As much as we like our house and can appreciate some of its quirks, we really didn’t buy this place for the house itself.
Nope, we really bought a location more than anything. That’s because our acre backs up to a bunch of county land, with a pond and a lot of beautiful wildlife.
We didn’t waste much time enjoying it (once the weather got nicer at least) and have spent a lot of happy hours and meals outside together, listening to the frogs and seeing birds go by and even growing some herbs and peppers in our little garden.
But now, the time has finally come to take this *okay* living situation and turn it into a dreamy outdoor living room.
Our living space is great, but certainly not massive, so we’re excited to use this space as an extension of our living areas, and hopefully it will grow and change as we live here and we get more acquainted with how we actually want to use it.
But, for phase 1, we’re all ready getting started! If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll know that we spent a day ripping out a little shed and a lot of concrete! We have plans for the new path and patio to be poured this weekend, and then we’ll recover and expand the existing deck then.
This is one of those projects that nothing was happening on until suddenly IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Which means I really need to lock down what we’re doing exactly.
Naturally, we took a lot of inspiration for our outdoor space from our trip to Palm Springs for Modernism Week. As a place where they take indoor/outdoor living very seriously, we studied how the designers there created spaces that felt luxurious, glamorous, yet relaxed and welcoming.
We’re hoping to take that essence to the midwest in a style I’m somewhat jokingly calling “Palm-Springs-does-Moroccan-in-the-Midwest”.
Let me show you what I mean.
See how these spaces have an element of bohemian flavor but still feel polished and intentional? Even glamorous? That’s what we’re going for here.
I guess you could call it “Glam Boho” or “Midcentury Moroccan” but it’s not quite as fun, is it? “Palm-Springs-does-Moroccan-in-the-Midwest” it is.
The hardscapes of the patio, concrete walkways, and deck itself are going to be pretty neutral. We want it to be flexible, not too much of any one style so that it’s hard to restyle in the future if we shift our vibe.
We’re going with concrete for the patio and path because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy compared to pavers. (Plus, we know some people who do concrete and they’re doing it as a side job, keeping costs down even more.)
I picked a simple grey-on-grey color scheme for the concrete, with a darker outline around the paths and patio (somewhat like this).
For the deck, we’re doing a composite decking that looks like reclaimed wood (the color is “Antique Leather”).
We’re actually creating a somewhat small patio, because I want to embrace and encourage a sense of coziness and connection. I want a place where we can connect with all of our guests, instead of feeling miles away from them.
While we want a fire element, I really want it to be up off the ground. The usual suspect in Minnesota is a fire pit, but I don’t like the “pit” idea in the middle of my patio. So we’re going to go with a gas fire coffee table and probably a chiminea for when we want that wood burning smell. Someday, we might add an outdoor fireplace like this one.
Setting the Mood
The Palm Springs Moroccan vibe is going to come in through the furnishings. Instead of basic outdoor sectional, I want to choose a couch that’s low to the ground for a relaxed vibe. Then, we’ll have a cozy outdoor daybed to encourage lazy afternoons reading (or napping) in the sun.
I want to find a way to string bistro lights up as well, so if you have a brilliant idea, let me know!