I have the grandest of plans down the road for my outdoor living and entertaining space that is overflowing with charm, and style, and creativity. So fabulous are these plans that I struggled with exactly how to set up and be able to enjoy the small patio behind my cottage garage until my budget permits the actual project to get underway.
In my mind (in Traceyville) I see sweet French doors in the living room (where there are currently windows) leading guests out to the huge side yard of my property. (I am on a corner.) I see a perfect cottage style deck, with a stone pathway leading to the grass. It's spacious, and yet quaint and cozy, with room for the large outdoor dining table I envision, as well as a seating area for conversation. There are oodles and toodles of blooming flowers in pots, and a creamy canvas umbrella for shade, and...well, you get the picture.
(To join me in this Traceyville peek into my outdoor space of the future, feel free to picture me looking about 42, comfortably wearing a size six sundress, setting up a s'mores buffet for dessert, while sipping a mojito, and enjoying some Ed Sheeran on my outdoor speakers...)
(In Traceyville, anything is possible.)
As I said, I have grand plans. In the meantime, I realized that if I want to entertain outdoors this year (and maybe next year too...)I would have to use the narrower-than-I-would-have-liked covered patio located behind my garage. The route to get to this patio is through the kitchen, then the laundry room, and finally, out the back door of the garage.
Once on the patio, my existing outdoor furniture sat, corralled at one end of the patio seemed giant and over-bearing, and there was seemingly nothing charming about any of this.
(Do I sound like I am whining?)
(Shame on me.)
I hate when I get this way, all ungrateful acting. Clearly, I needed an attitude adjustment, and the weather provided it. A week ago we had a little stretch of fantastically warm, sunny days, and I beat a path to the garden section of Home Depot and, for less than twenty bucks, purchased myself some instant inspiration. Then I whipped over to Ikea and scored myself four perfect-for-me outdoor folding bistro chairs.
I hosed off my cozy-sized patio, potted my flowers, and tried about 16 different furniture arrangements before settling on my favorite one. (Quite litterally, I was out there on the patio at midnight, in my robe, rearanging like a crazy woman.) I brought out one of my charming cottage style table cloths and a quilty-throw. I organized my newly potted flowers, hung my sign, and looked at my handiwork.
I didn't like it.
I loved it.
I could (and will!) entertain out here just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Is it perfect? No, but that is part of the charm. It reminds me of all the things I have been reading about in this book. I shared how much I am enjoying Love the Home You Have a while back, and I have to say, it has caused me to remember what I love about a project house. Every room, every corner....is an opportunity for inspiration. A spot to be creative, and think outside the box.
This newest entertaining area of my cottage makes me smile, as I feel it says welcome to everyone who comes out to sit a spell.