April 2, 2012

Operation Renovation: Backyard

Although I haven't posted in a few days, I assure you that I have been B.U.S.Y!  

My mom arrived from Alabama last Wednesday and, from the time she arrived until her departure earlier this morning, we have had non-stop fun!  Although there is nothing I can do to change it, visits like this one remind me how nice it would be to be closer to family...especially my mom.  In an ideal world, I would get to see her every week, and projects like the ones we did last week would happen all the time.

But enough of my pity-party.  I want to share our accomplishments with all of you!  Specifically, during my mom's five day visit we:

  • found new decorative pillows for the living room;
  • spruced up the front yard and entryway (more on that in a future post!);
  • bought (and put together) a kitchen shelving unit to store my appliances and baking dishes; and
  • Mod Podged over half a dozen mandalas onto wood furniture (another future post!).

In addition to all of those things, and a few more that I didn't mention, my mom also helped me to completely redo - or rather do for the first time - our backyard!

Since Bo, Lola, and I moved into our home about a month ago, our backyard has looked bare, uninviting, and uninspired.  Although the weather has been phenomenal here in JAX these past few weeks (70'S and 80's), we haven't been able to enjoy our backyard because:
  1. we had nowhere to sit;
  2. couldn't escape the sun, and therefore the inevitable sunburn; and
  3. there were no plants or flowers to look at.

In a word, up until this past weekend, our backyard has been BORING.


See?!  I told you so!

No furniture.

No plants or flowers.

No fun.

Before I go into detail on all the work that we did to spruce up the space, here is a quick peek at the "after".


Isn't that amazing?!  

Considering we had a pretty small budget, I think the change is noticeable and fantastic!  Although I did some of the work, and helped pick out the furniture and wall decor, my mom is to thank for the majority of this transformation.  More than anyone I know, she has the proverbial "green thumb".  She has a love for all things that grow and, as a result, was the in-house expert on our little project.

Together we picked out two plants to place in large pots.  Over time, these plants will grow to be approximately three to four feet tall and wide.  The perfect size for a potted plant, if you ask me.  More than anything though, we fell in love with the color of these plants.  Once planted in their respective red pots they were simply stunning!  I never would have believed it before, but a couple of plants make a HUGE difference!

My mom worked so hard to pot these plants!  Digging, spreading, planting, watering - you name it, she did it!

As you can see, Lola helped too. :)

After removing the plants from their plastic bins, Lola made sure they were out of our way and put to good use as a new chew toy!

By the way, I can't get over how B.I.G. she is getting...and so quickly too!  Just two short weeks ago she would not have had the jaw strength or the ability to pick up these containers.

My how things change.

If you ask me, the end result was gorgeous!  With just these two potted plants our backyard began to look cohesive, inviting, and warm.

All that potting and watering tuckered Lola out!  After finding her way to some cool grass in the shade, she slept for an hour or so...and in "frog pose" to boot! :)

After searching at Big Lots, Ross, Target, and Home Depot, we finally found a patio set that matched both our budget and our aesthetic at Lowe's.  The set came with a table, six chairs (but they gave us a seventh for free...hey, it may be an awkward number but, I'll take it!), an umbrella, and an umbrella stand.   The color isn't anything to write home about, but I already have some ideas for making it look festive with placemats, napkins, etc.

We did find two little outdoor pots at Hobby Lobby on clearance.  The color continued our red theme, and after a quick trip to The Dollar Tree (a must-visit store for my mom and I!), we added a couple of candles and decorative rocks to the inside.

And, WHA-LA!  

That's how table decorations are born!

Also at Hobby Lobby, we lucked out and found this outdoor iron wall decor - also on clearance - for under $30.00!  You can't see it all that well in the picture, but the decorative piece includes eight candle holders as well.  At night, you can light the miniature candles and create romantic, mood lighting.


Although I would still like to add a grill and a shoe-rack (for our outdoor shoes) to the back patio, for now I am thrilled with how it looks!  Hopefully, by the time Memorial Day weekend (and our one-year anniversary) role around, we can buy a grill and host an outdoor party!

I am already playing with themes, menus, and cocktails in my head...

...until then, Lola, Bo, and I will enjoy our beautiful backyard all by ourselves!

Thanks mom.

Up next - Coloring 3.0 and Mod Podge.  I am so excited to share this with you all!!!

Question of the Day:

Do you enjoy yard work?  If so, I would love to hear about some of your outdoor projects in the comment section below!

Ally and Bo

1 comment:

  1. Loved helping with all the projects. can't wait to come back for more!!!