Outdoor living

Nice to meet you here again! Since April the weather has been a little warmer hear in Southern Finland so gradually my decorating focus has shifted from indoors to outdoors. Usually in June we have a full summer temperatures going over 20 degrees (Celsius), but this year it´s been only few days, when it´s been that warm. I really look forward all those warm summer days relaxing and gathering with friends in our back deck.

In April I took all our outdoor furniture and gave them a good clean. I placed them in our back deck, but it takes a little more than that to beautify the space ;) We also have a small front porch, so I decided they both needed to better match our style and give a nice first impression! We also have a metal pavilion in the back yard, which I eventually want to decorate, too. For now I concentrated for the front porch and back deck.

I began by making some inspirational mood boards. One for relaxing and other for eating and entertaining.

When we moved here over five years ago, the first two summers were really warm and my back was in bad shape. I wanted to be able to enjoy the summer outdoors, so we decided to buy a metal daybed frame and a mattress! It´s been the best purchase for the space and we plan to spend a night there this summer (if the weather gets warmer) after purchasing a mosquito net to hang over the bed. Our bed frame is the same as in the picture, but black. To complete the look and the relaxing feel, I planned to buy big grass-like plants, jute rug, white curtains and of course some pillows on the bed :)

The back deck isn´t very big, about 3 by 5 meters and it has a see through plastic roof. So besides the bed and of course grill, there isn´t room for a big table. We have four white rattan chairs and a round table there right now. After reading Jackie Hernandez new book Free decorating, which is the best decor book I have ever red, I started to think which of those furniture pieces I really love and want to keep and which ones I plan to replace. I want a space, which I love and which has a staying power so I don´t have to do makeovers every year! I knew I wanted to keep the daybed, but the round table we have is going to go, when I have enough money to buy a new one and the chairs - well..I thought I should replace them too. I found a nice also round table from Trademax, which has those Eames DSW chairs look a like legs. I instantly fell in love with that table!

The chairs were a trickier part. I love the look of Ikea´s black rattan chair as well as a poly-rattan ones you see practically everywhere. But I was left thinking, what it is in our rattan chairs I don´t like! Color was the obvious answer! I would also like to have a chair with arms, but our current chairs don´t have them. In a small space, those armless ones are in fact better, because they don´t take so much space, and they are easier to sit in. So, I decided to keep the chairs, but paint them to better match my vision. After sawing them painted I´m so glad I kept them, because they are like new chairs! Those chairs a the very first chairs we bought with my husband, then boyfriend, when we moved together in 2002. In 2006 I painted them white to match my style then and now they got a black update! I´d like to all my furniture choices to last time and trends like those chairs!

Besides the furniture I wanted to continue the same look as in the first mood board, after all it´s one space! White curtains, jute rug, plants and some pillows would finish things off. I also dreamed for decorative lights and some big lanterns. I´m saving for the jute rug, but in the mean time, we have there our previous living room wool rug.

It´s been enough words, don´t you think? Time for some photos :) First the back deck! There you can see the almost new black chairs and the current table as well as our daybed. Just in time for big Finnish Mid-summer festival on 20th, I bought those string lights. If you look close enough, you can see a mirror there! I´m planning on hanging it to the wall, so it reflects all the green in our back yard. I plan also to hang there a few picture frames to form like a gallery wall - bringing the inside out ;). To get a better idea of our layout, that window and door next to it, lead to our fireplace room. You can even see our front door there in the other end :)

Here you can see some of the roof. It lets some of the light in, blocking the UV-rays. I had cream white curtains, which I didn´t need inside any more and which I had kept to use outdoors. I used a white plastic covered wire rope designed to hang curtains and some hooks to hang them. I also used the same wire rope near the floor to attach the curtains there too. It´s quite windy here so it´s nice to know those curtains stay in place! And hey- did you noticed the lights? LOVE them.

This is the view from inside out. Our gas grill and our "Muurikka"pan, a large round cast metal piece. It´s kept over a fire so you can use it to make food and  Finnish delicacy "lettu" a type of pancake resembling crêpe. I´m planning on replacing that awful lid over it ;) I love the fact that the grill and the muurikka are on carts, so they are easy to move around!

Here is another photo of our favorite spot! A nice breezy warm summer day, a good book or a good blog to read and a cold drink - perfection!

I bought a few different grasses, because I love the geometric look they have and one Japanese maple, which I´m planting on the ground in fall. They bring just enough of that green, lush feel to the deck I wanted.

Here´s one shot from the deck to our yard. Behind those spruces we have those big crack willows just in the border of our yard. You can see glimpses of a white house. It has only few windows facing us, and they use that small part of their lot only when mowing the grass. So we have enough privacy on the deck. The curtains can be moved to control the privacy and the sun light, too.

There is also a little water feature in our back yard, which we absolutely love! Water comes out on top of the "ball" and runs back down, where is a small pump circulating the water back to the top. The sound of water is very relaxing and that´s one reason why we wanted the feature near the deck! It´s also pretty to look at ;)

You can see on the above photo an area covered with filter fabric. It´s a place to cart tons of gravel and where we are going to build a storage shed for firewood. I hope we still have some time to spend in the outdoor bed reading ;) and enjoying summer! I first planned to show you our front porch too, but I keep you in suspense till next time ;)

See you here again! Hope you are all able to enjoy warm sunny summer days wherever you are :)


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