Décor & Design

My Biggest Design Mistake

Have you ever completed a design project and then regretted your decision? 

Most of the time, I feel pretty confident in my design choices because I lay them out in advance, envision them in my head, and enjoy what it brings to life. 

However, one thing I’m finding as our family expands and my personal time becomes less and less is sometimes I’ve got to make sure I’m factoring ME into these design choices. 

I always factor in my kids, husband, and guests, but ironically,  I don’t always envision myself. 

When we created our Outdoor Staycation a couple of years ago, we succinctly created spaces around our backyard that were perfect for entertaining. We had sofa seating around a fire pit, cabana seating, and even seating inside our pool! We reserved our patio space for dining, leveraging our existing outdoor dining set, sprucing it up with décor, and adding retractable screens and heaters. 

The outdoor dining space has been perfect for our guests. It’s the ideal place to sit and eat whatever we’ve grilled, and the retractable screens work great at keeping the flies out while dining. 

So as the perfect functional space, what was the problem? After so much work on the backyard and putting our touch on every single detail, the problem was me. The one thing I had always envisioned for my backyard was a screened-in place (I despise flies!) to sit on a cozy couch, do reading, work, or even take a nap. While we had plenty of seating throughout the backyard, the space I really wanted didn’t exist. 

When I approached the subject with my husband, he was perplexed. He mentioned we had plenty of places to sit – including the fire pit, which already had a sectional sofa for lounging. 

I agreed with him but shared my vision of a more personal space that could just be for us. He questioned where people would sit to eat, and that was not something I readily had the answer to. So, it became a design challenge. 

My goal was to create a personal space on our patio where he and I could go out to the patio after a long day, catch up, and enjoy. Where I could write, read, or just take a moment and breath. Someplace I could have covered entirely with an enclosed screen but also was, in fact, outdoors. 

Our patio, which houses our grill, isn’t huge, so I first had to find the perfect outdoor sofa that would fit in the space. I wanted something exceptionally comfortable, something we wouldn’t want to get up from quickly. I found the perfect petite-sized outdoor sofa at Serena & Lily. Next, I tried to solve the table issue and have somewhere to eat. I found the ideal retractable coffee table at Living Spaces that rose to dining height and then back down to coffee table height. 

I decorated the space with cozy pillows and added a woven basket of comfy blankets and a few plants. This immediately became my and my husband’s favorite space in the backyard.


We turn on the outdoor heaters in the cooler months and sit out there when the kids go down to bed. I bring out the baby monitor, grab a good book, and enjoy the sounds of nature and the peaceful quiet. I have found myself inspired when sitting out there, and I often feel like a lot of the clutter in my mind sort of fades away. 

We moved our outdoor table and chairs into the grass and added an umbrella to it for shade. So far, it’s worked great for our guests, and we’ve had no complaints! 

So I guess my goal in writing this post and sharing this with my dear fellow mamas is to share the lesson I learned. When putting together a space, as you are thinking about how it best works for every person in your family along with every guest visiting your home, and as you pour into your home to create that perfect space, remember YOU.  

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