a casual-yet-not-too-relaxed outdoor spacecurating the common

The brick was the first thing I pointed out about this house. I instantly fell in love with it and was especially thrilled to discover that it covers the entire exterior – which means our outdoor living space just happens to have that “exposed brick” wall that I’ve always wanted. I almost couldn’t believe it myself when within a few months I was considering painting over it. What was I thinking?

I thought it would brighten up the space a bit while also providing a more clean and simple rest for the eyes (a nice contrast to the abundance of foliage and fauna in the opposite direction). I also thought it would further define that particular section of wall as intended to serve a purpose, rather than simply being there by default.

Once I got over my own hesitation, the only challenge would be convincing the Mister to get on board. “Before you say no, I’d like for you to just let the idea marinate for a while… I’m considering painting that brick white.”

To my surprise, I barely got the words out before he exclaimed that he’d been thinking the same thing, but wasn’t sure I’d go for it since I loved the brick so much. Sometimes we are still surprised at how often our visions effortlessly align (though that hardly negates the need for good communication), and we were thrilled to finally have a project that we knew we could tackle over the weekend.

The screened-in deck quickly became our go-to hangout, and we’ve enjoyed many morning coffee and evening cocktail conversations out there, which inevitably lead to dreaming of ways that we could even better utilize our alfresco square footage. We hoped to create an environment with a bit of a restaurantesque flare and yet wanted to avoid crowding it or obstructing the path between the house and outside – one we walk several times per day to let the dog out.The light was our first update. It was previously just a single bulb next to the door, which didn’t suffice for several reasons. It hid behind the corner barley lighting up the deck, while offering zero illumination to the patio. Kel added conduit to re-position its placement and a new fixture that was much better suited for our needs.

Step two was painting the brick – which is where my typical freakout moment happened. The brick was perfectly fine! Why am I messing with it? Is this too gray? Perhaps I should’ve stuck with true white. Kel lovingly encouraged me to trust my gut and go for it! Especially since it was too late to turn back anyway. Which I’m thankful for now because we both love the way it turned out!

Once those elements were complete, the rest of the vision just sort of came together. We love the casual-yet-not-too-relaxed feeling of high top seating, and also decided to go with a narrow ledge concept we had picked up from an Irish Pub we’d been to a few times back in Nebraska. It’s not the best for eating a meal at, but works perfectly as intended for coffee or a cocktail and the occasional game of Bingo.

the elle in love, intentional marriage, curating the common the elle in love, intentional marriage, curating the commonthe elle in love, intentional marriage, curating the common

Other than that – and a LOT of Kel cleaning the decking – we pretty much just found homes for the items we brought with us from 1644. I’ll be sure to show you what the other side of the deck looks like in the future. We have a little work we want to do to that first, including a third attempt at that Checkers table. In the meantime, we are juuust about done with both the fireplace and phase one of the kitchen, and will hopefully have that completed within a couple of weeks.

Sources:

3 Light Sconce :: Lowes
Galvanized Piping with Black Iron Flanges :: Lowes
Reclaimed Wooden Beam :: Eagle Reclaimed Lumber
Bar Stools :: Target
Masonry Paint :: Home Depot (Arctic Gray)

N O T E S :
– Technically it isn’t an outdoor light, but in our case it is protected from the elements.
– The bar stools are also not rated for outdoor use. See above note.
– We did not have a plan to follow for the ledge support. We just knew the measurements for the space and picked out of the available materials accordingly.
– Kel hand-selected the beam from a pile of reclaimed lumber. They cut it to size and dried it in the kiln to ensure it was free from unwanted pests.

Questions? Though we cannot guarantee we will have the answer, feel free to send them our way!

-m