After my hubby Steve and I attended the La Jolla Secret Garden Tour recently, I woke up suddenly that night with the inspiration to create more of an "outdoor living room" feeling on our tiny 6x9' terrace, where I could comfortably sit and have coffee in the morning overlooking our pretty pocket park, and where we could have appetizers and a cool drink together in the evening. And so, off we soon were to shop together for our latest dollarwise home decorating project.
Here's a tour of what we did; click on photos to enlarge.
We found the turquoise outdoor seat cushions at our local Target, and we turned the floral cushions we already had vertically on our metal garden bench so it's now fully padded and comfy! We also bought this gardeny-scroll 5x7 outdoor rug at Big Lots!, and we found this "faux wicker" coffee table/bench with a flip-up lid for storage at Big Lots! too. The bench/table was part of this set, but we were able to buy just the table on sale which was good since we didn't want the whole set.
Steve put the rug down without having to do any cutting to get it to fit. It will also be easy to sweep off when needed. (After nearly 34 years of marriage, it still makes me fall head-over-heels in love with my hubby yet again when he does one of these handyman kind of gigs for me! xxoo, babe!)
We found these "faux wicker" chairs at Costco and bought them mostly because they stack, which saves room in a tiny space. Plus they look nice with our new outdoor rug's scroll motif. The chairs are sturdy too, and wipe off easily to clean. We were able to buy a two-pack for just $69 at our local Costco store, vs. having to buy a four pack like they show here at Costco online. The turquoise and brown outdoor chair cushions are from Target.
We had one 5' turquoise umbrella from World Market that we bought last year because the small size is perfect for our tiny terrace. At the end of last summer, they had them on sale for a song, so I bought another one and my hubs put both of them up this year for more shade. It worked! He attached the poles right to the terrace railing. Trust me, they're sturdy, but I don't know exactly how he went about it since that's his he-man department! I stick to coming up with decorating ideas in the middle of the night! :)
We found the solar rosette-motif string lights at our local Big Lots! and my hubby easily installed them under the umbrellas. They charge during the day in the sun and come on automatically at night. My hubby did tell me though that on a cloudy day under the shade of the umbrella they don't charge as well as they do on a highly sunny day and so, last night, they went dark sooner. Ooops. The metal screens we bought years ago at Burlington and Steve spray painted them ivory. The various planters hanging on the railing are from Big Lots!, Tuesday Morning, and The Alley in Palm Desert, CA.
After work we had a little "table for two" gathering out there when Steve arrived home. Ahhhh, time to enjoy life!
I set up a simple snack tray since that's also my department. We found this wooden tray, and the white stoneware platter, at TJMaxx. Here's a similar wooden tray. (Only ours was just $19.99 though, dollarwise gal that I am.) The sheer table runner is one I found months ago at Goodwill and I also found the pretty brown floral ceramic pitcher there too. (Two pitchers for just $8.99 and like brand new; I love them!) The ceramic bread basket I had already; I think I bought it at Marshalls years ago.
When I was gifted a stay at the beautiful La Valencia Hotel, I brought the paper drink coasters home that were in my hotel room so I would be reminded at home of the exquisite seaside hotel beauty of staying at "La V." You've paid for the coasters and tiny shampoos and exquisite soaps in your room as part of your hotel stay, so why not bring them home as a lovely memento instead of using them while you're at the hotel?! I included them here in my own terrace vignette.
We hung our little foldable metal serving table on the railing. We bought the table years ago at The Alley in downtown Palm Springs, CA when we were on vaca there. The Alley is another great discount home decorating mecca! We love sleuthing home discount and consignment stores together when we're on vacation together. Some people might find that boring, but we consider it fun!
I also found the tall ceramic urn at Goodwill for a song. I LOVE my local Goodwill for inexpensive home accessories. Goodwill is the ultimate in recycling and repurposing, and when I'm bored with something, I can re-donate it back there. Why not?!
We found this little pole solar lantern at Big Lots! and my hubby attached it to the railing. The white garden chair we've had for years. If we want to have sit-down dinner instead of appetizers on the coffee table/bench, or have two other guests join us for dinner, all we have to do is set up our white bistro tables side-by-side in front of our bench. Add a pretty tablecloth and we're there. The bistro set is from Target for a great dollarwise price, and is very sturdy metal quality and has a nice heavy paint finish. They have them too in fun colors like red, lime green and blue, etc.
Our little outdoor living room is now my favorite place to put my feet up and relax!
You can find more small space decorating and organizing ideas in my internationally bestselling book/eBook, Small Space Organizing: A Room-by-Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space.
And you can find more dollarwise decorating and organizing tips in my eBook, 121 Dollarwise Decorating & Organizing Tips to Make Your House a Home.
Here are pix of some other tiny terraces turned pretty and useful outdoor spaces!
What fun dollarwise home decorating project do you have up your sleeve for summer?!