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Marriage + furniture shopping = compromise

Internet, marriage is hard sometimes, especially when you have ALL THE OPINIONS. Our back patio is one of those places we’ve been working on coming up with a plan to better utilize the outdoor space and lord knows we have alllll the ideas and alllll the opinions between the two of us.

It’s a slab patio, as we’ve previously discussed here and it has housed a motley crew of  chairs, craigslisted furniture, and a brokedown wood Pottery Barn table. Which, while we’re on the subject, NEVER BUY WOOD FURNITURE FOR OUTSIDE. Wood furniture outdoors is basically a bonfire of dollar bills. Times a thousand. Also, sad to say, but those CB2 chairs we picked up from Craigslist are slowly decomposing. Wahhhh. ?


White outdoor living room - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

Then we started discussing overhauling the entire backyard patio.  I envisioned a beautiful outdoor living space (like the one above from MyDomaine) where we would eat grapes, drink bubbly things, and watch our beautiful children frolic like wee tiny princes.  Would we rip out some bushes? Lay some new concrete? Build a pergola (still up in the air on this one)? Oh, what if we just added on a whole new section of house for a nice master bedroom? What if we had a lap pool? WHAT IF WE DUG A TRENCH AND BUILT A MOAT? I NEED A CABANA FOR A POOL WE DON’T EVEN HAVE! YASSS!

Lindsay Coral Harper's outdoor cabana - www.pencilshavingsstudio.com

(Lindsay Coral Harper)

See how it went from reasonable (ripping out bushes) to completely out of control (just kidding about the moat – kind of)? So then I started doing crazy floorplan layouts in which we added on a master suite with larger bathroom and renegotiated the laundry room and basically picked up the house, turned it 3/4 of the way and sat it back down.

After 2 days of this, Simon said “It’d be easier to move.”

And then I said, “You know what’s cheaper than moving? Patio furniture.”


In San Francisco, we re-visited the Serena & Lily store which is my Spirit Animal In Furniture Form (for the record, the furniture version of my spirit animal can take on MANY forms: Jonathan Adler, Kate Spade, my true loves Serena & Lily, etc.) and fawned again over the lovely outdoor setup. Except … he didn’t like the sofa/sectional. Buuut what about the rugs? And the pilloooooows! I sighed as we wandered away,  money still firmly settled in our bank accounts.

Serena & Lily outdoor

And then we went to Restoration Hardware because HELLO MOST BEAUTIFUL OUTDOOR STUFF EVAH where we promptly fell in love with an outdoor sofa which was $3,320 by the time it was all said and done (and that was with a discount). We came home to Oklahoma City and bemoaned the Cost of Adulting.


So there we were. Back to square 1. I am still trying to figure out a way to make a pergola work because I do think the shade would be nice. And I’ve given up hope on all the other stuff and am focusing on stuff to make it nice for now. Stuff we would potentially take with us if we ever moved (which I don’t foresee happening, but hey, we make plans and God laughs.)

A post-dinner perusal of our favorite love-to-hate furniture store in OKC found us sitting on an outdoor sofa and chair in the as-is department. A $5K set that was pretty simple and not totally unlike the sofa we wanted from RH, it was marked for clearance because  “the cushions were dirty.” Ummm, ok. Do we care? No we do not.

pencil shavings studio backyard-2 pencil shavings studio backyard-3 pencil shavings studio backyard-4 pencil shavings studio backyard

And this is where marriage becomes about compromise. Was it the set I wanted? No. But was it close enough? Yes. And does it make us both happy to find a deal? Yes. And does this mean that I can now probably pick up a new rug and some purty pillows? Yes it does. So we bought them and we’ve spent every waking minute outdoors ever since, lounging, napping, and watching the princes boys frolic. Nickels has also claimed his spot and is acting like “Finally, you got it together and got me somewhere to lounge.”

In the end we both walked away feeling like winners. Which is what marriage is all about.

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  • Katrina

    The new set looks fantastic! And big yes for the pergola, we have one and the only thing about it that bugs me is the pillars, I wish they weren’t there lol, but we’ve made it work and finally finally got patio furniture & I love your large pillows ~ where are they from?

    • YES – this is my issue with pergolas —> I really don’t want the dang columns!!

      The big stripe pillows are Hedgehouse. They’re from my living room haha.