I am so beyond happy to report that this year we have a beautiful outdoor deck and patio instead of the yards and yards of mud that we had last year!  And I have to be honest, this was one project that stressed me out a bit.  Not because of the work load, because I was pretty much hands off on this one.  All that credit goes to Ryan.  But because outdoor areas can be hard.  Especially when you have a super original set up with an L shaped house that doesn’t include a garge!  I was on Pinterest for hours trying to find something similar, and never ended up finding it.  So after a few sketches and some compromise between what Ry wanted and what I wanted, we agreed on a plan.

Now to execute that plan was a whole other story.  We started with the deck, and Ry did an awesome job!  I did get the wonderful job of staining the whole deck and painting the railings.  *note sarcasm*  But in all actuality it went really quickly.  And then we laid out the lines for a patio.  We thought at the time that we were just going to get a cement pad, but Ryan’s buddy–Brandon Nagel–does concrete work (contact me for info if you are interested and local!) and super graciously dyed and stamped our patio for us so that it looks more of a slate rock than plain concrete.  To say we love how it turned out is an understatement.  It was one of those projects that you cross your fingers and hope you are going to like at the end…and not only do we like it, we love it!  So let’s get to the pictures and then I’ll site all of the sources.

Here is a before picture of how the addition looked floating in the air:)

and here is a picture of it today:)

We went back and forth about using a composite decking for the no maintenance component, but in the long run we decided on using treated lumber…and honestly I’m super happy we did.  I think it fits the look of our farmhouse better, with some character;)  And, on top of that it was about 1/5 of the cost…another huge determining factor.  One of the big reasons why I didn’t want to do treated lumber, was because I was told that I would have to wait a year to stain it.  Sounds so silly, but that just wasn’t going to happen.  I had a vision and it needed to be completed:)  A sweet reader told us about a product called  cedarcide. It is a wood preservative that draws out the water, and once you spray it on you can stain within a couple of days!  On top of that it is supposed to extend the life of the wood so that it doesn’t splinter.  I was sold.  I spent the extra $100 on it and it was definitely worth its weight in gold!  I applied it with a pressure sprayer and let it sit for two days before applying the stain.

I used a staining pad and brush to apply the stain.  And I used Pittsburgh Paramount stain in semi-transparent so you could still see the grain through it, and I picked the color “wenge” since it seemed like a warm brown with no orange undertones.

We used 12″ James hardi board lap siding for the risers because it had the nice wood texture and was thin.  I painted it the same white as the house to tie it all together.

Also, how great is this fire table?!?

Ryan actually ran a gas line under the concrete and hooked it up to the fire table so we don’t have to have a propane tank we need to hide and keep filling close by.  This connects to our big propane take for the house.  Watch out Ryan, that fires gonna run non-stop:)  We purchased the fire table at target end of season clearance last year, but they have so many great options this year as well! 

Also, these chairs are my favorite, and are still available as a 3 piece set from Target.  I am using the side table by the couch, and it’s perfect how it ties the two different styles together!

I like when an outdoor area can seamlessly transfer to the inside of your house.  It ends up being extended living.  So of course when I was picking styles, black, white and green came to mind:)

And I was so beyond excited to score this three piece upholstered patio set from Lundeen Auctions for a smoking deal of $200!  I originally was buying them from the cabin, not realizing they were outdoor furniture!  So I was even more excited to find out I could use these on the patio, especially because they were brand new Ink + Ivy brand that retail for over $300 a chair!

Also, the black outdoor pillows I picked up at my local walmart for $8 each.  I haven’t had the best of luck with outdoor pillows holding up great, so I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on them.  And the geometric pillows are actually inside pillows with feather inserts that I bring inside if it’s going to rain.  I love how they give it more of a “living room” feel and cozy it up a bit!

This dining set my mother-in-law scored for us at a garage sale for the bargain price of $100!  It’s solid teak and probably well over $1,000 new.  What a steal! I couldn’t find this exact set but I found a very similar one here. Also, teak naturally turns grey with age.  We pressure wash this set about every other year and it looks brand new again:)  I added gray target cushions on the seat as well as the cute black and white striped outdoor pillows to match the patio set.

We planted sod at the end of last year, and this winter was a super tough one on it. We didn’t have snow cover for most of the winter and it was super cold, so it took a hit.  We need to over seed this year and baby it a bit and hope it comes back…because the brown is killing me right now!

Also, I posted a picture of these DIY shutters I made about 5 years ago now, and everyone wanted to see the full view of them.  I just used regular pine 1×8 boards.  I stained them with Minwax’s special walnut and added 1×6 cross pieces that I glued and nailed on and then added this shutter hardware to finish them off.  I haven’t put a poly or anything on them and they have held up great.  They are sheltered from the elements with the little overhang though.  And I just screwed them directly into the steel siding we have.

Also, the lantern light was from Lowes, but no longer available.  You can find a similar one here. or Here.

Give me all the wood, black, white and green!  And ferns!  Tons and tons of ferns!  We get a lot of questions about these goosenecks.  We ordered them through ferguson showrooms and you actually custom order them picking out the shape and size of your gooseneck.  They are made by the company hilite.  We have loved what a statement they make on the addition.  To get a similar look without having to visit a showroom you can find some here.

And also give me all the ferns.  If you have a shaded area they are the perfect plant.  I water them only once or twice a week and then leave them alone!

I also love this littler modern bench here and it’s still available!

The planters were another auction score that I painted black.  I love the size of them and planters can be expensive so I was super excited to get these!

My last and possibly one of my favorite additions to this patio are these Brightech outdoor string lights.  I love that they are commercial grade and can be left up all year long!  Also, if you use the link I have above, you get 15% off of your purchase and these were already about best price for string lights that I had found!  I also love that they are LED so they don’t use much electricity…and Ryan especially likes that!  I have them on a timer so they come on at dusk and stay on for two hours each night  It seriously makes it look quite dreamy at night!



and even darker…

and night time…

It is seriously my favorite to pull up at night and see the lights on.  We sit out on the patio every night and unwind.  It’s amazing how magical twinkle lights make everything!  Kynlee once counted how many lights I have on the exterior…lol..I”m not gonna tell you the total number:) BUT…they are all LED so the amount of energy is very low which keeps the hubby happy;)  Ps…I have found my favorite LED light bulbs with the best “warm” glow from Ikea!  And they are super cheap there:)

Now we need to work on getting that yard looking a bit better:)  But you don’t notice the yard as much when you can stare at this view..

Cheers to summers in Minnesota!

Click the links in the blog post or find all the items below!



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    1. Thank you! I don’t even know the name of the stamp but it is the slate looking one..and we picked the lightest gray they offered. Sorry, not much help!

    1. Thanks so much! We actually just took in a piece of our pre-painted steel siding and had it color matched so we could paint the rest of the addition to match! Sorry that’s not much help:(

  1. Hi Allie, wow, you guys have some serious talent- looks so cozy and nice!
    Can you share where you got the larger geometric pillows on your chairs? Thank you!

  2. Gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS! I love everything about this space! My husband is obsessed with online auctions for tools and “guy stuff” but I would never have thought of finding fun things like outdoor furniture and planters! Thanks for the tip, and since we’re just a few towns over from you, I’m going to check out Lundeen Auctions!

    1. Yes!!! Do it! We have found so many awesome bargains online and at actual auctions!! And its such a rush knowing you got it for a steal:)

  3. I seriously want to just follow you around for a week, learning how you see things, find all of your bargains, and put them together to create such beautiful looks! Maybe a week isn’t long enough. A year? So I can watch all of Minnesota’s seasons through your eyes?

    1. Aww..You are way too sweet! Yes! Come do it!! If you aren’t a Minnesotan than you should definitely see all four seasons;) We have this cute little guest house I know of;)

  4. Your house and backyard are so beautiful you are the most amazing decorator I love everything you do absolutely beautiful you should be in a magazine. Thank you so much for sharing. Kelly :)

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