But as part of Kelly's Korner's challenge today, I am showing you my biggest design challenge and it ain't pretty: The Backyard. And I will talk about how The Engineer and my totally different outdoor philosophies contribute to this challenge.
Duh duh DUH.
This is partly my fault because I leave our outdoor decor out all year long, which makes the cushions and the rugs gross. I ended up washing the West Elm rug that was out here and bringing it inside. The cushions were a lost cause and were chucked. But wait, it gets even better.
My beautiful trailing vines? Gone. Thanks, polar vortex. I lost several plants to the extreme cold this year and now the wall is bare again. It is not always this stark (in fact it looked quite lovely in this Outdoor Decor Post from 2012) but an unseasonably cold spring has prevented me from getting out and making any progress and it looks it.
It is not always this dire, last year I was very proud of the yard as can be seen in the Great Gardening Post. But the patio has always been a challenge. Probably because the Engineer and I have such different outdoor philosophies. I come from a family of gardeners and landscapers. My grandmother's yard was a masterpiece full of beautiful plants and rose bushes - she was quite the gardener. My mother and aunt have followed in her footsteps with beautifully maintained yards. Both of them also love to garden. My dad is very outdoorsy and loves the water, so he likes to live on the lake or have a pool and hot tub in the backyard.
I like to garden, as can be seen in the links above and The Engineer appreciates that. But we differ on outside decor. Growing up, his family was not into outdoor landscaping and activities. Today, as long as he has a nice grill, he is in good shape. And let's face it, outdoor decor projects are expensive - much more time-consuming than just painting a wall. So he looks at any big outdoor ideas as a project manager would: are we going to get a big enough return from the money spent? Will we use it?
It is one of the delicate negotiations of marriage that I used to steamroll right through - longtime readers know that patience is not a virtue of mine. So my goal now with the backyard is to create a space that we both like - functional, beautiful but not over the top and overly expensive. A piece of cake. (Help me.)