outdoor essentials

I debated getting my outdoor furniture from mid level stores like PB, CB, and West Elm. But after weighing the pros and cons, I decided to go with the wallet friendlier option – Ikea. Ikea has some good budget options for outdoor living space. For the cost of a table at say West Elm, I bought tables, chairs, cushions, a bench, lighting and more. $$$ saved which goes towards my next vaca… big smile!  Pics to come once we have it all set up.

If  like me you dont want your home to look like a page from the Ikea catalog, then, you could paint the furniture with waterproof and weather resistant colors to create your own unique look. Or play with outdoor fabric options. Start with a mood board, or tear sheets from your fav magazines. Mix and match. And most important – have fun!










images: Ikea

PS: I will update this post later with product names and costs.

have you heard about home depot’s 48-hour challenge?

5 bloggers, $500, one weekend.

5 budget outdoor living designs!!



BHG partnered with Home Depot and offered 5 home and garden bloggers the opportunity to create weekend outdoor living projects with a limited budget of $500. Throughout April, they will be blogging about the process – from inspiration to design to shopping and building. In May, BHG will post the finished projects and you can vote for your fav creative outdoor living project. The winner will receive a $5000 bonus.

What a fun and informative contest! As many of you who have ventured into outdoor living solutions know, these dream projects are not cheap. The list of wants are endless, and budgets can get seriously out of control.Not knowing where to cut corners can be stressful. Stone patio or wooden deck? solar lights or call the electrician?

I try to make almost all my furniture serve more than one purpose. For example, I am on the lookout for a long  farmhouse table for my garden, that can seat about 10.


via cityflickr

A table this size serves multiple purposes for me. It will give me the space to work on my messy/ creative projects, spread magazines and have space for my macbook and drinks around. Additionally, I can host larger outdoor gatherings! While I have seen several I like, I didnt quite like the price tags. Contests like these can be useful in providing cost/design and time related information. Rest assured, I will keep you posted in the progress of the 48- hour challenge.

So lets see who these 5 lucky bloggers are –

1. This Young House.

John and Sherry. This couple’s home in Richmond, VA reminds me a bit of Paul and my home. Our house, about 70 is old enough to be my grandparent. And we are super excited about the upgrade in sq footage from our tiny apt in NY too!

2. The Home Gardener.


I didn’t know there was another flower and garden blog out there. Dave Townsend’s informative blog needs to be on A bloom in time’s blog roll. I am really curious to see how he spends his 5 benjis.

3. Making it Lovely


I enjoy reading the “soon to be a mama” Nicole’s blog. Nicole spends an inordinate amout of time thinking about her house. Nicole, I’m right there with you. And she loves PINK!! wide smiles!!

4. The Wood Whisperer


Marc left his job in the biotech industry to pursue a career in woodworking, shortly after buying their first home. Two years and 100 episodes later Marc’s wood working business is doing fab.

5. The Cottage Nest


A girl and her cottage adventures, Jen’s blog is filled with cute inspirations.

Looking forward to each of their projects and good luck!