backyard makeover // summer entertaining

this spring, r and i finally took the time to update our backyard. it's a long, long overdue "to-do" on our list. i've lived in this house almost 6 years and he has a few on me. we pushed off doing any updates because we were waiting for the major update.. a pool, bbq area, fancy deck, the works. well, that just hasn't happened yet and it's left us confined to one small patch of cement next to beds of dirt. at the beginning of this year, we finally decided that we'd put in a few hours in each weekend, invest in some furniture, and add a few potted plants that could be easily moved around once we finalize our plans for the yard.

this little area above used to be a large hot tub that didn't work and collected rain water, leaves and other uninvited creatures. after we (aka r and a few super nice friends) tore it out, we had a giant dirt pile for a few years. now, i absolutely loved the daily sweeps i had to make inside since our dirt loving animals used this as their playground, but i was convinced we needed to make this our area. so we threw in some inexpensive pavers, pebbles and set up a pergola found at the hardware store. we got this far and were spent. even i, mrs. impatient who needs to get everything perfectly decorated the same day, was just done slaving and ready for a break.
then one day i received an email to work on this very idea of making over something in my life inspired by delicious mangos. i knew exactly what to do when asked and went straight to brainstorming for a fun update to our outdoor entertaining area!

i started out with the essential ingredient to summer entertaining.. a cocktail. and then played with that idea and sketched out the perfect decor for entertaining around that cocktail. here is what i came up with.

this palm fabric was on my wish list for a while, so i ordered a few yards and sewed some pillows for our new love seat. we already had some lime green umbrellas on the other side of the yard, so i was super happy with how these tied everything together. now our entire yard looks like a continuous space rather than separate seating areas. i also mixed in a pop of yellow and some polka dot pillows we already had as well.
small accessories were placed on the table to add some color as well. i found this green basked at the craft store and filled it with fresh lemons. next to those i arranged store bought sunflowers with some fruit and vines from our yard.

we love our mimosas over here at the saylor residence. so i thought it would be a great update to mix in a different fruit this time. i juiced a few mangos and served with champagne. a mangomosa if you will? we had to crack another bottle of champagne because there was still some mango juice that was not going to go to waste... too good.

of course the dogs had to get in on the festivities as well. they definitely like the seating area much better with the added colors in the pillows. this little girl made this seat her home for the entire weekend.

the last touch i added for our makeover were some cafe lights. i have been in love with these since the day i set eyes on them, but we never had a space to use them. now they are the perfect mood lighting for conversations after summer parties late into the night.

i am so glad that i got to be part over this mangover series in partnership with the national mango board. it really gave me the push to finish up our space and add small inspired details that make it so cozy now. so how about you? have you done any summer updating?

[compensation was received for this post, all ideas, opinions and designs are my own]