Tag Archives: patio

Thank You Martha Stewart – Patio Inspiration

16 May

On the 13th, Martha Stewart’s Organizing Tip of the Day included some Bottle Beauty.

Bars and buffet tables must be adequately lighted, but they’re often located far from electrical outlets. An easy, inexpensive solution is to gather clear apothecary bottles and fill them with lamp oil and wicks. Arrange the bottles under a large hurricane for protection; we set these on a sturdy glass cake stand (make sure the bottles are evenly balanced on the stand).

This had me thinking about spending quality time on the patio this spring and summer.  Small details like this can certainly turn a nice night into an enchanting one.

First things first, enchantment can only be enhanced by a little bubbly.  The packaging adds something special.

Here are some dreamscapes – patio style.

Sources: Bottle Beauty; Veuve Clicquot Rose Vintage 2004; Outdoor living room; Couch swing; Santa Fe fireplace; Sun porch; Front porch


Optimizing Space: Prettying the Patio

2 May

Harper needed his backyard to be spruced up STAT — it was very sad.  Yes it was partially his fault – our original grass from when we moved in did not fare well.  Last summer Nate planted sod and gave it two weeks Harper-free to flourish with no luck.  Alas we abandoned all hope of a backyard oasis until spring sprung this year.

Full disclosure – we have a number of wonderful ideas, but are not the most handy people but boy-oh-boy are we creative!  We currently have a patio, but felt we needed to optimize our space and reduce our grass heartbreak.  We debated a very Sunset Magazine rock yard to really embrace the West Coast or maybe building a deck (but remember that whole not handy thing?).  We knew that we could economically build a new patio to allow for more area for seating and the grill.

As you can see we’re not talking about a large space but we did need to dig a 7×12.5 hole 7 inches deep.  Trench digging does not equal fun.  Nor does carrying over 40 bags of gravel and sand, not to mention the 250 patio blocks in Lowe’s to the car, then from the car through our garage to the backyard.  After we dug the hole we evened it out and laid down gravel, followed by sand – more tamping occured to make sure everything was Even Stevens.

We ran into a few hitches along the way, such as the million sprinkler heads we have in our tiny backyard.  Seriously we have about 10, including one right next to our house – odd.  Also our ground is chunky and filled with all sorts of treasures, such as beer bottle shards and pieces of clay – it was an urban archeological dig.

On Day 2 we put the patio bricks in place, but does that mean you’re done — no way Jose!  We had to fill in the holes with sand – let me tell you there are a lot of nooks and crannies in these puppies!

Wow — look at that level patio!  We’re so impressed by the work we’ve done to be honest with you.  It was backbreaking, but fun and we only had one fight!  I would blame it on low blood sugar more than the hard work.

Next we need to landscape the sides and pot plants to enjoy this Northern California sunshine with cocktails of course!

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