Location: Austin, Texas
Type of space: Front walkway/grass area
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: My boyfriend and I share a studio apartment steps away from the SoCo district of Austin, a really hip and exciting part of town. Because we are living in one room, we had to figure out how to stretch out in what little outdoor area we have---which amounts to a walkway and a raised dirt/grass area next to our parking lot. Though it's not a proper or "traditional" patio or stoop, we still entertain often (when it's not sweltering outside) and we love to barbeque on our teeny bucket grill. Often I'll take my lunch and just sit on the edge of the grass area; it's surprisingly quiet here during the day. The best part is when our hanging out and cooking attracts our neighbors and they stay and hang out too!
How did you create it? Because of the nature of our outdoor area, two factors played a big part in the shaping of our space. One, since it's not really a patio we're not allowed to keep furniture items in the way of the walkway---so everything we use outdoors has to be light and portable. Secondly, neither my boyfriend nor I like to spend tons of money on things! So many of our items we incorporate into our outdoor space are found or reused objects. The two white chairs are just dining chairs that we drag out when company comes paired with one of our throw pillows for comfort. The wicker chair was here when we moved in. The tray was a gift that we use to transfer our drinks and snacks outside easily and the plants and pots I just collect as I find. My personal favorite touch is the sign over our door, which reads "love sale" and was something I had sewn for a Valentine's Day Sale at a local furniture store I used to work at. Though the words sometimes conjure up unintended imagery for new guests, it's a unique and colorful addition that makes our apartment easy to find.
Recommended store, site, product or resource? My favorite spot in Austin to find things for the outdoors has got to be our Habitat For Humanity Restore. I'm forever finding really neat, unique and cheap as dirt things there. You'll recognize those colorful mini pots I have on our window ledge (perfect for plants or tea lights); I posted about them back when they were on sale!