This week we got to work setting up our deck for summer cookouts, quiet dinners, and hanging out with a beer after a long day at work.
Here's what we started with:
Dirty, full of leaves, and anything but inviting. So we got to work. While Dave swept all the leaves and pollen away, I cleaned the table and unpacked our new patio umbrella. I think it's our 4th - the first got moldy, second blew away and broke during a thunderstorm, third snapped in half because we didn't take it down before a snowstorm. We've only had the deck for 3 summers, so that's not a very good track record. Here's hoping this one sticks around for a while. It's awesome - rectangular, huge, and it tilts! The best part about it is that we got it during the snowstorm so it was like 60% off! They only had a little bit of summer stuff left on the floor, but I asked about patio umbrellas and the guy said they had some int he back. He gave me some options and got an idea of what I was looking for and came back with the perfect umbrella!
Once we got the umbrella and I started thinking about summer, I started drooling over these pictures I was seeing in in magazines during the winter and spring of outdoor dining spaces with lights on the umbrellas. I just think it looks so fun and festive! Here are some I love:
So, when the summer stuff first came out at Target this year, I went on a hunt for some. They had a ton of party lights, but they were very expensive and only like 10 lights came in a pack. No thanks. Then I found a set designed to be strung from the umbrella supports - sold! Dave was in charge of putting the lights up while I focused on an unrelated project (stay tuned for details!) and got the fluffy stuff ready for the deck - cushions, plates, candles, etc.
The lights came with cable ties and little clips to attach each strand to the umbrella supports. There's a ring that connects all the light strands - it attaches to the main pole and screws in to keep it stationary. We opened and closed the umbrella several times to make sure the lights didn't get in the way of its function.
I set up the table for dinner and lit the candles...voila, we are all ready to go!
The final product!