Guest Garden: Yellow Brick Home

It’s been fun poking around other’s gardens, hasn’t it?  Well, we’re wrapping up this garden week with Kim and Scott from Yellow Brick Home.  We love Kim and Scott for their fun, colorful style and fantastic, down-to-earth personalities.  Enjoy!

Hello! We’re Kim and Scott from Yellow Brick Home, and we’re thrilled and honored that Amanda has asked us to share our patio and garden space with all of you.

First and foremost, it’s important to mention that we’re Windy City dwellers. We don’t, um, really have the fantasy garden of our dreams (we’ll get there someday), as our home is just a bitty footprint (all 675 square feet of it) in a big building of over a dozen homeowners. We do, however, take pride in our equally teeny patio, as we especially love our summers in Chicago.

After a too long winter, a lack of spring, and countless chilly days, our outdoor space was looking pretty darn sad. There’s no sugar-coating this mess:

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And our garden planters were certainly worse for wear.

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While we don’t have an abundance of space to create sprawling landscapes and private lounge areas (ooh, how lovely that would be!), we still put ourselves to work to ensure our own relaxing oasis of sorts – that is, as much as it can be on the second floor of a shared building. Lucky for us, we have some pretty great neighbors, which makes up for any lack of privacy.

This year, we whipped that 8′ x 10′ chunk of outdoor space into shape using our existing table and chairs – and fluffing it up with freshly painted planters and textiles.

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Because our patio is mostly shaded (only getting about 3-5 hours of partial sun during the day), we rely on trusty impatiens every year, mixing in a few other light-fearing greens for interest. We are absolutely smitten with our hanging chenille plant, so much so that we’ve named him Sully (our red-haired version of Monster’s Inc. fame, and no, we do not name all our plants. The line must be drawn somewhere).

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We think of our outdoor space as an extension of our home during those summer months – spending the majority of our time gathered around the table. Neutral chair cushions, patterned pillows and a textured rug help make the patio feel like an additional room.

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With our comfy cozy outdoor garden, you bet we’re dining al fresco. After giving up on the tablecloth hunt earlier this season, we decided to make our own. Who knew a drop cloth and fabric paint could be such good friends? And while we don’t keep it on the table every day, we enjoy bringing it out for company and relaxing dinners.

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Most recently, we added a string of café lights to keep us outside a bit longer. The moody glow pairs perfectly with a cold glass of wine, and we can almost pretend we’re lounging ocean side on a warm night. Okay, without the sounds of the water. And maybe that’s a stretch, but hey, being surrounded by our flora is pretty darn good, too.

Which, by the way, we haven’t killed yet. Three cheers for that! Scott and I are bona fide black thumbs (not proud of it), and we’re amazed at how well our little guys are doing. Muggy days and an over-the-top rainy summer has certainly been a gift in disguise, but we like to think our persistence and song-singing has paid off.

But perhaps our favorite part? Outdoor dining and plump pillows aside, you just can’t beat that “city” view from our bedroom window.

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And if you’re wondering where anything came from, here’s that trusty source list:

Table and chairs: Ikea
Rug: Overstock.com
Tablecloth: DIY drop cloth
Pillows: Restoration Hardware
Chair pads: Ikea
Plants: Sprout and Home Depot
Planters and liners: Home Depot

Thank you, Amanda, for having us!

Thank you, Kim for sharing your outdoor oasis!  

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