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It’s been a while since I’ve shared the full backyard space. As I often say, home takes time… and this backyard has been a full seven years in the making. We still have more projects planned, but for now I thought it was time for a quick tour of our backyard and patio updates!
I hope this provides you both with outdoor design ideas and inspiration, as well as sources and tips for enjoying your own outdoor patios and backyards.
The Backyard Before
The truth is, the backyard was lovely when we moved in. Lush landscaping, black iron fencing, an outdoor kitchen, and a stamped concrete patio. It did not, however, make my heart sing.
There was a LOT of beige, and I had not figured out how to make it feel “like me,” if you know what I mean. With seven years, though, we’ve had a few things wear out, repainted a lot, and slowly managed to really make this outdoor living space feel more our style.
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Black and White Patio Ideas
We haven’t really changed the patio design. We decided instead to simply embrace the grecian columns and repaint a soft white to match the brick on the other sides of the house with black trim (get the exterior paint details here) for a more classic look.
The covered patio is very long and skinny with the door on opposite corners from the steps, making it a tough space to furnish. Fortunately, we found a small patio sectional shortly after we moved in and have been able to simply update the gray fabric cushions as they wear out.
There’s not much more space for patio furniture, but the black bench I painted (get all the tips for painting wooden outdoor furniture here) can double as a coffee table or extra seating for guests in this living area. And this wooden box doubles as seating and pool toy storage.
I topped it all off with some black and white outdoor pillows I already had.
GET THE LOOK:
Modern Porch Fans
My most exciting recent updates are these gorgeous fans generously provided by Hunter Fan. I sought them out and asked if they would like to partner with me on this project because I simply couldn’t imagine anything more perfect than these Park View fans.
The crisp, modern matte black housing paired with the subtle curves of the black ash blades is such a lovely combination.
And I love the way the new fans tie into the black window trim while standing out against the white ceilings.
SHOP OUR FANS:
Black Patio Swing
The other recent addition to the porch is this classic black porch swing.
I’m smitten with how it fits in with the classic black and white look, and I love that it is weather-proof material since this porch gets some serious morning sun.
I’ve already snuggled with my kids, eaten a cozy lunch, and sipped many cups of coffee relaxing in this swing; I’m just sad we didn’t do it sooner. It adds a whimsical touch while also make the whole patio feel more like an outdoor living room.
SHOP OUR PORCH SWING:
Blue and White Pots and Pool Tile
The hot tub and pool tile was here when we bought the house, and I’m typically drawn to blue anyway, so I have tried for years to incorporate blues into the patio decor. But the truth is, until we painted the house black and white, I never loved how it looked with the beige.
Now, I’m embracing it whole heartedly.
In fact, I’ve pulled out all my beautiful glazed blue pots and even added a few new planters. These blue and white talavera ones were gifts from my parents and are particular favorites.
Now I feel like my blue garden and deck accessories pop against the black and white backdrop. I was even able to use this navy and white outdoor rug to bring in a little more blue.
GET THE LOOK:
Ideas for Backyard DESIGN
Outdoor String Lights
I was uncertain when we added this to our backyard if we would actually find it useful, but I can honestly say that our large cantilever umbrella is one of my favorite things.
It used to live near the dining area, but when we swapped out our outdoor dining set for a thrifted teak set (find out how to restore outdoor teak furniture here), I got this adorable black and white umbrella since the teak dining table had an umbrella hole.
That allowed me to move the cantilever umbrella over by the lounge chairs and the shallow end of the pool. It’s the perfect oasis of shade for my kids on a hot summer day while they play on the pool steps.
GET THE LOOK:
Artificial Turf and Stepping Stones
This was another recent DIY backyard project: laying artificial turf beside the pool. There used to be big bushes in this little bed, which was lovely for adding greenery to the sea of concrete, but not so great for pool visibility.
So we replaced the bushes with large limestone pavers, which allowed us a better view, and the kids loved the great access to the pool. Laying artificial grass around the pavers was the perfect, low-maintenance solution for the space.
Limewash Stone Outdoor Kitchen
This last project is still in-progress. If you’ve been around for a while, you may notice that our outdoor kitchen has received step one of a makeover. The stone was a mix of browns and oranges that we didn’t love, so we gave them a limewash a couple of years ago.
I haven’t actually shared the process yet because we are still working on getting new countertops and replacing the rusted out grill… Like I said, home takes time! But we are loving how the limewashed stone blends better with the ivory tones of the rest of the limestone in the backyard.
Gravel and Grass
The other little update you may notice is behind the grill. I promise a fuller update when we finish this outdoor kitchen project, but in the meantime, you might spot the new grass and crushed granite-and-stepping stones pathways we put behind the grill. Sometimes simple lawn and crushed stone or gravel can be the best, elegant, low-maintenance landscape design solution for a big backyard.
And that’s it… for now! I love seeing the progress over the years: a mix of improvements, changes, and tweaks to suit our family better.