Backyard Patio Umbrellas

Ever since we moved into our home here in Virginia, I have kept a running list of little house projects or items I would like for our home.  It has been good for me to keep a list as it has helped me be patient with furnishing our home.  And then when we do get something accomplished or purchased it feels amazing to be able to check it off our list.  Plus I also believe it helps us to stay focused on the projects we value most versus what is right in front of us at the moment.

All this to say, while I believe the exterior of our home to be quite lovely, I really wanted something more for the back of our house.  Something to draw the eyes and be a bit more aesthetically pleasing.  The porch and landscaping were already doing so much for the typical tri-level back of the house but matching outdoor umbrellas were on my house wish list in hopes of pulling everything together.

While I love the look of outdoor umbrellas, I was always hesitant in the past to incorporate them in my outdoor decor.  Back in Sacramento I was so bad at taking care of outdoor furniture due to our fairly mild weather and use of backyard year around.  I often left stuff out too long that they ended up getting damaged in a major rain storm or intense heat wave.  Plus they always seemed so expensive, it never felt worth it. 

So I put it on our one day list for this house and left it at that.  The back of our house gets very hot in the summer so my mom also started mentioning how nice it would be to have umbrellas so we could actually sit out on the back porch in the summer.  

Then summer rolled around and I started seeing all these black and white striped outdoor umbrellas on blogs and in instagram photos.  But they were always so expensive.  And yet what once was an idea started becoming a want event though I couldn't rationalize spending that much money on umbrellas that I might ultimately leave out all winter and ruin!

So it was July by now and we happened to be in Walmart.  And we stumbled upon these beauties!  Black and white striped outdoor umbrellas!  And I could get two for less than the price of one! 

And I couldn't be happier.  They look amazing set up - great quality for the price.  And I have been so good about closing them when not in use and we took them down and brought them indoors to store over the winter.

 I will even open up the one on the porch just so I can see it open during the day from the kitchen.  And then routinely put it down come dinner time.  And even though it was near the end of summer that we finally purchased them, they still served us well for adding a little shade.

Everything is dead and bare right now so seeing these pictures again make me excited for how glorious and lush spring will be.  And we will get to enjoy these umbrellas for much longer this year!

I get asked about our white patio set a lot.  It is from Home Depot but unfortunately got discontinued.

The outdoor throw pillows I have collected over the years.  I believe they are all either from Target or from Pottery Barn (that one glorious time we were driving through Southern California and stumbled upon a Pottery Barn outlet!  I think we got outdoor pillows there for $8!).

The brown plastic outdoor box has proven very helpful and easy on the eyes over the years.  We have this large one in the back and a small one on our front porch for storing gardening tools and toys.  And in the winter we also store some of our pillows in there.  Both were purchased at Sam's Club in California and can usually be found yearly in the spring or summer (I believe also at Costco).

An otherwise very boring back of the house now has a bit of character and style with a few pieces of furniture and thoughtful landscaping.

About a month ago we decided we wanted to roast marshmallows on our old gas fire pit.  So we switched out the back patio table for the fire pit and have been enjoying sitting out in the cold by the fire every once in awhile.  

And here is that view of the umbrella from our kitchen I mentioned earlier.  It is totally okay to open up an outdoor umbrella just so you can see it through the window (or any other extra effort to make your surroundings beautiful - even if it is just for your own enjoyment!).

Well, that was probably the longest post ever about a pair of outdoor umbrellas.  But proof that they make a big statement without much work!