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I’m really excited to be joining some of my favorite bloggers today to talk about beautiful outdoor living spaces. I love summer and the draw of outside living. I’ve never been a huge fan of days spent cooped up inside watching movies or sitting by the fire as required by colder seasons. As temperatures rise, I want to be breathing the fresh air and enjoying the sun! I love spending time in the yard, gardening, lounging by the pool and BBQing (really just eating the delicious stuff my husband makes). Here in Santa Cruz, we have warm days and cool nights so having a fire feature or outdoor heater helps extend our time outside. My husband and I love to curl up by the outside fire with a glass of wine later in the evening when all is quiet. But here’s the thing… we’re about to start a huge pool and patio renovation. If you’ve been reading my blog a while you may know that we’ve been slowly, but surely renovating our home since we bought it. The pool was built in the 80s, hasn’t been updated since and isn’t heated! As we we were looking into refinishing the pool and upgrading the equipment one thing led to the next and the project snowballed into a larger one (as they sometimes do). So now we’ll be replacing the entire patio and BBQ area along with the pool renovation. Honestly, they both needed to be done and we didn’t want to go through the headaches of tearing up our entire yard twice!

Keep reading to see our plans, and for more beautiful backyard inspiration, be sure to check out posts from Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home, Annie from Most Lovely Things, Cindy from Rough Luxe Lifestyle , Karen from Garden Home & Party and Marie from Marie’s Home and Garden.

In designing the new look for our pool and patio, we had a few things to accomplish. We wanted cleaner lines and a muted palate. To accomplish this, we’ll tone down a large brick feature wall and update the color scheme to something a little more neutral and muted. We like brick, but there’s just a bit too much of it (see before photo below) and painting it isn’t a viable option. We also need to replace our aging, chipped and very busy slate patio deck and have chosen poured concrete for a cleaner streamlined look. We’ll be re-configuring the seating area to make room for a built in BBQ and updated seating.  Here’s a look at the inspiration board and a few more photos from some of my favorite designers that I’ve been lovingly staring at for inspiration.


You can see the plaster finish is on its last leg and calcium deposits on the brick. So much brick!

I’ve been inspired by so many of the beautiful projects coming from Garden Studio Design in Southern California, like this one with interiors by Brooke Wagner Design. I’m really into the stone, muted palate and built in lounge area.

I love everything that comes form Mindy Gayer Design, including this pool area again designed in conjunction with Garden Studio Design. I’m finding inspiration from the light, modern pool deck and coping and clean lines of the lounge chaises.

This built-in fire feature from Garden Studio Design paired with big over sized chairs is calling my name!

This gorgeous pool is inspiration for the darker finish we want in our pool.

Another beautiful outside living space from Brooke Wagner Design featuring a built-in fireplace and TV. This way my husband doesn’t have to miss out on summer baseball while he’s busy tending to the BBQ!

We really wanted a built in BBQ and space for some bar stools like this space from Mindy Gayer Design. Love the concrete counter and natural materials used on the basket light and bar stools.

I can’t resist this beautiful and inviting outdoor space from Mindy Gayer Design.

I love the little space left for plants along the edge of the BBQ area from Garden Studio Design.

We have another month to enjoy our pool before we start demo. I’ll be sure to share during and after photos and don’t forget to check out all the other beautiful outdoor living spaces from some of my favorite bloggers:

Mary Ann from Classic Casual Home

Annie from Most Lovely Things


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