Transforming An Outdoor Space for Entertaining

This post is in partnership with Birch Lane.
The products featured are new from Birch Lane, so scroll to the end for direct source links!

Hey, hey! I’m so glad you’re here. I can’t wait to give you a little peek at the before and progress photos of this side porch area of my home (just outside my newly remodeled kitchen) as well as share some tips for refreshing your own outdoor space.

With spring just about here (it is, isn’t it?), now is the time to start planning a few outdoor projects so you can enjoy every bit of upcoming sunshine. That’s exactly what I intend to do.

Remember when we first moved in? Our porch looked like this:

The side porch just didn’t feel as welcoming as I wanted it to be (clearly even neighborhood cats weren’t welcome here, either, hahahah). I knew with a few cosmetic changes, the porch and our home would have a modern coastal cottage vibe that would suit it and our location well.

For those who are new here, our home is on the west coast in the city of Seattle, overlooking the salty waters of the Puget Sound (as well as the Olympic Mountains on a clear day!). With our brand new Dutch door installed, the now painted white brick, new charming light fixture and stained concrete, we’ve made quite a bit of progress already! We still have lots more to do, but even though it’s been slow, I feel like we are on the right track.

I’ll let you in on a little behind the scenes craziness from this day we were taking these photos. There were a few sun breaks (which have been almost non-existent since October!), but don’t let a glimpse of pretty blue sky fool you.

It was freezing. And super windy and rainy most of the day. We had to remind ourselves that spring would indeed arrive and by summer we will actually really enjoy being outside in this space.

Lily - Dutch Door - The Inspired Room

As we were trying to set things up (in between wind gusts and rain drops) our dogs started hopping up on the Dutch door trying to see what we were doing. Our day was made. That is exactly what we dreamed might happen some sunny day if we had a Dutch door. It’s the little things that give us inspiration and make the effort all worthwhile, right? Dreams can come true.

I have pictured for a very long time about how we would use this outdoor area. Besides wanting a convenient and clean path to carry and unload groceries into the kitchen, I really wanted a table out here that we would use on a regular basis. I envisioned a charming spot to have morning coffee as well as a convenient place to set up plates and food for outdoor entertaining.

This lovely teak table and quality chairs from Birch Lane are just perfect for outdoor gatherings or quiet mornings. I can’t wait to set it up for our first get-together in this space.

I’m pretty casual when it comes to how I set up outdoor parties (or indoor parties for that matter), but I do like to have pretty things on hand to serve with. It’s fun to make spring and summer parties feel more special without stressing out trying to make it all perfect.

Besides a table to gather around, having a conveniently placed table can make a helpful landing spot to bring things out from the kitchen, too.

Birch Lane’s melamine plates are ideal for outdoor entertaining with a little more class than paper plates. I love the copper edged trays, too. Since our backyard is down a few steps, being able to transport food to the BBQ is important so I’m excited to put these trays to good use.

The serving baskets are also really cute.

They make it easy to transport utensils and napkins, as well as keep everything together and handy for guests.

A set of melamine glasses let you serve your beverage with flair (and another benefit, they are heavy enough that they won’t be as likely to tip over as paper or plastic cups!). I love the design on this set.

I think with creating outdoor spaces for entertaining, it helps to think through everything you’ll need in advance so you can be prepared and less stressed.

But on the day of an outdoor event, you just have to go with the flow! Case in point, it was so windy when I was taking these photos that my paper napkins kept blowing away. Small potted flowers to the rescue.

I knew from day one that I would want copper accents to add warmth to the patio and porch. These gorgeous hammered copper planters were exactly the style and additional texture I dreamed about.

I can’t wait to shop for plants and flowers that can fill our porch and side yard with the lush look I picture for this space. Not only will I love sitting out here surrounded by green, but I will be so happy to finally see plants from inside the kitchen. Plants can really transform a patio!

But don’t worry, you really don’t have to have a green thumb to add some plants to your outdoor table. Look at these adorable little succulents. Have you ever seen such adorable little faux plants? You guys, THESE PLANTS WON’T DIE! These are perfect to have ready for decorating your outdoor tables. They’ll never shrivel up and will thrive season after season.

Our yard is filled with birds in the spring-time so I like to add a few accessories to create little outdoor destinations, a place where you or your guests can go to just relax and enjoy nature. I adore this little bird feeder! It would be so cute peeking out from spring flowers, too.

Even if you don’t have blooms in your yard, you can enjoy cut flowers from a farmer’s market or grocery store. We have a local farmer’s market near us every Sunday. We love picking up a seasonal bouquet!

Don’t stress about creating perfect arrangements, though. I love the casual rustic feel of these galvanized containers for effortless summer bouquets.

This cute little turtle is a good reminder of what summer outdoor spaces should be all about. It’s all about slowing down and having a place to really smell the flowers, right?

Birch Lane offers long-lasting, high quality items that are well-priced, so I’m always impressed by their products. I have several pieces in my home and they have held up beautifully!

Birch Lane makes it easy to shop online and they offer free shipping on orders over $49, so you can get all the accessories you need to be ready to up your outdoor space. You can shop from items you saw in today’s post via the links below.

Callaway Chair or Side Chair 

Table (similar)

White Melamine Dishes

Hammered Copper Planters

Riviera Plastic Water Glasses

Seagrass Cocktail Napkin Caddy

Seagrass Flatware Basket with Handles

Chickadee Bird Feeder

Coral and white pillow

Galvanized Planters (similar)

Faux Mini Plant Pots (set of 8)

Single Stalk Napkins

Be sure to check out more of Birch Lane’s wonderful outdoor options here!

Come As You Are Mat

Outdoor Light

Other sources from our porch and home can be found here.

Now that you had a peek at what I’ve been up to in this part of my home, you’re invited to visit two other bloggers who joined me this week in sharing their tips for outdoor spaces with Birch Lane!

These ladies are so talented at creating swoon-worthy outdoor spaces, so be sure to pay a visit to both Dear Lillie and French Country Cottage. You’ll be inspired!

I can’t wait to show you more of this space. I have a few more updates to show you in future posts (like the new concrete patio, brand new fence and the double gate to our backyard!). Of course we also have a list of projects we hope to get to this year (installing the porch railings and a front gate, potting plants and hanging string lights for a lovely courtyard ambience in the evenings!), so stay tuned this spring and summer for more developments!

What outdoor areas are you hoping to work on this season?

PS. I’m over on Birch Lane’s Instagram sharing tips today, I’d love if you came to say hi!

Fall House Tour – The White Brick Cottage

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Welcome to my fall house tour! I’m so glad you are here. It seems like it’s been FOREVER since I’ve done a seasonal house tour, doesn’t it? It feels good to be back and opening my door to invite you all in for a look around after our move into this house last year. I mean, I invite you all in all the time, of course, but I think this is really the first time in this house that I’ve set out cookies for you and shown a lot of angles of several rooms all in one post. So, welcome :).

I’m so excited to be joining in with the Blogger Stylin’ Home Tours today, hosted by Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Co. You can check out her fall tour here (be prepared to drool over her cozy home and beautiful newly remodeled kitchen!).

To those of you arriving from the gorgeous home of my lovely friend Shauna’s (The House of Silver Lining), come on in! I’m so glad to have you all here.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

I started my TENTH year of blogging (!!!) this past July! If you’ve been following for long, you know fall has always been a favorite around my blog and my house. This is actually the third house I’ve lived in since I started blogging. Time flies when you are having fun, right?

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

This little house is definitely a work in progress inside and out, so we have the chaos and the cozy going on everywhere.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

While each house I’ve lived in has been unique, I’ve always kept the same basic decorating formula: keep things simple and doable. In the fall I love to bring in extra coziness and warmth through texture and and few natural touches of the season.

With that said, this tour will be more of a look at “my house in the fall” than a look at the “101 ways I decorated with pumpkins” because that’s how I roll and it’s just the stage we’re in with our remodeling projects. At the end of this post you’ll find an extensive source list of my furniture, lighting, and accessories. But I have TONS of photos to share, so let’s get started!

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

I’ll let you peek around our main living areas today, and I’ll share our bedroom tomorrow. In the coming weeks I’ll have updates on our lower level and of course, I hope you’ll follow along with our upcoming small galley kitchen remodel and the new Dutch door installation, too! We’ll start those projects in just a matter of days now so I will have lots of updates to share.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

For you regular readers, if you see a few little things around the house you haven’t seen before, it’s because they are so fresh and new I haven’t even had time to post about them yet! Rest assured, I’ll share posts and specifics about the updates in the coming weeks, so don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything. Consider this post a preview with more details to come. :)

You’ll also find a few paragraphs below with the short-version story of our home if you are new to the blog or just need a refresher about where we live.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style. Hanging basket

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

The brief backstory of our “white brick cottage”

We bought this small 1950s red brick house in Seattle exactly one year ago. Honestly, it was the style of house I would often pass by when I was house hunting. Houses in our price range and location were in limited supply and hard to get with all the competition. We needed to get into a house before school started for our son, so we had to look at everything just in case there was potential!

As we walked through the house, we realized it might be just what we needed in this season of our life. Not only was it a well taken care of and solid house, it had amazing light flooding through large windows, a beautiful yard and a gorgeous view of the sky, sunsets, snow capped mountains and the Puget Sound. We knew it had potential, and indeed it does.

Our goal with this not-so-big house is to keep the modest size (1500 square feet of main living space, with a finished basement below), the structure, layout and much of the character it already had (white plaster walls, wood and slate floors, brick and stone architectural elements) but give it a fresh modern cottage look with our own unique mix of the eclectic coastal farmhouse ambience we love (inside and out).

This summer we painted the exterior so now we can officially say we live in a white brick cottage! I happen to SUPER LOVE white brick houses, so seeing the painted brick every day for the past couple of weeks has already made me feel so much more like this humble house was meant to be for us.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

You can see a peek at our newly painted white brick (and our side patio progress) above.

There’s still lots to do like clean up the the new concrete, add a Dutch door to the front and this porch entrance, wrap the porch posts to make them chunkier, add stair railings and a front fence and gate. I’ll be back with updates as they happen :)

We’ll continue to add more character and curb appeal next year to the front and back of the house, but the paint alone radically changed how this home looks.

I’d love to talk more about our plans for the outside, but I took a MILLION photos of the entry, living room and dining room so let’s go back inside and keep looking around!

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Shop my house:

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.
Soon you’ll be able to see our new Dutch door reflected in this mirror. :) You can read more about my Dutch door plans here and here.

white hallway - built ins with black hardware

Read more about our hallway makeover progress here

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Jack the Goldendoodle / Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

This is our pup Jack (and his sister, Lily, below). He’s a Goldendoodle and she’s a Labradoodle. You can follow them and their cousins Bella and Leo at instagram.com/Doodlesathome.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

This fireplace was one of our first little projects. It was so easy but it really made such a huge difference in this room! You can find the budget fireplace makeover details here.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Candles in Fireplace/ Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

We will be opening up the doorway a bit more between the dining room and kitchen and making it into an arch. You can see where the archway and new kitchen will be in the image above! I can’t wait to show you our kitchen plans :). You can read about our ‘mood’ for the new kitchen here.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style. Navy curtains

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Gray Ombre Wood Beaded Chandelier - Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

This summer we added the shiplap wall and it really helped bring more character to the dining room. You can find the details and what we used for the shiplap here.

Shiplap Wall - Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

Plum bedroom

See my plum bedroom here

the-inspired-room-fall-house-tour-book-bundle-giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by, friends! I enjoyed having you over to see a bit of our house progress. I have a little surprise for those of you who made it all the way to the end of this tour. Leave a comment on this post and I’ll enter you into a GIVEAWAY to win a set of all four of my books. I’ll even sign them before I send ’em off to the winner :). (U.S. address only for book shipments, thanks for your understanding!)

>> Be sure to head to the next stop on the Blogger Stylin’ Home Tour, Cuckoo4Design! Enjoy! <<

SOURCE LIST:

Living Room Sources:

Gray nailhead wingback chair

Linen wingback settee

Blue and white patterned rug (more similar rugs here)

Brass floor lamp

Rattan daybed

Leather sofa (more leather sofas here)

Gray linen curtains

Gray trestle coffee table

Wood mirror over fireplace

Gray velvet pillow covers

Daybed pillows: gray & white hex pattern – HomeGoods (similar / similar), navy & white – McGee & Co

Dip-dyed wood stool

Round pedestal side table (small space drop-leaf dining table, on sale)

Woven wood shades in Bali Abaca

Framed botanicals

Gray/navy dresser (and more similar style dressers)

Leather Moroccan pouf

Fringe blanket on leather sofa: HomeGoods

Rattan nesting tables – Ross

Copper wire basket with Plush Pumpkins

Blue glass gallon bottle – similar (mine was thrifted for my DIY Lamp)

White cable knit throw blanket

Wood and metal industrial console table (behind leather couch)

Fireplace paint details

Gray and white crewel pillows (HomeGoods, similar)

‘Coffee’ mug

Goldendoodle dessert plate

Dining Room Sources:

Navy pattern dining room curtains

Woven wood shades in Bali Abaca

Navy white and gold swirl lamps

Seagrass rug

Galvanized metal trough (on dining console)

Dining chandelier light with gray ombre wood beads (similar and similar)

White and rattan round mirror above dining console

Clock

Rattan dining shelf – thrifted (see more rattan furniture here)

Copper striped candlesticks

Bird botanical canvas (out of stock but similar available)

Moscow mule mugs

Slipcover dining chairs (and more similar)

Glass cabinet (antiqued taupe)

White and wood metal stool

Entry Sources:

Hanging basket with flat back front door

Proverbs Sign

Entry hook rack

Wood chevron cabinet

Seagrass entry runner

Built-in baskets

Hallway black hardware

Round mirror over entry cabinet (painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Paris Grey)

White Barnlights: Barnlight Electric / Benjamin® Union Porcelain Stem Mount Light / White Finish / Flush Mount / Mounting Finish: Same as fixture (white) / No Cage

Guest Room Sources:

Gray upholstered bed

Tassels blanket on guest bed

Mirror – Ashley HomeStore

Outdoor Sources:

Outdoor lantern above garage

Basket on front porch

Black lantern on front porch

Side porch light (matte gray)

Click through to see a fall house tour of this small white brick cottage with eclectic coastal farmhouse style.

shop-my-house-the-inspired-room-blog

>> Be sure to head to the next stop on the Blogger Stylin’ Home Tour, Cuckoo4Design! Enjoy! <<

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