Eve’s an artist/designer/registered nurse who you probably remember from her post on how to make psychedelic vinyl wall decals or maybe her shit-your-pants-cool nursery. Today she’s touring us through the backyard living room in upstate New York where Eve, her partner, and their two kids relax.
Our house is all colorful boho psychedelia. I love all things mod/Marimekko/Dekoplus/1960s-1970s geometric/psychedelic.
But I’m also drawn to the bohemian patterns and India’s colorful and intricate designs of medallions, henna, and such. I’m not a minimalist. I don’t like expanses of blank wall. I’m drawn to white, clean rooms in other people’s homes, but I rarely go white in my own house. Our patio probably has the most white any space has had in the last five or six years.
I love lounging on the daybed, and how it feels like you’re in a treehouse when you’re out on the deck. And I love how the backyard feels like a quiet secluded forest oasis underneath all of the tall trees and vegetation and vines. Disney’s “Robin Hood” was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I was always enchanted by all the hidden spaces in the forest, and this sort of has the same beautiful overgrown feel. I know my husband would love to chop down half of the sumac and pull all the vines off of the fence, but I’m just really drawn to the wild natural look. I’ve won that battle so far, though we’ll likely have to try to trim some of it back before next year.
The daybed mattress was a huge dilemma. I’m sure they make outdoor mattresses and I’m sure they also cost a fortune. But we are on a budget. We’d started out with one futon mattress that we covered with a tarp before putting the fabric over it. But the tarp wasn’t the most durable cover and leaked to the point where the mattress was soaked and mildewed. It never dried out. So then we tried an air mattress, which was extremely uncomfortable. Finally we ended up getting heavy gauge vinyl shower curtain liners that we duct taped and sealed as best we could over a futon mattress and that solved the issue thus far. It doesn’t hold any water now and it dries out quickly after rain.
We’ve learned to look beyond the designated outdoor decor stuff for outdoor use — and be creative. A lot of outdoor items look the same and it’s hard to find stuff that’s outside the box to fit quirky decor. Those Ikea panels have held up for three summers now though they’re not rated for outdoor use. Fabric is getting better, though it’s not perfect — I’m still thinking of laminating my own fabric with iron-on matte vinyl for pillows for next year. And so far I’ve discovered it’s possible to have a painting outside.
Our neighborhood is completely in the country and our house backs up to the forest. There are farms around, and while we live on a main route that can be busy, it’s also generally peaceful and quiet. There’s a lot of wildlife, which can take some getting used to. We have coyotes, deer, foxes, etc., as well as a ton of birds and rabbits. Oh, and field mice. I’ve spotted a mouse here and there inside the house, but when you live in the country I think they’re a given. They’re actually pretty cute, though they give me a heart attack when they pop up unexpectedly.
Outdoor maintenance can be challenging in and of itself. I’m not geared toward gardening, though I love a pretty garden. I like low maintenance stuff like tiger lilies. I’m tempted to tear out most of our landscaping and plant a slew of wildflowers in the front yard next year. And we’ve had a lot of issues with ticks — they’re prevalent around here. I hate to use chemicals but if it comes down to that or contracting Lyme disease, well, I’d rather treat our yard once a season.
I dunno if we would buy another house out in the country unless we were independently wealthy and could farm out some of the work (ha!). We live on almost an acre and it’s more involved than I think we initially anticipated. The idea of living without neighbors hovering is nice, but there’s also the aspect of having to drive everywhere and not having anything within walking distance. But it’s refreshing to wake up every morning and look outside into nature, regardless of the season. Autumn and its color explosion is awesome. I’d miss it if we lived in a city. And it’s nice to have friends over and not worry about bothering the neighbors. I guess the best of both worlds would be to have a city apartment and a country cabin. If we win the lottery.
Our grandest plan is to paint the outside of the house! As a color-phile who changes her mind constantly, the idea of having a house with aluminum siding means that it can go any color (as long as it jives with the orange-toned roof). I’m leaning toward a cadet blue with yellow doors but I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t changed my mind a million times. If we do stay here long-term, I have daydreams of building a small, one-room, A-frame covered deck that extends into the woods from the back fence. It would serve as my art studio. That would truly feel like a treehouse.
As far as resources go, Fabric.com has a great outdoor fabric selection — probably the best I’ve seen. Their prices are reasonable too. And Vermont Army Navy Supply is where I bought the camo netting hanging under the deck, around the patio. They have a ton of colors and widths that you can purchase by the yard. It makes a fantastic outdoor canopy that blends in.
Show me the decor porn!