We have been working on getting out backyard up to speed so we can enjoy it with friends this summer. For those of you catching up on Leonard news, we moved into a new home about three months ago. It has been a crazy season for us! We launched my new book, Brave Love, moved into a new house, Matthias got really sick and missed three weeks of school and then David caught the same bug and ended up being airlifted to UCLA where we spent a week getting him stable. I feel like I’m still trying to get back into my rhythm! It’s been hard with lots of sweet moments and I’m ready for things to mellow out a bit.

So anyway, we have been working on our backyard–and it’s starting to come together. I wanted to show you progress pics. It’s not perfect {is anything perfect?!}, it’s not finished, but it’s ready to be enjoyed. Below are some BEFORE pics of the backyard when we bought the house.

BEFORE

These pics above are from the listing. This is how it looked when we bought the house. There was a huge BBQ, a built in heater that didn’t work, a hot tub that didn’t work and a lot of tile. It’s kind of a strange backyard. There is one small area where we put two couches and a fire pit. There’s a raised area where there’s a hot tub and seating and there’s a long walkway in between the two spots. It’s a small backyard and we wanted to maximize the space.

Louis would like you to know he approves of the new seating near the hot tub. He’s so funny. These black chairs are from Target and they’re super comfortable. Find them here. The black and white pillows are from Target, too. Find them here.

It’s starting to look cozy!

My philosophy for outdoor living is to make it as comfortable as possible–that way we’ll actually use it! I like to decorate just as I would indoors with seating, side tables, plants, baskets, even art or decor hung to make it feel home-y. The problem is everything gets more wear outside. For furniture I either buy pieces made specifically for outdoor or I thrift wood and wicker so I’m not devastated when they fall apart after a year or two. I also try to keep the furniture wiped down so it’s ready when we are. If we decide to eat dinner outdoors it’s easy! Everything is clean and ready to go.

I found this weathered bench a local thrift/vintage shop and fell in love with the texture. I like to mix clean and rustic, wood and white. That wicker egg-shaped chair in the background was a $15 thrifted store find. I had it David’s bedroom but he never used it so I put it outside.

These teak candlesticks were $6 each at a local thrift store. I freaked out when I found them. They are super cool. Now I just need candles to go on top! 😂

Okay, we are super excited about this 14 foot outdoor bar our friends from Emily Ryan Homes built for us. Guess what? They found old planks from the Pismo Beach pier {the pier needed some TLC and these planks were replaced} and cleaned them up to create the rustic bar. The black barstools are from Target. Find them here. I loooove the way the whole thing came together. It’s a perfect spot for teenagers {and adults!} to hang out. Also it puts the strange walkway to work. Instead of feeling awkward it feels purposeful!

I can’t wait to have pizza parties and BBQs in this space!

These teak couches are low and super comfortable. I found them at Joss and Main. Find them here. The fire pit is from Amazon and not hooked up yet. We still need to get a propane tank. We’ve already BBQd at least 20 times in our new backyard. I love it! Now it’s time for s’mores–don’t you think?

Do you use your backyard in the summertime? What are your favorite things to do out there? I need your help! I want to make this space as amazing as possible. What are we missing in our backyard?

PS friends, there’s a big summer sale happening in my shop right now. Don’t miss it! Click here to shop.

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