Last week, Jaime introduced you to our exciting Summer project. Each of us are giving a social space in our home a makeover using gifted American Express Membership Rewards Points. Lucky!!! Jaime chose her back patio and I chose my front-entry courtyard-type space. It’s one of my favorite spots in the house but also one of the most neglected. It has so much potential but I just haven’t done anything with it. Let me take you for a little tour and tell you what I have in mind. I could really use your advice and ideas! Thanks Prudent mamas! Oh, and I should mention that all the kiddo stuff and grill is in the backyard so this is really a space for beauty and adult relaxation ie. drinking sangria with my girlfriends. Where were we? Back to the tour…

This is the path to my front door. So far, so good. Then you walk in the gate and see…

Cement. Lots of cement. So what do we do?…
Do we leave it? Tile? Wood decking? Gravel? Area rugs? Paint? Painted rug? With the brutal sun, wind and dust of Texas, whatever we do has to be durable. The other issue is drainage. There is a drain right in the middle of the main seating area so a rug might be problematic. Or would it? The sun does dry things out pretty quickly here.

While we are here, Let’s talk furniture. I think we will keep these chairs for now. They were a steal and the style is plain enough that they don’t bother me. Eventually I’d like some kind of a modern sectional here but that won’t be for a while. I do need to get a bigger coffee table. Something that has a presence in this over-sized space.

Now we are looking back towards the door from the fireplace. See how faded these cheap cushions got in just one year? Can Sunbrella withstand the brutal Texas sun and dust? Can I go with anything other than tan? Please? Also while we are here, check out that little nook up top by the front door. Wouldn’t that be perfect for a little bench and rug since it’s protected?

Here is another somewhat protected area. Maybe I could protect it more by hanging a drape on a long rod behind the top beam? It would be a TON of fabric but could keep things cooler back there. I’m thinking a bar/counter with stools along that wall between the beam and the window. Good? See, here along this back wall below…

Then in the space above, in front of the bar, I’d finally get a stand for my hammock which I haven’t put up because I can’t commit to drilling in the beams. Since the Membership Rewards Points work at Home Depot (and other amazing stores like West Elm, CB2 and Pottery Barn) I can finally pick up a stand. With a stand I can move the hammock around to find shade.

Below is the view from the front door. Directly to the left would be the bench. Then beyond that, maybe a long planter along the wall with heat tolerant plants, ie cacti or plastic or rocks. HA.

Here is where a curtain would hang behind the beam.

Here is another long stone wall. More plants? More seating?

I think my biggest challenge is how to prioritize. My budget isn’t going to go far in this big empty space. How can I have the most impact? What can I DIY vs buy? And the big dilemma? What do I put on that mantel that won’t blow off in a Texas gust and kill my mailman? Help me Prudent mama!

Your wisdom could win you a yard!

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