For the past year my husband and I have been working toward giving our new house a face-lift (OK, two years— it is quite the process).
It has been a slow and occasionally painful journey made bearable only by my love of finding new decorations and design elements. We have tackled larger projects, like major changes in the kitchen and down-to-the-studs situations in the bathrooms, and now we're moving through each room, filling them up with all the layers we can squeeze in.
Currently we're focused on finishing up the nursery for our new little one and the dining room so we can at least pretend to host family holidays. Next on my list was going to be our living room, but I find myself getting distracted.
With the weather gearing up for sunny days, I can't help but think I need to get my garden and outdoor space elevated from junk pile (most recently piled high with old doors) to backyard oasis. In truth, all it took was one visit to Mary Carol Garrity's beautiful cottage to see that a stunning setting under the sun and stars is a must-have for the new season ahead.
I have deemed a few outdoor items completely necessary for my backyard. The first is a large dining table for entertaining both my family and any friends that might happen to stop by. I love having a spot to gather for some lovely al fresco dining.
When looking to create an outdoor dining area, I know I need something practical but pretty. Size matters when the kitchen is more than a few steps away!
Oversized tables with lots of room for dishes and decorations are therefore a must. Feature some sweet potted plants down the center for a seasonal centerpiece that only requires a little watering and perhaps pruning.
Near the top of my dream backyard wish list is a small lounge area perfect for an evening by the fire. While a traditional fire pit is lovely, I am partial to something with a little more character.
A fire bowl is not only lovely, but this wood-burning option is also highly mobile and can be moved around between uses depending on where you need it. Its small size puts off a lot of heat and can be maneuvered into an existing seating arrangement easily. Sturdy chairs with wonderfully plush cushions round out the perfect corner for an evening glass of wine or cup of tea.
Because of my lack of a green thumb, the actual garden areas around our home are lacking. I make up for that with plenty of planters to house my few living botanicals and flowers. I especially love the planters with natural moss baked into the terra cotta; they blend so beautifully with nature.
Of course, this wouldn't be my ideal oasis without some extra decorative touches. Few things complete an outdoor space, to me, like a set of garden stools and a group of beautiful outdoor pillows. We all need a place to rest our drinks — and our heads — during those lazy summer afternoons.
Hopefully this dream turns into a reality soon. I am so excited for the upcoming months and the goodies that come along with it.
Adapted from nellhills.com. Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill's.