Outdoor Living: some patio spruce-ups

Hold on to your hats ... a home post!   A real, live home post!  A non-training, non-race, non-IMLP post!

I absolutely adore my outdoor spaces, so when I found myself on a gorgeous weekend day with nothing to do and my training done for the day, I set to work.  I have two outdoor spaces: my upstairs deck, which overlooks a gorgeous, private green area and my downstairs patio, which is fenced in and has a perimeter of plantings.  Up today are some updates I made to the downstairs space.  

Downstairs Patio

This wasn't too bad to start: a few weeks ago, I had taken an hour or so to do a little weeding and lay fresh mulch.  I also planted some hydrangea (please live - please!) and a handful of other flowers in the beds.  I pruned the bushes and generally tidied up the space.  Last year I made a ton of progress and did a ton of work and I had plans to do more (as evidenced by the "part 1" in the title of the post), but I eventually shelved the space.  I really don't use this space that much, and I want to change that.  Here are some "before" pictures, which is how my patio looked when I started on this particular day.

What needed to be done, and what I did, follows:

* Cleaned the Bricks *

The first thing I did was clean the bricks.  I bought a commercial deck cleaner last year and mixed up a batch and used that for the bricks.  It did a great job.  I do not like these bricks.  Weeds get in between them and they are a mess to keep clean. But I do my best to keep things looking nice down there.  Cleaning the bricks wasn't fun or pretty: I used a scrub brush and worked in sections, kind of like Cinderella in the movie.  Actually it was exactly like Cinderella.

Only, I had a mean face and was wearing neon.  But at the end of the process, my bricks looked pretty darn fine.

* Replaced the Hose *

Oh that is right:  I replaced my garden hose.  I bought the one above last year when I did my major patio clean up, but I bought one that was insanely long.  I do not need this much hose ... so I will give this one to my parents and bought a smaller one, much more appropriately sized for my space.

* Cleaned the Chairs *

Then it was time to clean my Adirondack chairs.  I bought these years ago at Home Depot.  They're wood and I assembled and spray painted them.  But they were looking a little worse for wear ...

Cleaning was easy.  I just used warm water and Dawn dish detergent and a scrub brush.  And ... voila.  I also added a pillow.

* Decoration! *

Once the chairs were cleaned up, I decorated a bit.  I brought my indoor/outdoor rug outside.  I got this for a steal at Overstock a few years ago, and it was originally intended for my kitchen.  But it was too big for that space.  I moved it into the playroom, where it lived for awhile.  Now it's outside, and I love it out here.  I moved my two outdoor navy and white trellis pillows outside on the chairs.  I think they look great!  And finally, I brought out a table, which I'll eventually paint a different color.  The Adirondacks are not the best quality and I'm probably on borrowed time with them.  I may do a quick swipe of white paint when I have it out, but I'm not going to invest in much time or money with these chairs.  I'll eventually replace them with better quality chairs instead.  But for now, they work and look pretty cute.

I'm happy with my outdoor space!  I just have to keep the plants alive and pruned and add a handful more white stones to the bed where the hose and air conditioning unit live.  But now it's time to break in my patio with a cocktail and a good friend :)

Have a great weekend! 

See you swoon,

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