My Patio Reading Nook

This year one of my summer goals is to use our outdoor patio more. Since we put in the pool we are home more – which is nice.

When designing our patio, we created several different gathering areas in the space. We have a great general space for our dining area, a place for the Hubby to grill – (which he is awesome at), a side patio that is by the pool and then a place for two seating chairs.

Wicker Chairs without cushions web

Many Mother’s Days ago I saw these awesome wicker chairs – they were from the Smith and Hawkins collection. I love wicker and this is ready for the outdoors. They came with solid yellow pillows and cushions. I have to be honest with you because of where the chairs are placed I hardly ever sit in them.  One reason is they are furthest from the pool, so if the kids are swimming I need to be in that space.  Secondly, sometimes the patio gets so hot the heat and sun are uncomfortable.

So it only took a couple of years but finally the light bulb went off and it occurred to me that if I bought a market umbrella I could actually sit there during the day…I know, sometimes the ideas come in slowly. So this thought inspired an array of other ideas for this space.

The cushions were starting to look more brown than yellow from being outside. So I started with updating all the cushions and pillows with new covers. I went to JoAnn Fabrics and fell in love with this flower pattern.

Close up of wicker chair material web

It was really popular this year, there was only a yard left in the store and nothing left online (Panic!).  Someone at the store called around and I was able to have 5 yards put on hold in a store about 25 minutes away.

I used this flower as my inspiration for the whole new space. I loved the color, orange and pistachio green colors. I found a great color print in orange to go with the flower and this fun geometric pattern as well.

Linus and the new patio chairs web

I decided to make the floral pattern for the cushions on the chairs and ottomans then the other patterns for pillows.

I have to be honest with you I did not do the cushions all on my own. My Mom (fix it Franny) came to the rescue and helped me make the new cushions. I am so impressed with my Mom’s knowledge of sewing.

Cutting out wicker chair material web

First of all there was no pattern, but a lot of measuring and cutting out various pieces to make the cover as well as me learning how to put in a zipper. It was fun working with my Mom on this – but putting in a zipper is still way over my head.

My girlfriend gave me this awesome rug of hers that I have been eyeing for years! It looks awesome under the chairs. It is an awesome animal print rug – my first! Then on my many trips to Home Goods I was on the look out for a garden stool – another item that I wanted to add to our collection…I finally found the size and color I was looking for, and it was only $40 dollars compared to $120 from Ballard Designs that I have been wanting for some time.

close up of the garden stool web

Finally came the hunt for the perfect color market umbrella – I wanted a pistachio color one that I saw last year at Wal-Mart for $50 dollars, but of course this year it is out of stock! So one afternoon I went to over 6 stores and finally found the right color, but not the right price, it was $90 dollars but I love it and will be used a lot this summer.

Close up of the wicker chairs with umbrella web

The new reading or sitting area looks awesome. I love walking by the patio door and it catching my eye! I look forward to reading many a book this summer or sitting down to have a wonderful glass of wine with my Hubby or Friends. Differnet view of the patio chairs web

Where do you like to hang out in your yard during the summer?

We are partying over at Two Twenty One – All Things Summer Link Party!

Beyond the Screen Door – The Scoop Link Party

The Winthrop Chronicles – Link Party

The House of Helpworths

I Heart Naptime – Sundae Scoop


The Peonies Are Here! The Peonies are Here!

peonies bush

Do you look forward to a certain flower blooming each year? For me it is the Peonies! I just love them! For me when the Peony blooms it means summer has finally arrived!

When we built our house I put in a small Peony garden on the side of our house! I have 4 bushes. The usually bloom the first week in June and last two short weeks or so! I love filling vases around my house with the flower, whether it is in a bulb or in full bloom. There is something about fresh flowers in your house from your very own garden that makes me smile.

Peonies are such a universal flower, they look great in a small vase by your coffee table, to a beautiful bridal boutique….If I got married in the summer that is what I would have had – a huge boutique of peonies!

Peony flowers


What is your favorite summer flower?

Spring has Sprung! English Garden Themed Flower Pots

I love spring, and especially when spring feels like summer! This year as we started to do yard work I noticed how my front pots were starting to look a little shabby.


Since I am in the mood to spray paint anything that moves, I decided they needed a little touching up. I used this awesome new shade of black – with a hint of sparkle called hammered pain & primer in one, black.


Each year I change up the theme of my planters. The entrance to our house has a very high peak, but the front stoop is very narrow.  So instead of some outdoor chairs I have opted for 4 nice flowerpots instead to greet our guests.

I love the look of a Country English garden with the wispy flowers and pretty pops of colors. Last year I opted for a simpler design with less color and I really missed this look.

Since our house is shades of khaki, creams, with dark green shutters and door, I always choose bright colors in our flowers. This year Emma and I picked shades of purple and white with a hint of hot pink (I need to get that pink in whenever I can).

When I arrange a flowerpot I always start in the middle and work outwards, I like to include height in the center, which usually is a spike plant.



Then I like to put in some type of ivy, depending on the size of the pot I will put in 2 to 3 of the ivy, spacing them around the pot to fill in with other flowers.  I usually pick variegated ivy, it gives the arrangement dimension and it looks so pretty cascading down the edge of the pots.

Finally I add the rest of the flowers, alternating colors and texture throughout the pot.
















After the flowers are all arranged, I give the pot a good drink of water and then sit them up on the porch!




















I also added a nice lavender color swishy wreath to the door to tie in the English garden carefree look! Now the entrance to our house looks bright and cheery for our friends and family to come overcoat a nice barbeque!

Plants I used:

Petunia (they are the hot pink ones)

Snow Princess (they are the pretty pink ones)

Patina (is the fluffy purple)

Zinnia (are little daisy flowers)