Monday, April 4, 2016

a place to entertain

Party planning is our family's collective love language. We adore hosting friends, family, and any possible group gathering we can manage at our humble abode. Entertaining has always been a big priority, especially when we were thinking what things we wanted to incorporate in our house hunt in fall of '14. Drew prioritized a deck and a big backyard. I wanted a nice front porch and room to host Thanksgivings and brunches and showers galore. Granted, our dining room is the tiniest room in the house (it's about as big as my office was - ok, maybe a little bit bigger). But still -- we hosted Thanksgiving with two long 6' tables last year and had no issues! 

The biggest entertaining feature in the house we bought was the ginormous back deck, overlooking our fenced-in yard. We didn't (don't) love the dusty blue it's painted and it definitely overtakes the entire backyard, but we saw so much potential. In our first married home (a two-bedroom apartment in West Nashville), we fixed up our covered balcony and made it super homey and gorgeous this spring after we'd moved in -- four-piece wooden ikea patio furniture, two strands of crisscrossing bistro lights, a beachy blue rug and cushions/pillows, a sago palm I brought back from Savannah, put up some mesh screen to potentially let our cats hang out with us, and you could open the sliding door leading up our bedroom to watch TV (which was mounted on the wall and could pivot to face the balcony). We spent lotssss of mornings drinking coffee out there, evenings eating al fresco, parties downing bottles of LaMarca Prosecco... Before the days of my office I even met with my intern out there, and Drew routinely would set up his CPA exam studying shop on that table until the wee hours of the morning. Suffice it to say, our apartment balcony was a pivotal part of our first home together and definitely our favorite place to hang out.

But then we moved to the house. With the enormous deck. And our sweet little setup didn't translate well. First off, the size of the deck completely dwarfed our patio set. The blue rug blended in with the blue paint and got pretty nasty from weathering a lot of storms and a ROUGH winter (we took it off last spring). There were no places to hang string lights, and no outlets to plug them in. We threw away the privacy curtains we'd had at the apartment (they had also protected that balcony from a lot of weather, so they were worse for wear. And cheap. And would only cover like six feet of deck space even if we had somewhere to hang them from, anyways!). Our cheap-o ikea furniture (which served us SO well and fit our balcony so perfectly) couldn't withstand all the elements, either, so the table warped and all the wood has been dramatically weathered. To add insult to injury, wasps and HUGE beetles congregated back there ALL THE TIME once it got warm last year, so any times we'd want to take advantage of hanging out out there, I'd freak out and go back inside the second I got swarmed. And then the stupid blue paint got all mildewy and IMPOSSIBLE to clean. And my palm died. (#pregnancyinducedplantnegligence)

(our embarrassingly gross deck as of March)

So now we're working on making it a lovely place to be. We borrowed Drew's dad's power-washer, have been to Home Depot about a million times, Drew's spent countless hours researching different ways to approach deck projects, and we've now used two weekends to peruse all the options. It's already looking a TRILLION times better, but I'll save the "After" pics for once everything's done!

1 comment:

  1. We have a covered balcony that you are inspiring me to do something with. I feel like it is such wasted real estate right now!