Patio Inspirations For Apartment Living

I am so excited about our move – even if that means I’m not too excited about the actual physical aspect of moving. I enjoy packing and organizing, but unpacking and getting a head start on decorating is where my heart truly lies in this whole transition. Our new apartment not only has more square footage, a second level and a bedroom for Greyson, it also comes with two patios! One large patio on the main floor leading out from our living room and a smaller balcony off our master bedroom, which happens to be high enough to see the ocean.

Our larger patio will lend itself to entertaining for us as well as when we have guests; like our out-of-state friends and family this summer. This means we need all new outdoor furniture (here’s where my husband rolls his eyes and hears the money start stacking up, haha) and I am excited to pull a few ideas together in an inspiration board. Because, that’s free.

So, here are my favorite picks and favorite inspirations for our new patio space!

Patio Inspirations For Apartment Living |

Patio Dining & Entertaining

It all starts with the seating and outdoor furniture! We plan to use the bar table and two chairs we currently have for our patio for our master bedroom balcony, which is just big enough for a table and chairs that size. This allows us to enjoy a sunset over wine or relax with a book while taking in the gorgeous views of the ocean. The bar table also puts us high up so the ocean is that much more in view.

That leaves us with the main level patio which is large enough for this outdoor dining set. It’s a 6 piece set from Target and on sale for $849.99, which isn’t bad for a table, bench, and four wicker chairs. I read that the bench isn’t all that great from the reviews, but overall those that have purchased it love it. I plan to use the outdoor rug we already own (fingers crossed it’s large enough), but will need new cushions and pillows for the chairs.

I love the navy blue paired with the deep color of the wood table and comes with a hole for an optional umbrella. We have a hand-me-down from a previous neighbor and we’ve loved having it. However, it doesn’t properly fit the stand we bought and tends to lean or fall over, which isn’t good. Plus with the navy colors I, of course, would like to update our umbrella if we lean in that direction (see Sun & Lighting).


The way our complex is designed is that we have neighbors that are slightly on the close side when it comes to the patios and distance of apartments. As much as I love our community here, it would be nice to achieve some privacy while outside without coming off too obvious. Other residents I’ve seen use lattice or plants to create a little barrier that won’t get in the way of the sunshine or be an eyesore to others. I would love to use a lattice planter box like this one and either grow a vine plant or attach pots along the lattice as shown in the picture. Since our patio gets plenty of sun I want to bring a lot of greenery to provide a relaxing overall feel while growing some of our own herbs or even veggies.

Green Living

Speaking of greenery, I’m all about decorating using fun planters from *Etsy like these macrame hanging plant holders (I’m even excited to hang these indoors too throughout the house). This rectangular tabletop candle holder using succulents is just adorable and adds a fun touch to the dining area especially if we’re opting out of using an umbrella. Plants and flowers just add a beautiful touch to any space and makes it purposeful at the same time.

*Affiliate link

Sun & Lighting

Where our new apartment will be located in our complex the sun practically shines all day, which is great. Our patio will get a lot of sun, which will make growing and maintaining plants that much easier. One of the two options I had for our patio in terms of providing shade when lounging outside is: a large umbrella or a sun shade/canopy. Either option allows us to keep the patio covered or open, it’s just about how we can do it with the string lights I’d like to use for at night.

These wrapped Edison string lights from Target are just adorable and I can’t wait to hang them on our new patio. During the summers we spend a lot of time eating and lounging outside and these lights will give our space a slight glow. I’m trying to decide whether to string them along the trim (which is most common) or if I can somehow string them so they drape like a canopy across the whole patio (see example below).



Storage and organization is key to decorating a purposeful space (and pretty much the driving force behind my husband and I with everything). All of our things need a place and preferably out of sight. Since I plan on having various plants, I’d like to have a storage system that aren’t those plastic gardening boxes to keep my soil, fertilizer, watering can, etc. Because, let’s be real, it also has to be cute and go with the rest of my patio decor. Target offers some cute options and I like this wicker storage bin, which will closely match the chairs I’ve picked out.

Another small detail that I would like to incorporate are these cast iron wall hooks, which I would use for drying our bathing suits or beach towels. Again, we get so much sunlight it would be perfect to use to dry our wet things. I just can’t decide which design I like best!

We aren’t moving for a couple of months, but as you can tell I’m mentally preparing and cultivating various ideas to make our new place feel like ours. Due to the husband finding a job that he loves, and will ensure our staying here in Ventura for the long haul, we feel good about this next move being our last. Now it’s just about finding those unique touches and simple projects that will tie our forever home together, all-the-while maintaining our minimalistic lifestyle.

To see more of my home decor inspirations for both inside and outside decorating, feel free to check out this post which features some of my favorite Etsy shops! These accents are perfect for any home and makes me even more excited to move in the coming months!

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Holiday Home Tour 2016

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

Today I am welcoming you all into our home for this years Holiday Home Tour (take a peek at our home last year)! Although our decorations tend to stay pretty consistent each year, there are a few new additions. I also moved things around in our living room to not only change things up, but to also create a more physical boundary now that Greyson is super mobile. He’s off crawling everywhere and these days I’m burning many a calorie just trying to keep up.

Our Christmas here in our little apartment is nothing uber exciting nor is it something out of a Joanna Gaines episode, but it is the place we call home. I’ve always had grand ideas for how to transform this little place of ours – and perhaps I will when we move into our two bedroom apartment in the spring. Until then, here is what make Christmas special in our home.

So, get comfy and grab a hot cup of your favorite coffee and join me as I share with you our home for the holidays!

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

One of my favorite pieces I added a few years ago is this rustic card display I purchased from Etsy. I believe the shop is now no longer selling them, but you can easily find similar displays to browse through. I needed something that I could use year-round, and especially at Christmastime, to display all the lovely cards we receive from our family and friends. This year I decided to keep my fall garland up in the kitchen and use my Christmas one draped along the frame of this display. It ended up turning out really cute and being the perfect length!

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

Every year, as a Daniel family tradition, we pick out a new ornament that best represents something that year that was meaningful to us. Our first Christmas as Mr. & Mrs. we purchased a California shaped ornament, last year it was our rooster from Kauai, HI (and quite possibly where Greyson was conceived), and this year is our beautiful lightcatcher photo ornament from our photographer when we had our holiday photos taken. We’ve also added the On The Night You Were Born ornament my MIL gave us last year (to match Grey’s book and stuffed polar bear) and a salt-dough handprint ornament that I made celebrating his first Christmas this year.

Another ornament I’m very excited about is our White House Historical Association’s official ornament for 2016, which commemorates Hoover’s administration (read the importance of this ornament here). Beginning in 2016 I plan to order one every year in hopes to share it’s importance with Greyson as it relates to my grandfather as well as the excitement to see what the following year will be (they change designs every year). You can check them out for yourselves and even order one here!

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

We are loving Greyson’s new chair from his Grandma! It’s exactly what we were looking for and using BabyList to put together his Christmas registry was so easy. I loved using it when I was pregnant and thought to use it again to help our family and friends pick out the toys, books, and other items we desperately need like diapers! I love being able to create this registry by pulling from all across my favorite brands and place them into one easy to access place. Who says baby registries should only be used once?!

Pottery Barn Kids has an amazing referral service! Use this code and you’ll receive $25 off when placing your first order of $100 or more (which is pretty easy at PBK).

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

Greyson still has his mini stocking, but I’m thinking next year we’ll upgrade it so we can actually put some goodies in there. Considering we travel each year for Christmas I’m trying to determine whether or not he’ll get to do Christmas presents early or if he waits until we get back. Decisions, decisions.

What are your family traditions with opening presents?

Holiday Home Tour 2016 | Welcome to our home for this years holiday home tour! | |

I am loving our new prints from our session with Toki Lee Photography! She was able to capture these precious photos of our family during this especially exciting time. This is just one of the many photographs we have adorning our home.

Thank you for stopping by! If you have shared a peek into your home for the holidays be sure to leave me your link! Do you decorate for the holidays? What part of decorating is your favorite?

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Holiday #adulting Inspiration | Gift Cards

Holiday #adulting Inspiration | Gift Cards | |

Tis the season for holiday shopping! Although our hearts are pretty full this year with Greyson’s arrival and celebrating his first holiday season, our Christmas lists are looking a bit different than previous years. This year it’s all about the #adulting going on and preparing for the bigger days that lie before us. Yes, are there little things here and there I’d love to receive like a programmable coffee maker (because I’m a new mom with a kid who has discovered crawling and coffee is an essential food group) or a subscription to The Magnolia Journal magazine (because, Joanna Gains). However, the next best thing for us are gift cards.

Gift cards typically get a bad rap as a gift because they come off as impersonal and give the impression that the giver didn’t put much thought into it. I couldn’t agree AND disagree more. However, I’ve realized over the course of the year that these days gift cards would be the perfect gift for my husband and I. At the end of the day most of our resources go into the baby and making sure he has everything he needs – especially considering his needs change the more he grows and develops new skills! There’s toys, books, baby gear (oh, my!) or food, diapers, and baby proofing items. Meanwhile, there are a few places that we shop as a family and receiving gift cards to those places allow us to purchase what we need without the hassle of gift receipts, wrong sizes, and the dreaded customer service dept.

So, if you’re like me and are being asked what you’d like to receive for Christmas and can’t think of anything off the top of your head, here are a few gift card inspirations to get you started.

Holiday #adulting Inspiration | Gift Cards | |

Magnolia Market

This is an obvious choice for me considering no one can go wrong gifting me anything from this website. It’s almost hard to narrow down specific things so a gift card makes it easy for my friends and family to get me something I’d be happy to use! Finding out what retailer your friends or family regularly shop at and giving them a gift card will be one of the easiest, and well-received, gift you could give this year.

Stitch Fix

I absolutely love using Stitch Fix, especially as a new mom and not getting out to shop all that often. It’s something I already use and with a styling fee of only $20 it makes it an affordable gift card to purchase. So, if you’re looking to get someone in your life something fun, or someone you know loves fashion, Stitch Fix would be a great place to start!

*affiliate links used.

Subscription services like these help relieve some of the stress of everyday chores or can be just for fun. You could also look into food delivery services, like Blue Apron, too. We loved trying it out and would make for a great gift for any new parents or foodie friends of yours. Another great delivery service I have used (prior to pregnancy) was Naked Wines. It an amazing service for the wino in your life because not only does it benefit local winemakers in CA, it is an affordable option too!

Sur La Table

My husband and I love to cook and are always looking for fun new toys to add to our kitchen. There’s so many things we’d love to replace, too. Having a gift card to a kitchenwares store allows us to pick up something fun or needed that the giver may not be aware of. I also love that Sur La Table also offers cooking classes, which would be a fun date night! Just always check to see if there’s one located nearby the person you’re gifting it to.


All you have to do is a search on my blog using this keyword to find just how much I love Etsy. Finding the perfect handmade item either for myself or as a gift to others is so easy. Plus, I love supporting small businesses and friends who own their own shops. There’s just something so fun about having unique pieces around ones home. I love browsing and finding cute knick-knacks or jewelry. Shopping Etsy I’m oftentimes paying less than what I would find in a chain store for items like candles, knitted items, home decor, etc.

*affiliate links used.

Lowe’s | Costco

Knowing we will be moving in the spring has me thinking ahead and planning for the purchases we’ll need/want to make for our new home. We will be moving to a larger apartment in our complex and with a bigger patio space. I already have my Pinterest boards filled with patio/living inspirations and a gift card to Lowe’s or Home Depot will help me make our new space feel more like ours.

Costco Cash is a great gift card for any family and especially ours. We love stocking up on basics like TP, paper towels, and toiletries such as shampoo, things we cook with all the time like oil, garlic, and meats like chicken and beef, as well as wine or liquor and various other things like cleaners or toothbrushes. Having a gift card to Costco will definitely help us out making those necessary purchases on our once a month trips.

Babies R Us

A Babies R Us gift card will be beneficial to any new parent out there because let’s face it, we’re all making that trip at least once a month…at least. I love shopping in-store as well as online and there’s the incentive with their benefits program, too. I love browsing the aisles because you’re able to find practically everything you need versus shopping at Target.


This is another obvious no brainer and needs no further explanation 😉

Kirkland’s | Pottery Barn | Crate & Barrel

Home decor is my life and a gift card to a few of my favorite shops helps me satisfy those cravings. And again, these gift cards will help us later on when we move so I don’t feel completely bad for spending money on our new place.

So let’s end the shame in giving gift cards this year! They end up being wonderful gifts, especially to new parents, and I couldn’t be more excited if I were to receive one. It really allows us to shop for the things we truly need and takes the guess work out of the equation for the person giving it. Are you a fan of gift cards? What gift cards would you love to receive this holiday season?

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Favorite Etsy Home Decor Inspirations

Home Decor Inspirations ||

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Hi. Have we met? If you’re new here you’re only just beginning to learn how much home decor makes my heart so happy. I literally think about it all the time only because I find so much inspiration and am eager to make our house feel like a comfy place to relax in. Whether it’s changing up the paint, adding new fixtures, or hanging a new print I am always finding new ways to improve our rental while decorating with unique pieces making our home feel like ours.

Here are a few Etsy finds that are inspiring me and my home this weekend!

one // Be Happy Doormat via InspireLifeToday

A doormat is an essential part of any home and this shop offers cute and personalized options for your front door. I love the half-circle mat and a simple message like ‘be happy’ is quintessential us.

two // The Everyday Floral Wreath via PresentandPantry

How cute is this wreath?! I love that it is adaptable for any season (or just add your own seasonal flowers yourself) and even comes with a handlettered family name sign to greet your guests. I am in love with how simple yet farmhouse chic it is.

three // DIY Faux Mantle via Ana White

I literally became inspired about this DIY project as I was preparing this list. In our new apartment we are blessed with a larger living room and to make use of the newfound space it dawned on me to create storage with a mantle. But instead of just hanging a large wall shelf I thought further about creating the look of a faux fireplace with a wooden mantle as shown in the picture. It would be a great option for a rental because it would just be temporarily fixed to the wall. I would also use a peel-and-stick backsplash in the fireplace part and decorate with oversized pillar candles or decorative birch wood. Cute idea, right?!

four // Home Is Wherever I’m With You sign via HouseOfBelongingLLC

I cannot speak higher of everything in HouseOfBelongingLLC’s Etsy shop and I simply want to own everything she creates. However, if I had to choose just one sign for our home it would be this one. My understanding is that a home is exactly what you make of it and as long as I have my family this concept of home can be made and found anywhere. I love the rustic look and the handlettered canvass just brings this extra cute component to this print.

five // Joanna Gaines Spirit Animal mug via SwallowsGrace

I love that I was able to find the ‘original’ coffee mug that was featured on Chip Gaines’ Instagram – talk about amazing marketing! As much as I love me some coffee, I love me some Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper (like I needed to explain who she is). She kind of is my spirit animal and I find she has amazing decorative taste. So much so that I would love for them to venture out of Waco and take their show on the road!

six // Handmade Ceramic Planter via ArtCraftHome

Another aspect of our future apartment is more patio space on the first level. I am so excited to create a green space outside where we can relax and possibly entertain any guests. Succulents and green plants are beautifully simple and this handmade and hand painted ceramic planter is just so adorable. The varying designs of their planters add a level of uniqueness to our home which is what I aim for as much as possible.

seven // Address Plaque Planter via SparrowAndScout

I created a similar address planter for our home now and can’t wait to add another one once we move. Although it was quite tricky for me to create the one we have now – next time I think I’m leaving it up to the professionals. I love the wood stain on this one and adding succulents just brings it all together. It also adds a touch of color and style to our front door area!

eight // White & Gold Minimalist Bud Vases (set of 3) via HoneycombStudio

I love how simple and unique these miniature vases are! The fact that each one is hand painted and varies from the next one makes it so special. I love creatives like HoneycombStudio because she focuses on each item in her shop with such detail. I love that these aren’t completely perfect and that you can see the brushstrokes on each vase. So cute and would be perfect on my faux fireplace mantle 😉

nine // Mini Wood Wick Scented Candles (set of 3) via TwineAndCottonMarket

I love Astleigh’s Etsy shop and have purchased a few of her fall scented candles and just love them! Now that she has scents available just in time for Christmas makes me so happy inside! What’s even better is that she now offers mini candles in sets of three for you to mix and match however you please. Each one is a hand poured wax apothecary candle with unique scents for each one. I couldn’t recommend her shop more!

What is inspiring your home these days? Any Etsy shops that are your favorites? Share them in the comments!

Etsy affiliate links are used within this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.
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