Life + Style

June 23, 2009

Outdoor Living

I decided that since I have to spend this gorgeous week inside at the office, located just a quick mile from the beach, I would daydream about life outside from behind my desk. So, all this week I will be posting about outdoor living. Today I'll start with space planning in our own newly acquired yard. Our lot is almost two acres, and, while that may seem large to some, that also includes where the house is and the wetlands that are not usable for anything but a nice neighbor buffer. We are, however, still left with lots of potential space to do all kinds of cool things to make our outdoor space more fabulous. Of course convincing my husband to implement everything on this list benefits y'all too, seeing as how we love to entertain! Let's hope the economy picks up fast so I can at least tackle one of these!

Five things I would like to do with our yard:

  1. Build a fire pit
  2. Add an area for lawn games
  3. Make the garage look less like a garage
  4. Build a pool and cabana
  5. Decorate our existing porch

1. Build a fire pitI can't remember where I found this picture

A fire pit would be the perfect place to hang out in the yard all fall and winter with all of our friends. This would be a great place for an oyster table as well. Or for wrapping up in a blanket and eating frogmore stew.

2. Lawn Games Zone
I can't remember where I found this picture
A bocce ball court or horseshoe area would be perfect on the left side of our back yard. That part of the yard doesn't get any sunlight so we really can't get grass to grow anyway. I love the idea of a big piece of slate used as a chalkboard to keep score. Y'all know how I get competitive with games! I think I should get that husband of mine to make us some personalized boxes for cornhole too. For those of you who don't know what cornhole is, you have to come down south to find out.
Update: Apparently cornhole was started in the Midwest, more specifically in Kentucky, and not down south. My sister now lives in Kentucky and thought we should send credit where it's due. I'm cool with that. However, you're still welcome to either visit her in KY or me in SC to play. To learn more please visit the official site of the American Cornhole Association.

3. Update the facade of the garage
I can't remember where I found this picture
We have a detached garage and I would love to make a few changes to that it looked more like a guest cottage/carriage house from the front. I would add faux carriage doors and a pitched roof with columns. I would probably also put some gas lanterns on the sides instead of the one hanging in the middle since we have two separate doors. This would be a nod to all those fabulous carriage houses floating around Charleston, the other love of my life.

4. Build a pool and cabana
This picture found via Just Beachy
I'm picturing this whole pool and cabana set-up at the very back of our yard. This specific picture is a little rustic and more mountain house appropriate than I'd have down here at the beach, but, I think the layout is ideal.
Image found via House of Turquoise
This porch is much more in keeping with the style of architecture and color scheme that would be used for our cabana. I especially love the blue ceiling and plan to paint our front porch ceiling blue as well. In South Carolina, painting your porch ceiling blue isn't just about looking pretty. It's a long time tradition that was formed by the Gullah people in the low country and is typically called haint blue. The Gullah culture is highly intertwined and weaved with African, Caribbean, creole and local culture and many practiced voodoo. It is commonly believed that the people painted their porches blue to ward off the evil spirits from entering the home.

Image by designer Moises Esquinazi found via House of Turquoise

Image found via West Elm

I'm not a fan of the red and orange in the first picture, but these last two will do. I'd like some singles and maybe a double lounger or two by the pool!

5. Decorate our existing porch Image via House Beautiful
I love the white with pops of pink. This would be the color scheme and furniture we'd use on the deck off our sun room to create an outdoor living room. It would be perfect spot for my favorite ladies to come over and drink cold coronas.



  1. ElizabethJune 23, 2009

    Fabulous ideas! Though, I must laugh at the idea of cornhole being a Southern thing. Claiming it refutes mom's argument that Louisville's not in the South. Cornhole is very Midwestern, but we love it just the same!

  2. oh sure. That makes more sense. Maybe it's just a country not a city thing?

  3. AnonymousJune 25, 2009

    We have cornhole in Richmond. All the drunk UR kids play it in the large grassy median on Monument Avenue--I'm not sure how they don't get in trouble for open containers, but they're always out there playing cornhole & drinking! I keep trying to explain it to Dan--he must be too old. -Ashley

  4. Ashley-I had no idea that other people played it! I want Matthew to make us two for the back yard and I'm going to paint them with our monograms. I'm sure it won't be until after I've stopped asking him build stuff inside the house though. You can bring Danny and the baby down and we'll play!

  5. AnonymousJuly 25, 2015

    Born & lived in the south my whole life and have never ever seen someone play cornhole here. But then again I am living on hundreds of acres with lakes but only 1 mile from a major 4 lane highway near a very large city. However I do get out from time to time. Never have seen this played at Oxford. For some reason I would think it would be an Iowa thing. Here we are like Texas football, football & did I mention football. Ever so often we include baseball, basketball, softball & soccer.

    I did learn one thing I didn't know from reading this older post. Frogmore stew. Never heard of that either and I grew up on the coast! It is very similar to tons of New Orleans recipes. For some reason when I read the name I thought sounds like something Harry Potter would have for dinner. I am mostly a vegan/vegetarian organic girl which is hard living in the land of butter, sugar, fried and fried.

    We paint porch ceilings blue in the south to keep bugs, bees, birds etc. from building nest they think it is the sky so they fly away. Every single state I have been to in the south including Florida all paint their ceilings blue especially old historic homes like ours. It really does work.

    Love your blog.


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