When we first moved into our new home last year we were thrilled with the big yard and had big dreams for finishing our deck (we had a platform but no railing). But we decided to wait for spring because we wanted to add to the stairs, add railing, and build a storage bench. My uncle is a carpentry wizard and offered to help us. And once that was done, we teamed up with IKEA to design and style it. I just love the way it all turned out and can’t wait to host our first outdoor party.
This was the state of things last year when we moved in. We had a basic platform, a small stairway, no railing, and hand-me-down patio furniture. And I had much littler kiddos 🙁
For the deck, I told my uncle the basic idea of what we wanted, he sketched out some plans, and many trips to Home Depot later we were good to go. After these two fellas worked their magic on the deck we had side rails, bench seating with storage, and had extended the stairs across the front of the deck. Next year we’ll add a small pergola and stain or paint our deck and fence (the previous owner had used pressure-treated wood for the platform and we wanted to use the same wood for the rest of the deck so it would all match, and pressure treated wood can’t be stained or painted for a year.)
Once the deck was built we just needed the perfect family-friendly pieces to style it. I knew I wanted storage and a space where I could pot plants, a big table with lots of seating, and kid-friendly chairs and a picnic table for messy projects and meals for the boys. I’ve always loved IKEA’s seasonal outdoor pieces but we never had a patio or deck of our own when we were renters in Los angeles. But now that we have our own home, we have plenty of outdoor space to design and I finally had the opportunity to partner with them.
We already had those coral patio dining chairs but really needed a table. I choose this one because I loved that it had drop leaf sides so I can keep them closed most days and the seating still fits our family and takes up less of our deck space, but I can also lift them when we entertain family and friends — I would just turn the table the other way and extend it across the deck for more space. I also added the matching bench to give us more seating around the table and the umbrella for shade.
I really wanted some shelving storage where I could keep things handy for potting plants and store things like sunscreen and bug spray and sun hats and water shoes… You get the idea. Now I could have styled these to look instagram-worthy but I wanted to show you how I really use them and keep it real. I do have a collection of pots on top as well as some potted succulents. I love that the shelves are indoor/outdoor and are as stylish as they are functional.
We wanted to have a few seating options in addition to our dining chairs and benches. The kids’ picnic table is the perfect size for littles but isn’t so little that my oldest can’t use it. It was super easy to assemble and it is where the boys sit for a snack or have lunch on a nice day as well as do messy projects like painting and play-doh. I wish I had gotten two for when we have friends over!
I also got three of the little lounge chairs for the boys — they move them all over the yard and I love the pop of color they add. Having a white house and a natural wood deck, I really wanted to add color wherever I could.
My last favorite seating choice is “mama’s chair” 🙂 I just loved this rattan chair and foot stool. I love to have a cup of coffee there first thing in the morning and picture myself reading a good book in that chair (if I ever get lounge time to read a book in the middle of the day, which hasn’t happened yet but a girl can dream…) I do use a weather-proof chair cover at night to protect the chair from rain. I also put the footstool on the chair before I cover it. I love that the chair matches the rattan bar cart that I added to our deck (such a great roadside find that someone had discarded after a move! I swear you could find something similar at Anthropologie for $$$$!)
I can see us making so many wonderful family memories out here this summer, and for many summers to come!
Sources c/o IKEA: ÄPPLARÖ Table and Bench / SAMSÖ Umbrella / MASTHOLMEN Armchair / ALSEDA stool / BUNSÖ Children’s Chair / RESÖ Children’s picnic table / HINDÖ Shelf Unit/ Previously Owned: Coral Dining Chairs / Outdoor Rug (a couple seasons ago)