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Our Outdoor Oasis


Happy Cinco de Mayo! One of you lucky readers has another reason to celebrate today as the winner of the Rustic Giveaway… check the Rafflecopter widget to see if it’s you!

Speaking of celebrations, we had a big one this weekend—our Housewarming party. If you’ve been following me on instagram, you may have caught my post right before the festivities went down…

Everyone seemed to have a great time and the kitchen performed like a champ. It’s built to entertain—we love that it’s able to easily accommodate large crowds (over the course of two days) and come out of it unscathed and ready for more. I predict lots of summer gatherings and holiday parties this year!

If you’re wondering about that deck photo, I’m here to explain. We’ve been making some improvements to the backyard over the past few months which I haven’t covered yet. Unfortunately I don’t have a proper before picture, but here’s one from when we were house hunting. This was basically the extent of the view…

On the left were trees that blocked most of the mountains on that side. I wasn’t able to take a pic before Brad started cutting them down—here’s a mid progress shot after he had cleared out a few:

Here’s the man in action:

The freshly dropped foliage caught the attention of our deer friends.

There’s a trail that runs through our backyard and we often see them running around and playing back there (the babies are adorable!)

Brad did as much as he could by himself, but tree cutting isn’t his specialty so we ended up calling in pros to finish the job. There was one tree directly in front of our master bedroom window that was really close to the house. Here’s the view from my studio where you can see it blocking the left side:

I actually captured it coming down—you can check out the video here.

And now the view from the studio window looks like this:

Much better.

It’s a huge difference in our bedroom. The tree was blocking the majority of the view before:

and now it’s wide open…

Now that the trees were out of the way, we were able to see the backyard of our house for the first time. I don’t think I’ve ever shared much of the backyard, so let’s start with the deck. Here’s the main deck off of the living room, taken from the lower deck:

And here’s the lower deck, as seen from the ground:

I took some photos of the back of the house but they got deleted, so here’s the one I have from my phone a few months back when we were doing a burn pile:

That day was the first time we’d ever seen the back of the house in it’s entirety after the trees were removed. If you’re curious about the layout—to the far left is the living room, the next window over is my studio, then the guest room, and the window on the right is our bedroom. The lower levels are the main downstairs room.

Now that the view was opened up, it was time to focus on our outdoor living space. I spotted the Ikea Arholma set and noticed that it was 25% off with the Ikea family member card, and I was sold. It was exactly what I had pictured and already a very inexpensive alternative to similar sets. So that weekend we took a little road trip to Sacramento, and just a few days later we were relaxing in it.

We als
o picked up this 9×12″ outdoor rug from Overstock.

I love how versatile the pieces are…

There’s endless possibilities for different layouts.

They’re quite comfortable, too.

I just realized I forgot to take a photo of this, but Brad wired up our flat screen TV next to the living room windows (we had it outside under our open patio in Florida), so we’ve been watching movies at night and playing concerts/music when guests are over.

The weather has been perfectly lately, so whenever we have guests, the deck is the favorite hangout spot.

Here’s a shot from the living room looking out…

Yes, we finally have curtains! There’s actually been several updates in the living room which I’ll be sharing on Thursday. But for now I’d better get back to catching up on work (and recovering from this weekend…) Enjoy your week!


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20 thoughts on “Our Outdoor Oasis

  1. Incredible views. We have a mass of trees growing over our fence from next door. I'm certain we have little peaks of view if we can cut them back, but nothing like the vast expanse that you are lucky enough to enjoy.

  2. This is a beautiful place with an amazing view. I love that furniture and that you can arrange it in many ways. Similar design in available at some local Ikea stores. Enjoy the amazing space!

  3. You cut down three perfectly healthy trees just so you could see?! What??? No mention of any problems the trees had… I really hope that what I am reading here isn't true. This is selfish & shameful, frankly. So irresponsible. If the trees were diseased or dangerous in some way I can understand, but just to blaze into your backyard with a chainsaw chopping down beautiful established trees is heartbreaking. I'm so down on this. :(((((((((

  4. I know it's not a choice everyone would make, but we bought the house to enjoy the view. There is no shortage of trees here and cutting them back on your own property is perfectly legal and very common here. They will be used for firewood so they aren't going to waste. Sorry to upset you though! 🙁

  5. With all due respect lady, people cut trees down all the time. Its their property and frankly I'm ashamed of you for trying to belittle someone you don't even know. Before you start calling people names you better look at yourself because you've done plenty in your life to be ashamed of so you should mind your own business.

  6. Amazing what a little tree removal will do, you have amazing views! You did nothing selfish or shameful by cutting them down. It is your property, you can do what you want!

  7. WOW! It's just gorgeous Jenna! Love following along on your journey and living through you 🙂 You guys are in the same stage of life we are in and I love seeing what you're doing with the place. My husband & I keep dreaming that we will move somewhere with better year-round weather with lots of outdoor activities & views. Love your place! Thanks for sharing. I learn a lot too!

  8. Wow. Didn't know it was a crime to cut down trees on your own property…. There are plenty of other ways that you could have addressed this issue with Jenna… like in a private email or perhaps you could donate a few new trees to your home town… Just a thought.
    Your home and outdoor space is beautiful Jenna!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. I am in awe of that view. Seriously breathtaking! I was the little kid that cried when my parents cut down a tree to put in a swimming pool, and I still have some sort of weird attachment to them now. With that said, it is not like you decimated your property just randomly cutting trees. You have a gorgeous home and property and a couple of trees were blocking a really incredible view. The other comment seems to be a tad dramatic…you have a full forest back there still. 😉

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  10. In response to the person that flipped out on you for cutting trees down, my husband and I recently looked at a house that had two HUGE fir trees in the front. So large, you couldn't even see that there was a front patio area. We talked about those being the first thing to go and had a few people act very startled about this. But for goodness sake, why wouldn't you do that? I say go you! I literally gasped at your new view. It's beautiful! I may be slightly jealous 🙂

  11. Just curious as to how many (and which) Arholma pieces you used for this arrangement. Just a beautiful way to enjoy your surroundings (I even have my husband following your blog now–it's fun!)

  12. That is just beautiful. I wish we could leave blankets and pillows out all the time – live in Florida on 4 1/2 acres with HUGH oak trees – they are beautiful but sure are messy 🙁 – you house is simply amazing. I have followed a lot of blogs and your home is by far my favorite! Just can't say enough good about it – GREAT JOB.

  13. HI there! Beautiful set up. Researching Arholma now, curious to know how they have held up after a couple of years. Thank you so much!

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