Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rental Remodel: Outdoor Living

One of the main reasons we chose to rent this house for our year in Antigua was because of it's great colonial style that included some great outdoor living spaces. With moderate temps all year long, we really wanted (and do) take advantage of being outside as much as possible.

The house has 2 outdoor areas that we use on a daily basis.

On the ground level we have a spacious patio with flowers and a fountain. Tile floor extends out from inside into half of the patio that is protected by a roof. We pass through this area many times each day and normally have the fountain on and the door to the house open, to bring the outside in. We use the space for grilling, entertaining and just relaxing.
When we moved in the small planter areas were overgrown and attracted a lot of bugs, so we spent a little time freshening things up. We replanted with some small flowering bushes and trees, ground cover, herb window boxes and color to flank the sides of the fountain (that I'm itching to repaint) as well as the columns. Juan & Ninethe even passed along a cute carved bench (that I think previously belonged to Horacio & Nicole), and I jazzed it up with a some typical fabric pillows.

The whole makeover didn't cost us much (since greenhouses are abundant here & plants are really inexpensive) and now the whole area feels much more welcoming.

Climbing up to the second story, we introduce the hidden gem of this home - the terrace. Again a little rearranging helped make it a place where we could (and do) spend a lot of our time.

When we moved into the house, the living room was overcrowded with furniture, so after a quick peek into our neighbors' patios, we decided to do something that they were both doing and we moved the carved wooden love seat, chair & coffee table from the living room, outside. The area is roofed so the furniture is completely safe and during rainy season we kept it covered with a tarp, just to be on the safe side. I covered the sad coffee table with typical fabric (and plastic), hung a comfy cotton hammock purchased in San Cristobal de Las Casas and added color with more flowers, planted in galvanized feed containers. We topped it all off with a new laundry line, hanging planters & some striped market pillows and now our terrace is an amazing place to relax, morning, noon & night!

Don't you want to come lounge on our porches with us?

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