Thursday, April 12, 2012

Outdoor Inspirtation

I've got some inspiration for your outdoor spaces today! Here in Nebraska, it's chilly and rainy {one of the first times it's felt like spring since spring started}, but I would still rather be outside than stuck in an office!

Front Porch
I'll start today with ideas for the front porch. At our new house, there isn't much of a porch. Just a couple of concrete steps that lead to the door. Now, I have grand, "someday" ideas of building a long front porch that spans the width of the house. We'll see if that ever happens. In the meantime, check out these ideas:

This screen door is so much prettier than the standard metal door. It reminds me of something my great Grandma had, and would definitely give our house some rustic charm.

This is such a simple decoration that makes a big statement! It could be used on any size porch, and I really like the idea of adding a little decorative statement in the form of a welcome sign or pretty wreath.

There are certain necessities that come with many front porches, but those details don't have to be ordinary! This light, for example, can provide you with a safe journey up your stairs while adding to the feel of a charming front porch.

Mailboxes are another feature that serves a purpose, but who says yours has to look like the neighbor's to be functional? This one from Pottery Barn is adorable!

Back Porch or Deck
Moving on to the back of the house, this is where we spend the majority of our time at the current house, and probably at the new house as well. When my husband and I were looking to buy our first house, my only demand was that the house have a deck. Ours does...but it's tiny. I'm not complaining! I just can't wait to get to the new house and spend some quality time outdoors on our {much larger} deck!

For us, there's one key component to summer: barbecue. Almost all of our gatherings center around it, or it at least makes a showing. We love to cook outside as soon as it's barely warm enough, and if we can stay out there to eat, it's bliss! I love this big table and how many chairs can get around it. It's sturdy and looks almost like it could be a piece of furniture in the home...which is probably why I love it so much. I've always wanted a deck or outdoor space I could think of as another family room for our home.

Comfortable seating is also key. Whether it's drinking coffee and reading the paper in the morning or chatting the night away with a good drink, we want to be comfortable in our seats. My experience with outdoor furniture isn't the greatest, so something like this is on my "must buy" list for the new house. 

I love that I'm seeing more and more outdoor rugs when I'm browsing at this time of year. I don't know if I just didn't notice before or if they're becoming more attractive, but having a fun, colorful rug is high at the top of my wish list for our new outdoor space.

Cute or surprising details are also fun to incorporate on a deck space. For us, the deck's primary purpose is to gather people together. It's fun to think of uses for spaces, like a cooking station, where people can gather around the grill and watch the master cook. Or this drink space, so everyone is free to help themselves and they don't have to walk back and forth to the house.

And finally, this might be the one area of your house where it's completely acceptable {and even encouraged} to leave up Christmas lights year round!

I can't wait to have a deck space that we can really use for relaxing and entertaining!

I've been talking a lot about change here on my blog because we're getting ready to make a move in our personal lives, but this isn't the only place change is happening! On Monday, we launch a new program at work for short-term rehabilitation stays. It's a completely new area for me to market, even though we've been doing rehab for our long-term care residents for years. I'm excited to open this new wing on Monday and help our newest clients focus on wellness as they prepare themselves to return home. It's an exciting time for me right now...here's hoping I have the energy to get through it all!

Have a great day, everyone!

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