The Great Backyard Party Part 2: Back Patio

I love indoor/outdoor rugs for their practicality, but the available patterns and colors these days make them even more irresistible.  For a few years now, we’ve been planning to get an outdoor rug but decided to wait until we knew what size we needed for the ‘Zoo…and also because we could not find one that we both liked well enough.  Well, the search is finally over!

As part of our backyard party makeover, we decided to spice things up on our back patio.  We took advantage of a 20% sale and purchased the Improvements’ Tangiers outdoor rug in Spice {see what I did there…spiced it up?}, available here, to anchor the space (and hide the unsightly concrete cracks!).  We chose Spice (orange) to provide contrast to the green lawn, but we also like how the warmth of the rug coordinates with the other warm colors in our existing patio furniture.

TangiersRugimage from improvementscatalog.com

They have a variety of different sizes, including a 7’10” x 10’10”, which was absolutely perfect for our 10′ x 12′ patio.  The size fits the patio seating area nicely while keeping the grill off to the side on the concrete so that there is less mess.  Of course, one of the best things about this rug is that you can just hose it down, and after tracking dirt and grass clippings on it, we can attest to the fact that it sweeps and washes right off with minimal effort.

Cautionary note: I took these pics at high noon because I wanted to show how the rug looks in both shade and bright sunlight. Thankfully we have two umbrellas that made it a bit easier on the eyes and didn’t wash out the pics!

In case you haven’t noticed, we aren’t afraid of bright, bold color, and the Tangiers comes in a number of colors we liked.  In fact, we bought a smaller version in Green for the kitchen!IMG_4608My husband accidentally sprayed it with greasy water when he was washing our cast iron skillet {#baconlovers}, and I promptly blotted the stains with a clean paper towel, applied dish soap to the spots, allowed it to sit for 15 minutes, gently scrubbed with a soft toothbrush in the direction of the fibers {the cleaning instructions say no scrubbing because it may damage fibers, but the blotting/soaking wasn’t doing the trick}, hosed it off until no more soap suds appeared, and then left it to dry in the sun.  No more spots, and the fibers seem to be okay! We’re not sure if this would have worked on an older stain, but we are very satisfied with how easy the Tangiers rugs are to clean! I took this pic after cleaning up the grease incident!

Now back to the patio. We’ve gone from blah…

BackYard1

to ahh, that’s more like it. So much better.  IMG_4610

 

Plus, the cats love lounging on it, and it feels fantastic to be able to walk out on the patio barefoot. It’s a fiesta for the eyes and the feet! Call me crazy, but I just might go back for thirdsies and get one of these rugs for the living room. Total game changer! The bistro set is from Target; the red umbrella and the red and green chairs are from Sam’s Club, all bought a few years ago in the city. #studentsalary

We also bought these cheap Adirondack chairs from Big Blue and Big Orange (same price but different color options available at different stores meant trips to both to get the colors we wanted).  We wanted to have additional seating outside since our patio only seats four people right now.  Eventually we hope to add a fire pit to this grouping of chairs that are circled up around, well, nothing.

IMG_4611Like I said before, we like it bright. If you’re looking carefully, you’ll note we have an unusual “sod” stack in the back corner, which is our repository for grass dug up from the yard to make room for the garden we planted (note the cedar beds in the background).  Details on that to come!

Back on the back patio, we also added a storm door because we kept having water pool in our kitchen after heavy rains. Now we have no more surprise puddles in the middle of our floor, and the baseboards aren’t getting soggy anymore either. Very good indeed.IMG_4609

Overall, we’re feeling pretty happy with the way the backyard is shaping up, but especially the patio.  We may never make it to Tangiers, but having a little bit of it here in Florida sure is nice. 🙂

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Workin’ Hard for/with the Green Stuff

Progress on the range hood and the master closet temporarily stalled because we were waiting for our new awesome DIY tool to arrive: The Sand & Kleen Dustless Drywall Sanding System (and because we both had to travel to different places out of state for our jobs this past week. Jobs = money –> happy new tools).  Yay tools!

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Here’s a link to it on Amazon if you are interested in checking it out for yourselves.  Now that the S & K has been added to our arsenal, expect a closet and hood post next week where we test it out in various capacities.

In the meanwhile,  I’ve been doing a part-time gig clearing my parents’ yard and laying sod.  My dad started the project but was called out of state for work before he could get much done (my family members are planes passing in the air apparently), so I picked up where he left off.  Hot, sweaty, dirty work, let me tell you, but my mom compensated me for my time and brought me Chipotle for lunch, so no complaints here.  My mom has a back injury right now, hence why I was called in to take over the sod job.  

I’m a sucker for yard work.  There’s something extremely satisfying about hard, manual labor, especially outside where you can see the fruits of your labor so easily (and quickly).  Plus, it is a great workout involving multiple muscle groups.  One of my neighbors and I recently had a conversation about how we procrastinate from our respective writing work by doing yard work. This conversation obviously occurred while we were both outside not writing. Go figure.  I’ve even started mowing our lawn, leaving just the weed eating to Chris, which is probably good since he’s allergic to grass, and I’m allergic to weeds.

Here’s my best tip for sod laying, courtesy of my mom’s next door neighbor, who worked on a golf course for a number of years and is quite familiar with groundskeeping and sod maintenance:  Use a machete to cut the sod into pieces to fit your yard.  It makes a nice, clean cut, and it’s a great way to take out frustration without being destructive.  My dad has a machete somewhere in his pile o’ tools, but my mom’s neighbor offered me his readily accessible and super sharp machete to use.  So much better than other methods! Sorry, no pictures of me wielding the machete. Sod laying may not be the easiest job, but getting to attack grass with a machete definitely increased the fun factor, which was pretty much zero pre-machete.

Best part? I got to buy a new planter I had been eying at Lowe’s, some purple mums (I like the purple and white ones best) and a new pair of shoes with the money I pocketed for a half-day of some hard but rewarding work.  Good times.  By the time I got back from Lowe’s it was dark, so no pics of the planter and plants.  They will feature in an upcoming (and long overdue) post about the major overhaul of the yards we have undertaken (and is still ongoing) along with some fall updates for the casa, so stay tuned. Happy Friday, everyone!