times) we cancelled that order and then decided to just purchase from our local garden center (Wolf Hill in Gloucester). AJ came up with the design himself after I told him I loved the look of nice moss growing in between the pavers. AJ asked around at the garden center and found out we wanted Irish Moss that is designed to be used for patio floors.
Then the twins and I were walking one day by the ocean when we spotted this little hand-written sign advertising teak furniture for sale from a house overlooking the ocean that was being sold. I contacted the owner and fell in love with the weathered teak. It’s this perfect driftwood tan / gray color. I took pictures of it and brought it home to AJ. After AJ went to look at it we came home with a new dining set that seats more than our current set and a bench for the front of our house (I’ll share that area soon!). Similar unweathered teak set here and here and much lower priced option here made with eucalyptus wood. Similar teak bench here.
I fell in love with Restoration Hardware’s Provence collection for the comfy furniture but we thought it was probably not smart to spend that kind of money while the kids are still small and destroying things. We hated that the last outdoor living set looked like plastic wicker (we sold it about a year and a half ago) so we decided on something right in between those two price point wise. What we chose isn’t cheap but it also doesn’t look cheap. It works out to be half of what we would have paid for two love seats from RH but for what we paid we also were able to purchase two big chairs and a coffee table. I wanted the outdoor dining table and the couches to all blend nicely and they definitely will since they are all in the light gray / tan family. I think I’ll pop over to Home Goods to grab a garden stool for a little side table for the chairs. I want everything to be very neutral so that it blends pretty seamlessly with all the gorgeous green around us… then I can pop whatever color pillows I want on them. Loveseats here and chair / coffee table set here.
We’ve already hosted my mom’s birthday out here this past weekend and had twelve of us gathered around the table… some on laps, some in high chairs. Sometimes it’s hard to think about shelling out money for a project like this (we spent around $5000 for the deck wood, some bushes, the pavers, the comfy furniture and the dining set), especially when we don’t live in a climate where it’s warm all the time. We really try to be smart about our renovations and think about if we will get our money back when we sell the house and I have no doubt that every penny we’ve sunk into this will be well worth it but it’s also those times that we can’t put a price tag on like how it’ll be so wonderful and life-giving for our friends to be out here during the summer and fall and it becomes worth it. I’m especially thinking about the twins’ adoption party… we are hoping to have a date for the adoption in the next couple of weeks!