Location: Burbank — Los Angeles, CA
Clearly Los Angeles has some lovely homes, or why would the rich n' famous flock here and set up shop? For the not so rich n' famous like me, however, finding a delightful place to live in Los Angeles can be a challenge. I was lucky enough to not only find a charming place to live, but one within a 2 block walk to work.
My apartment comes complete with all the amenities one wishes they could find in LA — a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a garage, an office and a dining room, in addition to multiple bedrooms and bathrooms — but it also comes with a gigantic front porch AND a separate patio garden complete with moss covered bricks, a surrounding wall of foliage, and a fountain.
The patio came complete with leftover patio furniture that I eventually refinished in a lovely wine stain. I scored a wicker lounger in the trash that I spray painted a delightful key lime green color, added a bench that had also been left in the trash, and relocated a bistro table and chairs that I had purchased for a previous apartment. At a yard sale, I found the back of a bench in a lovely iris pattern, which I propped up as a trellis in the herb garden. Rubber duckies swim happily in the fountain and a bunny rabbit occupies his own deluxe hutch. We covered the bushes with net lights so at night the patio area is covered in twinkling fairy lights.
Cost of Zen Patio fix up:
• Bench: $0 (left by previous tenants)
• Wicker lounge chair: $0 (found in trash)
• Spray paint to refinish wicker furniture: approx. $6.00
• Patio lounger, 2 chairs and table: $0 (left by previous tenants)
• Tinted Cherry Blossom stain for patio furniture – one quart: approximately $10
• New cushions for patio furniture, plus throw pillows for bench: $0 (purchased with Xmas gift cards, but ran around $200)
• Rubber Duckies: $2.00
• Bistro set: $0 (we'll call that one free since I brought it from my old apartment, but it initially cost me $25 for the set)
• Iris "trellis": $10 (yard sale purchase)
• Dozen fairy light nets: $0 (Xmas gift)
• Fire Pit: $0 (gift)
• Bunny Rabbit: $0 (a friend found it on the side of the road)
• Handmade Bunny Hutch: $75 (Craigslist)
While my boyfriend spends the bulk of his time on the patio, I can often be found on the porch — sippin' sangria, reading, napping. I found a daybed perfect for summer naps on Craig's List for $75.00 that the previous owners had given a wooden base for support and had a custom cushion made for. I bought a few pillows for it on the clearance rack of Homegoods, and added a few other yard sale and thrift shop pillows. Typically any pillow that needs relocating ends up there, too. There's no rhyme or reason to it — but hell, it's comfy. Left on our porch when we moved in was a picnic table and benches that I refinished, and we found various other pieces at yard sales and on Craigslist.
Cost of Porch Upgrades:
• Daybed - $75.00
• Stain to refinish picnic table - $0.00 (leftover from another project)
• Rocking Chair - $40.00 (Craigslist)
• Side table - $10.00 (yard sale)
• Coffee table - $20 (Craigslist)
• Spray paint to refinish coffee table $0 (leftover from another project)
• Dog Barrier - $0 (found in trash and painted with paint on hand)
• Rug - $0 (relocated from kitchen)
• Various throw Pillows - $100.00 (Homegoods, yard sales, thrift stores)
• Glass lampshades adorning picnic table - $9 ($3 each at thrift store)
• Peacock Planter - $13.00 (Homegoods)
• Various hanging planters and plants - $30 (Ikea, Homegoods, hardware store)