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The Deck, One Year Later + What’s Still to Come!

Almost exactly one year ago, the deck as a structure was complete! It’s been a wonderful addition to our home and we can barely remember life before it. But I figured it was time to check in on it again (before the stars come out, that is) since we’ve had a few new additions this year and have one more big project to do out here. The photo above is the “before” angle of the first photo. We never spent time out here when it was in that state, so it feels like we gained a lot of square footage by adding on this outdoor area. A few weeks ago, we added the cedar planter boxes and filled them in with strawberries, peppers, miniature asparagus, and some decorative grasses up top. Furniture-wise, we finally found the perfect coffee table for the main seating area. This round concrete table (on sale!) took…

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Casual Friday + Our Hanging Chairs

School’s out, the warm weather has finally arrived and we’re soaking up every second over here. This also means we have a lot of outdoor projects and posts coming up including building a big front porch swing, an outdoor kitchen, adding a play set to our yard (more on that in a minute), a look at the budget outdoor dining space we did for my parents, and a few additions we made to our own deck. Hanging Chair | Chair Stand | Draper Navy Cushion  Speaking of which, our new swing chairs have popped up on my Instagram stories a few times over the last couple weeks since we got them and I have been getting so many questions about where they are from. I was initially going to wait to talk about them until a full post about the deck, but they are on sale this weekend–so I can’t resist! We purchased…

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How We Keep our Outdoor Furniture Clean

Since we’ve been sharing a few sneak peeks of our deck lately (we’ve added a few more pieces and will be sharing the full reveal next week), the number one question we are getting on Instagram right now is how we keep our outdoor sofas clean. They all are very light white or ivory, and while that usually can mean they would get dirty–fast, we somehow have kept them clean for over a year now. Here’s what we do. First, every climate is different and each piece of furniture or fabric will react differently. If you live in an extremely wet climate, you may have to worry about mold. We live in the desert of Idaho. It’s very dry here, rains very occasionally, but it is extremely windy. And that can sometimes mean dust, dirt and debris everywhere. Here’s a glimpse of what our couches looked like after a wind storm. Our first line of…

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A Night In (On the deck!)

This special series is sponsored by Article. Once May hit and we were pretty sure the snow was over (#idaholife), we started working on pulling our furnishings out from storage and setting our deck up for the season. In addition to the planter boxes we recently built, we also added two of Article’s Sala white lounge chairs and their tall Grid basket in white (those leather handles–c’mon!) for easy-access blanket and pillow storage. From May until October, we live out here. We host parties and have dinner and lounge and play–it’s our main hub. In the spirit of A Night In, our ongoing quarterly series where we invite a handful of our favorite bloggers to share their home after the sun goes down (linked at the end of the post!), we wanted to share a few pictures from the first of many nights out this season. As the sun is just setting, Chris lights the fire and our…

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How to Build a Tiered Garden Planter Box

This Spring has been such a tease. Every time it felt like we were turning a corner, BOOM, more snow. Or just cold rain. And don’t get me wrong, we live in a major potato farming community (classic Idaho, amirite?) and I’m happy that the farmers will have plenty of water this year, but sometimes I just need to see that sun and feel its warmth on my skin! Which I guess is when you take a trip to Hawaii. But! This past week has been exquisite. A little rain here and there but mostly sunny, warm, and perfect for buildin’ stuff! And what better Spring project is there than making some planter boxes? Some of our long, long time readers may recall our planter boxes from our last house. They were great and all, but they also were going to take up a large portion of the yard and an even larger…

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How to Build an Outdoor Fireplace

Our backyard underwent a major transformation this summer. We added a sprawling deck to our backyard and furnishings and finally, built an outdoor fireplace as the finishing touch. As a reminder, just a few months ago, the space looked like this: We went between the idea of fire pit vs fireplace, but in the end a fireplace had the architectural elements that a fire pit didn’t offer; the height and the fact that the even when it isn’t being used, it still looks great and intentional especially sold us on the idea. I loved the look of a few board-formed concrete fireplaces I had seen, so with inspiration in hand, we built our own in a week for around $1300. Instead of board-formed concrete, which is a pretty intense process, we used James Hardy siding (a non-combustible cement siding) which gave us a really similar look at a budget-friendly price and…

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First Look: Building Our Outdoor Fireplace

We pretty much always have somewhere between two and thirteen projects going on at any given time. Most of you probably read about the wall covering we worked on last week for our office. We’re also working on a few finishing elements for the basement, ordered a new ceiling fan for our bedroom, and are working on a little side thing that will be revealed at some future point (hopefully in the next month ;) ). And, right now, we’ve teamed up with homes.com on a few upcoming projects, the first of which is our outdoor fireplace. When we built the deck, we knew we would eventually have a fireplace, so you may remember that we designed it to have a place so we could add one when that time came. Well, that time started last week and will end this weekend. Here’s the spot we added for the fireplace: One…

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Our Outdoor Sofas are Here + What’s Next?

The outdoor sofas we ordered a few weeks ago arrived the day before we left for Pittsburgh. As much as I wanted to bust them out of their boxes and arrange them on the newly finished deck, I knew them sitting outside for 10 days, unused, didn’t really make a ton of sense. So as soon as we got home, they were on the top of the list–and they’re just what we hoped they would be! Those clean lines and warm wood slats–mmm! Each sofa took about 20 minutes to assemble. It wasn’t complicated, just took a little time. After we put them together, we had a seat to test them out. The cushions aren’t ones that you sink into–they’re definitely firm with a little bit of give. Time will tell if they break in eventually, but neither Chris nor I minded the density. They feel comfortable for lots of outdoor chats….

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Our Finished Deck!

Our deck is done! Our deck is done! We’ve been enjoying our outdoors for, what feels like, the first time since we moved here over 2 years ago. Today, I’m excited to share with you a bunch of photos, cost breakdown (while we paid for the sub-structure and labor, Trex supplied the decking, but we’ll add it all up at the end of the post so you can get an accurate idea of what something like this costs), process and a few unique choices we made. What this post isn’t is a finished, perfectly styled deck. We’re still working on that part, and are committed to letting it evolve over time. You’ll see we have a few pieces in place, and these outdoor sofas are on their way, but the girls are enjoying the open spaces right now, too. Let’s rewind for a minute, because it’s hard to believe our backyard used to look…

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13 Things To Add to Your Outdoor Space this Summer

Since we’re focusing on our outdoors a lot this summer–the deck is wrapping up!–I’ve been doing a lot of hunting around for furnishings. We have most of our bigger items picked out, but accessories can add so much personality to a space. Or, they can update a tired patio on a smaller budget. Here are a few things I have my eye on (all under $100!): 1. Concrete Fluted Planter–Pottery Barn $99 2. Lawn Bowling Game–William Sonoma $55 3. Natural Outdoor Pouf–Target $49 4. Green Alonso Geo Outdoor Lumbar Pillow–World Market $18 5. Copper Beverage Tub–Wayfair $54 6. Pendleton Plaid Lambswool Throw–Backcountry $65 7. Ceramic Planter with Leather Strap–World Market $34 8. Synthetic Jute Trimmed Outdoor Pillow–Pottery Barn $39 9. Wall Planters–Crate & Barrel $5 10. Wood Slat Chaise–World Market $95 11. Striped Napkins and Buffalo Check Napkins–William Sonoma $24 (set of 4) 12. Globe String Lights–Crate & Barrel $39 13. Brass Swivel…

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