Getting the best of our patio transformation

Jan 20, 2016

When we bought our home, the patio was a mess; an Areca palm tree jungle mix with anything that will grow on them and with them. So we cut them all out and just left the mango tree to have a bigger area for the girls to play and where we can extend our house in a future. We replaced all the grass since what we had left from the previous owners were horrible patches of weed.
We were so happy with our green patio, our nirvana place; but then one day it began to grow circles of dry grass. We found out that what we had was an infestation of grubs and the worst part was that it seemed that no matter the treatments, it was all in vain. Those circles kept growing until once again I was left with what seemed to be a deserted patio.

Patio transformation
Patio transformation

Tired of searching for options (and of exploiting our pockets), we thought on building a wood deck and I proceeded to sketch what I had in my mind. The idea behind this was to eliminate at least a third of the grass problem and convert our patio into a gathering area for family and friends. But it seems like wood is an expensive commodity here in Miami, and after lots of quotes, we ended up making this area in concrete.

Patio transformation
Although the some materials and sizes changed, at the end the original concept evolved for the better. 
Patio transformation
Patio transformation
Creating an edge around this area served as another opportunity to plant more succulents and agave (both available from Costa Farms here in Miami) and to emphasize the minimalist look of the design. After planting these I carefully placed gravel in some areas and small white pebbles in other. 
This has been a project of constant evolution and we're not finished yet. There are lots of things we want to keep adding to this small paradise of us like a pergola, a new patio seating set and more stones just to name a few. It's a costly and time consuming plan but I know that at the end it will be all worth it. 

Patio transformation
Patio transformation
Rustic plant pots add a textural drama to this area. They have the perfect size so I could plant more than one succulent. 
Today I wanted to share what we've achieved so far and I must confess its a very exiting venture every time a new plant, gravel or succulent is added. I guess that some dreams are achievable and with time and patience they come true. 

Patio transformation
Chillaxing around this area is now our new hobby!
Let me know what you think of this area so far and if you have some ideas that had worked for you in your own patio, I would definitively love to read them. And remember you can always see more photos of this project and my decor style on my Instagram account @idknowhowshedoesit.

Costa Farms has kindly sponsored the majority of the plants used for this project. The opinions stated here are my own. For more updates on their products, you can always follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.
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5 tips for a clutter-free kitchen

Jan 12, 2016

Organizing the kitchen after all those Christmas family reunions, may give you goosebumps and even a fleeting lightheaded feeling. But hang in there because today I'll be sharing 5 basic ways that helped me in organizing the kitchen.
1. Bakets: Some root vegetables like potatoes, onions, ginger and garlic can be stored outside the fridge. Citric fruits like oranges and lemons can last up to a week if left at room temperature. And here's where baskets come in handy. I like to store these under my coffee station and use the mini blackboard space that the baskets (from +BHG Live Better at Walmart) provide to name them. This will alleviate the space inside the refrigerator allowing you to buy fresher products for healthier meals.

2. Messy utensils drawer: Not anymore. With this expandable bamboo tray from BHG at Walmart, your kitchen drawers will become your best friends. To help me with this task I got rid of duplicates and unused accessories, distributed by size, same function or use, and took out big utensils to place them somewhere else.

3. Big utensils: Most of these are used on daily basis. So to keep them at hand I placed them inside these cute owl lantern that I recently found from BHG at Walmart. This item is part of their new "Garden" collection and might be only available at stores.

4. Canisters: The basic tool to make peace with the kitchen mess. These BPB free containers from BHG at Walmart came in a set of 3 and are commonly use to store anything from the typical cereal, to preserve fresh fruits on the fridge. But I'm also using them to put some wine accessories that I had left from my drawer intervention. If you use canisters for storing food, here's a tip: using a marker or a printable sticker, place the expiration date of the food inside each container.

5. Cutting boards: Besides using these for the obvious cutting purposes or for serving, they can become a decor statement in your kitchen. If you collect them, take them out and placed them against a wall or like I did, inside a basket for a more gathered look. You can also make a cute wall gallery by hanging them on one of those empty spaces in your kitchen.

As you can see, these are just some basic tips to help you get started on all the leftover clutter in your kitchen. Organizing will make you feel good about yourself and the space that surrounds you. What other tactics do you use when putting your house into order?

So honored to be part of the BHG Live Better Network where, as a blogger, I've received compensation by BHG at Walmart. The opinions stated here are my own. For more updates on their products and decor ideas, you can always follow them on FacebookPinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

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