There is something pretty awesome about a functional outdoor living space. One of the things we loved most about our house when we bought it was the courtyard between the house and the garage. It is not very large, but it is private, and we enjoy it during the football season most of all!
In this next photo, you can see the exterior wall that keeps us just out of view from the street. Phoebe likes to jump up on that love seat under the "window" and greet people walking by. And, yes! Our wooden gate has a peep-hole!
We knew when we were planning the patio that we wanted comfortable and flexible seating options. The sofa sectional can be moved around to accommodate a variety of seating arrangements. We purchased ours on Amazon three years ago and they are sadly no longer available. The navy cushions were new Allen + Roth replacements found at Lowe's last year, and they have resisted stains well. They do occasionally go on sale, which is the perfect time to snatch them up for the next season!
The fire pit has a cover feature that serves as a table when we aren't staying warm or roasting marshmallows. This was also a Lowes purchase from a few years ago and I don't see anything like on their site anymore, which is a shame. It has a deep pit and we can put several large logs in there, which is nice on cold football nights!
On Saturdays during college football season, Jay will bring out two large TVs for all-day viewing. We are Missouri fans living in Ohio, so we aren't able to make it to many games anymore; however, we do enjoy full afternoons and evenings out here cheering on our Tigers. (Even when they lose...which, unfortunately, has been the case lately.)
When we were designing our space, the landscape architect suggested espalier apple trees to flank either side of the french doors that lead into our house. It was a nice way to add green and to soften that giant side of the house without taking any physical space away from our already "cozy" quarters. I love them! And we actually get some apples. It takes us about 30 seconds to harvest our crop. Unless the squirrels get them first! Eventually I would like to have a small pergola added above the doors, as well as shutters to the guest window above.
Two years ago I decided I wanted to grow an ivy lattice on the side of the garage. you can kind of see it in the photo below (taken from the guest room window). It's slow-going because the ivy is potted and goes pretty dormant over the winter. This year I am going to give those pots some winter jackets and see if they come back earlier in the spring that last year.
I added a flower box to our garage window, too... and it is usually sporting flowers, but all of my geraniums got camera shy. Go ahead and imagine pretty pops of red under that window, just in front of the lanterns.
The lanterns have LED candles at turn on for 5 hours and add a nice glow at night. It is nice to not have to worry about real flames. The candles are from Pottery Barn and were definitely worth the investment. If your candles receive a lot of direct sunlight before turning them on, make sure to get the outdoor plastic candles instead of the wax ones, so they don't melt or soften. We are very lucky to have a mostly shaded patio once it hits noon!
Of course, twinkle lights, potted plants, smooshy pillows, and lots of blankets round out my list of must-haves for the ultimate patio setting. What are your faves?
Thanks for visiting! Happy football season! Come back soon... XO