my patio: before + after.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
• photography by lily glass for sfgirlbybay.