my patio: before + after.

outdoor patio with hanging plants and herb garden / sfgirlbybay

okay, guys — today is finally the big reveal on my outdoor patio makeover. i’ve been so excited to get this project completed and share it with you, and start having some backyard shindigs! when i first saw this yard i knew right away what i wanted to do — and that was cover up the gray cinderblock walls that you could see right outside the kitchen window. my thought was to create an outdoor dining space for entertaining and lounging and to make this backyard into the beautiful outdoor space i knew it had the potential to be. there’s a long list to do around the house, but i made the backyard my main budget priority since we spend so much time outside in L.A. it’s still a work in progress but one i really enjoy taking on, so with the help of my talented carpenter colin hughes, the two of us designed a space that would serve a multitude of purposes: to not only cover the cinderblock but serve as an outdoor dining area with built-in benches; a pergola up top for shade; and above the pergola a sunny deck surrounded with built-in planters. the idea is that we’ll plant wild grapes and passion flower vines to grow up and over the pergola and create a cozy, lush space for dining al fresco.

before and after modern backyard makeover / sfgirlbybay

outdoor patio with pergola over granite dining table / sfgirlbybay

so i sketched my ideas up, and colin made it happen. colin measured (and remeasured) and we ordered western red cedar wood from bohnoff lumber yard and he went to work. we chose cedar because it’s a highly durable wood and naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, which means anything you build with it will last longer and require less maintenance. and aesthetically, there really is no substitute for the natural beauty of real cedar — and it also smells pretty heavenly! plus, real cedar is sourced from the most sustainably managed forests in the world.

western red cedar wood pergola with string lights and potted plants / sfgirlbybay

my modern outdoor dining space / sfgirlbybay

potted succulants on granite outdoor dining table / sfgirlbybay

next up, a dining table and chairs. i went with williams sonoma home’s la coupole indoor/outdoor black granite top table — it’s durable and beautiful. plus i had this whole black + wood look in my head and it was exactly what i’d envisioned. it looks gorgeous out here. i then added CDI’s vintage-inspired industrial striped raw metal chairs for a sophisticated but funky look. together they make one fine outdoor dining space. oh, and i hung some great black globe lights for a little extra ambiance.

wood built-in seating with black water-resistant uplostery / sfgirlbybay

wood and black outdoor patio / sfgirlbybay

i then hired my favorite upholsterer here in L.A., Fernando Cerda of Cerda’s Upholstery to create custom cushions and pillows. Fernando had done such a lovely job on my vintage day bed, i knew he would take as much care with my outdoor seating. he used black sunbrella fabric which can actually be hosed down, and withstand El Niño, if she shows up. he used very durable foam for the inserts (these covers zip off, too) and for the throw pillows we used down filling for extra coziness. he also updated my vintage homecrest chairs with comfy cushions and is making new lounge chair cushions for the Christopher Knight lounge chairs i found on overstock, also in sunbrella.

my outdoor patio highlights / sfgirlbybay

upper deck over pergola with modern lounge chair / sfgirlbybay

western red cedar wood patio fence / sfgirlbybay

stone patio area with hammock and modern chair / sfgirlbybay

so that’s where we’re at. next up, some landscaping is needed big time! the planter boxes above need filling and the hillside needs new life! i’ve been working with rolling greens nursery who gave me some great ideas for a drought-tolerant hillside with plants like succulents, cacti, rosemary and a few trees — i’m hoping to plant some nice fruit trees like figs and oranges, and maybe a few olive trees for a Mediterranean vibe. i’d also love a couple of raised vegetable beds! time to get out the gardening gloves, shovels, and my green jeans and get to work — good thing i happen to really love gardening!

modern outdoor patio and dining space / sfgirlbybay

sources: williams sonoma home la coupole indoor/outdoor black granite top table; CDI vintage inspired industrial striped raw metal chairs; black globe lights; rolling metal cart and homecrest chairs – vintage find at flea market; black custom cushions by Cerda’s Upholstery; Christopher Knight lounge chairs from overstock; black globe lights from amazon.

potted succulants / sfgirlbybay

los angeles outdoor dining space / sfgirlbybay

• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.

wilder california + a giveaway.

unique california cactus photography / sfgirlbybay

meet artist jane wilder. jane’s always been intrigued by the beauty and diversity of the American and specifically the California landscape and the natural world — thus her etsy print shop, california wilder. jane was lucky enough to grow up in a home where the visual arts was encouraged. So many of the natural treasures of our area are in danger and are being threatened by things like our current drought, overpopulation, misuse of natural resources, and lack of awareness of how we affect the planet, which is why jane donates 10% of all proceeds from Wilder California to National and California State Parks.

cactus photograph with pale pink and white background / sfgirlbybay

All of jane’s prints are photographed and hand-printed in California. They add beautiful color and light to any space and today, we’re giving away an 11×14 print on heavyweight, archival fine art matte paper — your choice!

assorted california landscape print giveaway / sfgirlbybay

to enter to win a 11×14 print of your choice from wilder california, simply:

• follow wilder california on instagram.

• comment below letting us know you followed on instagram.

• please comment by tuesday, october 20th, 12pm PST.

• as always, be sure to leave a way to reach you via twitter, facebook, email or your website.

• hurrah! this giveaway is worldwide.

• we’ll announce a winner selected by random number generator on my twitter account later on the week of october 20th, so be sure and follow along.

photograph of cactus with gold hued blooms / sfgirlbybay

palm leaf prints and artisanal woven baskets / sgirlbybay

modern desk styled with framed cactus print / sfgirlbybay

artistic banana palm photograph / sfgirlbybay

assorted california lanscape prints / sfgirlbybay

meet barn & willow.

modern light curtains / sfgirlbybay

when i moved into my new house, the window treatments needed updating — one room had baby curtains, and the others just were worn and faded with time. to be honest, i always have a hard time covering up all that beautiful glass and light — if i had my way and the world were a much more private place i’d leave the windows ‘naked’ in all their glory. but for many reasons i need a little privacy and i wanted that privacy to be pretty! enter the lovely people at barn & willow — they invited me to try out their custom window treatments and i was thrilled when i saw their workmanship.

gray linen window treatments / sfgirlbybay

barn & willow’s quality is impeccable and their fabrics were just what i was looking for — subtle Belgian linens in shades of gray, natural and off-white and, i was able to order free fabric swatches to be sure i got the color right. swatches arrive within about 3 days and orders take just 7-10 days with free shipping within the united states, and reasonable shipping costs to canada and europe. we started with these beautiful pale gray draperies in my bedroom, and i can’t love them more. they look sophisticated and hang beautifully. i added these bronze Metal Curtain Eyelet Rings to hang from my industrial pipe curtain rod (orders arrive with traditional metal hooks). next up — roman shades for my living room and office and a $200 giveaway for y’all — more about that soon!

modern custom window treatments / sfgirlbybay

pale gray draperies / sfgirlbybay

custom gray linen curtains / sfgirlbybay

modern pale gray window treatments / sfgirlbybay

gray linen bedroom curtains / sfgirlbybay

modern gray bedroom draperies / sfgirlbybay

gray linen curtains with bronze rings and industrial pipe rod / sfgirlbybay

modern pale gray black and white bedroom / sfgirlbybay

This post made possible in product trade with parabo press, and all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep sfgirlbybay going with fresh content every day.

unexpected color palette.

whimsical bohemian modern bedroom / sfgirlbybay

architectural digest espana.

ever since my trip to coqui coqui in tulum i’ve been enamored with this magical balance between bohemian and a more modern sophisticated look. i love that vibe, and these rooms share it but with a bit more color. i’ve found a few rooms i love with an interesting combination — especially this one above from architectural digest espana. this color palette is not one i would have imagined, but i really like this look — a great color combo of tawny gold hues and teal and turquoise. pretty exotic combination, isn’t it? here’s a few more images with that very bohemian palette inspiring me at the moment.

gold and green bohemian modern decor / sfgirlbybay

roger davies photography.

tawny gold hued modern bohemian bedroom / sfgirlbybay

couleur locale.

jars in unexpected color palette / sfgirlbybay


green and gold modern bohemian color palatte / sfgirlbybay

design*Sponge (above + below).

green and gold modern bohemian decor / sfgirlbybay

tawny gold and teal modern bohemian color palette / sfgirlbybay

du coté de chez vous (above + below).

gold and teal unexpected color palatte / sfgirlbybay

modern bohemian decor with pops of gold and green / sfgirlbybay

architectural digest espana.

modern bohemian style bedroom with pops of gold / sfgirlbybay

bo bedre.

green and brown bohemian modern jars with leaves / sfgirlbybay

susanna vento.

Friday Finds.

airy australian vacation home / sfgirlbybaymodern food and plant styling / sfgirlbybay

Top to bottom, left to right:

  1. Leave it to this airy, modern Australian family getaway to take your breath away.
  2. We just couldn’t ignore the pure and simple way these potted cacti are lined up against the wall.
  3. A Merry Mishap beautifully encapsulates the ever-inspiring Toronto homeware shop, Mjölk.
  4. What a gorgeous smattering of art and greenery to complete the dining room.
  5. These pistachio meringue cookies are a delightful combination of crisp and melt-in-your-mouth.

Happy Friday,