If you live in Canada, especially in Saskatchewan like I do, you know our ‘patio’ season is short and sweet. But instead of using the fleeting nature of the summer as a reason NOT to create a backyard oasis, I use it as a reason TO create a space where I can make the most of my favourite time of year! Keep reading to find out how I transform our deck into a backyard retreat.
We moved into our home four years ago. At that point the house was not quite one year old, so it was basically still a blank canvas. It was built in a new neighbourhood, and the yard was mostly weeds and lacked a deck or fence. My husband and I are the DIY type so we had a lot of work ahead of us. Ok I should clarify; I find inspiration pictures on Pinterest, share them with my husband, and then nag him to build me what I see until he does ;) He is pretty handy so I’m lucky that way (and lot’s of others).
We started with building a deck our first year in the house. I wanted a large, open, area that overlooked the yard. I’m super happy with how it turned out but there is one thing I would do differently. There isn’t enough space to plant trees between the east side of the deck and the fence, so we can see directly into our neighbour’s backyard and vice versa (my finger's are crossed that one day they will plant some trees along their back fence). We have been dining outside frequently and things can get a bit awkward lol. So our upcoming weekend plans include building a privacy wall. I’ve been pinning some inspo here.
Once our deck build was complete the next order of business was outdoor patio furniture. I found our versatile sectional and love seat from Ikea. I wanted something simple, affordable, and that had options for different arrangements. The Solleron checked all those boxes. I’ve since found this set on Amazon that looks almost identical, but is cheaper- yay! I feel like patio heaters are a nice luxury to add, as they definitely make for a more cozy night outside. We have a low rectangular fire table that was a gift. I love the ambience it creates and that we can use it to roast marshmallows, but truthfully, it doesn’t give off a ton of heat. The taller standing heat lamps definitely provide more warmth. I think it would be nice to have both!
I love the welcoming feel that toss cushions and blankets give any furniture, so I styled our patio set with plenty of both things. You and I both know that with our moody climate, pillows and throws are only brought out when the space is being used. I haven’t found true outdoor cushions that I love, so I instead picked up some affordable throw pillows and blankets that could also be used with our indoor decor as well.
Once we had the deck and furniture, that was enough of an investment for the first year. But come our second summer in our home, it was time for a pergola. Main reason being- those pretty string lights, duh! :P I must give my hubs extra props for building our pergola. I think it only took him about one day, he did it alone (ok I held a few pieces of wood in place), and the total cost was around $500. I had found him some tutorials and away he went! Adding curtains can also allow for some privacy and shade. A pergola adds a lot of dimension and dreaminess to a yard and I would highly recommend.
Being on maternity leave this summer, had me spending more time day-dreaming out the window and I wanted to elevate our patio a bit further. I seem to be super attracted to woven things lately and have been lusting after these Acapulco Chairs for awhile. Originally, I purchased them for our front patio but they ended up looking a little squished, so I moved them to our back patio and did some furniture re-arranging. I loved how they added a bit of variety to our furniture.
When it comes outdoor plants, I stick to mostly greenery. I’ve tried doing colourful flowers but decided they just aren’t me. I picked up a few tropical palm leaf plants this year, as well as some hanging ferns. I found my outdoor plants and pots at Walmart for an excellent price. Another project on this summer’s (never-ending) to-do list is building a garden box over our back window and I’ll likely plant some ivy in there to trail over.
The dining section of our patio is our most recent addition. I have wanted to set up an outdoor table and chairs set but the price of most of the sets I like has turned me off from doing so. This summer my friend Meredith mentioned she was getting an outdoor picnic bench and I thought that was a brilliant idea! I contacted a local carpenter who makes and sells his custom picnic benches and a few days later, he was delivering one to us! I think you can style picnic benches in a way that gives them a cozy, rustic, farmhouse feel. We’ve already used the table a few times and it’s perfect for us, as well as hosting company for a backyard BBQ.
To dress up our picnic table, I found a burlap table runner, round woven placemats, and some rattan vases, jugs, and lanterns as a centrepiece. I also sourced an outdoor rug underneath, as well as some faux sheep skin bench covers to make it just a little more comfy cozy. I’m super happy with how it looks when it’s all done up. I was debating adding an outdoor umbrella but will see if it is still needed once we have our privacy wall built.
Now that we have everything we need (and more) to enjoy summer on our deck, I find the most important part is to schedule in time to be outside! If I don’t make a mental note to invite friends and family over for a patio drink or BBQ, it seems summer just flies by and is over before I know it. I’m always wanting to wait for something whether it be a project to be complete or better weather, but I’m learning that there is no better time than ‘now.’ And that’s my biggest takeaway for you- get outside and enjoy what’s left of summer!
I’ve linked everything I could to my Best of Backyard list on my Amazon Storefront. Be sure to check it out… but only if you’re outside while doing so ;)
Thanks for stopping by babes,