I’ve been…so excited…to share this. Summer might be coming to an end pretty soon, but that doesn’t mean that outdoor activities have to slow down! As a matter of fact, I prefer the autumnal months over the hot summer season. Cooler temperatures, slightly fewer mosquitos (did anyone else get EATEN ALIVE this year? sheesh), and beautiful foliage here in Virginia make autumn the season to beat. With that in mind, I’m excited to reveal the space that I’ll be experiencing it in from home!
If you recall allll the way back to July—which feels like a year ago—you might remember my grand plans for the back deck. I talked about a handful of components that I wanted to incorporate: zones, greenery, privacy, lighting, and layers. Let’s break down the “after” photos accordingly, shall we?! We shall.
As a quick reminder, this is where I started out in July. A clean slate, a lonely fern, and some potting soil!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but pre-planning the layout of a space is CLUTCH. For clients and my own personal projects, I always sketch out a birds-eye view of a space as a baseline before picking out the fun details. I settled on this layout for my deck (after a few attempts):
…and for funsies, here is a birds-eye view of how the end result followed suit:
This layout allowed for three distinct zones—a lounging space, a bar cart/gardening zone, and a grill area—that feel separate, but connected. Let’s dive into the lounging space!
I must say.
This bench. From Lulu and Georgia. Is EVERYTHING. I was counting on this piece to be the anchor for the entire space, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s the perfect size for my small deck, but substantial enough to provide ample seating (and drama. I like drama).
The teak and brass details on this piece are immaculately intentional, and the seat—woven from hyacinth—is extremely soft and comfortable. This was the last piece I grabbed for the space, and it immediately brought everything together in the “collected and classic” style that I’m striving for throughout my home. I love design!
This little side table from Rejuvenation is perfect for this nook and provides an additional surface for when I’m entertaining friends. Or for when I’m cozied up here alone with a hot chocolate. Which is more likely.
Moving on to the bar zone!
For my purposes on the deck, this bar cart from Article doubles as a libation station above, and a little gardening storage center below. I nabbed the amazing little gardening kit on the bottom shelf from Lulu and Georgia, and I certainly put it to good use while planting some greenery around the deck (more on that shortly!). Settling on the color for this piece was a happy accident. I initially wanted to incorporate a neutral colorway, but since it was out of stock, I pivoted to the green option. I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER THAT THIS HAPPENED. While I love a neutral moment, the green bar cart adds a necessary break from the black and brown tones throughout the rest of the space, while inherently speaking to the surrounding greenery in a very cool way.
Lastly, I’m digging this little grilling section on the other side of the deck. Some of you suggested that using a charcoal grill on a deck isn’t the best idea—thank you for that tip! It will live here when I’m not using it, but I’ll take it down to the ground whenever I do. Speaking of the ground…let’s talk about plants because I’m more excited than ever to discuss greenery.
Y’all. At the beginning of September, I had a very difficult week. I spent that Saturday outdoors—shopping for these plants and placing them in these BEAUTEOUS planters from Rejuvenation—and it was probably the best therapy I could’ve asked for. As I mentioned in my introductory post, I wanted the plants in this space to feel natural to the environment, and these planters support that concept to a tee. The big, gray, cement planters connect with the existing pavers and the gray tones in the ivy. Placing them amidst the ground cover makes them feel intentional and well-incorporated, and they give the entire backyard space a little more personality.
The black planter—also from Rejuvenation—fits perfectly next to my grill and gels with the neutral tones sprinkled about the space. I decided on coleus and creeping jenny plants for the planters. I love the vibrant punch of color that the coleus provides, and the “creep” of the creeping jenny feels like an authentic match for the ivy speckled throughout the yard.
Speaking of ivy! I decided to hang some on the privacy wall, since the horizontal slats were begging for some greenery as well.
I mean. I could go on and on about this privacy wall. In fact, I have! Head over to that dedicated post to read all about how this wall came to be (side note: this view from my kitchen window makes me so happy).
It turned out better than I had hoped, and it really has provided the slight privacy that it’s intended to! It’s an interesting structural addition to the deck, but the mobility of it all makes it super versatile—especially for renters! 10/10 recommend taking the time to build this! If I can do it, you can do it! So much exclamation!
Not only is the wall great for privacy, structure, and versatility, but it also allows me to hang up some lights! I grabbed these battery-operated string lights from Michaels, and honestly… they set things off in the best way possible. I was nervous about wires and cords messing up my clean aesthetic, so I was happy to stumble upon a battery-operated alternative. I used Command Velcro strips to attach the battery pack to the horizontal slats, and voila! Here is how they look in the evening:
Yes. That is all.
The last aspect of my design plan, but certainly not the least, is layering. I love an outdoor space that feels grounded in comfort, so it was important for me to incorporate rugs, pillows, and a lot of good visual texture. These pillows from Annie Selke and Lulu and Georgia are certainly doing a good job—and I love the repetition of horizontal lines that they’re enforcing in coordination with the slats of the privacy wall.
This is the first time that I’ve tried layering rugs, and I must say, I’m a fan! The bright tone of this rug from Annie Selke juxtaposes perfectly against the darker, larger rug underneath from Target.
Overall, I love this space. The great thing about choosing a mostly neutral palette is that it’ll last from summer to autumn without a problem, but I’m really digging this setting for cozy autumnal evenings this year. We should all still spending a ton of time at home these days, so why not make the most of it?
And there we have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me over the last few months to makeover my deck—from planning, to a fun DIY project, to this final reveal. Do you plan on spending as much time as I do outdoors this autumn? Since this year is flying right on by, would you like to chat about winter storage solutions for outdoor pieces? Let me know!