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. To see the full backyard progress, before, afters and pool, click here.

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.

To see the full before and after post of our backyard fireplace, patio and pool, click here.

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






Our giveaway winner is Kylie::


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