Décor & Design

Creating an Outdoor Staycation

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation

In my previous post I shared details of the process of our Backyard Renovation. While all the construction was going on, I was envisioning what each area in the backyard would be. I wanted to accessorize the space to make it relaxing and kid-friendly. We were also on a budget after such a significant overhaul, so I wanted furniture pieces that wouldn’t break the bank. While I got inspiration from high-end outdoor furniture places, I focused on purchasing from Wayfair and Nebraska Furniture Mart.  

I focused on hues of blue, beige, gray, and various natural woods to compliment the whites and grays from the stonework around the pool and decking.

Patio Area

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation outdoor patio

We kept our existing patio table and chairs that we had purchased a few years ago from JCPenney and spruced it up with a good cleaning and table setting. 

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation outdoor table

We had a TV added to the area over the Green Egg and gas grill and a fun Margaritaville clock. My husband had been teasing throughout the project that he wanted the backyard to look like “Margaritaville”. While I didn’t agree with that décor theme, I thought a nice compromise was this clock above his grill. 

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation outdoor kitchen

My good friend Zoe from James + McLain created the most amazing “pool rules” sign for us. I shared with her that I wanted something fun and light-hearted, but at the same time was a clear message to ensure all pool guests remained safe. She completely knocked it out of the park with this sign, and I love how it turned out.  

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation

Fire Pit

This space we envisioned using in both the summers and fall. In the summertime, it will be a great place to sit and chat with friends while entertaining. In the fall, it will be an excellent place for Demetrius and I to come together with a warm beverage and catch up on the day, once we put our boys to sleep. We got a large sectional from Wayfair that provides plenty of flexibility and a configuration that works great around the fire pit. I complimented it with outdoor pillows from Pier 1 and Pottery Barn.

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation sofa firepit

Pool Deck

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation lounge chairs

I found lounge chairs from Nebraska Furniture Mart that I loved, with classic vintage style wheels and a teak-looking finish. I complimented them with striped pillows from Pottery Barn, and an outdoor side table from Worldmarket. Lastly, I added two blue and white striped umbrellas from Overstock.com to the area to complete the look.

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation lounge chairs


authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation cabana area

We added the second TV to the cabana so that you could view it from the spa or pool. I found two club-like outdoor chairs from Wayfair and accented them with a blue outdoor accent table from Target, and outdoor pillows from Pottery Barn. I wanted a piece of metal artwork to compliment the cedar privacy wall. It took quite some time to find something I loved but finally saw this piece on Etsy after searching through over a hundred photos. Here’s a closer look at both sides of the cedar wall. Inside the cabana I put the metal artwork, it sort of reminds me of ocean waves. On the exterior side, we have an outdoor shower with the same stone that’s around the pool. We included a small outdoor ceiling fan to get the air flowing on those especially hot Texas summer days, and of course a nautical themed bottle opener that we attached to one of the cabana pillars. 

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation cedar wall

I kept this space simple for several reasons. First, I wanted us to be able to leverage the natural stone ledge around the pool for additional seating. I also wanted this to be a bit of a “flex” space, where we could bring the boys’ small chairs over for sitting or snacking by the pool. Lastly, my husband enjoys smoking cigars, so this will be the place he will hang out in the evenings to come, watching TV and enjoying a cigar.

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation cabana chairs


authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation outdoor bathroom

I had so much fun decorating this space! As one of the smallest areas, it has to serve many purposes. A place for people to come in and change before or freshen up after a swim. A place where adults, as well as tiny humans, could both comfortably use the restroom.

First, I felt we needed a sign that explained there was a bathroom. The stonework around the cabana is so elegantly done, I’ve had neighbors who have already asked what the room was, and I loved their guesses, from sauna to “pool house.” I thought to remove the guesswork, we should add a sign, so it was clear upfront before people asked. I once again reached out to James + McLain to create something unique that would compliment the space. 

Then, I focused on what the kids would need. I got a travel toilet seat from Amazon that could fit over the big toilet quickly for kids. I placed it in a small basket over the toilet and added a discreet air freshener to the basket that automatically sprays every few minutes. I also got a two-step stool from Target for ease of hand washing.

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation cute kid frog seat

I found a small, narrow bathroom storage cabinet to place extra toilet paper and pool towels. On top, I added a simple basket with paper towels, and other small items guests might need, such as mints, hair ties, and Poopourri!

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation outdoor bathroom cabinet

To decorate the walls, I wanted meaningful pieces that would make the room look larger rather than smaller.

First, I wanted a tasteful sign reminding guests not to put anything crazy down the toilet. While I have every confidence in the plumbing work that was done, it’s still an outdoor bath connected to our main plumbing line, so I found this “sensitive plumbing” sign on Etsy and downloaded it and had it printed and framed. 

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation bathroom sign

I added some blue and white water themed prints I found at Hobby Lobby, which I thought did a great job of making the wall appear larger and brighter.  

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation decoration signs

Lastly, what was most near and dear to my heart, were two photo prints from the 50’s-60’s which had a lot of meaning for me. I selected photos of Eartha Kitt and Dorothy Dandridge, in swimsuits around pools. These photos serve as a reminder of African Americans who came before us. No matter how successful they were, they weren’t even allowed to use the pools in most of the hotels where they stayed due to segregation. I placed these photos here as a reminder of how blessed we are and how far we’ve come.

authentically amber backyard pool renovation staycation decoration photos

This past weekend we took our first swim in the pool as a family of four. The boys had so much fun, I enjoyed their laughter, the smiles on their faces, and the confidence both had in the water from ISR swim lessons. My husband enjoyed swimming laps around the pool, and having the boys swim back and forth to him. For a brief moment, I took a step back and just had a quiet moment with God. I know we don’t deserve any of this, but I am so thankful for the blessings He has given us, and over time, I hope we can use them to bless somebody else.

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  • Reply
    Christie Howard
    January 3, 2021 at 2:27 am

    Love this!! Question, with your concrete countertop on the grill. Have you had any cracking? Did you seal it?

    • Reply
      Amber Elizabeth Anderson
      January 3, 2021 at 3:56 am

      Hi Christie! We haven’t had any issues with it cracking it’s been very durable. We did not personally seal it but I do believe the stone mason from Gold Medal sealed it. We’ve been through summer and winter thus far and it’s been great. Just insure that if you have an external heat surface like the green egg that you have it propped with a base versus directly on the stone to prevent cracking. We added a base after the photo to prevent that as well. Good luck with your project!

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