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Our Outside House

I never considered an outdoor kitchen until my husband mentioned it one day when our pool install was complete. Actually, I didn't even consider it in that moment. We had been remodeling for years at that point and, though uncharacteristic of me, I couldn't stomach the thought of another massive project. I was tired. But typically if you just give me enough time, I'll jump right back in to project mode and this was no different. James also wanted to extend our garage so that he could have a sizable workshop--it and the outdoor kitchen would create a little space in the yard that I knew would be perfect for a firepit lounge area and I realized that expanding our livable outside space would substantially increase our ability to host large gatherings and just relax individually. I wanted it to feel like some of the resorts we inhabited on our travels around the country: easy on the eyes and easy to just melt into. Here's what the area looked like when we first bought the house:



It was exactly giving resort vibes in those early days. There's a previous blog post about how we changed our back patio, changed the fence, and added the pool, which, as I've already mentioned, was where it ended for me. But, alas, we rolled up our sleeves and plowed forward to make our backyard complete. I wanted something atypical. I see a lot of outdoor kitchens that don't look especially modern and, though I knew we'd have some rustic touches, I wanted the colors to be different from the usual red brick/stained wood that I always see. I knew I wanted concrete countertops instead of stone and that I wanted the cabinetry to be a concrete color, too, so that paired with the stainless aspects, the actual kitchen area would be highly monochromatic. I needed that saturated gray to counterbalance the white and black I wanted to incorporate. Brick pavers and wood aspects would also go a long way in achieving the layered modern paint scheme I was shooting for. Plants and pillows on a bed swing (an absolute MUST) were my other ideas. I initially wanted a longgggg table to accommodate 16 to 20, but soon realized that looked weird with just a swing to the side and decided to do an eight-seat table and have the swing area be more of a living space, breaking the area into two equal parts dining and living. I love the end result.


Some of my favorite details are the cabinet doors and the peephole handles, the farm table my dad made over twenty years ago, and (of course!) the bed swing, which my sweet James executed perfectly. It is the most relaxing spot in the backyard now, perfect for reading or a summertime catnap. I foresee many pool parties, s'mores building around the firepit, and moments of peace and decompression. I feel like we now have an inside house and an outside house and I am so glad I didn't let remodel fatigue stop me from seeing James' vision. We are loving the space and look forward to enjoying it for years to come.

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Redfin Feature

Check out my latest design feature via Redfin! https://www.redfin.com/blog/neutral-home-decor-tips/ The article talks about using creams and beiges in design and I'm excited to be a part of it!

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