Welcome to our home! I’m sharing with you the first space we tackled at our new apartment. Furniture shopping is not only expensive but draining. It takes a lot of pieces to fill a room. I”m sure that’s what drew us to focus on a small area that we could completely finish, not break the bank, and create a retreat from the chaos of unpacking and decision-making. Cue in the sound of chirping birds and the feel of a gentle breeze as you visually enjoy our outdoor space.
First, let’s go back to our search for an apartment tours. Very high on our need list was having a “green” space. It was really important to both of us. We are outdoorsy people and relax while taking in fresh air. Whether that means drinking coffee outside or watching the beautiful Manhattan sunsets descend over the hills, we love it and we need it. This was the only apartment that had a “big” outdoors space and the biggest potential to create a zenful place to relax.
When designing your space, size matters! Pick pieces that don’t overpower your balcony. I went with a bistro set. I had been eyeing it all summer at Target. The three piece set was not in my budget ($229.99), but I could sure picture it in my space. Oh how I wanted it, and no — I had no luck finding anything I liked at the thrift store. Raise your hand if you ever look at Facebook Market Place? I cried tears of joy when the Target Bistro Set came across my screen. Like a flash of lightening, I messaged the seller and within an hour the table and chairs were mine.
Facebook Market Place tip: Do not go pick up things alone. Meet in a busy public place. Do not go into their home or apartment. Pay attention to where the item is located. I do not buy in rough areas of my city no matter how good a deal it is. You need cash to pay. Prices are negotiable.
The metal color was a steel gray and had a bit of rust from sitting outside but was still in great condition. A trip to Walmart for some Krylon Colormaxx Paint + Primer in Satin Black stopped the rust and transformed the set from “shab to fab!”
Pillows, Cushions, and Rugs
The patio set from Facebook Market came with many things including the darling black and white pillows, and gray cushions. I wanted a thicker cushion for the chairs. The ivory ones I liked were sold out at Target. My Mom happened to be at Target and found the exact cushions — but they had no tags, no price, nothing. She went to Customer Service to see how much they were, and the store manager was clearancing that department and sold them to her for $17 total … not each but total price. OMG!!!! The rug was also a Target patio find and was 30% off when purchased, making it around $14. Boo-ya!
The Facebook Market patio set came with a patio lantern. It has a rechargeable battery in it. Our space is shaded and I have yet to find a way to charge it. Do you remember when Amazon had it’s Prime Days this summer? Well Target wanted a piece of the pie and offered discounts of the entire store. So I bought outdoor patio lights for under $15 using a Graduation gift card. Without Bryce’s incredible Dad, the lights would still be in the box. He worked his lighting magic, and at the flick of a switch our balcony is glimmering in the moonlight. They are controlled by a remote and have a dimmer switch. Sigh of happiness! Mosquitoes are horrible this year. Our balcony wouldn’t be complete without a citronella tropical scent candle from Home Depot.
Our humble black and white space needed “green.” We headed to Family Tree Nursery and bought a Spider plant to place in my Ikea macrame hanger. I have had that plant hanger for two years with no place to put it. So glad it finally is in use. The nursery inspired us to plant some herbs. We bought basil, pineapple mint, and cilantro. Currently killing our cilantro — if you have any tips please send your girl some help (I’m desperate). The planter the herbs reside in was from Home Goods and lined up at the register area on clearance. It was narrow and raised to a good height. The brand is Broyhill. The planter was orignally dark brown. Instead of leaving it that color, Bryce spray painted it black to match our color theme. It’s the first thing I notice walking out onto our deck, and using the fresh herbs in our drinks and cooking has been such a treat.
Included in the Facebook Market set was a tin cooler on a black, metal stand. It is perfect to throw a bag of ice in and keep drinks cool. (Also, the Facebook Market set included a small umbrella and stand. Due to the balcony being covered, we didn’t need it).
***Note to self — buy patio items after Fourth of July and right before Back-To-School supplies are available. Stores need the space so they clearance these outdoor items at half price or more.
Thanks for taking the time to view our apartment oasis. We have enjoyed morning coffees, dinners together, and have even caught my dad snoozing in the patio chair. Here’s what I learned from decorating our outdoor space. Spray paint is your best friend. Plan out a garden no matter how big or small your space is. DO NOT pay full price for anything that is seasonal like patio furniture. Love y’all!!
Chair Cushion (out of stock, color is Linen)
Pillows (out of stock, similar)
Ikea Hanger (similar)
Broyhill Planter (similar)
Update**Many people asked what I paid for my Facebook Market Set and what was included: Price: $125
Bistro Set, 2 Cushions, 6 Pillows, Lantern, Umbrella, Umbrella Stand, and Beverage Holder.
Hope this helps in your future patio purchases.