Saturday, June 3, 2017

Boho ‘make-do redo’ patio reveal

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BoHo Home

I’m here to confess “making do” isn’t as glum as it sounds—at least when it comes to sprucing up the patio for spring and summer. Like me, you might just find yourself having fun with the idea of using what you already own to achieve the new look you want.

Our household budget is still hurting from replacing the patio concrete late last fall, so I promised Chris to limit my patio purchases this season to plants only (and cut back there too), even though our patio furniture is sorely in need of new cushions and/or covers. Remember the plans I shared, as well as the staggering list of STUFF I found to put to work in this endeavor?


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BoHo Home

My make-do redo has been delayed even longer because part of the new concrete had to be redone due to drainage issues (see the pooling, upper left) and winter cracking.


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But you know, that gave me more time to think about how to use what I have to get what I want.


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BoHo Home

And by the time the new “mud” was poured, tapered and set, I had narrowed my choices and refined my plan.


Here’s the BEFORE shot:


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I actually took this before the partial concrete repour. The contractor FINALLY responded to our calls asking when-When-WHEN do you plan to fix your mistakes?, only to tell us we were on the schedule for JUNE! With another month of great patio-sitting weather passing us by, we decided to get out the furniture, clean up the cushions as best we could and enjoy some outdoor living.

Naturally, two days after they told us this someone showed up at the condo saying they wanted to dig it up that day (a Friday) and pour the following Monday. Since heavy rains were expected over the weekend, they agreed to do it all on Monday. So we spent our weekend moving all the furniture out of harm's way.

This photo does give you an idea of where I started décor-wise.


Reusing textiles


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BoHo Home

My plan was to use textiles I already owned with my existing worn patio cushions (upper left) on the two larger chairs. In the end I chose the two throws (upper right) to cover the stained seats of these chairs, and I left the unstained backs bare. Follow the link to revisit all my choices

I ended up using the flower pot fabric (lower left) to recover seat cushions for the smaller chairs and throw pillows for all four chairs. The large embroidered pillow (lower right) I placed over one of the ottomans. 


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BoHo Home

I think it turned out pretty well. What do you think? It feels boho and cozy to me. And fun. AND different from previous years.

And it cost nothing but my time.


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BoHo Home

I settled on the flower pot fabric because I had the most of it. It was once the shower curtain and window treatment in the guest bath at our previous house, so I had the full curtain PLUS some leftovers. The curtain was slightly faded in spots, but I used it up first, trying to pick out the least faded spots for the tops of the seat cushions. My thinking was that it would fade anyway on the patio, and I only intended to use it for a year or two, so why not use up what was already partially used?


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BoHo Home

I had enough new fabric to recover the fronts of all the cushions. And when the new covers underwhelmed me, style-wise, I dug around in my yarn bag until I found the right yarn to add some fun tassels to each corner.


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BoHo Home

I didn’t want to bother with zippered cushions, so I sewed them up envelope-style, saving myself time by utilizing finished edges from the shower curtain for the back flaps.


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BoHo Home

And doesn’t that big embroidered pillow look sensational on the ottoman? I’m liking the kente cloth on the table beside it, too. It used to drape over a storage cupboard in my office, but it packs more boho WOW out here.


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BoHo Home

And it can be pulled into service with the stack of three floor pillows I brought out from the living room. You can’t have a Moroccan patio without floor cushions, right? (Though if either Chris or I used them, we’d have to call 911 to get back up off the concrete!)


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BoHo Home

The top on one of my patio tables opens to reveal storage, so I stashed an extra pillow, throw, tablecloth and napkins in it to be close at hand. Like everything else, these were items I already had.


Reusing and repurposing accessories


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BoHo Home

I reused all these patio accessories from previous years (see if you can find where), then added items from elsewhere in the house. I simply combed room-to-room and dug in closets to find things that would work on the patio.


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BoHo Home

These pieces, both hand-woven in Africa, look great hanging on the wall above the larger patio chairs.


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BoHo Home

Which makes them work well with the kente cloth on the table. Speaking of that table…


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BoHo Home

The pitcher was made by a friend, Cara McCarthy of Cara Jean Clay, and that pot of orange gerbera daisies fits it perfectly. The tumbler is vintage opal glass made by Jeannette Glass in the 1950s, when my father worked there. I have a set of six and seldom get to use them, but this one makes a great vase to corral some succulent starts I’m hoping to root.

The blue-and-white Peking urn is my answer to the Moroccan lantern I won’t be making or buying. It holds some regular and flameless candles to flicker in the moonlight some romantic night. It used to be in our bedroom until I switched out the color scheme earlier this year. Even if I get a REAL Moroccan lantern for my birthday in July (hint-hint, Chris), I’ll leave this one out for the season.


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BoHo Home

This tray used to sit on an ottoman in my living room, which I no longer have (the ottoman, not the living room), and the colors go beautifully here on the patio. The napkins I bought from World Market last year but hadn’t used yet. Both the midcentury modern pitcher and the squat bud vase are ebay finds that usually sit on my living-room display shelves. But I have so much there, they won’t be missed while I use them here.


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BoHo Home

The artichoke finial on the storage table used to be in my garden at our previous home, and I cleaned it up and had it in the powder bath at this house, where I have a garden theme going. The artichokes gathered in the clay pot saucer I used on our living room coffee table years ago. I think I found the perfect new home for them.


My one splurge: PLANTS!


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BoHo Home

Here I also repurposed what I already owned. I bought the Norfolk pine at Christmas and moved it out here for the summer, atop the purple garden stool I’ve had a few years as well, “The Lawsons” pot makes it the perfect greeting for visitors alongside our front door.


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Chris’ Go Away garden gnome may seem to contradict the welcome, but that’s why he’s partially obscured. Mr. Gnome is a family joke—a Christmas present from me to Chris one year after he was more than a little aggressive with solicitors ringing our doorbell in a 55-and-over neighborhood with “No Trespassing” signs posted on every lane.


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I do love caladiums from any angle, particularly when planted with fiber-optic grass. I just made up these pots a few days ago. I’ll share about them again after they recover from transplant shock. The rusty crow in the upper left has watched over my garden for 20 years or more.


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BoHo Home

To the left of the front door is a hanging pendant planter of sedums. I shortened up the chain on the back corner of this planter to get it to snug into the corner.


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Buying sedum tiles (a flat ready for use as groundcover) is one way I saved money on plants this year. I bought a pack of hens and chicks separately then filled in this basket with sedums from the tile.  
There was plenty left over for planting elsewhere. I’m giving the sedums a try on the west side of our condo, where the stone radiates tremendous heat in the summer. I’ve had trouble finding plants that will endure the heat, but the sedums are hanging in there. The best part is they’ll over-winter.


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BoHo Home

We bought two Boston ferns—one hung on a shepherd’s crook at the entrance to our patio, and the other in front of the living room window, above the caladiums. My strawberry pot sits on a cemetery vase turned upside down that I bought at an architectural antiques store years ago. Usually I plant it with culinary herbs, but this year I decided to go with sweet alyssum and blue lobelia, which isn’t yet in full flower.

The pair of concrete artichokes (one at left and its mate peeking out from the stone wall at right) were a birthday gift from Chris the first year we lived in our first house. They always flanked the entrance of our colonial revival two-story, in true Georgian fashion. Incorporating them in the landscape of our midcentury modern garden condo has been a bit tricky, but they still flank the entrance, even if in an assymetric fashion.

If you want to see more of the fairy garden in the center, it’s detailed in last Thursday’s post.


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BoHo Home

Another way I saved money was to plant seeds. Someday soon—if all goes well and the seeds germinate and prosper—these pots will be full of cosmos, one of my favorite annuals. The pot dead center with the face and the earrings is Susannadanna of the Wild Hair. Think of her as the goddess of the garden who watches over the plants and the people who enjoy them.


A few extras…


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BoHo Home

Chris helped me hang two pompon garlands over the larger chairs. I strung them myself from felted wool—one of mirrored, beaded balls and the others of layered, striped balls. When we finished he said, “This looks like we’re having a party!” 

Yes!! Exactly the effect I was shooting for.


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I also thought you might enjoy a closer view of the garden ornaments I’ve collected through the years. I’m very selective; each one must remind me of a cat I’ve owned.


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BoHo Home

And together with our current feline charge, the very lively and just as pretty Miss Maisie, they are what makes our patio and garden feel like home.


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BoHo Home

Relaxing on the patio is our after-dinner family ritual that Maisie refuses to miss.


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Join us sometime, won’t you? There's always room for one more.


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