Pour a glass of iced tea. Pull up a chair. Because we're finally sharing our LA outdoor space reveal!
You're probably thinking "Girrrrl! Iced tea and a chair? Try hot chocolate and a blanket! Don't you know summer is almost over?!" To which I say, "No, no I do not. " California living has made me seasonally confused. So here I am sharing an outdoor space at the end of outdoor season because it still feels like summer is going strong to me. But I'm hoping you're the kind of person who continues using your outdoor space well into the fall, no matter where you live, so you don't mind a porch reveal at the end of August. Personally, I prefer those crisp, cool fall evenings outdoors, cuddling up in a cozy blanket, with a hot cup of something (Spiked cider??!) gazing up at the stars, chatting with friends (Over a bonfire while making s'mores??!}.
The reality is, besides being seasonally confused, I actually have a difficult time finishing projects, both personal and professional. The perfectionist in me feels like I can always do more, something is never finished, never enough, that there's always other options. In the case of our porch, I felt like we needed more furniture, more plants, rearranging, different planters, chairs that reclined then chairs that didn't, coats of paint to update pieces that didn't work, rearranging again, more things, less things, and on and on it went. Until it hit me. Our porch is never going to be "perfect". Nothing in life is. Everything is always and forever a work in progress and constantly changing. It's something I've been working hard to embrace, to let go of perfection and be present, to actually spend my time enjoying life as it is instead of wasting my precious time trying to make it perfect to enjoy at some future time, that may or may never come.
So here is our porch as it is. It's not perfect. Summer is almost over. We'll probably buy 9 more plants. Maybe I'll hate cacti in 6 months (Doubtful, but ya never know...). Perhaps I'll do another porch post next summer and the space will look completely different. Maybe we'll move soon and none of this will matter. But what does matter is enjoying what we have in the here and now- an outdoor space in which we can relax, host friends, or just enjoy all our plants, no perfection needed.
I hope it's a reminder to you to enjoy your life where and how it is in the present season, not later, when you've lost 10 pounds, or changed your hairstyle, or learned to make lasagna, or finished remodeling your bathroom, or next summer. Now, here, present.
And now, before this home post becomes a full-blown motivational story, here are all the pictures and details of our neutral outdoor space as it currently it is.
I love so many things about our outdoor space- the textured off-white walls, the neutral dusk rose floors, the bright light streaming in, the high ceilings. But there's also a handful of things that make it a bit awkward, namely that the space is also where our front door is, making it feel like anything but a private space at times (I can't tell you how many times I've been sitting out there and an unsuspecting delivery person has just walked in. Ugh!). All awkwardness aside, I'm grateful to have any kind of outdoor space so I happily work with what we've got to make it work for us.
Since we live in California (aka the land of eternal sunshine) we wanted to make the space as usuable as possible. We toyed with the idea of a dining table, a lounge area, or a combination of the two, and, after much debate, settled on a lounge area, but with plenty of tables and things that double as seats/tables (aka the poufs) so that we could still easily dine and work in the space.
As far as decorations, I wanted a neutral space with linens and worn woods, Mr.RC wanted lots of plants, we both wanted to add touches that indicated beachside/California living. This neutral rustic jungle space (with possibly one too many plants) is what we ended up with.
While I truly love how the space turned out, a few of my stand-out favorites are the bench we created by pushing two foot stools together (because finding a low, wide outdoor bench is impossibly hard to find), the rustic lanterns I scored at our local flea market, the hanging cement planters that overflow with fragrant jasmine (when it's blossoming), and also provide a bit of extra privacy, our variety of cacti, some of the treasures we've collected on our beach walks, our lemon tree (even though it has yet to bear proper fruit), our outdoor lights that cast the perfect warm glow in the evenings and last, but certainly not least, our surfboard scored at a yard sale for less than a cup of coffee. Because if that doesn't say LA outdoor space than I don't know what does!
CB2 // Chairs
Home Goods // Small Wooden Stool/Table (similar option)
Lowe's // Cacti + Lemon Tree (not pictured)
Home Depot // Succulents + Pots
Santa Monica Flea Market // Lanterns (similar lanterns)
Ikea // Bench (two stools pushed together; similar), Cushion Inserts + Large Cushion Covers (similar), Green Tray Table (similar), Throws (similar), Crate (that I stained to look worn; similar), Rug (similar), Poufs (similar)