An Outdoor Space For Fall :: A Giveaway

I’m so excited to get to share a little of our backyard makeover!

Here’s the back story if you are new here:

We bought our 1800 square foot 3 bedroom house four years ago. Two of our boys had to share a bedroom when we moved in, but we knew that having a little less space inside was worth it because of the 12 country acres we got outside.

The house came with an almost 30-year-old in ground pool surrounded by a chain link fence and lots of land, but no dedicated outdoor hangout space. We knew the backyard could serve as an extra room, and if we planned it right, it could be a place we could enjoy all year around here in North Carolina.

Today I want to share our finished fireplace area all cozied up and ready to use, I’ll have another post after Thanksgiving with the before and process photos and answer any questions, but for now, here’s the current after.

As we’ve made updates to the house and yard, our goal has been to mix clean, modern white lines with rustic wood and natural items and to keep it all as cozy and minimalist as possible. Our land once held a working sawmill. And the mantel is a remnant of that, just a piece of wood we found lying around the property.

The moment I saw this root coffee table from Arhaus, I knew it was made for this space. I’ve been searching for a real piece of root or tree trunk like this for years simply because I knew it would work in any room of our house, but I haven’t been able to find the right piece.

With all of our straight edges on the stone and brick and furniture, the organic, natural lines of the table make it a perfect complement to our patio. I’m smitten with it. And, it will last forever.

A couple river stone vases and a river stone tealight holder add some curves to the rustic mantle and hold some branches I cut from the woods right behind the fireplace. I knew I wanted some type of container to hold seasonal branches and I couldn’t bear the thought of using something shiny or manufactured looking. These stone vases have the perfect, imperfect and natural look I needed.

I know you are wondering, because I always wonder–what do people do with the pillows and throws they use on their outdoor furniture? When we aren’t using the sitting area, I store the cozy faux fur throw and pillow along with some extra pool towels on an old ladder under the covered porch. The porch is just steps away from the fireplace. We can grab them at a moments notice, but they stay dry and out of the weather.

Just for fun, here’s a little mood board I used for inspiration as we were planning out the fireplace area. Neutral and natural, amen.

And here I am for scale. I’m leaning over here, but still, the mantle is higher than I am tall.

Here’s a little peek at the rest of the yard and pool as the sun is setting.

Once the patio was ready, I added in some outdoor sofas I’ve had for a while, a few key pieces from Arhaus and some fall branches (I’m constantly amazed at the power of a few seasonal branches) and suddenly we have a cozy outdoor space.

I know you have someplace you are hoping to make just a little bit more cozy for fall. Whether it’s an outdoor or indoor room, I know you’ll appreciate a chance to win a $500 gift card from Arhaus.

To enter to win the $500 gift card to Arhaus, visit Arhaus here and comment back on this post with one link to one item you’d love to have (if you put more than one link my blog will think you are spam, so just one link m’kay? and we do have a spam filter that sometimes gets confused, if it thinks you are spam, there’s a little form it will ask you to fill out, do that, and we’ll be approving people a few times today and every day over the next week.) Arhaus employees and their family members are not eligible. US only.

I picked out a few more of my favorite things from Arhaus I thought you might enjoy and posted them on Pinterest, here’s a peek…


pendant/chandelier/wood chandelier





This post is sponsored by Arhaus, now go enter to win! Winner announced on this post 11/27/17.

How to Shop For a Rug Online

Rug shopping is intimidating.

But so worth it.

Rugs can bring an entire room together and I’ve learned they are just as important to a room as comfy seating and good lighting.

I bought a new rug this summer and now that we’ve had it for five months, the verdict is in, I really like it.

yes, I have a tree and stockings up, I’m a home blogger, this is my life, I promise I’ll do a dedicated Christmas decor post in December!

I’ve had great luck shopping online for rugs, but that’s because of the low color expectations I have when I shop online.

What I mean is, when I’m looking for a rug it’s either early on, in the room’s design, OR the room is already neutral enough that I don’t need to find the perfect rug that goes with expensive drapes or furniture in specific colors.

If you already have lots of color that you need a rug to work with in a space, it’s going to be really difficult to find a rug online. It’s actually going to be really difficult to find a rug locally. You can still do it, just know in the future, it’s so much easier to pick out paint and drapes AFTER you find the right rug.

Our family room has blue accents that I wanted to keep, and our doors in the house are all grey, so I knew if I found something that would work with blue and grey we’d be good. I was very open-minded on the particular shades of blue and grey –even open to rugs that had neither of those colors, as long as it was neutral. I just couldn’t let anything go too purple (greys sometimes have purple undertones) or too robin’s egg blue.

I found this rug all over the internet. At the time, the best price for a 10 x 14 was through Rugs USA . I’ve ordered from them before and their shipping is super fast. The one complaint I have about the rug is, from time to time it wrinkles under the sofa–I purposely left it so you could see it in the photo above. It’s an easy fix, it’s just something we’ve found ourselves adjusting about once a month. I could probably solve the problem with a rug pad, or if the rug was a higher quality–like made of wool, it would be heavy enough that this wouldn’t be a problem.

I wanted the largest rug I could find for our room. There’s about 18-24 inches around the perimeter of the room where the wood is bare, everything else is covered. One mistake most of us make when rug buying:: we buy rugs that are way too small. Even though I wanted a huge rug, I wasn’t ready to pay more than about $500 right now. I was kind of surprised I found something that I like so much. It had to be pretty, not scratchy, and big. Because I was on a tight budget, I had to give on the material so I know this rug won’t last as long as a wool rug.

When shopping for a rug like this (and not something vintage and one of a kind, like I did with our bedroom) I start at the biggest online stores I can find. Usually, RugsUSA, Wayfair and yep, even Amazon. As I shop, I favorite the rugs that I like, or pin them. Once I narrow it down by obsessing over the top contenders for days and reading all the reviews I can get my hands on, I’ll do a google image search with the maker and name of the rug to see where I can find the rug for the best price.

You’ll have to wade through some rugs that aren’t a perfect match, but you also might find some contenders you didn’t initially see.

Right now, the 10 x 14 size is sold out at Rugs USA, but Amazon has it for just a few dollars more.

Disclaimer, these photos aren’t super styled, this is how we do it around here. But I wanted you to see how I used a cowhide rug layered on top of the large rug to visually extend our family room a little. We have an odd set up right now, with a random chair in between the family and dining room, it makes sense in the room but looks odd in photos. Anyhow, a cowhide layered on one edge of a rug is a great way to incorporate a weird space or an extension of a room.

If you are in rug shopping mode, go ahead and get on the mailing list of a few online stores and most likely, within a week or two, you’ll get a coupon to save some money on a rug and 15% off goes a long way when it comes to buying a large item like a rug. I’m writing this a week before Thanksgiving and in years past, Rugs USA has had a HUGE black Friday rug sale, if you’re looking for a rug, I’d get on their email list for a few weeks (then unsubscribe because no one needs to know about rug sales forever).

PS, I had to have a Christmas Tree early this year for some photos. I’ve been in love with Silver Tip trees and we had a real one last year and a natural tree a few years ago. This year, I couldn’t get my hands on a real one this early so I found an imperfect, artificial tree that looked as real as possible–we bought the 7 foot tall tree which looks like it’s sold out right now. but, here it is at I was sure I’d end up returning it but we all love it for what it is!

Related Rug Posts:

My Jute Rug (It really hushed the house and I LOVED how it looked but it was SO scratchy and shed a lot).

Layering rugs (I LOVE layered rugs)

the vintage rug in our bedroom (I still love it–I feel like it’s gonna last for years and it’s probably my all time favorite rug!)



10 Years! & My Favorite Things GIVEAWAY ! // Winners Announced

  a Rafflecopter giveaway Big Huge congrats to all ten winners!  (if you are on your phone hit “enter the giveaway” to see the winners, I have no idea why they do it that way.) I just send an email to get your info. Also, winners will be matched up with the prizes in the […]

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My Cozy Fall Home

October is half over and if you follow along on Instagram, you know I’ve been hosting a photo challenge where we share our homes by using the hashtag:: #MyCozyFallHome. If you’d like to join in, we’d love to have you! Today I though I’d share a few of my favorite posts. Chad’s Team Keurig, I’m […]

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We Want to See Your Autumn Home

You’re invited! Show up and share your home with a community of imperfectionists, autumn-appreciators, and crunchy-leaf-lovers. Post photos on Instagram daily, during the month of October. To join us, simply check out the daily theme, take a photo of your home with the theme in mind and post one photo per day on Instagram. The […]

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What I Learned This Summer

Yooo Hooo! I’ve missed hanging out here with you all summer. Let’s jump back in with a little summer recap. I’m linking up with Emily P. Freeman (my baby sister) and sharing What I Learned This Summer –you can share what you learned too!   I learned how to use my camera. Notice I did […]

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