Patio Projects for the Win!

patio makeover

Wow, you guys! July was such a busy month that seemed to both crawl and fly by. We spent so many evenings working on our patio makeover— it was quite exhausting! But I’m happy to report that the project is finished! Check out my patio planning blog post I wrote before setting out on the project. Kind of crazy how the result actually turned out how I planned! Ha! I’ve shared two posts at A Beautiful Mess about the first steps of the project:

The grand reveal is coming soon, along with a post about the slat wood pergola we build. But for now, I’d love to show you some of the process and results right here at my own blog.



patio makeover

This is the lovely view we had from our sunroom door, which has since been transformed to the view below. We spent a grueling weekend stripping the deck, and another entire week putting up the privacy fence. I can’t even believe it was this bad before! Mostly the floor was in super bad shape, but the overall darkness of the space has been dramatically improved.

patio before

Here’s another great before and after scene! Above is the original dining area, complete with a grill which we moved out of the way to better position the dining table. We extended the fence posts so the roof in here would be enough height to add the slat wood pergola. What a difference all of that white makes! And now we can enjoy dining al fresco without baking in the hot afternoon sun.

patio makeover

patio makeover

Before we refinished the deck, it was pretty chippy and scratched. Some boards were so chewed up that we had to pull them up and replace them. Phil and I would’ve loved to replace all of the deck boards, but that just wasn’t in the budget. But I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, even though it took soooo much effort to make this old deck shine again!

patio makeover

patio makeover

Here’s how the deck looked before we finished staining, fencing, and adding the slats above the pergola area. It was so exciting to see it com together!

Below you can see what it looks like from the outside. I have since planted sweet autumn clematis up here, which will climb up fishing line that I’m string long the posts of the fence, to keep the clematis off the actual fencing. I hope it fills out how I would like! I’ve been reading a lot about caring and pruning clematis, but any extra advice you have for me would be more than welcome!

patio makeover


patio makeover

We’ve definitely been over-indulging in s’mores since the patio completion, but I know that winter has a way of sneaking up on us here in Ohio, and then we’ll be longing for this warm summer evenings with toasty sugar sandwiches! haha!

I’ve included a list of all of the products I’ve used in this space down below. Article gave us all of the outdoor furniture to be used in the project (except for the umbrella and fire pit). We’re really happy with the quality, and I’d definitely recommend their furniture to anyone who is looking! Feel free to ask me questions and I’ll check back in to answer.

Product Sources:

Article Burrard Sofa Review

article burrard

Transforming the front room of our house into a cozy study has been such a rewarding project! I’ve still been making minor tweaks to the space since sharing its grand reveal last month, but I wanted to take some time to talk to you all about what we think of our Burrard sofa from Article. So many people have been reaching out on Instagram to ask me what I think about it, but I think I ought to say a bit more than “We like it!”

When selecting a sofa for your home, there’s quite a bit to consider. Before choosing the Burrard sofa, I considered the ideal sofa size, seat depth, arm thickness, and upholstery fabric for the study. I wanted to talk about what I was looking for in this space, and hopefully it will help you if you’re embarking on your own sofa shopping adventure!

In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that Article provided me with this sofa in exchange for images and blog post material for the study makeover series that I shared at A Beautiful Mess. But I can assure you that all of my opinions I’m about to share are authentic and honest.

article burrard

1. Sofa Size

Although the study is a relatively small room in our house, I knew I wanted a full size sofa for napping and sharing with the entire family. Article has a variety of full-size sofa lengths to choose from, and some smaller versions of those sofas too. There’s a smaller version of the Burrard, but I ended up going with the full-size for this room and then selecting smaller end tables so the space wouldn’t feel crowded.

2. Sofa Bulk

Sofa designs vary quite a bit when it comes to arm and back thicknesses. I knew I didn’t want to waste any space with a bulkier back and arms, so I checked out the dimensions listed on Article’s website for each sofa. The Burrard had some of the slimmest arms and back of all the sofa styles. The slimmer arms also made the Burrard feel more sleek and sophisticated.

3. Seat Depth

Because this sofa would be primarily used as a place for cudding up with a book, and often sharing a seat with our kids, I knew I wanted a sofa with sufficiently deep seats. I liked the look of Article’s Parker sofa, but after comparing its seat depth to other seats in our home, I realized I wouldn’t be as happy with its depth. If I was designing a room to function more as a sitting room, and less of a spot to really cozy up, the Parker maybe would’ve been a better fit.

article burrard

4. Comfort

When it comes to the comfort-level of a sofa, people are surprisingly varied in their opinions. I like to have a bit of something to sink into, mostly at my back, but I know other people like a ton of cushion. I suppose I fall somewhere in the middle with wanting firm/soft cushions. For me, comfort is more about proportions, such as the depth of the seat and height of the back.

The Burrard’s cushions were actually super firm when the sofa arrived, and I was a bit nervous. What have I done?! But as we used the sofa occasionally over the course of two months, they softened up a bit and now they feel perfect. The back is much more cushiony, but it still maintains its shape and doesn’t slump or look sloppy. I’m really happy with it now.

5. Upholstery

When you think about a study, usually worn leather furniture comes to mind. I had it stuck in my head that we just had to get a leather sofa for in this space, but in the end Phil said he preferred fabric to leather, and I had to agree. When faced with the choice between snuggling up on a leather sofa or a fabric one, we’d choose fabric every time!

Fabric isn’t usually as rugged as leather, but you can order fabric samples from Article if you need reassured that the fabric thickness will last well over time. I’ve had no pilling issues with the seasalt gray upholstery fabric of our Burrard, and while it’s soft enough to the touch, it seems like it will hold up well over time. In the past I’ve sprayed my sofas with Scotchguard to protect it from spills and stains, but since the Burrard’s cushion covers are removable, I’m not too worried about messes. Besides, this is a less used room in our home, so it’s less likely that stain issues will happen in here.

6. Sofa Color

This is a highly personal choice, and is usually influenced by the design of the room. I love using slipcovers for furniture, so I wasn’t too trigger shy about committing to a sofa color. In the end, I felt like gray was a safe color, and it gave me a lot of options for coordinating accessories. I was a little disappointed that the fabric color was cooler than the gray that Article’s website shows, but not enough that I felt like I couldn’t be happy with it in my home. Of course, I could’ve ordered fabric samples ahead of time, but I probably still would’ve gone with the seasalt gray.



article burrard

Let me know if you have any questions about Article’s furniture or the Burrard sofa! I’m also working with Article for our outdoor project, and I couldn’t be happier with my selections! I’m excited to share that space soon. I’ll also be sharing an update on the adjustments I’ve made to the study soon. I know you’re probably thinking I should leave well enough alone, but I can’t help myself! :)

Plans for the Patio Makeover

patio plans

As much as I’d like to take a break from house projects after finishing up the study makeover, Summer is prime time for home renovations in Ohio, so I’m trucking along! Next up will be work on our patio and powder room.

Obviously we want to fix up our patio in time to enjoy it this summer and fall, so I’m hoping we can get this project done in the next two weeks! Here’s what our patio looks like right now (above). The wood needs stripped, refinished, and restained, and the traditional lattice privacy fence is going bye bye.

top left image: Musta Ovi / top right image: The Brick House

Slatwood Privacy Fence

In place of the existing lattice, I plan to put up slat wood lattice strips for fencing, much like the image above. Then I’ll plant something that can climb the lattice and add the magic of greenery to this space. Right now I’m undecided about how I should finish the lattice strips. I have stacks and stacks of pressure treated lattice strips waiting in my garage to be finished, but I can’t decide if I want a natural wood look, white washed, or a pickled type of finish. Our house is currently a putty gray color, but we plan to have it painted white next year, so I want the color of the patio to go with the future look of our siding, not the current look.

Climbing Greenery

I’m also pretty unsure about what kind of climbing plant to use on the privacy fence. Also, do I plant some in pots on the patio to climb up the inside of the patio, or do I just plant it in the ground on the outside of the patio fence? I know I’d like to see it in the seating area, but it will need to be a plant that is easily controlled. So far I’m considering clematis, hops, wisteria, and honeysuckle. Clematis seems to be the top contender, but in general I’m concerned about using a flowering plant because of not wanting bees hanging out with us on the patio. (I’ll plant flowers in the front of our house to help out the bees, but I’m not looking to do that where we will be dining with our children.)


image source unknown — any idea?

Modern Slatwood Dining Nook

Continuing with the slat wood look, I’m also super interested in using lattice strips to make a cozy dining nook at one end of the patio, much like this inspiration image above. It would be a sort of a pergola, but the slats would be made of lattice strips and would be positioned much tighter together than a traditional pergola. I would like the slats to be far enough apart to still allow light and climbing greenery to show through, but it should also provide shade for our dining area.

I’m also considering adding outdoor curtains to the dining area to give it more separation from the lounge part of the patio, and to add one more barrier to the road noise behind our backyard. Our backyard has a busy road behind it, so road noise is an issue. One day we want to plant a tall, dense, hedgerow, but one thing at a time! At least our patio is on the side of the house so the road noisy isn’t too obnoxious.

patio plans

If you’ve been following me for some time on Instagram stories, you’ll know how much I love doing a Photoshop mock-up before beginning any project! It’s a skill I’ve developed through the years beginning when I was earning my interior design degree in college, and it’s proven to be quite useful in imagining each of my home projects!

I’m planning to keep this outdoor space pretty neutral, as it is visible from both our kitchen and our living room windows. I don’t want it to add color and chaos to the kitchen and living room, and besides, I want something that will compliment all of the beauty of the outdoors, rather than competing with it.

patio plans

I’m working with one of my favorite furniture brands, Article, for most of the furnishings for the patio, but I’ve also purchased some additional items to fill out the space, such as a propane fire pit, an articulating patio umbrella, outdoor rug, and lighting. I’ll link everything at the end of this post.

Fencing Color Options

The last decision I’m faced with before beginning work this weekend is the color for the fencing. What do you guys think? Should I go for dark and dramatic with a boldly contrasting wall, medium-wood tone that adds richness and warmth, a white-washed look that allows for some wood warmth to show through, or white paint for a crisp and fresh backdrop?

stain options

Let me know what you think about color options! We begin work on Saturday, and I couldn’t be more excited! Can’t wait to share the results.

Product Sources:

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