There aren’t many things more boringly Canadian than talking about the weather, but for reals though… I think Mother Nature needs to seriously take off her damn wool toque and kick off her Uggs post winter because this spring has been 100% “meh” so far.

Maybe I’m just a lot a bit anxious because after a decade of living with a lack lustre backyard, we FINALLY invested in an overhaul last year…  Buh-bye fugly deck (see the demo here), and hellooooo gorgeous concrete patio!

  Before

  After

By the time our new patio was installed last summer and we found the perfect outdoor furniture, it was late in the season (a.k.a. slim-pickin’s) to find a good selection of décor and accessories to finish off our stay-cation space.  So, I vowed to hit the stores early this year and scoop up all the glorious pillows and planters I could get my hands on!

Fast forward to this spring, and I could not be more eager to shop and flex my green-thumb… literally!

green thumb

So when Canadian Tire recently asked me to co-host a DIY greenscaping workshop at their pop-up #myCANVASstyle House downtown Toronto, I was excited to get a jump start on my planting AND scout out their latest outdoor décor!

During the workshop, I taught attendees how to make a super simple and chic macramé plant hanger (how-to instructions coming to the blog soon).  Cute, right?!

Workshop

But while I was there, I also did some serious retail scouting for my own backyard!  I knew that I needed to source items for several distinctive “zones” in our new outdoor living space… dining, lounging, cooking, and FUN!

It’s funny how something as simple as a toss cushion can inspire an entire colour scheme, and when I spotted these two CANVAS goodies, it was décor love at first site!  Coral has always been my happy hue, so I suppose it was the coral parrot that made me all heart eyed!

  pillows

So, I hopped in my car last weekend and headed straight for Canadian Tire on a pillow mission… which quickly turned into a rug, lamp, planter, and dinnerware mission as well!  Here’s a sneak peek of the items I snagged…

Lounging decor

Can we please talk about the floor and table lamp that are both SOLAR!  They look chic enough to put inside, but the fact that they’re for outside truly does make the patio feel like an extension of our home.  And the 8×10 rug was one of my top picks because it not only adds softness under foot, but it’s large enough to sit under our furniture and anchor the lounging zone.  Winning!

Another major consideration for our lounging zone was staying cool in the day and warm at night.  Our backyard gets direct afternoon sun, and I often feel like a sizzling strip of bacon if I sit out for more than five minutes, so I picked out one of these GIGANTOR 10’x10’ free-standing umbrella that can be tilted to shield us from the rays.  And as for chilly evenings, I have my sights set on a fire bowl, but we just need to check with our municipality first to see just how BIG we can go!

Umbrella Firepit

For the dining zone, I was in desperate need of a dishware update.  The clear plastic acrylic set that we’ve been using for years looked a little worse for wear, and I wanted something a tab more sophisticated.  Colour me shocked when I spotted the Sol melamine collection that looks like hand painted pottery…

Dining decor

I also want to point out that the stemless wine glasses are ACRYLIC… and the marble cutting board… well, it’s MELAMINE!  Say WHAT?  Love that I don’t need to worry about broken glasses and serving ware outside anymore!

For the cooking zone, we have always wanted to create a permanent BBQ structure.  We just ordered a new built-in grill last week, and our contractor is installing a stacked stone peninsula with granite top next month… SQUEEEE! 

  Cooking decor

And finally… the kid’s fun zone (because we both know that Mom and Dad’s fun zone is wherever the acrylic wine glasses are).

Fun decor

Now, a patch of grass may look less than fun, but this is where my boys truly enjoy our backyard!  Between the sprinkler, water toys, and a few new outdoor games, this summer is going to be full of fun and hilarity… ie. the Bubble Balls.  I don’t know if you’ve seen these before, but we recently went to a bubble soccer party (click here to see), and I don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time.  When I saw them for sale at Canadian Tire, I had to pick up a pair for our own backyard!

So as soon as Mother Nature snaps out of her spring stooper, you can be sure that I’ll be in the backyard fluffing pillows, pouring drinks, and snapping “after” pictures to share.  Annnnnd, the full backyard makeover will also be featured on an upcoming episode of Cityline, so stay tuned for more info!  Who’s excited for some SUN?  MEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Cheers!

L-A

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