Build a Room: My Own Outdoor Oasis

side deckHave you heard the phrase “The shoemaker’s son has no shoes”? Well, in my case I often feel like “the designer’s house has no design”. Let me explain… we bought our condo two years ago, and I got pregnant 6 days after we moved in. I worked full time up until I was 9 months along, and then I decided to give it a go with my own business. So on top of being a stay-at-home mom, I was also trying to launch Chicago ReDesign. Needless to say, there was never much time (or money) for decorating my own house, so many areas still remain neglected as I (very) slowly finish each room.

One of the many spaces in our condo in need of a little decorator TLC is our side deck. Although this space isn’t huge, we spend a lot of time here during the precious summer months, relaxing and entertaining friends, so it’s become a priority in my mind.

Now it’s time to get inspired and start thinking about transforming this boring deck into an outdoor room I can be proud of.  A few caveats: Because this is a condo building, I can’t do anything to the exterior walls. And as always, I’m on a budget, which means the sort-of-too-big-for-the-space table will have to stay.

Dreamboard #1

Outdoor room decorating | Chicago ReDesign

Garland Rectangular Patio Rug – Green/Sand Floral | Norcal Pottery 10.5in Blush Terra Cotta Ribbed Egg Pot | Norcal Pottery 7 3/4in Terra Cotta Deco Pot | World Market Green Battery-Operated Lanterns | Ikea HYLLIS Shelving Unit

I like the idea of bringing fresh greens into the space to play off of the cedar-color deck and the light putty gray split-face brick. I would add two Ikea shelving units (only $14.99 a piece!) against the back wall and stack them full of inexpensive, but interesting clay pots. And to fill those pots, I was thinking hardy petunias in pink and yellow, as well as the incredibly prolific mint herb. Not only is the mint fragrant, but it’s great to be able to step off onto the deck and grab some leaves for Moroccan mint tea or even mint juleps.

Dreamboard #2

Outdoor room decorating | Chicago ReDesign

World Market Carved Wood String Lights | Ikea OSTLIG Plant Pots | Mali Geometric Patio Rug | Ikea SOCKER Hanging Planter

I also like the idea of incorporating into the space a quatrefoil pattern and the color blue, both of which are favorites of mine, and both of which happen to be trending right now. The blue and white palette is accented nicely by the earthy elements of the wood string lights and dark bronze-colored clay pots. And again, I would plant petunias, this time in blue, in the hanging and clay pots.

Both boards would cost right around $200 to implement, and I really like both for different reasons. What do you think? Which dreamboard do you prefer? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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